Prince! And Prince Related Material!


Somebody’s Somebody (Ultrafantasy Edit)
Somebody’s Somebody (Live Studio Mix)
“Somebody’s Somebody” is a lesser Prince work, released in 1996 as a single for the 3CD epic Emancipation. I think I listened to that album in its entirety at some point in my life, I’ll have to re-visit it sometimes. At three hours in length and with 36 tracks, I’m sure that there has to be a few winners hidden in there.

While I’m having a hard time hearing any major differences between the single version and the “Ultrafantasy Edit,” I am loving the “Live Studio Mix” of the song. It sounds way more organic and funky than the final version, no doubt due to it’s live nature. It also tones down the ridiculous overpowering bassline of the original. That shit is just too much, I prefer when a song lets you find its funk, instead of thrusting its funk upon you.

Did that make any sense? I’m tired.

Player’s Ball (Extended Version)
Mazarati was another in a long line of Prince “associate” acts, and they were a lesser one at that, at least in terms of popularity and critical acclaim. Mazarati’s self-titled debut album came out in 1986 to little fanfare or sales, despite Prince’s involvement as a producer and songwriter on a few tracks. The group soldiered on without Prince, releasing the follow-up Mazarati 2 in 1989, but it apparently had even less of an impact than their debut, and the group hasn’t released anything since (although apparently a new album remains in the works).

If the wiki for the band is to be believed, then probably the most interesting thing about Mazarati is the two songs they recorded but weren’t released as Mazarati songs. One was “Jerk Out,” which was re-recorded and turned into a top 10 hit by The Time. The other was “Kiss,” which Prince literally took, added his own vocal track and guitar solo, and put on his own album Parade (although they received credit on the release). Damn. I guess you run that risk when working with the Purple One.

I took this version of “Player’s Ball” from the 12″ single for the song. It’s out-of-print, of course, as is everything else by the group. I dig the tune though, so if anyone out there has a digital copy of the band’s first album that they are willing to share, let me know please. I’ll do you a solid in return.

6 Responses to “Prince! And Prince Related Material!”

  1. KZ says:

    If I remember the anecdote correctly, from Per Nilsen’s incredible 2001 book “Dancemusicsexromance Prince: The First Decade” — an absolute must read for Prince fans and totally worth the $20-$30 it’s going for on Amazon…. Mazarati had recorded 100MPH (that Prince penned) and liked it so much, they asked for another track. Prince wrote demoed Prince in less than an hour. Mazarati worked on it overnight and created much of the song we know today. Prince liked that so much, he added his vocals back on and dropped the bass line.

    Since Prince is quite litigious and keeps Web Sheriff in business, I’m not even going to speculate it all three of these tracks are readily circulated and available through a quick Google search. I would never condone anyone to seek such files out on what would likely be a fruitless search. In fact, everytime you even think about Prince or his image and/or likeness flashes in your brain, you should PayPal him some money immediately.

  2. Guest says:

    As KZ typed above in a comment, Prince’s attitude towards his work is very protective. His business model tends towards litigation. This is a change from a time when he was working on a way of actually freeing his music to other people for a fair and reasonable price.

    Prince had an interesting business idea, but he scrapped it which is unfortunate. Because more artists could have followed his example if it worked out well. He was going to release a 7 cd set of some of his back-catalog, in deconstructed form. So for example, instead of When Doves Cry, the cd would have the individual parts that make up When Doves Cry. The music was presented in this format for the purposes of encouraging sampling. For $700 ($100 per cd), the purchaser would have lifetime rights to use these samples, even the vocals, with no additional royalty fee ever. This set was supposed to come out in 2000, but in the 12 years since has not been released.

  3. KZ says:

    Prince also had a perfectly good working private retail download site called the NPG Music Club. As a non-member, I was able to buy exclusive albums like One Nite Alone (not the live box set), The Slaughterhouse and The Chocolate Invasion for a very reasonable price $10/ea. Members got even more exclusive music.

    If he opened his vault and remastered his hundreds of unreleased tracks, he could make a fortune and reward his loyal “friends’ with high-quality versions of their most beloved unreleased songs. I would not blink twice about dropping $500 or so to snap up every track he ever recorded but did not release. Hate to say it, it will all come out when he dies, so why not share it while he’s young and healthy?

  4. oldDJ says:

    Prince’s original demo of Kiss is slow, acoustic and bluesy (he was trying to star in a Robert Johnson bio pic around that time), Mazarati and their producer David Z rearranged the tune to be a more upbeat funk number, Prince took their version, dropped the bassline and Mazarati lead vocals, substituted his own and added it to Parade (the original sequence of Parade which circulated did not have it). This all went down April 28 and 29th 1985 at Sunset Sound in LA. The contrast of the 2 versions is very interesting. The arrangement credit to Mazarati/David Z is definitely well deserved as they made the song into the Kiss we know today.

    The 12″ remix for Kiss is pretty funny and jamming — it’s from back in the era when Prince “remixed” a song by going in the studio and jamming out a longer version (james brown style) and throwing in a little classic Prince humor….he even shouts out Mazarati in it.

    Keep up the good work on the blog! I enjoy it – both the music and the writing. Still working through the old posts, have made it to 2009 June so far.

  5. Jeff says:

    I think the Live version of Somebodys Somebody is one of the best Prince tracks of all time.

    It displays a mastery of all styles of music and a fusion thereof. It displays a great deal
    of musical impressionism; where it’s more important to be there for the important bits,
    the rest can fall away with the invokation of such great emotional presence.

    I wish these tracks were officially available; I’m amazed I have found them online at this time.
    I agree, it would be worth a fairly large sum per fan to have a multi-disc release of the vault..

  6. Jeff says:

    I love how the guitar track is in and out of this track. Obviously very live, since Prince plays guitar when he’s not singing, and the guitar track sounds very organic in that regard. And very emotionally portrayed as well.

    This is one of the best examples of how bad-ass Prince can play the guitar!

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