Prince: Chaos and Disorder (1996)

ritualobjectsofsightandsound.wordpress.com - chaos and disorder

In amongst everything being written about Prince (my thoughts here), this album hasn’t had much of a mention – even this review was largely written up before the news of his death.  A pity, as Chaos and Disorder really is an unjustly overlooked gem which is well worth searching out, particularly if you’re a fan of his rockier tendencies.

Part of the career-damaging run of contractual obligation releases towards the end of his symbol/AFKAP phase, Chaos and Disorder was not a success.  It spawned only one minor hit single and barely troubled the album chart here in the UK.  However, of all those releases, from 1993’s Come to 1999’s The Vault: Old Old Friends For Sale, this is by far the most interesting.

Opening the album, the title track is in-your-face heavy funk rock at its best, the arrangement having started life as the end-jam from early live versions of Peach.  Lyrically though, it’s a social commentary-led close cousin to the likes of Sign O’ the Times and Lovesexy‘s Dance On.

Prince as guitarist is to the fore throughout – Zanalee is straight-up blues rock while The Same December and Into the Light are spiritual psych-pop numbers which would not sound out of place on Around the World in a DayDinner With Delores, the aforementioned hit, is more of the same, a great wee track cut from the same cloth as Starfish and Coffee.

Of the eleven tracks only the more overtly commercial, poppier funk number I Rock Therefore I Am and the bizarrely cod-country tinged Right the Wrong don’t quite cut it but there’s still enough outrageous instrumentalism going on to keep things interesting.  The closing track Had U (a slight song, built on a Mellotron-like guitar and vocal), is ostensibly a relationship number but we know it’s really about Warners, with the last words on Prince’s final album under his original contract for the label being “fuck you – had you”.

PCADA

1996 tape in good order, £8 online (late 2015).  Unavailable in any format for a while but look out for that cynical reissue programme anytime now …

 

 

Advertisements

Just look at the state of this place (Part 2)

I know, right?

It was Tapes For My Walkman.  Then it was Tapes For My Walkman and Tapes For My VCR.  Then it was Tapes For My Walkman (incorporating Tapes For My VCR).  Now it’s Ritual Objects of Sight and Sound.  It was going to be Ritual Objects but that was already taken, dammit.

All the old Tapes… content is here.  I haven’t quite got my head around what I’m doing with the blog in general just at the moment, other than celebrating the physical format.  Or something.  There’ll be the same kind of writing as before on the same kinds of subjects as before, with an emphasis on all things analogue – though CD and DVD will get more than just a look-in, I should imagine.  The horror!  I know.  Calm yourself.  Wipe away your hipster tears with your hipster pocket kerchief before they befoul all of the hipster lotions and unguents in your hipster beard and bear with me.