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4.7 out of 5 stars
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4.7 out of 5 stars
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on 28 November 2003
Prince's 'Around The World In A Day' is the quite baffling yet brilliant follow-up to his 1984 phenomenom 'Purple Rain'.
Psychadelic with a capital P and lacking the raunchy guitar riffs all too common on previous Prince tracks such as 'Computer Blue', the album wasn't as warmly embraced as its predecessor.
Critics and audiences were confused...they thought they were getting 'Purple Rain pt.2' and what they got instead was this album; a kaleidoscope of distinct melodies, colourful imagery, and more importantly pure-purple genius.
Prince himself said that it would be all too easy to open the album with the same kind of fiery guitar solo that concluded 'Let's Go Crazy'...but he doesn't like being predictable, and throughout the duration of this album, he is anything but.
The title cut kicks off the album perfectly, with an ear-piercing whine from Prince followed by an awash of soaring keyboards and foreign instrumentation...fans at the time didn't know what they were hearing, was this the same man who told us just months ago that he met a girl in a hotel lobby...well you know the rest.
'Paisley Park' was probably more like it for the fans...an incredibly catchy trippy-pop song containing, amongst other things, a very contagious chorus... the song still remains one of Prince's strongest pure pop tracks ever.
'Raspberry Beret' and 'Pop Life' are the two standout songs on the album and were, rightfully, big hits, but that 'Prince-masterpiece' you look for on every album comes in the form of track 3: 'Condition Of The Heart', a wonderful and touching ballad that, musically, is Prince's finest from the 80's.
Every track on the album impresses, from the patriotic-funk drive of 'America' to the quite excellent closing track 'Temptation' - a sexual scorcher of a song featuring the only dominant guitar bursts on the whole album.
'Around The World In A Day' seems to get better and better with age, and over the years it has, respectfully, became a fan favourite. In fact, the album is packed with such wonderful and memorable songs that looking back on it now 'ATWIAD' really IS 'Purple Rain 2'. An essential album.
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The 80s wouldn't have been the 80s without Prince. Around the World in a Day was his follow-up album to the immensely popular Purple Rain. While this album is certainly not as momentous as its predecessor, it most certainly does have its good points. First of all, and I think this was a wise decision on Prince's part, Around the World in a Day has a different feel and sound to it than Purple Rain, a new mood which the cover of the album ably reflects. There are psychedelic touches to this music, as well as a plethora of Indian and perhaps oriental sounds, that give the album a somewhat upbeat, rather mystical atmosphere. The opening track Around the World in a Day sets the record straight from the very beginning, giving ample warning that this album is not going to be a Purple Rain knockoff by an artist content to coast his way down from the top of the mountain of superstardom. Raspberry Beret was naturally a huge hit, and it has something of a light, energetic quality to it that makes it fun to listen to even now. Pop Life is another pop-oriented song that got ample play on the radio, and its airy yet serious style is quite in contrast to the song and released single America. America has a dose of serious guitar of a slightly heavy variety, making me think of (yet not actually reminding me of) Jimi Hendrix, except Jimi never screamed the way Prince does on this track. Paisley Park is a wonderful song, boasting some of Prince's best and most emotionally touching lyrics. It is followed by the equally impressive yet very different song Condition of the Heart; this love song starts with some impressive tickling of the ivories before eventually leading into Prince's high-key and perfectly mournful lyrics. The final two tracks offer another contrast in styles. After The Ladder, a serious, even philosophical track with something of a gospel sound to it, Prince immediately shifts gears to the wild, uninhibited, scream-heavy Temptation. I can't say what kind of reaction die-hard Prince fans had to this album when it was released, but I admit having initially found it a little disappointing compared to Purple Rain. Now, it is easy to look back and see how well most of this music holds up. Prince always did his own thing yet remained highly successful, and this album is a case in point. I could do with a few less of those vintage Prince screams, but overall I have a lot of respect for the new direction Prince followed on the heels of Purple Rain.
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on 5 August 2001
A lot of bandwagon "fans" of Prince's sixth album "Purple Rain" immediately jumped ship on hearing this. Maybe commercially speaking he should have waited longer for the Purple Rain hype to die down but this was a different set of sounds and messages to that monumental classic and was never equipped to come close to it's predecessor's mainstream appeal.
Prince I am sure realised this himself, but being the artist he is, rushed it's release through, as always thriving on experimentation and spontaneity. I feel he was right to stay real to himself as although not a record label's dream follow up it is still an artistically rewarding work for the listener. While looking back now however we should understand the reaction at the time would be relative to different set of issues, not least "Purple Rain Mania". :)
This album was as mentioned above not very commercial in it's overall sound apart from two singles. "Raspeberry Beret" is a well known Prince standard and its summertime sway and wandering strings add to make a Beatle-esque Pop classic. "Pop Life" was a simple commentary on the music industry that Prince was now central to and he is harshly critical towards cocaine users within the lyrics. It is also a very accomplished song.
Other highlights include the Eastern influenced title track, another Beatles-psychadelic (The Beatles seem a big influence on this album right upto the cover art) type song speaking of a Utopia "Paisley Park" (The name of Prince's newly established label and recording studio at the time) and the tender ballad "Condition Of The Heart" which although beautiful never quite reaches it's awesome potential in my opinion. Also be sure to check out the album-worthy B-side "Shes Always In My Hair".
Perhaps understandably, this album will be favoured by the more hardcore Prince fan due to the lack of his more trademark "popular" music. However anyone with a love of good experimental music should not be discouraged from exploring this deeply textured journey "Around The World In A Day".
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on 13 August 2016
Prince was the biggest pop star in the world in mid 1985 when Around The World In A Day was released. However, he did his best to make sure the follow up to the massive Purple Rain was as far removed from that album as possible. Around....is lighter, more optimistic with hints of psychedelia and strange instrumentation. It scared off the hangers-on after Purple Rain, but I am sure this was Prince's intention all along. Around is one of the man's very best records. Paisley Park & Raspberry Beret are pop perfection, and the jazz vibe of Condition of The Heart is fantastic, and one of his greatest lyrical pieces. Tambourine is a wonderfully weird funk work out, and the cautionary tale of Pop Life is glorious. Closer Temptation is probably the weakest track, but the 8 songs before will have you in awe.
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on 18 September 2002
If you like purple rain and are looking for more of the same, you won't find it; least of all with this album. If theres one thing you can always expect from Prince, its his unpredictability. Many so called fans shunned Prince after this records release, expecting a purple rain re-hash. This album is nothing like purple rain but why would you want it to be. Theres only one purple rain and thats what makes it so great. With this album I feel Prince wanted to experiment musically; and it certainly paid off. Its a classic. Fans of commercial Prince will love it for tracks like Raspberry Beret and Pop Life, while die hard fans will love it for beautifully written and experimental tracks like Condition Of The Heart and Tamborine. Personally I think theyre all brilliant and would definatley reccomend this record to anyone.
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on 7 October 2009
When I was 12 and only just beginning to explore chart music (this was when the top 40 countdown on Sunday was an almost religious experience), I remember being very taken with both "Paisley Park" and then (even more so) with follow up single, "Raspberry Beret" when they came on the radio. They were duly recorded to cassette and the mixtape in question was played in steady rotation with Scritti Politti's Cupid & Psyche 85 and Madonna's Like a Virgin during a family holiday in the south of France that summer (1985).

