- 04 May 01
First, the bad news: there’s another Prince film on the way.
First, the bad news: there’s another Prince film on the way. For those of you who spent the bulk of the running-time of Purple Rain wondering whether to laugh, cry or leave, the prospect of his purpleness’s next pirouette across the silver screen should prove to be the decisive factor in that eternal inner struggle regarding the ultimate futility of one’s existence. Now, had our small but perfectly formed and completely debauched dauphin attempted a cinematic realisation of his last album, Around The World In A Day, then I have to admit that I would have camped overnight at my nearest box-office for the first showing. Unfortunately the cameras would undoubtedly have experienced grave difficulty in capturing the essence of that esoteric excursion into lysergic lycantrophy. So the titled titch’s next mega-project comes to us as Under A Cherry Moon. Parade is the soundtrack. Soundtrack albums can be extremely cantankerous beasts, placing one in the midst of the ‘chicken or the egg’ debate. Albums written to fit certain scenarios usually lack the cohesion of the less-constructed cousins while the myriad horrors and torments of films written around song-cycles would fill several volumes of any encyclopedia you’d care to mention. Without the benefit of having seen Under A Cherry Moon there’s no real clue as to which camp Parade belongs so the poor artefact will just have to stand on its own; a tastefully clad but ultimately defenceless piece of black vinyl awaiting the merciless ravages of a hostile typewriter... come to mummy!.
Prince is obviously mad. What sane recording artist would follow the acidly religious excesses of Around The World In A Day (including a thinly disguised ‘I’m leaving, it’s all over scam. How Bowie! how Frank Sinatra!) with such outrageous piece of vinyl sex as ‘Kiss’ and still retain the admiration and respect of critics as well as the little girl’s squeals? ‘Kiss’ deserves a review all to itself but I’ll content myself with placing it alongside ‘Rise’ as the leading contender for ‘Single Of The Year’....so far, (as my colleague Declan Lynch would be quick to point out).
Elsewhere on Parade we find Prince in fine form with his brain cells as intact as they’ll ever be as he yelps and squeals (and nobody but nobody squeals like this boy1) his way through a mutation of every popular music style known to man. There are flashbacks to the oriental tape games of Around The World mixed with absolutely filthy R’n’B riffs almost half a century old and all topped-off with several dollops of cocktail strings. It’s completely over the top... and it’s wonderful.