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Released in 1985, this album, the sixth release by the Purple One, would probably be more highly regarded than it is if it wasn't the immediate follow up to 1984's groundbreaking 'Purple Rain'. With this album people who were expecting more of the same from Prince were to be disappointed.
To compare it to its predecessor seems a little unfair.
If this album had been released by anyone else it would have been considered a classic. Being released with almost zero publicity this wasn't the Purple Rain 2 that everyone wanted.
The reason for this is the songs just aren't as accessible as Purple Rain. That said the album does hold two bona-fide classics in Raspberry Beret and Pop Life.
There is a definite eastern flavor to the record and Prince again experiments with a variety of different styles and instrumentation which is apparent from the very beginning of the opening title track.
In summary this is not Purple Rain 2 and given Prince's track record at experimenting musically it seemed foolish to expect that it would be, but it is still well worth a listen. The two tacks mentioned above are worth the price of admission alone.
Best Track - Raspberry Beret
After the massive selling Purple Rain, this album was released and completely confused the critics and public alike. Anyone who was expecting another collection of surefire hits was disappointed with this slightly psychedelic, eclectic release. It opens with a flute and some Indian musical references and ends with a conversation with God. In between you get an assortment of gems. You get an application to join Paisley Park, a utopia where you can leave all your worries and sins behind. An absoloutely beautiful ballard in Condition of The Heart, surely one of his finest. The patriotic anthem, America. The fairytale, The Ladder. Last but not least is the storming and sleazy Temptation. Prince may of lost many of the fans that arrived with Purple Rain but those who had followed him for most of career didn't bat an eyelid. They had come to expect the unexpected. This album is terrific. Showing Prince at his most diverse and highlighting his talents on various instruments and recording techniques. It may be one of his lesser known albums but it arrived during his peak period in the mid eighties and ranks alongside Purple Rain, Parade and Sign O The Times, all classic albums.
Around the World in a Day is yet another different type of album by Prince, the man of many faces. This album followed Purple Rain and everyone was expecting more of the same. How wrong they were. This was the point of his career where he was at the top; the easy thing would've been to produce another Purple Rainesque album and everyone would've gone home happy. Oh no, that was too easy for Prince. What he actually came up with was a mixture of Beatle-ish LCD consuming pyschedelic rantings and some extraordinary hard rock tunes. The album still managed to produce a fantastic single in 'Raspberry Beret' but did little to enhance Prince's reputation on the majority of the record buying public. Special mention should be made of 'Paisley Park', the real hippy sounding tune of the album, 'The Ladder', a gospelly epic song that only Prince could seem to get away with and the hauntingly weird yet beautiful 'Condition of the Heart'. This isn't Purple Rain II but a new look on life. Not for everyone's taste though.
Disc #1 Tracklisting
1 Around The World In A Day
2 Paisley Park
3 Condition Of The Heart
4 Raspberry Beret
7 Pop Life