Top positive review
It Keeps Jumping in my Hands!
Reviewed in the United States on June 21, 2021
I admit: I am a Prince scholar. I study everything I can get my hands on about the ART of Prince. As a lover of music and someone that has met Prince, I have purchased most of his authorized releases to include his protege acts, and reviewed countless literature sources and heard the sound checks and many of the unreleased vault tracks. Yet the main reason I like Prince is not his music though it's great. It's his dedication to his craft and work ethic. As someone who works very hard himself, I find Prince to be the ultimate roadmap of someone that did it and not just giving a bunch of speeches on how to be your best self - he was almost always his best self when it came to his art.
That is why Tudahl's second book on Prince is so captivating. It provides the motivation behind the art AND how the art was made (in most cases of the latter). As Tudahl points out in his promo tour, the stories of Prince outside the studio are provided to provide the inspiration for his work inside the studio. There is the collection of Wendy and Lisa's stories; the thoughts of Brown Mark and Matt, and his most dedicated friend and number two historian (in my book when it comes to The Revolution), Bobby Z.
This book is even more robust than Tudahl's first book for it really tries to lend full voice to all those involved. This is both a strength and a slight drawback. The strength is that everyone involved deserves a right for their story to be told yet the drawback is that in some cases, there are more questions than answers. The only minor suggestion would be for Tudahl to come to a conclusion based on the interviews, listening to the tracks (assuming access), and review of artifacts. Thus the strength is that it's a very robust and rich account - especially the drivers of the art. The drawback is that it makes "nice" and doesn't provide firm concluding thoughts given the provided information. It's definitely more art than science and perhaps that's the way it should be. By contrast the PR Sessions (Duane's first book) was more declarative in tone and confident in its conclusions. In this book, you "feel" the compromise.
Now holding that view, I must admit that this book is very good. It's extremely well-written, thoughtful, and yet not over fanboying (and as a Prince friend myself, that's hard to do). Prince is not painted as this angel always doing the right thing. It paints a very human picture of Prince based on an impressive amount of interviews.
Duane is going to complete the backend of the 80s here in the next year or two and one can only hope he gets to the Dirty Mind to 1999 sessions as well. No one captures the stories better though there is still room for clarity in collaboration (or not). This book should be enjoyed while listening to Prince during this period. No artist's day-to-day is documented better thanks largely to Prince, Susan Rogers, and countless dedicated staff members. Add Tudahl to the list of those directly responsible for keeping Prince's legacy alive and one can argue, expanding his legacy.
Buy this book and if you want to come up with conclusions, review it along with The Vault and other sources that account for the recording of his vast and seemingly endless vault of recorded music.