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4.8 out of 5 stars
Parade - Music From The Motion Picture Under The Cherry Moon
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon 30 March 2002
In the mid- to late-eighties, Prince had the world at his feet. He had burst onto the musical scene at the end of the previous decade and rackee up a commercialy successful albums at the rate of one a year ever since his debut. His first film, Purple Rain, was also a major hit and he quickly followed it with Under the Cherry Moon. While the film struggled to make an impact, the OST was another successful evolution in Prince's musical career.
The film is a romantic tragedy and so many of the songs on the OST have a melancholic and/or romantic theme. After the psychedelia of the previous year's 'Around the World in a Day', Prince continued to experiment with the sound and production values on his recordings. Some of the tracks are accomapnied by the nicest strings on any Prince record so far and some are really stripped to the bones funk (New Position for example).
Although this record did not chart as highly as some of its predecessors, it is still a firm favourite in many a fan's collection. It contains aome of his most emotive writing. 'Sometimes it Snows in April', for example, is a really beautiful song about losing someone you love. 'Mountains' calls us all to believe there is something better waiting for everyone willing to try and get there. 'Do U Lie?' absent mindedly poses questions to a lover to the accompaniment of a French Riviera style accordion. The singles are pretty good too. 'Girls & Boys' was the first Prince video I ever saw and the saxophone on the bridge is still one of my favourite sounds. The original version of 'Kiss' is here too. Accept no substitutes. Even though I liked the production Art of Noise did, Prince is still the best man to sing this song.
One of the advantages of Prince's prolixity is that he could release albums so clearly different from each other and yet maintain a continuity in lyrical content and personality. 'Parade' is dissimilar to any other Prince album, yet it forms a clear link in the catalogue between 'Around the World in a Day' and the next release, 'Sign O' the Times'.
Its mix of the deeply personal ( Sometimes...), the (evocative (Kiss), and the uplifting (Mountains) makes it a classic Prince album.
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18 of 19 people found the following review helpful
on 30 June 2002
1986.
Prince and the Revolution fans were slavering for the new album and film. I think we'll gently pass over "Under The Cherry Moon", which has luckily sunk without a trace since release.
But, awkward as the film was, I don't think anyone expected the gorgeous wall of sound and shock of "Parade". Exquisite, happy tunes thick with instrumentation allied with sparce, brilliant songs that really made the most of the new invention: the CD. In tracks like "Girls and Boys" or most famously, "Kiss", Prince really was pushing and stretching to see what he could make of this new scratch-free mode of delivery.
And how utterly different to the playful and wayward "Around the world In a Day"! It was almost as if the guys folded their arms and said, "Right - you want a hit album? We'll show you a hit album". Then delivered an extraordinary, no compromises slice of extraordinary talent.
Having just listened to the album again for the first time in about seven years or more (hence this review), the glorious fun of tracks like the album's introduction, "Christopher Tracy's Parade", alongside "Life Can Be So Nice" and "Mountains" make this one hell of an uplifting album and I well remember putting the 12" of "Mountains" on over and over again at home.
You just can't help grinning. It's so obvious they had great fun recording it. This is a great, great album. Buy it, you idiot!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Apparently Prince hated this album, saying the only song he was truly proud of was "Kiss" (which, incidentally, he gave to another band but snatched back when he heard the arrangement their producer had given it - the arrangement it has to this day). This may or may not be the truth, but for me "Parade" is Prince's finest album.

From the start it sounds fresh, bright and summery, conjuring images of a glorious day on the French riviera, its lush orchestration (courtesy of Clare Fischer) giving the album a wonderful edge. The opening salvo of tracks is just astonishing - "Christopher Tracy's Parade" becoming "New Position", then "I Wonder U" and finally "Under The Cherry Moon", effectively a medley, Prince playing the drums for all four tracks in one continuous take so the story goes. The vampy "Girls and Boys" comes next, followed by the riotous "Life Can Be So Nice" ("scrambled eggs are so boring" he wails, and we cannot disagree) before the gorgeous instrumental "Venus de Milo" brings the first half to a close.

