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Kamasutra, NPG Records (1997) Kamasutra © 1997, NPG Records

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Review (2.5 / 5) Prince Biography NPG Albums

Kamasutra

NPG Records

I never pretended I was the only woman he ever loved.

Released on 14 February 1997 on cassette and from 29 January 1998 on CD as a companion disk to the The Truth and Crystal Ball set. Kamasutra was originally only available directly from Prince’s official retail website 1800newfunk.com, but commercially with the Crystal Ball 5-disk set.

Kamasutra is an album comprising of Prince’s instrumentation recorded at Paisley Park Studios and an accompanying orchestra (recorded at Ocean Way Recorded, Hollywood, arranged by Clare Fischer) produced throughout 1994 and 1995. Prince is mentioned in the liner notes as The Artist Formally Known As Prince, albeit the album itself is credited to The NPG Orchestra.

Prince composed Kamasutra in honour of his soon-to-be wife Mayte Garcia (she is pictured on the album’s cover), for the purpose to be played at their wedding ceremony on Valentine’s Day 1996. The track The Plan was earlier released on the album Emancipation.

Prince | Kamasutra
Photography by Randee St Nicholas

Performers

All Instruments
Prince
Trombone
Michael B. Nelson
Saxophone
Kathy Jensen
Brian Gallagher
Trumpet
Dave Jensen
Steve Strand
Orchestration
Clare Fischer

Data

Production
Prince
Label
NPG Records
Distribution
NPG Records
Cover/Design
Michael Van Huffel, Steven Parke and Nicole Nodland
Released
24 years, 2 months ago on 14 February 1997
Running Time
40:57
US Chart Peak
-
UK Chart Peak
-
Orig. Formats

Tracklist

  1. (2:03)
  2. Kamasutra (11:49)
  3. At Last... The Lost Is Found (3:37)
  4. The Ever Changing Light (2:59)
  5. Cutz (3:03)
  6. Serotonin (0:47)
  7. Promise Made/Promise Broken (3:46)
  8. Barcelona (2:16)
  9. Kamasutra/Overture #8 (3:11)
  10. Coincidence Or Fate? (3:24)
  11. Kamasutra / Eternal Embrace (4:02)

Kamasutra – review

Most people would put photos into their wedding album but not Prince, he created an actual album to celebrate his marriage to Mayte. Kamasutra is Prince’s first fully instrumental project since Madhouse. It opens with The Plan, earlier released on Emancipation at the time the standalone release of Kamasutra was abandoned, it is therefore the most familiar track on the disk. The title track follows, and arcs seamlessly through light and dark on an epic scale, it showcases an operatic take – complete with movements – on Prince’s music, an avenue he was heavily exploring in the mid-1990s for theatre productions of his own. In it is a nice detail, strains of Still Would Stand All Time. The remainder of the album is comprised of shorter ambient cutz, if forgive the pun, yet the instrumentation is never dull. While this is no Madhouse reboot, the closest we get are with Promise Made / Broken and the album’s most ambitious track, the grandly named Overture 8, which are also the album’s best tracks. The penultimate track is the softly does it Coincidence Or Fate, whose name was emblazoned on the cover of the wedding programme. Kamasutra closes with Eternal Embrace, which for anyone wondering what Prince would have sounded like in 17th Century then consider your search over. Kamasutra was instead repackaged into Crystal Ball, and whilst never deserving of a fully-fledged release of its own, the album is a great accompanying disk and one that is just about accessible to be explored more often.

Kamasutra

Related releases

Crystal Ball
The Truth

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