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# A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

94 East featuring Prince - 94 East featuring Prince

  by Dave Goodwin

published: 3 / 4 / 2017

94 East featuring Prince - 94 East featuring Prince
Label: Charly Records
Format: CD


Very danceable album from Minneapolis soul/funk band 94 East which features a very young Prince at the start of his inspiring career

Usually after the sad demise of a musical legend there are obligatory re-releases and unfinished albums, and in the sad passing of Prince there has been no exception. The thing that startles you about this album though is the fact that he was just seventeen when some of the tracks on it were recorded. When you treat your eardrums to some of the sounds on here, you can already hear the influence that the man gave to his music. But was it his influence or his 'sound'? During this period Prince was part of the Minneapolis-based funk group 94 East, named after Interstate 94 which runs through Minneapolis, and which was formed in December 1975 by a chap named Pepé Willie, the former husband of Prince's cousin. Willie was one of the people responsible for getting Prince's career up and running, so you could argue that it was the mentoring of Prince by Willie that spurned the 'Prince' sound? The debate goes on as Prince also composed one song for them, 'Just Another Sucker' the first track on this wonderful offering from the people at Charly. Prince spent a little over three years recording with Pepé Willie in the late ’70s, carving out a glam-funk sound that he would make his own in the years that followed, so I'm going to say that it was a combination of the both of them that invented that luscious 80's jazz-funk phenomenon that was Prince. 94 East disbanded when Prince rose to stardom in his own right. The recordings on this album were recorded over a four year period between December 1975 and February 1979 and by the band which consisted, as well as Prince, of Pepé Willie (vocals and guitar), Marcy Ingvoldstad (vocals), Kristie Lazenberry (vocals), Dale Alexander (drums), Wendell Thomas (bass guitar) and Pierre Lewis (keyboards). If you wanted to know a little more of Prince in his early years you only have to delve into the properly purple covered CD case and pull out the inner booklet which has extensive notes about him and Pepé by Rodger Murdoch and also some from Pepé himself. If you are a fan of that era then this is a must, coming in at just over an hour of loose and dirty 100% totally danceable Prince-tinged funk. What more do you want? 'If You Feel Like Dancin' clocks up over seven minutes of stomping soulfulness and isfollowed by one of my favourites on here, 'Lovin' Cup', which is admittedly a lot slower but a perfect sample of what was to come later down the line. Filled with typical Prince synth backing, it is coupled with sax and melody. 'Games', Dance to the Music' and 'One Man Jam' are all super-fueled funk fanfares, while 'I'll Always Love You' differs slightly in the fact that it's an uber smooth offering but like the rest of the album beyond expectations. Here's a test for you before I get lost in the rest of this huge toe-tapper. Stick 'If We Don't' on the CD Player and turn it up and try NOT to move your feet. Uber marvellous!

Track Listing:-
1 Dance To The Music Of The World
2 Games
3 If You Feel Like Dancing
4 Better Than You Think (Instrumental)
5 You Can Be My Teacher
6 I'll Always Love You
7 One Man Jam
8 If You See Me (Instrumental)
9 Lovin' Cup
10 Just Another Sucker
11 Love,Love,Love

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