Yet another of Prince’s many protÃ©gÃ© bands. And no doubt, the most successful & funky. Virtually all of the demos that Prince wrote and performed that were given to The Time sounded verbatim with different voices added. Morris Day either mimicked Prince’s vocals immaculately or was forced to. Either way, it was a great equation. At the time of them bursting on the Minneapolis club scene Prince was not known to have been the force behind them. It only was a matter of time before the public caught on. Now it’s clear as day.
The best output of this group, after allegedly being disbanded because Prince deemed them “too successful”, was the future work of Terry Lewis and Jimmy Jam as a production team. They went off to successfully produce artists like Janet Jackson, The Human League, Boys II Men & Usher. Jesse Johnson also had a decent career scoring a song on the Pretty In Pink soundtrack. Morris Day put out a few solo records but left no dent.
After you get past the nostalgia, there are some seriously heavy MPLS funk cuts from the Time’s catalog.
- 777-9311 (What Time Is It?) – Quite possibly the best use of the Linn Drum. It’s stellar. Also notable is the B-Side, Grace. This number was actually Dez Dickerson’s (Prince’s guitarist) real phone number. It was changed shortly after the song came out for obvious reasons. Who knows if Dez ever forgave Prince. Maybe that’s why he left Prince’s band no less than a year later.
- Jungle Love (Ice Cream Castles) – I think people forget how amazing this record was. After the novelty wears off, you have a solid record oozing 80s dance & funk.
- Jerk Out (Pandemonium) – Virtually a Prince cut with Morris Day on vocals. Originally intended for Mazarati. In the Time version you can still hear the Mazarati background vocals. This song actually became a #1 hit on the R&B charts!
- Data Bank (Pandemonium) – See above. Also this song was an outtake for The Dream Factory. It was later re-recorded for the Time 3 years later in 1989.
- Tricky (B-Side to Ice Cream Castles) – From the same session, I believe, as Cloreen Bacon Skin. This song is allegedly about George Clinton becoming an overweight wash-up. Prince on bass, synth and vocals and Morris Day on drums. This must have come from a 2 hour jam session. It’s the sickness. “Shit! Oh! Somebody bring me a piece of chicken!”
- The Bird (Ice Cream Castles) – Live from First Avenue. There is something special about this club.
- After High School (The Time) – A Dez Dickerson new wave gem. Sounds like a song that Elvis Costello could easily have covered or even written.
- Ice Cream Castles (Ice Cream Castles) – This sounds like a song that could have been given to Apollonia 6. The title was taken from a lyric by Joni Mitchell, a favorite of Prince’s.
- Nine Lives (Corporate World) – Corporate World was never released. I think this beat was used in every remix in the early 90s.
- Shake! (Graffiti Bridge Soundtrack) – Originally intended for the Corporate World record. A few of the cuts from that record moved to what became of Pandemonium. This cut was dropped moved to Prince’s soundtrack here. The chorus has a piano riff similar to Wooly Bully by Sam The Sham And The Pharaohs.