When Prince’s first greatest hits collection was released, Prince made private comments as a guide for the liner notes. Later briefly posted on his website thedawn.com in 1996, Prince’s comments have been lost for the last 20 years, but now provide a rare first-person insight into how he saw some of his most famous songs.
In 1993, just as Prince had changed his name and began wrangling with his record contract, he agreed to his first-ever collection of greatest hits, released as a 3-disc set, The Hits/The B-sides. Prince’s longtime manager Alan Leeds wrote the liner notes for the box set; already an industry legend for his work with James Brown, Leeds had won a Grammy for his extraordinary work on the liner notes for Startime, the definitive James Brown box set released in 1991. But Leeds’ notes on Prince’s work included a number of mentions of anecdotes and inspirations that Leeds couldn’t have been privy to first-hand, and a few that only Prince himself could have known. When liner notes for The Hits were posted on thedawn.com three years later, fans were shocked to see that, rather than simply replicating Leeds’ writing, the notes on the site were clearly Prince’s own thoughts. The notes omit many tracks, include mention of songs that weren’t included in the box set at all, and include what appear to be editorial suggestions for Leeds. Prince often refers to himself as “PRN” (Prince Rogers Nelson) throughout. This was likely both reflective of his longtime habit of trying to issue his pronouncements as coming from a larger, vague collective rather than just himself, and the fact that the notes were likely captured as recited to an assistant. However, it could also have been a deliberate stylistic choice in reference to his then-recent name change; at the time this was published, his public position was that “Prince” was dead.
Update: Alan Leeds himself has weighed in, on Reginald Hudlin’s Facebook page, saying he hadn’t known these notes were ever posted online, but confirming that he did use these comments from Prince to inform his work.
Interesting — I’d never seen this before and wasn’t aware P had posted these comments. For the record, I had volunteered to Warner Bros. to help assemble and sequence the 3 CDs. However, they were stuck on “their” sequence — I never knew for sure if Prince liked or was involved in the sequencing. I believe it was put together by WB’sr in-house catalogue maven, my friend Gregg Geller and I doubt he had much dialogue with Prince. However, Prince did call me to write the notes. I told him it was an honor but only if he’d answer a few questions so I could add some background that wasn’t common knowledge among fans. He agreed but asked me not to write like an interview. So I simply incorporated some of his “revelations” into my notes. When I sent him the finished notes, he called to say “thanks, nice job” and that was it. He surprisingly did zero editing.
“I WANNA BE YOUR LOVER” originally recorded as a demo 4 Patrice Rushen’s album. PRN had a mad crush on her at the time and the song is about her.
“HEAD” was only used as a concert tune. This song was picked as Lisa Coleman’s initiation into the band. Gayle Chapman quit because the material of the Dirty Mind period got 2 strong 4 her. Prince figured if Lisa could sing the lyrics to head she could handle anything. The song as a demo as was all the Dirty Mind LP.
“DO ME BABY”
the 1st time Prince turned the control room into a bedroom. Candles were lit, chiffon veils were hung and all the doors were locked.
“CONTROVERSY” write about the first time U heard reflective notes
“LITTLE RED CORVETTE” after another marathon all-night recording session PRN wrote this in the front seat of Lisa’s pink car (brand of car can be gotten from her) whom PRN drove when she was in LA. PRN always considered the song a dream because it was written between 3 or 4 catnaps and he was never fully awake.
“DIRTY MIND” Dr. Fink came up with the original keyboard line which PRN heard and wrote lyrics 2 that same night. PRN and Dr. Fink came 2 rehearsal the next day proud of their creation. The band flipped when they heard it. The centerpiece was in place.
“WHEN DOVES CRY” originally recorded with bass, backing 2 sets of keys and guitar. Frustrated with the mix, PRN sat discouraged in the studio (Sunset Sound). Jill Jones came 2 visit, saw the long face and asked what was wrong. PRN was said to have said, “if. had my way the song would sound like this.” He then shoved down the bulk of the instrument faders and left up only the drums and the xylophone, when the voices began to sing the chorus. Jill then asked PRN why he thought he couldn’t have his way with the mix. There was no reply. Everyone who passed by the studio was enthralled by the strange sound coming out of Studio 3 that day. The next time Jill heard the song it was on the radio and it was bassless and stark. PRN had his way.
“KISS” PRN after recording this shelved it because he thought it 2 strange a production 4 human consumption. It was included in the Parade album was an afterthought. PRN thought it never quite worked on that album. Every time he plays it live he changes the arrangement. Probably still feels the same about the public’s acceptance of the sound. It concert it’s never sounded like the record.
“U GOT THE LOOK” a friend of PRN used 2 jump up and dance whenever Robert Palmer’s “Addicted to Love” came on. As a test this song was recorded to find out of the friend would dance 2 a similar groove or just chill because it wasn’t a hit. Sure enough the friend didn’t like the song until it was in the Top 10.
“SEXY M.F.” the song that made PRN abandon computers just before he retired. Proof that nothing beats the feel of a live band of funky M.F.’s.
“CREAM” PRN wrote this standing in a mirror.
