Prince’s Madhouse is full of Bunnymen

I finally got all the records from Japan and China cleaned and I’m intent on plowing through them as fast as possible. If I listen to as many as possible for seven days a week, I think I might be done by 2014.

Did I mention I bought a lot of records in Japan?

Ironically, none of tonight’s music is from those records.

6 (End Of The World Mix)
6 and 1/2
I’ve written about Prince “associate” acts before. A while ago I did a quick post about The Family, a band that was pretty much just Prince save for a different vocalist (and even that’s debatable). Then a few months ago I posted a tune by Mazarati, a band that was more independent than other Prince associates, but was still heavily guided and controlled by The Purple One.

Madhouse is another Prince associate act, albeit not as well known as those groups or others like The Time. That’s probably because while those acts were just extensions of Prince’s already successful funk/pop sound, Madhouse was an entirely instrumental jazz act with some funk influences. That’s not the kind of act that sells records.

Madhouse released just two albums, both of which came out in 1987. The first, called 8, was pretty much nothing but Prince, with longtime Prince collaborator Eric Leeds contributing some sax and flute parts. The second album, called 16, was more of a group effort, and featured Shelia E on drums and another longtime Prince associate, Levi Seacer, Jr. on bass.

Apparently there were at least two other Madhouse albums recorded, both called 24, but neither have ever seen the light of day (a common story when discussing Prince). Bootlegs are out there though, for those who are interested.

(By the way, all of this is “alleged” I have found no proof documenting any of this, and all the articles I can find online about Madhouse are completely without credible citation.)

I’m going to be honest, I bought this 12″ single just because I knew it was Prince. I really have no interest in jazz fusion, and while I like these tracks, especially the remix, nothing on here really changed my mind. It’s a catchy tune, with an obvious Prince/funk edge, but I’d be lying if I found it especially memorable. Still, I think this kind of thing, a top-secret song by a super-famous artist, is fascinating, and it’s worth hearing once if for that reason alone.

Echo And The Bunnymen
Lips Like Sugar (12″ Mix)
Lips Like Sugar (Dub Version)
I think that “Lips Like Sugar” is Echo And The Bunnymen’s best song. A lot of people disagree with me, but a lot of people can go to hell. I could dance to this song till my feet fell off, and I’m a sucker for a good new wave love ballad. So you all can take your “The Cutter” and “The Killing Moon” suggestions and cram it. Yes, they’re great songs, but they’ll never hold a candle to this one for me.

The 12″ Mix is nearly seven-minutes long, and since we’ve already established that I could listen to this song all day and all night, I’m a fan of this extended mix. Shit, I wish it was even longer. The dub mix is a dub mix, and I’m including it for the sake of being a completionist.

The 12″ single from which I took these songs had two additional tracks. One was the single mix of the song, and the other was the b-side “Rollercoaster.” Both of these are available on the still in-print Echo box set Crystal Days, and I highly recommend you pick that up. Not only for those tracks (“Rollercoaster” is the secret best Echo And The Bunnymen track!) but for additional great rarities, including a haunting nine-minute version of “The Killing Moon” (woot!) and an awesome live cover of The Velvet Underground’s “Heroin.”

2 Responses to “Prince’s Madhouse is full of Bunnymen”

  1. DJ VYL says:

    YES! I too, could dance to this song till I puke. It is their best with music and lyrics. Sugar kisses!

  2. PEPE LUARCA says:

    I have a few copies of the 12″ vinyl Madhouse 6 1/2 new. You can check my Fbook best regards from Guatemala PEPE

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