First Avenue '86 2CD
Catalog # 4DF 084/085
Release Year  2011
2CD Length N/A
Date/Venue First Avenue, Minneapolis 3rd March 1986
Source Audience Recording
Quality EX
Rating 4.75/5.0

Track Listing
Disc 1
Hit & Run Warm-Up First Avenue, Minneapolis 3rd March 1986
1. Around The World In A Day 2. Christopher Tracy's Parade 3. New Position 4. I Wonder U 5. Paisley Park 6. Alexa De Paris (intro) 7. Raspberry Beret 8. Alexa De Paris 9. Controversy 10. Mutiny (including Dream Factory) 11. Soft And Wet 12. I Wanna Be Your Lover 13. Head 14. Interlude 15. Under The Cherry Moon 16. Pop Life 17. Girls And Boys (including Holly Rock) 18. Life Can Be So Nice

Disc 2
1. Purple Rain 2. Whole Lotta Shakin' 3. Anotherloverholenyohead 4. Mountains 5. A Love Bizarre 6. America 7. Interlude #2 8. Kiss

Deane's Comments (rates this release 4.75/5.0)
The number of stunning shows Prince has performed during his career is huge, and we are used to the use of superlatives often thrown around. Well, with good cause may I say. But there are some shows that stand out of the crowd due to their amazing and unrivalled quality, and I am convinced that this show is, without doubt, one that any hardcore fan would put high in their list of favourite live performances.

What can we say about the First Avenue '86 that has not been said before? It showcased the Revolution in a reformed lineup, and in a way can be considered almost the perfect transition between the classic Revolution from the Purple Rain Years, to the band that would perform the Lovesexy material. We are speaking about major names here. Legendary stuff, with Wendy and Miko on guitars, Brownmark on bass, Dr. Fink and Lisa on keyboards, Eric Leeds and Atlanta Bliss on horns, Bobby Z on drums, and Jerome/Greg/Wally doing their work. If there was any doubt that Prince was a fully fledged legend by this period, listen to this show and you will see what all the fuss was about.

The recording itself had been released in the past, but the audio quality from this new source, and used in this release from 4DaFunk, is absolutely magnificent. Add to it the flawless audio treatment that is the signature of this label, and you have nothing but musical delight. As always, we've got very nice and professional artwork making the whole set a model release (certainly something to get inspiration from, when/if the purple guy himself decides one day to do the right thing and release official versions of legendary shows like this).

So thenů what about the music??? The music is a dream. Since this was a warm-up gig for the Parade tour naturally you have most of the Parade album included although it's a pity to see Sometimes It Snows In April missing. Listen through, though, and its omission makes sense as the show is tight as hell, with a groove to match, and in that context a ballad would be out of place. But wait, there's much more! There's an almost 5 min take of Alexa de Paris, there's Mutiny/Dream Factory, there's 13 min of Purple Rain (and yes, I still enjoy this beauty of song), there's Mountains and Girls & Boys in full glory and there's even a seemingly never-ending America which would be a nightmare for any other rhythm section, but not for The Revolutionů

The inspiration flows everywhere, the state of grace of the whole band makes the performance a pure pleasure to listen. The horns, and particularly the sublime Eric Leeds, shine everywhere (just listen to Mutiny) and to top it all, you have the commander at his peak, in a good mood and fully aware of his almost omnipotent musical prowess.

In short: I don't have enough words to praise this set from 4DaFunk. They have an astonishing catalogue, but they managed once more to put another landmark release out there. Desrved thanks are due to everybody involved in releasing this jewel.

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