Customer Review

Reviewed in the United States on November 19, 2018
Having devoured the hardcover version of the book, I bought the expanded paperback version with a bit of hesitation. How much more he possibly add to a book that seemed to contain every possible fact, detail and quote about Prince's studio work in 1983 and 1984. Well the answer to that is, this feels like an entirely new book.

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.
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