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Graffiti Bridge

Warner Bros. Records

No one’s mentioning the lyrics. Maybe I should have put in a lyric sheet.

The concept for Graffiti Bridge dates from 1987, when Prince planned to write a Broadway musical in which featured both himself and Madonna in the lead roles. By 1990, that project evolved into a movie sequel to 1984’s Purple Rain.

With the exception of Thieves In The Temple (the album’s lead single), the remaining tracks on Graffiti Bridge, which comprise the soundtrack to accompany the Graffiti Bridge movie, are reworked versions of older and previously unreleased songs written by Prince throughout the 1980s. The oldest track on the album is Tick, Tick, Bang which he wrote in 1981 for his Vanity 6 project. New Power Generation is a reworking of a track called Bold Generation an outtake from the recording sessions for the 1999 album, as was We Can Funk (originally titled We Can Fuck) and Can’t Stop This Feeling I Got. Joy In Repetition was recorded in 1986 for inclusion in Prince’s aborted Crystal Ball album he intended for release that year.

A 1989 configuration of what evolved into the Graffiti Bridge album was named Rave Unto The Joy Fantastic and contained songs written around the Lovesexy period and was a creative influence to its succeeding album Batman. Graffiti Bridge is Prince’s first albums to contain performances by other bands and artists, most notably The Time, although every song was written by Prince. Its sales better in the UK than in the US, as did Lovesexy, and held the number 1 position in the UK charts for some five weeks.

The album sold 500,000 units in the US and 100,000 in the UK, and is certified Gold by RIAA. Graffiti Bridge was not officially supported in the 1990 Nude Tour, of which was essentially a greatest hits tour. The tour had in fact almost concluded by the time of the release of the album and tracks from Graffiti Bridge only appeared during its final shows – by which time Prince had already intended to work on other projects.

Cover story

Graffiti Bridge full artwork: photography by Bob McNamara, illustration by Steve Parke

The album’s artwork is an intended homage to the cover of Prince’s Controversy album, which was also made up from a collage. It is designed by Steve Parke, who worked was Prince’s main photographer and artwork designer between 1988 and 2000.

Performers

All Instruments
Prince
Drums
Morris Day New Power Generation
Sheila E. Graffiti Bridge
Bass Guitar
Levi Seacer Jr. Graffiti Bridge
Saxophone
Candy Dulfer
Eric Leeds We Can Funk
Trumpet
Atlanta Bliss

Data

Producer
Prince
Label
Paisley Park Records
Distribution
Warner Bros. Records
Cover/Design
Bob McNamara, Tom Recchion and Steve Parke
Released
30 years, 2 months ago on 20 August 1990
Running Time
68:34
US Chart Peak
6
UK Chart Peak
1
Prince Album
#12
Orig. Formats

Tracklist

  1. Can't Stop This Feeling I Got (4:24)
  2. New Power Generation (3:29) 1
  3. Release It [performed by The Time] (3:54) 2
  4. The Question Of U (4:00)
  5. Elephants And Flowers (3:54) 4
  6. Round And Round [sung by Tevin Campbell] (3:55) 1
  7. We Can Funk [feat. George Clinton] (5:28)
  8. Joy In Repetition (4:53)
  9. Love Machine [performed by The Time and feat. Elisa Fiorillo] (3:34) 3
  10. Tick, Tick, Bang (3:30)
  11. Shake! [performed by The Time] (4:01) 1
  12. Thieves In The Temple (3:20) 1
  13. The Latest Fashion [The Time/Prince] (4:02)
  14. Melody Cool [sung by Mavis Staples] (3:39) 1 & 4
  15. Still Would Stand All Time (5:23) 4
  16. Graffiti Bridge (3:51)
  17. New Power Generation (Pt. II) [feat. T.C. Ellis] (2:57)

1 Released as singles.
2 Co-written with Levi Seacer Jr.
3 Co-written with Levi Seacer Jr. and Morris Day.
4 Intended for release on the aborted Rave Unto The Joy Fantastic album (1988).

