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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This album is pure genius
For those of you with just a passing interest in Prince, look elsewhere. For the discerning fan, look no further than this 4 CD set.What we have here is a collection of songs spanning 15 years of this artists career. Why weren't these songs released earlier, you ask, surely they are substandard? Well the answer to that question is no! Starting with the funk of the...
Published on 23 Nov 1999 by dsinkins@aol.com

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Too Much For Mortal Man
Spurred on by his freedom, Prince used it to present his first retrospective set, with the now obscure and difficult-to-find / sometimes-harder-to-listen to collection of offcuts, "Crystal Ball". Originally, the title was intended for a 3-LP set of gargantuan proportions in 1987, that was later reshaped as "Dream Factory" (again, not released), and finally morphing into...
Published on 9 July 2012 by Mr. M. A. Reed


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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This album is pure genius, 23 Nov 1999
By 
This review is from: Crystal Ball (Audio CD)
For those of you with just a passing interest in Prince, look elsewhere. For the discerning fan, look no further than this 4 CD set.What we have here is a collection of songs spanning 15 years of this artists career. Why weren't these songs released earlier, you ask, surely they are substandard? Well the answer to that question is no! Starting with the funk of the title track right through to the final song on the 4th CD, it is obvious that this collection oozes class. Sure, there is the odd blemish, such as Cloreen Baconskin(!),Make Your Mama Happy,and Man In A Uniform.... But also you have classic tracks such as the ballads Crucial, She Gave Her Angels and Goodbye. These songs are sung from the heart and it is a wonder why they weren't released sooner. Other highlights include the title track, Hide The Bone, Good Love and a live version of The Ride. The final CD in this set contains a mostly acoustic collection of songs including the instant classics The Truth, Comeback and Welcome To The Dawn. All in all this collection of songs is a fine showcase for the mans talents and should not be missed.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Prince-Crystal Ball-Everything You Ever Wanted From Him, 22 April 2002
By A Customer
Right, where do you start with this cd!?Covering the majority of Prince's many up's and down's, this cd collection is probably the-must have-, if you can get your hands on it(which aint that easy).Starting off with the sheer brilliance, and(it has to be said)wierdness, of the first track-Crystal Ball, you are transformed into a world where he makes the rules, and if you don't like them, or you aint that keen on what he has to say-tough!-u bought it-u better enjoy!, and enjoy you will.The first cd is probably the highlight of the collection-including gems such as Acknowledge Me, Hide the Bone, and Movie Star.Next up cd2-again, starting with a bang-we get Interactive(surely a contendor for Funk of the decade!)Moving on thru' the jazz of Calhoun Square, and screaming beauty of Crucial-we come to a track which you are either gonna love, or hate-Cloreen Baconskin.It dates from around 1983, and in my personal opinion, is THE funniest thing I have ever heard-Prince rapping over a non-stop beat-absoloutely hilarious!Till we reach the end of this cd, with Strays Of The Wild.Next up with cd3, we start with a live version of Days Of Wild-if the kids are listenin, better put ear phones on them, cuz it gets kinda dirty!!Movin on thru the sheer Funk up that is 18+over, onto a great slowed down, mellow version of Pussy Control, till the final track Goodbye.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The greatest Quadruple Album Of All Time!!!! ;-), 7 Mar 2007
By 
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Crystal Ball (Audio CD)
OK yea so its probably the only quadruple album of all time, but don't be put off. If youve heard Emancipation and like myself didn't like it much then this will come as a pleasent shock. After downloading the title track and being blown away by all 20 minutes of it I decided to push the boat out and pick this up. Everything I have ever liked about Prince is on this record. The funk is FUNK not crappy ''RnB'' and while there are some duds the great tracks are genuinely great. A lot of these tracks were written during his golden years (1978-88)which should be all you need to know to get you salivating (!). There is also a new acoustic disk which is brilliant (I would give that 4 stars if reviewed seperately). Damn I hate all this stars business it all starts to get a bit subjective and irrelevant doesn't it?. Lets get to the point. This is essential for all Prince fans and a great introduction for the doubters. His Last great album?...I hope not
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars prince? whats my name, 1 Feb 2000
This review is from: Crystal Ball (Audio CD)
for the prince fans turn away.For those who prefer his longer albums ,plus non contemporary this is the one for you .From the great good love to 18&over it is the typical artist album.no two songs are alike.outakes,songs that were never released to extra songs from emancipation.the real bonus is the truth cd.well crafted acoustic numbers,that are heartfelt like dionne,circle of amour .
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Too Much For Mortal Man, 9 July 2012
By 
Mr. M. A. Reed (Argleton, GB) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 1000 REVIEWER)    (REAL NAME)   
Spurred on by his freedom, Prince used it to present his first retrospective set, with the now obscure and difficult-to-find / sometimes-harder-to-listen to collection of offcuts, "Crystal Ball". Originally, the title was intended for a 3-LP set of gargantuan proportions in 1987, that was later reshaped as "Dream Factory" (again, not released), and finally morphing into the alleged classic "Sign O' The Times". Here, it represents something altogether less impressive : a grabbag of randomly sequenced leftovers from 1986-1996, a couple of remixes of obscure LP cuts, and a bunch of things you should never really hear. The chronology leaps from 1986 to 1995 with barely a pause, then back again. There's no sense of narrative. Linearity of any of the qualities one might expect from an album - the sequencing appears utterly random and without any cohesive thought for flow, ebb, or tedium. The release on the set was a debacle of broken promises and delays.

