We'll go on and get June off on the good foot, courtesy of what some folks feel is the single best bootleg of all time, to celebrate a big birthday for a too-soon-departed star.
No, not the single best Prince bootleg of all time. The single best bootleg of all time. By anyone. Ever.
That's a bold statement, but to be fair it's a pretty bold performance.
Were I to testify under oath, I'd be hard pressed not to concur with the extreme accolades. This is one of those incendiary shows that make live music what it can be.
The guy with the pretty blue fiddle would have turned 60 years young today, isn't that sad? Take care of your hips, dancers. And stay off the pharmaceuticals.
A lot of people believe that this 1987-1988 period, from The Black Album to Lovesexy, represents the Prince peak pinnacle. Listening to this concert -- surprise-presented in a small club in The Hague after a sold-out stadium show in Rotterdam just hours before -- it's hard to disagree.
Just the (thoroughly wicked) guitar solos he plays in this set are enough to melt the paint off your mind, damn. He even plays drums for a tune.
Speaking of drums, fans of percussionist Sheila E(scovedo) will also get plenty of grist for their mill during this nearly two hours of prime Purple assault mode.
As the man states at the start of this iconic set,
"Well... this sure beats goin' to sleep, don't it?"
Het Paard Van Troje
01 instrumental jam
03 Just My Imagination
04 People Without
06 Down Home Blues/Kansas City
01 Cold Sweat
02 Forever In My Life
03 Still Would Stand All Time
04 I'll Take You There/Rave Un2 the Joy Fantastic
05 Rave Un2 the Joy Fantastic (continued)
06 Rave Un2 the Joy Fantastic (conclusion)
Total time: 1:47:27
Prince Rogers Nelson - vocals, guitar, keyboards, drums
Sheila Escovedo - drums, vocals
Levi Seacer, Jr. - bass
Miko Weaver - guitar
Dr. Fink - keyboards
Atlanta Bliss - trumpet
Boni Boyer - vocals
master soundboard DAT capture
ripped directly from the original X Rekords silver CD from 1989
676 MB FLAC/June 2018 archive link
This tape -- it's thought that this show was captured both by a mobile unit and by the soundman (yes Prince fired him when he found out) at the desk on a DAT -- has kind of a checkered history in the ROIO community, with no less than seven bootleg LP and CD issues of it hitting the racks since 1989.
Several of these released versions have a very compressive remastering applied to them, as well as featuring several irreparable dropouts in the music.
They all also feature incorrect song titles, a phenomenon I hope I have done something to clear up here.
Luckily, for this posting -- thanks to my friend Frank G, who is a ninja-level Prince collector with whom it'd be great fun to raid the Paisley Park vaults someday -- we are going back to the original CD of it, from which all other versions descend.
Like I said this is in the conversation for Most Legendary Bootleg ever by anyone, and if somehow you've never heard it or have it in one of the defective releases I mentioned, now is your time to right that wrong.
I'll be back soon with a month full of unmitigated archival weirdness, but obviously today's the day to celebrate, via this ultra-legendary aftershow, the milestone birthday of an icon -- who, by all accounts, should still be here with us -- born this day in 1958.--J.
6.7.1958 - 4.21.2016