“DAMN U” one of the songs PRN is most proud of; he adores it. Used to play it live even fore it was released. Through the years this has been the indication of his feelings about a new composition.
“I FEEL 4 U” another demo written 4 the Patrice Rushen project. PRN tended 2 write more Top 40 when writing 4 other artists.
“WHEN U WERE MINE” written in a hotel room in North Carolina on the Rick James tour. This was not a happy period. PRN didn’t want to do this tour but he needed the exposure cuz his record was breaking R&B first. He was ready 2 headline his own tour but had 2 wait.
“UPTOWN” a favorite concert number during this period. The anthem 4 all the freaks and funkateers of the Dirty Mind generation. Vocal recorded in one take, no punching in after PRN in his 16 trackhome studio set up the song on the board, plugged in the mic, and left his leather coat on the chair. He went to get pumped at a movie and when it was over walked straight into the studio, donned the leather coat, and sang it straight out. He didn’t listen 2 it until the next day and then began finishing it.
“1999" was meant 2 be a group vocal. Lisa, Dez, and Prince actually sang the whole song every line. When Prince mixed it he made the decision 2 split up the lines. That’s why the melody keeps changing. Jill Jones 1st big vocal assignment. She does the ad libs on the vamp. Prince loved her voice. Vocally he said she was a ‘cliffdiver.’
“LET’S GO CRAZY” & “PURPLE RAIN”
“POP LIFE” the jam in the ‘hood.
“ADORE” inspired by Patti LaBelle & Luther Vandross who Prince was digging at the time. Patti — ”if only u knew”…
“SIGN O’ THE TIMES” written, recorded, and mixed in one day.
“ALPHABET STREET” Prince always called this an ‘aural cartoon.’ Recorded during the LoveSexy period.
“BATDANCE” originally a 12" 4 the song “200 BALLOONS.” This song with every sample just grew and grew. Listening 2 “200 BALLOONS” Prince commented “this sounds like it came from BATDANCE — not the other way around.”
“DIAMONDS AND PEARLS” written as a duet with Rosie Gaines. Prince vowed never 2 performs it with anyone else. As much as Prince wanted Rosie 2 go solo he hated the fact that he wouldn’t be able 2 peform one of his most prized possessions, Diamonds and Pearls, until they were 2gether again. Prince has called Rosie one of the greatest singers of all time. He most likens her 2 Ella Fitzgerald. Range, speed, and styling. Rosie’s got it all.
“7" Jevetta Steele asked Prince 4 an explanation of this song. He only smiled.
This photo was taken off of the northeastern coast of Madagascar on the island of St. Marie. While watching a group of local children jump off the cliff into the crystal waters below, I was reminded of why I took my own leap to join the Peace Corps. Every day is a thrill navigating this very different culture and language as an American, and each risk that I take as a Community Health Educator and as a person is worth every second. Whenever I am feeling low, or unsure of the next move to make, I will remind myself that it is OK, just jump!
The salt of the water stung Will’s sinuses, burned its way down his throat when he tried to gasp. He still felt like he was falling, but now he was also drowning. He opened his eyes and they stung too, but he could see the dark form of Hannibal above him, around him, sinking down with him. Hannibal’s eyes were looking back, like black holes in a galaxy. His hands had moved to grip Will’s throat. It was tender and condemning, loving and final. Water filled Will’s mouth, and then so did Hannibal’s tongue.
He woke gasping and choking, trying to swallow down the salt burn in his throat.
“You fainted, Will,” Hannibal’s voice said from somewhere nearby, and it sounded amused, fond. “How very damsel in distress of you.”
It was blood running down his throat. Not salt water. The stars in the night sky stared down at him from above, and firm paved ground lay beneath him, not ocean. His face and shoulder were flooded with agony.
Will turned his head and saw Hannibal standing hunched near the cliff’s edge, bare-chested and bloodied in the moonlight. There was a gentle clink of metal, a soft hiss of pain, and then Hannibal’s form loomed above him, blotting out the stars.
“Where’d your shirt go?” Will’s voice was fluid-logged and slurry. He was still struggling to pull his mind out of the dream, the fantasy, of going off the cliff. Of sinking under the water. Under Hannibal. He hadn’t. They hadn’t.
Hannibal smiled, a red-wet flash in the darkness, his partial nakedness making him seem all the more primal, predatory. He reached down to grasp Will’s good arm. “Put to better use,” he said, and pulled Will dizzyingly upright. Will saw that Hannibal had folded the shirt up in a compact square and strapped it to his stomach wound by cinching his dress belt around his waist. Dots of blood were beginning to seep through the fabric. It matched the blood streaking across Hannibal’s mouth. His mouth would taste of it, just as Will’s did.
It wasn’t just the fall or the drowning that was twisting in Will’s brain. It was the feel, the power of Hannibal’s kiss, phantom though it was. It had all felt so real, as real as standing on solid ground and grasping Hannibal’s arm did now.
“We must leave.”
Clinging to Hannibal’s bare skin made him think about drowning again, about Hannibal’s tongue in his mouth and how it had felt more invasive that the water in his lungs. But no, that was all wrong. He didn’t drown, they didn’t fall, they hadn’t kissed. He’d thought about killing Hannibal, but he’d never thought about kissing Hannibal, before they’d killed together.
