Sunday, 12 July 2009

How do I find these things?


"Two stunning Lovesexy tour rehearsals with the emphasis being on the later June 1988 one. It takes place a matter of weeks before the tour kicks off, with Prince calling out Paris constantly as if he were performing on the opening nights show. Disc 1 contains the first half of the show, and all tracks are rehearsed as they would later be performed. There is no difference to these versions and the tour versions, so in that respect the rehearsal is straightforward and free of surprises. Part of this rehearsal was released on Sabotage's earlier 'Lovesexy Tour Rehearsals Volume 1' however it is more complete here. 'Bob George' which was previously (on Volume 1) incomplete is here in it's entirety, however 'Anna Stesia' is still incomplete and fades in during the second verse.

Disc 2 is one of the highlights of the set and is the run-through of the second half of the show. As you'll be aware the early stages of the Lovesexy tour had the songs performed in a slightly different running order, and this rehearsal reflects that. 'Alphabet St.' swaps places with 'Lovesexy' and 'Positivity' is played immediately after '1999'. The encore section consists of the mainly instrumental '80's Medley' followed by a short burst of 'Chain Of Fools' and closes with the horn riff from 'It's Gonna Be A Beautiful Night'.

Disc 3 contains an early rehearsal from April 1988. Prince is not present until 'When 2 R In Love' and the band rehearse a few numbers in his absence. The majority of work centres around 'Controversy' and getting the "Lord's Prayer" correct - so much so that they have to play back the original studio version to get it perfect. This rehearsal differs from most others as it is not a simple rehearsal of the set. There are various portions from songs rehearsed over and over again with much more emphasis placed on certain instrumentation. The sound quality is certainly not as impressive as the June 1988 rehearsal and there are constant cuts and drop-outs. The recording has a slightly heavy hiss in the background throughout which become more audible as the rehearsal progresses - however as with most soundboard rehearsals I find even mentioning shit like that sounds ungrateful due to the rare nature of what I am listening to.

Disc 4 takes us back to the June 1988 rehearsal and is the second rehearsal of the first half of the show (confused yet?). Again this is a pretty straightforward performance of the normal set-list. There is very little in the way of interaction between Prince and the band members, however there is the occasional lighting problem / band member missing their cue which leads Prince to comment and/or scold them. The closing 28 minutes of Disc 4 contain the remainder of the April 1988 rehearsal. The opening track is a loose horn-lead jam with Prince adding some fantastic guitar to a lyric based around the phrase "I just want to feel you up". The rehearsal closes out with a basic run through of the outro of 'The Cross' followed by a lengthy version of 'I Wish U Heaven' which has a mainly extended instrumental "Take This Beat" portion with a choir-type vocal of "Heaven" repeated. I should point out that there appears to be a looped segment on 'I Wish U Heaven' that makes a small section repeat itself - perhaps a problem with the original tape this was taken from, or a problem when it was pressed to disc. Overall this particular volume of Sabotage's Lovesexy Tour Rehearsals is stuffed to capacity with coolness. The June 1988 rehearsal is obviously the main attraction here as in reality it consists of 1 1/2 shows clocking in at a little under 3 hours long. The quality throughout is excellent, and whilst there are a number of drop-outs they are really minor considering the sheer amount of material on here. The packaging is attractive, but hardly their best effort and contains little information which wasn't previously known. Unexciting packaging and artwork aside, the content of the release is unquestionably stunning and is amongst the best of Sabotage's vast catalogue."

from the databank website

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