The second half starts strongly with "Mountains", a song written with strong involvement from band members Wendy and Lisa, and this is probably the poppiest moment on the album. This is followed by "Do U Lie?", a very French-sounding track, heavy on accordions, before the unmistakable guitar introduction of "Kiss" bursts forth from the speakers. The penultimate track, and my personal favourite on the set, is "Anotherloverholenyohead", a gloriously soulful, funky chug of a track, an impassioned vocal rolling over the top. Finally, "Sometimes It Snows In April" is the emotional ballad to end it all, not in the same league as "Purple Rain" but excellent all the same, and a lump fills your throat as the final piano notes drift away.

Magnificent.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
on 30 September 2003
1999 is often cited as the start of his artistic peak, Purple rain was the 'Big one' and Sign o' the times is the 'critics album'. This album seems to be slightly overlooked in Prince's catalog, by critics anyway and overlooked in popular music in general yet this for me is his true masterpiece.I have never heard anouther album quite like this, it rivals Tom Waits' 80's work in its originality and quirkyness.I wont spend time picking out induvidual moments or tracks, all ill say is this album is simply amazing, a joy from beginning to end. It is endlessly experimental and packed with ideas and has consistently great lyrics (unusual for some of his other work). Nobody ever talks about this album and it leaves me completely bewildered.I am into every genre of music you could name and yet this is one of maybe 4 albums out of my 500 plus CDs that I always come back too. If you like Prince - buy this, if you like truly original music -. Funky/Quirky/Sexy/Experimental/European/Smart/Beautiful/timeless
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 8 October 2009
As with all important, life changing events, I remember very clearly the moment I first heard "Kiss": I was in Holland at my cousin's place and this just happened to come on the radio. It sounded really futuristic and absolutely out of this world, y'know? An instant classic! Two decades on, the track hasn't really aged at all: in fact, it has taken almost that long for the rest of the music world to catch up!

Anyway, as great as "Kiss" is, it's parent album has a lot more to offer than just that one track, which is not really representative of the album itself (in fact Prince hadn't thought much of the song and had given a demo to producer David Z to work on for Paisley Park artist Mazarati - it was only when Prince came in and heard the finished track that he decided to nab it back for himself!).

"Kiss" aside, other classic tracks on this disc are "Girls & Boys" (you probably know this one already because it was top ten UK hit but you're not going to find it on any hits compilations because it wasn't released in the US as a single), "Mountains" (an ill-advised choice as second single but a truly brilliant, funky, driving track anyways - the 12" full length version is well worth tracking down too!), "Anotherloverholenyohead" (one of his funkiest ever cuts with a killer chorus - again, the 12" is worth seeking out) and "Sometimes It Snows In April" (one of his most beautiful ballads which for some reason I always find profoundly moving). I also really like "Do U Lie" because although it is a bit silly, it has a lot of charm!

I would describe the contents of the rest of the disc but to be honest, words really couldn't do it justice. Stylistically, it is absolutely unique both in Prince's discography and in the world of music generally. Special credit should go to Claire Fischer for the orchestral arrangements because the enhance the tracks no end but of course the original inspiration for all this was Prince and the Revolution, who are at their absolute creative peak here.

I feel this album often gets overlooked because the film it soundtracked "Under The Cherry Moon" (directed by and starring Prince) was such a critical and commercial flop. But "Parade" is a truly a thing of wonder and is definitely Prince's most beguiling and playful album. For me personally, on a balmy summer's day this just edges Sign 'O' the Times and Lovesexy for coveted title of "Personal Favourite Prince Album" and is definitely one of the best albums recorded by anyone, IMO - so add this to your basket and enjoy!
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on 8 July 2004
From 1984 to about 1990, I was one of Prince's biggest fans. I had all his albums and singles and went to see him in concert for the Parade tour.
This album and 'Around the world in a day' are the best albums that he made and are the ones that I go back to and listen to most often.
Just like the best football teams aren't made up of the best players but rather of players that fit well together, so this album isn't full of outstanding tracks but they fit so well together that they sound good when listened to as a whole.
Having said this, there are some outstanding tracks on the album. 'Kiss' obviously is one of Prince's best singles but other songs stand out. 'Sometimes it snows in April' is one of Prince's best ever songs that still manages to bring a tear to the eye.
'Mountains' although not one of the best songs has one of the best intros of any prince song.
'Girls and Boys' is a brilliant pop song with some fantastic horns in it.
Overall a great album to listen to.
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for me - as staggering as Prince's myriad abilities are : song writing, musicianship, originality etc Parade remains for me his best lp as a complete ,perfect listening experience. Parade sold poorly apparently after his mega hit of Purple Rain with its rock and anthemic ballads etc for the mainstream mass market. Parade from 1986, a year or two later remain absolutely perfect lp , and perfect is not a description i use often at all to describe many artist s work. here though - it applies. why ?

