Review: Prince and The Parade and Sign O’ The Times Era Studio Sessions 1985 & 1986 by Duane Tudahl
For a second time, author and Prince historian Duane Tudahl set out to do something that could never be questioned or contradicted when it came to telling Prince‘s real story. Painstakingly digging through hundreds, if not thousands, of studio work orders, interviews with band members who were there (print and audio), and cross-referencing notes and statements. Then he put it all in chronological order and arduously documented the sources to alleviate any questions any naysayers may have.
The first time around the purple block was with his award winning Prince and the Purple Rain Era Studio Sessions 1983 & 1984, and it serves as a literal encyclopedic walk-though of Prince‘s live during his most notorious and infamous years. The second book is entitled Prince and the Parade and Sign O’ The Times Era Studio Sessions 1985 & 1986 and even features a foreword by the legendary Sir Elton John.
The book covers some of his most productive years which not only (as the title suggests) covers Parade and Sign O’ The Times, but also other projects on his radar like The Black Album, The Flesh, Dream Factory, writing albums from Sheila E, Jill Jones, The Family and so much more including filming a new movie, Under the Cherry Moon. All within the span of 2 years.
The details of Prince‘s work ethic and recording habits are mind boggling and staggering. Even people who claim to know even the smallest details of Prince‘s life have to hand the crown to Duane Tudahl. His exhaustive and comprehensive research was poured over in order to verify and check every detail for authenticity and become the undisputed document of record of Prince‘s life both in and out of the studio.
Due to Prince‘s never-ending recording process where almost every day found him in the studio, a full musical diary was being compiled via the work orders, the engineers, and the musicians who were in those studios. Duane Tudahl compiled all of those minute details and then additionally weaves in the life stories from in-person interviews and articles to create the most compelling pieces of literature that have ever been written about Prince‘s life.
There are so many incredible stories and details that get shared that many have never heard;
- Did you know that during the Parade sessions, Prince went into the studio and started recording his drum parts straight through for Christopher Tracy’s Parade, then New Position, then I Wonder U, and then Under the Cherry Moon? One after the other with no errors, without stopping, and all in a single take?
- Did you know that after the Purple Rain tour, Sheila E had unknowingly racked up over a million dollars in debt even after touring for months with Prince on one of the biggest tours in history?
- There’s a 12″ version of High Fashion that’s never been released?
On every page and every documented day, there are more details and background stories that will have Prince fans in sheer nirvana. Duane Tudahl‘s second volume here should serve as a benchmark for how every Prince book should be written. This newest offering is written with the utmost respect and reverence that a genius like Prince truly deserves. It spends time verifying and authenticating details to separate facts from fiction and hypotheses from hearsay.
Duane’s work here will never be brought into question regarding his love and passion for its topic and commitment to the truth. It is page after page of written, documented, proof of Prince‘s life in complete historical, chronological context, that is layered and filled with incredible, detailed stories and memories from the people that were actually there.
It is be far the most entertaining and thorough history of Prince that has or will ever exist. Duane Tudahl has accomplished the impossible by capturing lightning in a bottle twice. Through hard work and commitment to honor the legacy of Prince, his in-depth knowledge and storytelling mastery shines on every page. These two books are now the standard by which all books about Prince will be judged.
Every Prince fan should add this book to their collection now.