The water, the drowning. The kiss. This could be the dream. It felt less real, less right, than falling off the cliff.
Hannibal’s hands were suddenly cupping Will’s face, making Will look at him. “Will. You’ve done so well tonight. Now we must go.”
Their faces were so close together he could smell the blood on Hannibal’s breath. It was at once intoxicating and repulsive, and so similar to the dream still playing over in Will’s mind. Will knew what he had to do, then. To decide whether this was some kind of afterlife dreamstate, or reality. He reached up and cupped Hannibal’s blood-sticky cheek, drew him down so that his mouth covered Will’s own. Will felt Hannibal’s sharp intake of breath, a rare indication of surprise, and used that moment to invade Hannibal’s mouth just as had been done to him, underwater. Will was amazed to find that Hannibal allowed it, allowed Will to breach his defenses so easily. That wasn’t like the dream at all. It occurred to him that perhaps Hannibal had done that all along with Will, made allowances, risks, that he otherwise wouldn’t have. It gave Will sense of power, not unlike killing the Great Red Dragon together had.
Was talking with people in my voltron server and i thought of this theory!
Ok i see traits of both parents in the kids, but matt and katie both look more like their mother, almost carbon copies. Like frozens anna elsa + mom
So im thinking what else do we know about the holt family? Matt and dad are smart. They went on a mission for ice samples
Pidge is scarily smart and can adapt to most situations rather quickly
Shes a great fighter? In third and fourth episodes she takes down robots and a galra dude by herself
She picks up altean really quickly
And galra language
Hmmm no info about colleen besides her name. Strange!
So in s3 we see honerva experiments on her cat kova, with quin. What if sam and colleen were working with the garrison who was under galra, into making their first clones, or experimented babies?
Also strange thing in my mind: katie and colleen wore the same type of dress at the dinnertable. Was she homeschooled?
Did anyone know about katie?
Sam and matt mightve told shiro about her IN the shuttle on the mission, never before
In another series, young justice, we are introduced to a clone named superboy
Hes obvs clone of superman, he knows he is immediately. Yet hes younger, like 17
Lacks laser vision and flight
Thats because his dna was spliced not only with supermans but with a humans, lex luthor
What if the galra gave sam and colleenn access to aliens and they used say Olkari dna on pidge? That could explain why she was the only one to use the glowy headband in s2 ep4
I wonder if they used that on matt? Or if theres various alien dnas in those kids?
Anyway, im wondering if sam and colleen got attached and wanted to stop the project
And they werent expecting the galra to show up as soon as they did
So as soon as the galra were about to kill him and his SON, he did the only thing he could do
Offer shiro as the new test subject
Matt and katie look identical, and bex said theyre not twins, so im thinking maybe something went wrong with matt like he has a limited lifespan compared to katie. Or maybe she does too
That s4 teaser made me suspicious cus where is that little scared kid from the arena? It takes people a long time to change and kick ass at that level
In s1 pidge held shiro, a guy probably double her weight, as they were on a hover craft going like 100 miles an hour and cliffdiving. And she didnt slip or drop him once?
I think thats all i have for the moment
Izuku: He is that one person who goes to the beach to explore. While looking in nearby caves and swimming underwater, he thinks of Pro Heros with Quirks that would have an advantage in such place. He also watches other people and keeps record of their different quirks. His beach towel, swim wear etc. have All Might on them.
Shoto: He came along for practical reason such as relax and forget his problems. He doesn’t swim much. He will probably be sitting under an umbrella reading something or play on his phone
Katsuki: He didn’t want to come, he was forced to by the others. He is the type of person that is going to complain about everything: the sun, the waves, the sea creatures, the big family that sat right next to them with their kids screaming their lungs out, Izuku etc. He doesn’t want to join in any activities the others do but in the end he does because Kirishima challenges him to. He is a really good swimmer, and he exceeds in any game they play: Cliffdiving, Swimming, Holding breathe underwater, finding stuff underwater faster etc.
Ochako: She is a sociable person so she went to the beach to have fun with her friends. She knows how to have fun at the beach. She sunbathes too and she is open to any suggestions for activities. She collects seashells and strange looking pebbles while she explores with Izuku.
Tenya: He is the type of person that has everything prepared for the beach. He’s brought sunscreen, food, drinks, first aid kit, floaties, swimming and diving supplies, umbrela, refrigerator etc. He acts like a parent to the others since he makes sure everyone is okay, that they have put sunscreen on, he scolds those that followed Kirishima and did cliffdiving. He is also the one who counts the time they need to digest before it is safe for them to get in the water, h acts as an “embassador” for the others when Katsuki and Kirishima get in trouble with people around them, he is the one to clean and take everyone’s trash when it’s time to go and he is the one carrying most bags.
Kirishima: One of the reasons he wanted to go was to show off his manliness that’s why he suggested all these activities, like swimming race, diving race, frisbee, volleyball, tennis. He also brought the equipment for that. He is too noisy which causes not only Katsuki, but also the surrounding people to complain.