each song is original, unusual , inventive. the lp covers the whole range of for me what is the best elements of Prince : funky, psychedelic, tender, experimental. the intro track alone is staggeringly inventive and well brilliant actually. avante-garde, weird and for a by then huge yes what we thought was a mainstream artist - BRAVE. backwards looped rhythym, otherworldly vocals by wendy and lisa and himself,.i could go on...

Parade contain pure pop genius hit "kiss", minimal quirky funk of "girls and boys" with the killer line : "she had the greatest ass he d every seen, he did too: they were meant to be" da -dum ! the aforementioned weird brilliance of "christopher traceys parade", the double whammy of "i wonder u" (more psychedlic wonderous ) and gorgeous soulful sophistication and falsetto of "under the cherry moon".the beautiful deeply sad ballad "sometimes i rains in april", the sexy baritone horn stabs, the stripped back production, the sexy french femme appearances.. i could go on and on but space dictates i think.

wikipedia labels "Parade" as Psychedelic pop funk jazz soul. correct just about. BUY and be amazed. really...
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VINE VOICEon 1 October 2007
Not that there is any such thing as a typical Prince album, but this album more than many of his others is a mixed bag but with some great highlights.

Originally part soundtrack to Under the Cherry Moon and part ordinary album, most fans seem to want to forget the movie association (and with some good reason) and in any event the whole thing does stand up on it's own.

Songs are either filler-style (Venus De Milo, Do U Lie?) or brilliant (Kiss, Mountains) so it can make for an uneven listen. Some songs are very slight - in terms of length and also instrumentation. For example - New Position sounds like a little experimental demo but in other places Prince gets to emotional areas in a way he very seldom does (particularly the brilliant Sometimes it Snows in April, one of his most touching songs, record with very bare instrumentation.)

Having absorbed a small horn section into `The Revolution' they are put to good use on minor classics such as Anotherloverholeinyourhead and also the very funky Girls and Boys (the only proper song to be performed in the film by Prince.)

By his own admission, there was a dearth of sufficient material to fill a full album, but if you approach it as a kind of EP, it hits all the right spots and deserves a dusting down. After this of course he gave us the Sign O the times double album, so the quality/quantity balance was restored.

This was the swansong for The Revolution and Sometimes it Snows is a fitting epitaph
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on 18 August 2008
1. Christopher Tracy's Parade. 8/10
2. New Position. 9/10
3. I Wonder U. 10/10
4. Under the Cherry Moon. 9/10
5. Girls and Boys. 10/10
6. Life Can Be So Nice. 10/10
7. Venus De Milo. 7/10
8. Mountains. 10/10
9. Do U Lie? 9/10
10. Kiss. 10/10
11. Anotherloverholenyohead. 10/10
12. Sometimes It Snows In April. 9/10

OVERALL GRADE: 10/10
From the moment you hear "Christopher Tracy's Parade", you know this is going to be special. And special it is. from the druggy "I Wonder U" to the pure funk of "Kiss" to the French equitette of "Girls and Boys" and the balladeering of "Sometimes It Snows In April", this is the tightest album Prince has ever done.
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on 17 August 2008
Parade is Prince at the top of his game. He had a real chemistry with Wendy & Lisa - whose influence can be felt throughout much of this record.

The music here is funky, whimsical, often moving and sometimes downright strange... but it all gels together so well.

Ignore the critics who hail Sign O The Times as his masterpiece - they don't have a clue what they're talking about. THIS is Prince's crowning achievement.

I only wish Prince would re-master this album and add on many of the excellent unreleased songs that were left on the cutting room floor - some of which are even better than the tracks that made the final cut (All My Dreams for example).
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