Jun 27, 2008

Into The Groove (37)

Hello, Into the Groove pays a third visit to the Prince Family ( previously Rhotation 15, 22) For starters the follow up to last times ending Madhouse 8 , conveniently called 16, this time Prince let's others in aswell, i suppose he recognised that solo jazz funk is stretching the jazz concept, i gather it's become a rarity so ....Jesse Johnson understood rather quickly that Prince wasn't having two guitar captains so after he scored a big hit for the Time, Jungle Love..he understood it was the right time to leave and go for a solo career, his first three albums did reasonably well and he got plenty of production work, however in the nineties he's faded .....Every Shade Of Love.....Finally Wendy and Lisa the girls felt a bit used after they got sacked by Prince, obviously they had something to proove and they released 3 albums together under the Wendy & Lisa moniker. Fruit At The Bottom tends to be bruised and should be consumed a.s.a.p. i'm not sure what the girls had in mind but the album didnt build on their debut...

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Madhouse - 8 +16 (87 ^ 417mb)

Prince had caressed the idea of an instrumental jazz-funk album ever since he recorded his first tracks with Eric Leeds for his 1985 side-project, The Family. In late 1985-early 1986, he recorded hours of instrumental music with Leeds and other musicians from his band, Sheila E. and musicians from her own band, as well as members from Wendy & Lisa's families. From these sessions, Prince compiled an album called The Flesh, supposed to be released by an eponymous pseudo-band, but the project was abandoned and its concept lightly modified to become Madhouse. As he did with most of his side projects, Prince created an alter ego, named Austra Chanel, who was said to have been the mentor/producer for Madhouse.

All instruments on "8", the first Madhouse album, were performed by Prince except for the saxophone and flute parts which were performed by Eric Leeds. The albums consists of instrumental jazz-fusion tracks. A remix of the track "Six" was released alongside with the b-side "Six & 1/2", composed by Leeds and featuring Atlanta Bliss on trumpet. "16", the second Madhouse album, featured contributions by Eric Leeds on saxophone and flute, Sheila E. on drums and Levi Seacer, Jr. on bass guitar (the three of them co-composed a few tracks besides playing on the album.) "Doctor" Matt Fink (keyboards) and John Lewis (drums) are also credited in the album's booklet but their participation to the recording is more than uncertain (though both were part of the short-lived live-version of the band.) "16" features more aggressive and minimalist jazz funk tracks than its predecessor.

Cover art for both albums featured a voluptuous woman playing with a small dog, reminiscent of a 1940s pinup photograph. The videos from "16" were more 1940s gangster-themed. The cover of "16" features the subtitle "new directions in garage music", which is a homage to Miles Davis' Directions In music series. The only vocals on either album consisted mainly of choice snippets of audio lifted from the first two Godfather films and samples of Vanity simulating an orgasm (from the Vanity 6 outtake "Vibrator", later used on Prince's own song "Orgasm" from Come.) In 1987, Madhouse served as an opening act for Prince’s headlining tours, with each of the musicians heavily disguised in baggy cloaks and sunglasses, to be removed for the final set. Prince himself often guested with Madhouse, incognito.

At least three other Madhouse albums were later recorded and remain unreleased to this day, all three of them being named "24". The first one was recorded in 1988, mostly by Prince and Eric Leeds. Only one track eventually emerged, severely edited, on Eric Leeds'1991 solo-album Times Squared. The second one was recorded in 1993 with a line-up consisting of Prince (keyboards), Eric Leeds (saxophone), Levi Seacer, Jr. (guitar), Sonny T. (bass) and Michael B. (drums.) Only two tracks were officially released, "17" and"Asswhuppin' In A Trunk" in 2001, via Prince's website. . The third unreleased album is almost unknown since only two tracks are circulating: one was released in 1998 on a very rare promo-CD, and another one in 2001 on Prince's website. The two released tracks feature even more complex arrangements than the 1993 album, sort of announcing Prince's "New directions In Music" series from 2002-2003.

