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Prince and the Purple Rain Era Studio Sessions: 1983 and 1984 (Prince Studio Sessions) Paperback – Illustrated, November 15, 2018
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His journey is meticulously documented through detailed accounts of his time secluded behind the doors of the recording studio as well as his days on tour.
With unprecedented access to the musicians, singers, and studio engineers who knew Prince best, including members of the Revolution and the Time, Duane Tudahl weaves an intimate saga of an eccentric genius and the people and events who helped shape the groundbreaking music he created. From Sunset Sound Studios’ daily recording logs and the Warner Bros. vault of information, Tudahl uncovers hidden truths about the origins of songs such as “Purple Rain,” “When Doves Cry,” and “Raspberry Beret” and also reveals never-before-published details about Prince’s unreleased outtakes.
This definitive chronicle of Prince’s creative brilliance during 1983 and 1984 provides a new experience of the Purple Rain album as an integral part of Prince’s life and the lives of those closest to him.
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A revealing behind-the-scenes glimpse of a musical genius. Prince fans will savor the details. ― Booklist
Documentary producer and director Tudahl draws on unlimited access to studio archives and interviews with Prince’s music associates and friends to produce this meticulously detailed chronicle of Prince’s rise from local Minneapolis celebrity to one of the world’s biggest rock stars. Tudahl presents a day-by-day description of Prince’s live shows and his studio work from the release of his album 1999 in late 1982 to the making and release of the album and movie Purple Rain in late 1984. Tudahl opens the doors at L.A.’s Sunset Sound studios and provides insider glimpses into Prince’s recording processes. According to the original work order for the session for 'When Doves Cry,' Prince recorded the song in a single day; it became his first number one hit. Producer Peggy McCreary, interviewed here, says Prince knew exactly what he was doing and knew he had a hit. For each recording session, Tudahl lists the studio and some elements of the song being laid down, as well as the names of the producers and engineers. Prince fans will most enjoy Tudahl’s thorough archival work; his fascinating book offers a portrait of an artist continually seeking to grow creatively and maintain control over his musical identity. ― Publishers Weekly
5 Stars. Hands-down, the most exhaustive study of the most crucial period in Prince’s career. The next volume can’t come soon enough. ― Record Collector
The Beatles and Apple Records. Elvis and Sun Records. Musicians and their iconic works are often associated with a particular studio. Prince expert Tudahl points out that although most people link Prince with his Paisley Park home studio in Minnesota, his biggest albums were in fact recorded at Sunset Sound Studios in Los Angeles. Tudahl’s granular study of Prince during his 1983 and 1984 recording sessions covers the production not only of Purple Rain and Around the World in a Day as well as ‘Little Red Corvette,’ ‘When Doves Cry,’ ‘Raspberry Beret,’ and many B-sides but also recordings by the Time, Sheila E., the Bangles, Sheena Easton, and Stevie Nicks. Tudahl also describes more than 100 live performances and rehearsals by Prince during this fruitful two-year period and discusses the Purple Rain film soundtrack and the origins of the movie. Tudahl conducted hundreds of hours of interviews with Prince’s former band members, studio engineers, and others. Although he did not interview Prince before his untimely death for the book, he does include copious quotations from the Purple One to create a fly-on-the-wall effect. A revealing behind-the-scenes glimpse of a musical genius. Prince fans will savor the details. ― Booklist
Die-hards and casual Prince fans, alike, will find the book to be a worthy contribution to an already vast body of knowledge. ― The Huffington Post
4 1/2 Stars
Though it covers just two years in Prince’s life, Prince and the Purple Rain Era Studio Sessions is, hands-down, the most exhaustive study of the most crucial period in Prince’s career. It also sets the scene for what looks set to become a series of books that, depending on how much ground they up covering, will likely obliterate the need for another serious critical study of the Purple One’s work. In over 20 years of graft, Duane Tudahl has interviewed almost anyone who recorded with, helped facilitate the dreams of, or got a perfumed whiff of Prince during his time coming off the cult-level success of 1999 and gearing up for the globe-shattering triumph of Purple Rain…. With Prince now unable to ever tell his own story, Tudahl and his interviewees are lifting the veil with love, in order for the rest of the world to understand what a genius he was. In doing so, a bar has been set that, frankly, it looks like only he himself will be able to reach. The next volume can’t come soon enough.