Each of the three discs comes to a total of around 50 minutes each : enough, in fact, for an extra 90 minutes of music across the set. Whilst there is a tasty 149 minutes on here, it's a willfully wasted opportunity ; especially when at least 15 minutes are taken with the repugnant, graphic, and tedious 1982-era rebaked "Cloreenbaconskin" which appears to have not even captivated Prince at the time he was recording it, let alone now. On the plus side, there's a tasty remix of "Love Sign", alongside the fabulous 1988 "Good Love". There are also remixes of previously released songs, such as the pounding but puerile "P Control", and "Get Loose!", as well as substantial, fragmented portions of the soundtrack to the briefly-staged play `Glam Slam Ulyssess'. Again, all of these are presented shorn of context and chronology as one, huge, and impressionistic musical vomit. It's difficult to see anything much of a shape to it : it's a musical scrapbook or junkyard. Aside from ending on 1995's "Goodbye" (excised from the already enormous "Emancipation"), "Crystal Ball" is quantity over quality.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Ripopgodazippa!!, 1 Mar 2004
This review is from: Crystal Ball (Audio CD)
4 CDs worth of Prince!
That's enough of a reason to buy this album right there.
This is a musical journey that beautifully shows of Prince's excellent range, both in his vocal cords and in his taste in music. While it is unlikely that you'll like every song on the album (and lets face it albums where we do are something of a rarity), there is going to be songs you adore.
2 Songs I particularly like are Ripopgodazippa & Dream Factory. Also Cloreen Bacon Skin just because it's very obvious that they were mucking around and enjoying themselves as it's very funny.
This is an album where you benefit from being a Prince fan and and as such I found it particularly enjoyable. But it's not for everybody. Prince collectors should ensure they have a copy but beginners should try one of his more famous albums before getting to this one.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Genius...., 1 Nov 2013
Pure genius, enough said. Probably one, no the best thing he has done. Not a bad track on this album. Thoroughly recommended.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A Classic collection you,ve never heard...but need to!!!!, 26 Oct 2009
By 
P. Butler (North west, UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Crystal Ball (Audio CD)
If u have any interest in Prince, either from his height in the 80's or you went along to check him out during his 21 nights in london and you liked what u saw... then u need this album... 2 Funky! His royal badness at his best... But none of it got released... A crime really!
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The very best of the best, 31 Mar 2008
By 
Hawcubite (LONDON ....UK) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Crystal Ball (Audio CD)
This album is an absolute must for any Prince fan.I bought it when it was first released and never stop playing it.It has all you want from Prince as the genres are plenty...Funk,jazz,rock,soul at its best.

Cloreen Bacon Skin(cd2 track 8) is the funkiest track on there,lasting a good 15 minutes as good as a Prince aftershow performance,he just keeps on funking!!
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Crystal Ball
Crystal Ball by Prince (Audio CD - 1998)
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