Anyway, unlike the two aforementioned albums, despite liking the two (fairly modest - surpisingly in the case of "Raspberry Beret" as that is now considered something of a classic but it reached only #18 UK Top 40 at the time!) hit singles, I only got around to purchasing the parent album once I'd invested in Lovesexy,Parade: Original Soundtrack - Under the Cherry Moon and Sign 'O' the Times (all essential purchases, by the way!). When I did get around to "Around The World In A Day", singles aside, it struck me as a very strange collection and I wasn't sure if I liked it.

In fact, I actively disliked certain tracks such as the very strange semi-Hendrixian blues grind of album-closer, "Temptation" which concludes with Prince getting a good ticking off from God for being a naughty boy!

However, although the somewhat contrived cod psychedelia of the album remains less than convincing and you get the impression that after the huge commercial success of the relatively straightforward R&B/Rock crossover of Purple Rain, Prince decided to be deliberately weird realising that he couldn't do a Purple Rain Part 2* (or maybe he was attempting his own Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band - who knows?), time has been kind to "Around The World In A Day" and it is now one of my favourites and has much to recommend it.

It contains one of Prince's most beautiful ballads in the form of "Condition Of The Heart" (I admit the performance and production is totally OTT but the intro is simply gorgeous and it is a totally great, spine tinglingly good song!) and one of his very best pop songs in the form of "Rasberry Beret". Other highlights for me are the brilliant funky "Pop Life" (props to Sheila E for the drums!), the storming hard funk of "America" (track down the 12" because that contains a brilliant 21 minute - yes 21 minute! - version) and "The Ladder" which is similar to "Purple Rain" in that its quasi-gospel but for me is even better!