Five Stars. ― Record Collector
The level of detail in the book is phenomenal. PrinceVault will be forever in debt to the research that Tudahl did. -- PrinceVault.com
One of the most comprehensive works ever crafted about the Purple One…While there has been a lot written on the Purple Rain era because of its popularity, the genius of this book lies in its attention to detail. Simply put, the work Tudahl has done on this book is astounding. Books like these help keep Prince’s legacy alive and remind us what a special artist he was. Tudahl should be applauded for his exhaustive effort. ― True Funk Soldier
An amazing work. Valuable research and a terrific perspective -- Alan Leeds, tour manager, production manager for Prince
Prince insiders eagerly anticipate Duane Tudahl's book for the thoroughness and diligence he has brought to his investigation. His work has the rare qualities of a good reporter's objectivity coupled with an insider's instinct for the true story. -- Susan Rogers, Prince's recording engineer (1983-1988)
Duane Tudahl’s meticulously researched work is truly remarkable. It shows how closely Prince’s work was intertwined with his life. Providing unique insights into Prince’s creative process and personality, this book is a must for anyone wanting to understand this exceptionally talented and driven artist. -- Per Nilsen, author of The Vault and Dance, Music, Sex, Romance
Archivist, interviewer, and discerning fan Duane Tudahl has delivered a fly-on-the-wall account of some of Prince's most important and productive years in the studio. This book bristles with energy, passion, and knowledge, and stands as an essential documentation of Prince's work and artistic process. -- Alex Hahn, author of 'Possessed: The Rise and Fall of Prince and The Rise of Prince'
Duane Tudahl has uncovered the hard work and real time hours behind the genius that was Prince. An awesome lifetime task that will hopefully lead to future volumes. -- Steve Parke, Paisley Park artist and author of 'Picturing Prince'
About the Author
- Publisher : Rowman & Littlefield Publishers; Expanded edition (November 15, 2018)
- Language : English
- Paperback : 592 pages
- ISBN-10 : 1538114623
- ISBN-13 : 978-1538114629
- Item Weight : 2.01 pounds
- Dimensions : 5.94 x 1.41 x 9.01 inches
- Best Sellers Rank: #114,912 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
About the author
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Top reviews from the United States
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I should have been doing work over the weekend to prepare for our first rain since last spring, but nope, I was on the sofa with my headphones on all weekend reading the expanded version. I have a hunch that the guy who wrote this found that people whom had previously been wary of talking to him, were now pounding on his door wanting to tell their stories. Having read the hardcover they must have realized that this is not some quick cash grab book or one that is looking to sensationalize and reveal Prince's private life. Instead they found a scholarly work that will surely be the go to source for information for decades if not centuries to come. And they wanted their stories part of that history.
There seem to be so many new great quotes that I stopped trying to compare it to the hardcover version. There is detail about songs that I had never even known the name of before, and I have known about songs that it seemed no one else knew about for decades.
The amount of additional work put into this addition is massively obvious. It also corrects some assumptions or honest mistakes from the hardcover as new information from new interviews has provided more insight. One has to admire an author willing to note and correct even the most minor errors. This appears to be his desire: to make sure that the true history of how Prince created his music is preserved.
This book, like the hardback, in a lesser authors hands could have been a very cold, dry set of facts, but that is not the case here. There is a story, based on all the hundreds of sources and facts and his writing conveys the passion that Prince had for his music. I would read a section about a specific set of recordings, close my eyes and listen to them and I could see Prince sitting at the console, alone recording those magnificent screams of desire for "The Beautiful Ones." Or his working again and again on "Strange Relationship" during rehearsal and soundchecks and then setting it aside.
Is this a book solely for the most hardcore of Prince fans, absolutely not. This is a book for anyone who loves music, because this is the story of perhaps the two most important years in the life of arguably the most important musician of the 20th century. This book reveals some of the magic behind Prince's creative process. And it verifies that when Prince boasted about how prolific he was, which at times seemed like the bravado he was know for onstage, that he was not exaggerating but simple stating the truth.
What is also wonderful about this book is that even with the massive amount of research, interviews, searching periodicals for source material it still allows for the mystery that was Prince. Prince told us in "Old Friends For Sale" that "But life is no fun, life ain't no fun without fantasy" and that fantasy or mystery is very much present.
I simple can not recommend this book enough, if you have the hardcover you owe it to yourself to put this on your Christmas wishlist, or if you are like me and can't wait until Christmas, buy it now for yourself. I also bought a second signed copy directly from the author's website and that came with a super cool bookmark.
