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The Rainbow Children

Redline Entertainment

You have to do the work. That’s what independence is.

Originally released as a download to fanclub members from npgmusicclub.com on 16 October 2001, The Rainbow Children received a full commercial distribution via the independent label Redline Entertainment on 20 November that year.

The Rainbow Children is essentially a concept album and in result represents Prince’s most diverse work. It explores several and complex themes, such as spiritualism and racism, and although it is critically acclaimed The Rainbow Children sold only 158,000 units. The core musical theme of the album is jazz/funk and in result makes it quite an inaccessible edition in Prince’s canon, to not devout followers of his music. It arguably, however, showcases Prince at his creative and musical peak. It features a live band and thus the sound is raw and refreshing. The Rainbow Children was released six months after its single, The Work, Part I and peaked on Billboard charts at 109, but is notable in that it is Prince’s first album credited under his birth name, since previously renaming himself The Artist Formally Known As Prince ( Prince love symbol).

Performers

All Instruments
Prince
Drums
John Blackwell
Bass Guitar
Larry Graham The Work Pt. 1 and Last December
Saxophone
Najee
Hornz
The Hornheadz

Data

Producer
Prince
Label
NPG Records
Distribution
Redline Entertainment
Cover Art/Photo
C'Babi Bayoc
Released
18 years ago, 20 November 2001
Running Time
68:49
US Chart Peak
109
UK Chart Peak
-
Prince Album
#24

Track list

  1. Rainbow Children [feat. Milenia] (10:02)
  2. Muse 2 The Pharaoh (4:21)
  3. Digital Garden (4:06)
  4. The Work Part 1 [feat. Milenia] (4:27) 1
  5. Everywhere [feat. Milenia] (2:54)
  6. The Sensual Ever After (2:57)
  7. Mellow (4:23)
  8. 1+1+1 Is 3 [feat. Milenia] (5:16)
  9. Deconstruction [feat. Milenia] (1:59)
  10. Wedding Feast [feat. Kip Blackshire] (0:53)
  11. She Loves Me 4 Me (2:49)
  12. Family Name (8:16)
  13. The Everlasting Now (8:17)
  14. Last December [feat. Milenia] (7:57)
  15. Silent hidden track (0:04)
  16. Silent hidden track (0:04)
  17. Silent hidden track (0:04)
  18. Silent hidden track (0:04)
  19. Silent hidden track (0:04)
  20. Silent hidden track (0:04)
  21. Last December [reprise] (0:38) 2

1 Released as a single.
2 Hidden track (#21).

Singles from The Rainbow Children

The Work Part 1 single from The Rainbow Children

The Work Part 1

NPG Records

Released
6 April 2001
US Chart Peak
Ineligible
UK Chart Peak
Ineligible
  1. The Work Part 1 [feat. Milenia] (3:39)
  2. U Make My Sun Shine [duet with Angie Stone] (5:52)

Supporting tour

One Nite Alone… Tour

One Nite Alone… Tour

2002

The Rainbow Children – review

Prince’s creative peak (and his first album back again under his birth name). Perhaps The Rainbow Children is also his most inaccessible album to date, and thank god (literally!) that Prince decided to release this in stores rather than side step it as an internet only venture. Subscribers to the NPG Music Club were able to download the album as a single MP3, which as I look back on it now took four days to download the 48mb file through dial-up: this highlighted the biggest flaw of the club – it was too ahead of its time. Anyway, Prince had finally released an album that really did showcase his dexterity. Isn’t it sublime when you listen to an album and fall in love with every track. The Rainbow Children is beautiful, funky, yet musically inspiring, it takes music to higher levels in every sense of the word. It does not even take a second listen to grow to like it, you don’t know then why you liked it but you do and give it another go at which point its playability takes root. The Rainbow Children is easily one of Prince’s all-time best, although probably not to the taste of the casual listener. This is a collection of songs and that could only go together on the same album but are let down by the religious undertones which comes across too sermon like. One could hardly believe this is the man who also wrote Scarlet Pussy and Sexy MF still there are few albums as well crafted as this. Like fine wine Prince improves better over time. The Rainbow Children could well be the album Prince’s musical genius found its peak, a fact also underlined with the tour, his best to date. It also demonstrates the fruits of Prince’s hard fought musical freedom, for he would never have been allowed to release this under a conventional label. Yet it deftly blends funk, melody, lyrical godliness, with some truly stellar guitar. The title track and Family Name make the album, yet it is so nice to hear Prince being genuinely enjoying music making once again and not using his craft to bicker about the industry that made his name. Prince rediscovers music once again or had the music rediscovered him.

The Rainbow Children

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