Catalog # FBG 45
Release Year April 2012
CD Length N/A
Date/Venue Studio Outtakes
The 1993-95 period was truly Prince's last great run. Set aside the name change, the feud with Warner Bros. and the sideshow that surrounded it and focus on the music and you'll hear an artist re-born, focused and hungry to prove himself yet again. He has not come close to reaching the excellence of this era since. During this time frame, Prince was recording a ton of new music, eschewing his hits to play this new material live, often in smaller clubs or his Paisley Park Studios where a run of shows became legendary amongst fans and collectors.
Although nothing really new to the Prince collecting community, the newly released "10,000 Wallpaper" is a fantastic document of what was going on during this time. This release is sourced from a videotape that was run at both the NPG Store and Glam Slam nightclub promoting Prince's '10,000 Magazine' venture, another in a long line of failed business ventures. But the fans get to reap the benefits of the great music contained here. The videotape is essentially miscellaneous images and computerized graphics set to what was, at the time, new and unreleased Prince music. Nothing exciting to watch, but rip the audio from it and you are left with a must-have listening experience in perfect quality.
There are twelve full songs in all on "10,000 Wallpaper" starting with "Poem" which ended up being used on 1994's "Come" album, but there it was split up as segues in between songs, with the last part of the song tacked on to the end of the album and re-titled "Orgasm". "Poem" leads into the full length version of "Interactive" before the true highlight here, an alternate, unreleased version of "Come" that completely blows away the long, drab version that was released. This contains all the reasons I became a Prince fan. Nasty, funky bass line, filthy lyrics, searing guitar, when he was on top of his game like this, he had no competition.
"Come" segues into the far superior version of "Endorphinmachine". Once again, Prince completely screwed with and ruined a perfect song by overproducing the bejesus out of it for release on 1995's "The Gold Experience". Here it is stripped down raw, one of his best rock tracks and sadly, the general public never got to hear this version. "Space" follows, no different than the released version before an extended version of "Race", again better than the released version as this is almost two minutes longer with an extended ending.
Two monster funk jams follow in "Funky Design" and "Mad". Both were officially released, but only through Prince's NPG Music Club as downloads and both are top notch. An alternate, unreleased version of "Chaos And Disorder" is next. Prince's vocal track is the same, but here Rosie Gaines' vocals had not been added yet and there are, mostly silly, sound effects after practically every lyric. Some were left in the released version but they are way more prominent here. I still think this is an under-rated track, placed on a throwaway album used to fulfill a contractual obligation. Another solid rock number.
One of Prince's most embarrassing musical moments is the only downfall here. "Right The Wrong", as I refer to it, a country show tune, is one of the worst things he has recorded. It's so awful, I can only hope it was done as a joke. Sung in a mock country accent, this turned up on the "Chaos And Disorder" album, but here it is an alternate version, slightly less produced, but still every bit as wretched as the released version. "Strays Of The World" follows, no different from what was released on the "Crystal Ball" compilation, before things come to a close with an alternate version of "Gold". Once again, this is the vocal that was used on the released version, but here Ricky Peterson had not yet added the additional production and keyboard work that appeared on the final version. So you get a more stripped down version of the song, and it still works well. It's simply a great pop/rock anthem that should have been a huge hit, but fell victim to the Prince/Warner Bros. feud and Prince losing interest in "The Gold Experience" after it was finally released.
Just because there is nothing here that has really not been circulating
before does not make this any less essential. Everything flows together nicely,
"Right The Wrong" the exception, and everything is in perfect sound quality.
It's a nice release to have and major thanks, as always, go out to those
responsible for sharing this with the collecting community for free, as it
should be. If you missed the boat on what Prince was up to during this time
period, "10,000 Wallpaper" is a great place to start.