The only bummer is that I want the next volume now, now, now and I know that won't be the case. This author is obviously dedicated to getting the facts correct and then putting those facts to work to create a story, not just an encyclopedia. Add his obvious passion for the music and well it is worth the wait. And we can hope that those who are making decisions about what to release from Prince's vault will read this and future books and let us hear the songs we for now can only read about.
Top reviews from other countries
Everyone who knows me says my name either directly before they are about to mention Prince or directly after they do.
When Prince died, literally everyone that I know checked up on me to see if I was OK.
Is this because I am a huge Prince fan? Well..... Yes. I am a big enough fan to know that he has fans WAY more fanatic than me. &, my guess is that, Duane Tudahl MUST be one of “those fans”, to have written a book like this.
Like Prince, I am a Musician, Song Writer, Composer, Arranger, Producer & Performer (Because, in essence, Prince told me to be). I have played instruments for the last 30 years of my life (I am 43 now). Even the vicious arthritis I have developed over the last 10 years & the excruciating pain it keeps me in, do not stop me from playing & creating music. Why? Because I agree with Nietzsche on this, who said: “Without music, life would be a mistake”.
I have loved music from before I could speak. I have dedicated my very existence to it. If music were a religion, I would be a monk. & Prince? Prince would be one of those characters that were written about, within the pages of my Bible.
As a creator of music, I learn my craft by studying those that have gone before me, The Masters.
Throughout my life, I have longed for a chance to sit with someone who could tell me how they thought. That I could ask them all the things that I have pondered on, all my life. The things that I have only been able to theorise about. &, above all others, I wish I could ask “those who know about Prince”. I would ask: “When he sat down to write a song, where would he begin?”, “What equipment did he love & why? & how did he use it in THAT way, that made him sound so unique?“, “What was going through his mind, when he put that guitar solo down?”, “How did he imagine a beat like that, for a ballad, for God’s sake?” & “Who writes a pop song without bass in it anyway? That’s gotta just be a mistake, right?”. I watched & read every interview for any clues. But, alas, no one asked the right questions or got the right answers.
Until..... One day I saw that a guy called Duane Tudahl had written a book called: “Prince & The Purple Rain Era Studio Sessions: 1983 And 1984”. &, you better believe, I was first in line at the book shop, the day it hit the stands.
I was concerned that this author would be like all the rest. That he wouldn’t give me what I hoped for. But I was wrong. This was the book I had been waiting for my entire life.
In a word, it is: Perfection.
It breaks down, near enough, every single day of ‘83 & ‘84. It’s like walking around with Prince & looking over his shoulder, while he works. It’s hearing from everyone involved with him, as a person, as a player, as a creator of songs & as a visionary. It’s all your questions answered.
All of my fears that it would just be lists of meaningless moments or the same old insights regurgitated AGAIN, dissolved, reading Questlove’s foreword. &, beyond that? Beyond that is the most important book about Prince that HAS ever been written & may ever BE written. It really is that significant. If I were to open a school to teach the importance of music & how to understand it (which I might yet!?), the first book on the “mandatory reading silibus” would be this one. It is an invaluable tool for people like me. Even if I HATED Prince, sitting in my padded cell (see what I did there?), I would know that this book is something that ALL musicians need to own. They NEED it. Like flowers need the rain.
Prince fans need it, of course.
& everyone else? Well, if you want to understand who this artist was & what he was TRULY about? Or you want to know why he will be studied by people like myself, FOREVER? Or you just want to read a beautifully written thing that is captivating from the first page to the last..... then you need this book.
Frankly, if you’re still reading my review & you haven’t bought it already, what’s your problem?
As for me, I am reading it, yet again, while I wait for Mr. Tudahl’s next book (which will cover Prince’s Studio Sessions 1985 & 1986). & I will be first in line at the book shop again.
To Duane Tudahl.... If you read this:
For myself, for the future generations of musicians & for music itself, Thank you for your love & dedication to Prince, your commitment to excellence & your pure talent in writing. If Nietzsche were here, I’m sure he’d say: “Without Duane Tudahl’s book(s) on Prince, life would be a mistake.”
May U Live 2 See The Dawn.
Until this one came out, the books by Per Nilsen and the Uptown staff were the most valuable research works a serious fan could ever dream of, but Tudahl has kicked the bar placing it unreacheably high.
His attention to detail is astounding. This is THE treat for any serious fan.
No personal opinions, no lucubrations, just FACTS and INFO.
Now I just can't wait for the following volume covering the Parade and SOTT years (my favourite Prince era!).