In conclusion, although this is probably not the place to start if you are only just beginning an exploration of Prince's work, "Around The World In A Day" has a certain loopy charm plus it contains some absolute gems and no self-respecting admirer of Prince's music should be without it!
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* It is interesting to note that the b-sides from this period are in some ways, more straightforward and commercial sounding than the cuts that made the album - case in point being "She's Always In My Hair", the 12" version of which can be found on Ultimate. You can find 7" versions "She's Always In My Hair", "Hello" and "Girl" on the triple disc The Hits/The B-Sides. If you really want to go deeper, it is worth tracking down the vastly superior 12" version of "Hello" - it is available as a download bundled with "Raspberry Beret" (it was originally the UK b-side) from most digital music vendors.
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on 2 January 2016
Another 80s classic album by Prince. He constantly improved and developed his own sound up until 1984 when "Purple Rain" exploded worldwide. What did he do next? A complete about-turn with "Around the world in a day". Not many are that bold or confident to turn away from a global mega-success - it informed the world that here's an artist who wants to challenge, explore and if you love music - demands your attention. Although this album is not his best, it was the start of a mini-period of his 'kaleidoscopic' reign taking left and right turns - nobody knew where he was going next, bursting with ideas, sonic colours and textures - moving onto "Parade" to "Sign of the Timess" to "Lovesexy" - he was truly the most exciting musical artist of the time. It's worth getting this album for "Condition of the Heart" alone.
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on 7 June 2016
I've always enjoyed the music from this album and was devastated when I realised it had got lost in our house move with several other Prince C.D's so getting all the lost C.D's replaced and a chance to listen to them all again.
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"Purple Rain" shook the world, selling millions and tearing up the charts. What would Prince do next? More of the same, surely?

No.

Until "Purple Rain", and indeed since then, Prince albums have been something of a mixed bag, with genres and styles changing from track to track, and "ATWIAD" underlines this twice, in red pen. Opening with the almost world-music inspired title track, the album wrong-foots most who listen to it, no loud guitars to be heard, spiritual-sounding lyrics about "the little one" escorting you to "the ladder" baffling the casual listeners. The Beatles-like "Paisley Park" comes next, almost a hymn to his studio complex in Minneapolis, and one of my all-time favourites of his tracks. Then, the dark and initially jazzy piano ballad "Condition Of The Heart" chills you until kettledrums roll in and the track explodes into a crescendo, before collapsing in onto itself once again.

For some, "Raspberry Beret" comes as a relief at this point. After all of the experimentation and downright weirdness of the opening three tracks, a little bit of pop music lifts the spirits, even if its arrangement is hugely unconventional with all those descending lines and see-sawing strings. "Tambourine" is the album's only atonal moment, a percussive little thing which blusters in, makes a bit of a fuss, and then disappears in a chime of a triangle.

The album's sole rock moment opens the second half. "America" is a track which could almost have been included on "Purple Rain", such is its drive - for the full experience hunt down the 20-odd minute version which was released on 12" single at the time in the USA! "Pop Life" tells of the dark side of celebrity, another lush yet weird arrangement counterpointing the commercial aspects of the melody. "The Ladder" is the album's big rock ballad, where Prince sings once again of a mystical stairway to heaven, and then finally, in the sole embarrassing moment of the album, he has a conversation with God (in reality just Prince with his voice slowed down) during the bizarre coda of "Temptation".

By bewildering those who expected "Purple Rain 2", Prince showed us all just how creative and unconventional he truly is. Buy it, listen to it, and give it time - it is one of his best.
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on 8 September 2000
After purple rain stormed the charts i thought that would be Prince's musical finale, but hot on it's heels came Around the world in a day. A truly remarkable album. Prince was writing music that was years ahead of his contemparies,lyrically and instrumentally.The record starts with"around the world in a day"which reminds me of a childrens tale that envokes a carnival atmosphere to the listener.It gives the listener an idea of where Prince is taking you- to another place to Paisley park.This track(paisley park) is classic Prince and the revolution,the use of vocal arrangment and the heavy drums,quite superb.My favourite track is Raspberry beret.Prince tells the story of summer love, his lyrics are unsurpassable."Tambourine" is a cleverly written song were Prince sings about his most favourite passion.(sex)"Pop life" is an infectious song.He sings a duet with Lisa intermingling his double vocal with her backing and it has a strange middle eight.Great single.
The album cover i think is a suberb piece of design in it's self.It creates the right mood for the listener. Just play the record with the cover in your hands and your in Prince's paisley park.A brilliant piece of music definatly Prince's best work(although not liked by everyone)until his "diamonds and pearls"album in 1991.The mans a genius.
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