Retro Spins: Prince And The Revolution - Around The World In A Day
Prince and the Revolution
Around the World in A Day
Ask any casual Prince fan if they like the song Raspberry Beret and they would probably say, "Yes." Ask that same casual fan if they like the album, Around the World in A Day, and they would probably ask, "What is that?"
It's amazing for how popular Prince became in 1984 with his (personally speaking) masterpiece album, Purple Rain, that despite this major success not too many casual Prince fans could tell you what the follow up album was to that. Well, obviously I'm talking about 1985's Around the World in A Day.
Admittedly, my opinion of any type of Prince album may be somewhat biased as he is one of the few artists I have actually kept up with and sought out / own all of his (legitimate) studio albums. Is all of his music amazing? No, far from it. However, there are many, many, many songs he has released over the span of his multi decade career which are staples in my iPod / iTunes shuffle list. He's also one of the few artists who's music I will listen to past his 1980's era.
Okay, okay, so I like the artist, but how does Around the World in A Day stand up next to his most notable albums?
Well, I like it, you know, if you didn't see that coming. It starts out with the album's title track which sets a fun tone for the album. It's followed by the track named after his home, Paisley Park and from there slows down for the ballad Condition of the Heart - Not bad, but not one of my favorites. Raspberry Beret comes next and admittedly it feels like you're listening to a whole different album. It's so different, so good and so well know that it almost feels like it was the only song truly completed and polished for release. As if the remainder of the album was built around it just to be able to put out a full record.
Don't get me wrong. I love other tracks on this album, and the following funky, Tamborine (apparently Prince didn't know how to spell tambourine), is one of them. Admittedly this particular track isn't for everyone as I can see it grating on people's nerves if they're not expecting the style of music they're about to get.
America and Pop Life are two stand out tracks which follow Tamborine. Both send a strong messages about the Country as a whole (America) as well as people's desire to have more than they do and be more than they are (Pop Life). At least those are my interpretations of them.
The album rounds out with The Ladder and Temptation. Admittedly, I don't particularly care for these two tracks.
Overall, this is definitely a Prince album worth checking out. While it's not as catchy or even pop oriented as Purple Rain, it shows he was definitely not content as an artist to play it safe and just produce radio friendly songs. Prince had a vision for his albums, and while that vision may not have been what people considered to be the best idea or concept, he stood by his work - When he wasn't just throwing out albums to fulfill his contract with Warner Bros.
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