Singles from Graffiti Bridge

Thieves In The Temple single from Graffiti Bridge, Paisley Park Records (1990)

Thieves In The Temple

Paisley Park Records

Released
2 August 1990
US Chart Peak
6
UK Chart Peak
7
Formats
  1. Thieves In The Temple [Remix] (8:03)
  2. Thieves In The Temple [House Mix] (6:50)
  3. Temple House Dub (5:06)
Round And Round single from Graffiti Bridge, Paisley Park Records (1990)

Round And Round

Paisley Park Records

Released
25 September 1990
US Chart Peak
12
UK Chart Peak
-
Formats
  1. Round And Round (3:55)
  2. Round And Round [Soul Mix Extended] (6:39)
  3. Round And Round [The House] (7:30)
  4. Round And Round [Soul Dub] (5:01)
New Power Generation single from Graffiti Bridge, Paisley Park Records (1990)

New Power Generation

Paisley Park Records

Released
23 October 1990
US Chart Peak
64
UK Chart Peak
26
Formats
  1. New Power Generation (3:39)
  2. New Power Generation, Part II (2:57)
  3. Melody Cool [Extended Remix] (6:05)
New Power Generation [Maxi Single] single from Graffiti Bridge, Paisley Park Records (1990)

New Power Generation [Maxi Single]

Paisley Park Records

Released
29 November 1990
US Chart Peak
-
UK Chart Peak
-
Formats
  1. N.P.G. [Funky Weapon Remix] (5:01)
  2. T.C.'s Rap [feat T.C. Ellis] (3:11)
  3. Brother With A Purpose [feat. Tony Mosley] (4:19)
  4. Get Off (4:41)
  5. The Lubricated Lady (2:39)
  6. Loveleft, Loveright (5:00)
Melody Cool [Maxi Single] single from Graffiti Bridge, Paisley Park Records (1990)

Melody Cool [Maxi Single]

Paisley Park Records

Released
4 December 1990
US Chart Peak
-
UK Chart Peak
-
Formats
  1. Melody Cool [Extended LP Mix] (4:42)
  2. Melody Cool [Extended Remix] (6:06)
  3. Melody Cool [Deep House Vocal] (6:22)
  4. Melody Cool [Mellow Dub Mix] (4:33)
  5. Time Waits For No One [Edit] (4:18)
Shake! [Maxi Single] single from Graffiti Bridge, Paisley Park Records (1991)

Shake! [Maxi Single]

Paisley Park Records

Released
8 January 1991
US Chart Peak
-
UK Chart Peak
No Release
Formats
  1. Shake! [Extended Mix] (4:57)
  2. Shake! [Battle Mix] (4:01)
  3. Shake! [Funky House Mix] (8:03)
  4. The Latest Fashion [Remix] (6:15)
  5. Shake! [Boom Mix] (5:05)
  6. Shake! (4:01)

Supporting tour

Nude Tour

Nude Tour

1990

  • 56 shows from 2 June to 10 September, 1990

Graffiti Bridge – review

The 80s are over and the microchip has inherited the Earth. Graffiti Bridge is the example of when Prince mastered the computerisation of music that came to dominate it in the 90’s – even if all its songs themselves originate from the 80s. Indeed the songs were pulled from the vault for this project but not only were they dusted down they were entirely reworked and inoculated with the confidence of and which encapsulates the 90’s sound. Graffiti Bridge treats fans to three absolute Prince classics; The Question Of U (the unmistakable Blue Angel cloud guitar is sublime as the songs second voice), Joy In Repetition and Thieves In The Temple. Yet there are other tracks that it would be criminal should they ever be overlooked, namely the pumping We Can Funk and the gospel lead Still Would Stand All Time. The story line was almost a carbon copy of Purple Rain Graffiti Bridge is the sound track album to Prince’s second movie and so reunites with The Time once more with The Latest Fashion, Love Machine (the name of the first song Prince ever wrote, you know) and Shake! Prince too continues the party spirit with Elephants And Flowers and Can’t Stop This Feeling I Got but in the risk of repeating oneself (pardon the pun) the true set piece of the album and which deserves repeated mentioning is the mighty, timeless Joy In Repetition.

Graffiti Bridge

Related release

Graffiti Bridge [movie]

Graffiti Bridge [movie]

Warner Bros. Pictures (1990)

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