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Rave Un2 The Joy Fantastic

Arista Records

I don’t think it’s an accident that the album is produced by Prince.

Released through Arista Records and two months after Warner Brothers’ release of the The Vault… Old Friends 4 Sale album, Prince involvemed himself only with the promotion of Rave Un2 The Joy Fantastic. Following his acrimonious departure from Warner Brothers Prince was sceptical to release another album with a major record label and released it with Arista only on the proviso its CEO, Clive Davis, allowed Prince to retain the ownership of the master recordings and that the arrangement expired after its release. Unlike his positive experience with the recently defunct EMI label, his tenure at Arista ended in disappointment – feeling that the album had not received adequate promotion, it sold 500,000 copies in the US but reached on 18 on Billboard – failing to chart at all in the UK. Prince shied away from major labels until 2004 due to this experience.

Although featuring vocal contributions many artists (his first album to do so), Prince wrote every song for Rave Un2 The Joy Fantastic excepting Sheryl Crow’s Everyday Is A Winding Road. Prince offered to return the favour for these collaborations, this he did in two occaisions: providing vocals for Ani Difranco‘s Providence (released on her To The Teeth album) and, co-writing and performing Waiting Room for Gwen Stefani (released on No Doubt’s Rock Steady album).

Rave Un2 The Joy Fantastic is certified Gold by RIAA, and was followed with a limited special edition of which contained remixed and extended versions later released on NPG Records as Rave In2 The Joy Fantastic. Rave Un2 The Joy Fantastic became Prince’s final album released under the name Prince love symbol (The Artist Formally Known As Prince), however, the liner notes credit Prince by his birth name as producer – a fact, that during its pre-release he teased fans that he had reunited with a past producer to create this album: himself. Although it did not receive a supporting tour, a special concert was televised and released on DVD as Rave Un2 The Year 2000 to mark the turning of the Millennium. This DVD and both editions of Rave Un2/In2 The Joy Fantastic was reissued by Sony Legacy Recordings as a triple disk set on 26 April 2019, repackaged as Ultimate Rave.  Rave Un2 The Joy Fantastic also was issued individually and for the first time in vinyl format, on the same day.

The album title was originally mentioned in Prince’s 1989 B-side track 200 Balloons.

Performers

All Instruments
The Artist Formally Known As Prince
Guitar
Mike Scott The Greatest Romance Ever Sold
Bass Guitar
Rhonda Smith The Greatest Romance Ever Sold
Hornz
The Hornheadz
Orchestration
NPG Orchestra

Data

Producer
Prince
Label
NPG Records
Distribution
Arista Records
Cover Art/Photo
Steven Parke
Released
20 years, 0 months ago, on 9 November 1999
Reissued
26 April 2019
Running Time
69:52
US Chart Peak
18
UK Chart Peak
145
Prince Album
#23

Track list

  1. Rave Un2 The Joy Fantastic (4:18)
  2. Undisputed [feat. Chuck D] (4:19)
  3. The Greatest Romance Ever Sold (5:29) 1
  4. Segue (0:04) 2
  5. Hot Wit U [feat. Eve (Ruff Ryder)] (5:11)
  6. Tangerine (1:30)
  7. So Far, So Pleased [feat. Gwen Stefani] (3:23)
  8. The Sun, The Moon, And Stars (5:15)
  9. Everyday Is A Winding Road [feat. Larry Graham] (6:12) 3
  10. Segue (0:18)
  11. Man O' War (5:14)
  12. Baby Knows [feat. Sheryl Crow] (3:18)
  13. Eye Love You, But Eye Don't Trust U Any More [feat. Ani Difranco] (3:33)
  14. Silly Game (3:29)
  15. Strange But True (4:12)
  16. Wherever U Go, Whatever U Do (3:15)
  17. Segue (0:43)
  18. Prettyman [feat. Maceo Parker] (4:23) 4

1 Released as a single.
2 4-second silence in dedicatation to Miles Davis (1926-1991)
3 Written by Sheryl Crow, Jeff Trott and Brian McLeod.
4 Hidden track.

Singles from Rave Un2 The Joy Fantastic

The Greatest Romance Ever Sold single from Rave Un2 The Joy Fantastic

The Greatest Romance Ever Sold

Arista Records

Released
5 October 1999
US Chart Peak
63
UK Chart Peak
65
  1. The Greatest Romance Ever Sold [Radio Edit] [feat. Eve] (4:32)
  2. The Greatest Romance Ever Sold [Neptunes Remix] [feat. Q-Tip] (3:42)
  3. The Greatest Romance Ever Sold [Adam & Eve Remix] [feat. Eve] (4:32)
  4. The Greatest Romance Ever Sold (5:29)
  5. The Greatest Romance Ever Sold [Jason Nevins Remix] (3:36)
  6. The Greatest Romance Ever Sold [Neptunes Extended Remix] [feat. Q-Tip] (5:08)
  7. The Greatest Romance Ever Sold [Jason Nevins Extended Remix] (6:41)
  8. The Greatest Romance Ever Sold [Original Radio Edit] (4:26)

Rave Un2 The Joy Fantastic – review

Every artist does a collaboration album at some point in their career, and so Rave Un2 The Joy Fantastic became Prince’s. Employing the talents of Gwen Stefani, Chuck D, Ruff Ryder, Sheryl Crow and the arty Ani DiFranco it still remains clear Prince/ Prince love symbol was the one firmly in control of the project as all the collaborators are reduced to bit-parts. (In fact noticing the collaborative contributions turns into an exercise on a par with Where’s Wally.) for in 1999 Prince was, after all, gearing up for his big year and due to all this ‘collaboration’ he came up with this highly eclectic album. Undisputed forms the most, lets say, interesting computerised beat in Prince’s discography but the album settles into its stride with the catchy Hot Wit U. His cover of Crow’s Everyday Is A Winding Road is a perfect example of the ‘Prince treatment’, making the song is tighter, sharper and classier than the original. Man O’ War is the outstanding track and the outtake Beautiful Strange gets its airing on the remix version of the album, Rave In2 The Joy Fantastic. Speaking of which, Rave In2, to be completely honest, would have fared far better in the charts than the under cooked Rave Un2 – left to languish at number 18 (Prince was unhappy with Arista’s disappointing promotion of Un2). Rave Un2 The Joy Fantastic is successful in its production, a highly engineered album and the platform Prince intended to make his commercial comeback. Arista let it sink without trace and Prince’s commercial return would have to wait until 2004. He did forewarn “Heavy rotation never made my world go round, commercialisation of the music is what brought it down” – a case of life imitating art in its truest sense!

Rave Un2 The Joy Fantastic

Related releases

Rave In2 The Joy Fantastic
Ultimate Rave
Rave Un2 The Year 2000

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