01 - One 7:16
02 - Two 5:31
03 - Three 3:16
04 - Four 2:24
05 - Five 1:15
06 - Six 4:28
07 - Seven 4:09
08 - Eight 10:05

09 - Nine (2:06)
10 - Ten (5:04)
11 - Eleven (6:14)
12 - Twelve (5:14)
13 - Thirteen (4:46)
14- Fourteen (5:12)
15 - Fifteen (3:49)
16 - Sixteen (4:17)

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Jesse Johnson - Every Shade Of Love ( 88 ^ 240mb)

Jesse Woods Johnson (born May 29, 1960 in Rock Island, Illinois) He moved to St. Louis at the age of 9 and was raised by foster parents after his parents split up. At age 16 he moved back to Rock Island to live with his father. Johnson began playing guitar when he was 15. On a friend's recommendation, he moved to Minneapolis, Minnesota in 1981, where he met Morris Day and became the lead guitarist for the city's funk-rock group, The Time. Although Prince basically recorded the first two Time albums on his own with Morris Day, Johnson did contribute to the Vanity 6 project with a song called "Bite The Beat" co-written with Prince. On The Time's third album, Ice Cream Castle, Johnson contributed to the smash singles "The Bird" and "Jungle Love".

At the height of The Time's popularity following the Purple Rain, Johnson left the band and signed a solo deal with A&M Records in 1984 and released Jesse Johnson's Revue. Shockadelica containing the hit "Crazay", the duet with Sly Stone, and Every Shade of Love followed over the next 3 years, building on the inventive, elaborate sound he forged with The Time. Throughout the late eighties and early 1990s Johnson also featured on the soundtracks to The Breakfast Club contributing "Heart Too Hot To Hold", a duet with Stephanie Spruill, Pretty In Pink, Another 48 Hours and White Men Can't Jump.

By 1990 The Time reformed and issued Pandemonium, which was even more of a group effort than Ice Cream Castle. The album allowed Johnson to contribute his heavy hard rock guitar sound to several tracks. After the band dissolved once again, Johnson remained in the background for several years, quietly contributing to soundtracks and other artists. Finally in 1996, Johnson released another album, . The album was a departure from his funk-filled albums from the 1980s and instead verged into blues and hard rock. It is considered to be the true guitar album that Johnson fans had wanted from him since the beginning of his career.

1 - Love Struck (5:18)
2 - So Misunderstood (6:08)
3 - I'm The One (4:51)
4 - Color Shock (3:43)
5 - Every Shade Of Love (4:44)
6 - Everybody Wants Somebody To Love (3:49)
7 - I'm Just Wanting You (5:43)
8 - Stop-Look-Listen (3:30)

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Wendy and Lisa - Fruit At The Bottom ( 89 ^ 419mb)

Wendy Melvoin (vocals, guitar, bass guitar) and Lisa Coleman (vocals, keyboards) Best known for their collaborations with Prince in the early-mid 1980s, Melvoin and Coleman began their career as Wendy & Lisa in 1986. The two were childhood friends, both from musical families which often performed together; Wendy's father, Mike Melvoin, was an in-demand session musician, while Lisa's father, Gary Coleman was also an in-demand session musician for jazz artists. In 1980, Lisa Coleman replaced Gayle Chapman in Prince's touring band. In 1983, Dez Dickerson left, Lisa suggested Melvoin as a replacement. Prince accepted Melvoin into the band as they began to record Purple Rain. The film and album were a phenomenon, turning Prince and the newly named The Revolution into superstars. Prince's personal life also became intertwined with Melvoin's when he began dating her twin sister Susannah.

The team of Coleman and Melvoin worked extremely well together. Prince saw this and tapped their talents for the albums following Purple Rain. Their influence was particularly heard on several tracks on the Parade album, the soundtrack to Prince's film Under the Cherry Moon. In an ironic parallel to the conflicts in the film Purple Rain, the duo felt they were not getting the recognition and credit they deserved despite their growing contributions. During 1986 Wendy and Lisa became increasingly disillusioned with Prince, unhappy and vocal about their feelings, they were eventually convinced to remain with the band and to go on tour that year. By the end of the tour Prince had already decided he would dissolve The Revolution once the tour was complete. Hence, by October 1986, Coleman and Melvoin (along with Bobby Z.) were dismissed by Prince.

