Friday, January 31, 2020

"All for Fun and Fun for All" - "Crystal Ball" Challenge

     Photo by Rachel Kayla

"I could be singing a song any style, any way/Ain't nothing but a trick to me."

Last month, YouTube personality Prince's Friend put together a fun video. He condensed Prince's 1998 three-disc album, Crystal Ball, into one CD. His approach was very methodical; he kept the album under 60 minutes, eliminated remixes and honored the original combination of '80s and '90s music.

The only rule I adhered to was the number of tracks. Prince's Friend included 10 tracks, plus a bonus (thank you for that!). Beyond that, I was purely subjective. Crystal Ball is one of my least favorite Prince albums (Though bundled with the set, The Truth is its own masterpiece) and I skip around a lot. However, this challenge was more difficult than I imagined.

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I was very tempted to jettison all the '80s music. In my opinion, the newer content is much stronger. But because the title track--a standout song--was recorded in the '80s, I decided to keep two others from that period ("Movie Star" and "Cloreen Bacon Skin"), especially since they show off Prince's humor. Additionally, I felt like I had to keep in the nasty bass tracks ("What's My Name" and "Days of Wild"), as well as the blues workout "The Ride."

A couple years ago, I would have ignored "Acknowledge Me," but podcaster and purple enthusiast Darling Nisi made me see the light. We agree the song could have been a radio hit!

GIF by Darling Nisi

While Prince's Friend did an amazing job sequencing the album to tell a story, my project is more eclectic. I think it shows myriad sides of Prince's artistry. I'd give this playlist to someone who only knew Prince's hits from the '80s.

1. "Crystal Ball"
2. "What's My Name"
3. "Movie Star"
4. "Ripopgodazippa"
5. "Calhoun Square"
6. "Da Bang"
7. "Days of Wild"
8. "2morrow"
9. "The Ride"
10. "Acknowledge Me"
11. "Cloreen Bacon Skin"

Total run time: Approx. 70 minutes

P.S. "Crucial" isn't as good as y'all think it is.

Click here for my Spotify playlist.

Click here for Prince's Friend's Spotify playlist (renamed "Days of Wild").

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  1. I actually like "Crucial" as a song more than "Adore."

    1. Hey Chris! I just don't hear it haha. I'm so glad he chose "Adore" over "Crucial" if that story is true.

  2. Wha-wha-WHAT?!

    Initially I was going to say that comment about Crucial not being as good as we think it is was koo koo crazy pants... but then I realized you were referring to the CB version and not the boot versions that are out there. So, since I didn't contrast/compare and I don't know if they're the same or not, I decided to let that one slide...

    But then I get here and see that there's someone in the world that likes "Crucial" more than "Adore"?!?!?!

    In the immortal words of the seemingly immoral Keanu - "whoa."

  3. I can't wait to see what people come up with. I'm sure it will be a fun and creative experience for everyone.

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