"Wendy and Lisa" (much like Sheila E.) are often miscategorized as being part of Prince's protégé harem. However, Melvoin and Coleman (like Sheila E.) were clearly professional musicians in their own right. Regardless of critical assessments of either Wendy and Lisa's or Prince's work, the duo definitely had an influence and impact on Prince's sound. The pop/blue eyed soul/funk hybrid can be heard on Purple Rain, Around the World in a Day and Parade. The next year, the duo released an album simply entitled Wendy and Lisa with Columbia Records. The lead single, "Waterfall" received some airplay, leaving the album a moderate success. Wendy and Lisa played almost all of the instruments on their self-titled debut and co-wrote most of the material with ex-Revolution drummer Bobby Z. The sound was a continuation of the ethereal/dance/R&B fusion that had been the hallmark of their work with Prince. In 1988, the duo added Melvoin's twin sister Susannah and recorded Fruit at the Bottom, a song cycle about the ups and downs of romance, the duo decided to incorporate dance-club beats and synthesizers into their music. The results were mixed. Though the album sounds more lively and slick than the debut, Wendy & Lisa came up short in the songwriting department.

After a few years, the duo signed with Virgin Records and released Eroica, an album with a more alternative rock feel. They had a minor radio and dance club hit with the single "Strung Out". In 1991, Virgin UK released Re-mix-In-a-Carnation, a selection of club mixes from the first three albums as remixed by producers like The Orb, William Orbit, and Nellee Hooper.
In the mid-Nineties, Wendy and Lisa worked on several movie projects with record producer Trevor Horn, and their first scoring work, for Dangerous Minds. During this period, they worked to record a full length album under Horn's production, however the project has never been released.
Feeling confined by the "Wendy and Lisa" moniker, and released a CD in 1998 under the name "Girl Bros". Their sound had begun to evolve on "Eroica" and while Girl Bros was still pop/funk based, it also could be categorized as alternative music. Melvoin and Coleman have made numerous contributions to film scores and to television themes (for example, they wrote theme music and background scores for TV-shows such as Crossing Jordan, Carnivàle and their newest venture Heroes.

The duo's somewhat erratic relationship with Prince has continued; in 2006, the duo accompanied Prince on-stage during his performance at the 2006 Brit Awards in London.. It was the first time in 20 years that the three had played together in front of a live audience (Sheila E. also joined the band on-stage).Prince's 2007 album "Planet Earth" features appearances by Wendy & Lisa on the songs "The One U Wanna C" and "Lion of Judah".

01 - Lolly Lolly (4:08)
02 - Are You My Baby (5:06)
03 - Satisfaction (4:53)
04 - Always In My Dreams (4:08)
05 - Everyday (4:04)
06 - From Now On (We’re One) (4:29)
07 - Tears Of Joy (4:38)
08 - Someday I (3:08)
09 - I Think It Was December (4:49)
10 - Fruit At The Bottom (4:25)

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All downloads are in * ogg-7 (224k) or ^ ogg-9(320k), artwork is included , if in need get the nifty ogg encoder/decoder here !


Anonymous said...

Thanks for these great posts on some great artists. Wendy and Lisa and Jesse Johnson are two of my favorite Prince alumni. I write about Jesse's work with Sly as well as Sly's influence on Prince in my book Sly: the Lives of Sylvester Stewart and Sly Stone.

Anonymous said...

Hi Rho

Eroica - now that takes me back! But Madhouse is the one here, if you were of a mind to re-up, please and with gratitude.

All you can eat


Rho said...

Hello Cindy, i recently posted both Madhouse albums in my Prince memorial series Grooves 1634 the link is

https://www.bigfile.to/file/4qxJzmkJvNzB/Mdhs Eght Sxtn.zip

just copy and paste into your browser

Anonymous said...

Is there any chance of a re-up of Fruit At The Bottom?

Brilliant blog by the way, both for discovering new music and being reminded of almost-forgotten things from the past. Thank you.