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Back In Time

NPG Records

He respected her opinion a lot. That was kind of a first.

Judith Hill started out as a backing vocalist for Michael Jackson in 2009 and was due to perform with him for the This Is It shows planned at London’s O2 Arena. However, following his death she appeared in the documentary 20 Feet From Stardom, where she recounted life as a backing singer – for which she won a Grammy award for her performance in it. Hill then appeared on the TV talent show The Voice in 2013 and met Prince in March 2015 after he saw her on TV in April the previous year mentioning she would like to work with him. That winter, the two worked together at Paisley Park Studios to produce this debut album Back In Time for which Hill wrote all the songs. The album was released later that month without word or warning, distributed simply as a link to the full downloadable album emailed out to Prince’s Live Nation subscribers. The download was available for a period of 48-hours.

Whilst Prince has no writing credit for Back In Time, he mentored Hill throughout the project and played guitar, bass and drums, as well as provided co-lead and backing vocals and produced the record at his Paisley Park studio – the sound is unmistakably his. After its release on 23 March 2015 as a free download, the excellent Back In Time received an undeservedly limited physical release on 23 October that year – also arranged by Prince.

Hill was also Prince’s final girlfriend. The couple had been dating for about two years and until the time of his death. She was sat alongside him on the fateful flight that was forced to make an emergency landing at Moline Airport, Illinois in the early hours on 15 April 2016, where upon arrival Prince received medical treatment following an overdose from opiate-base painkillers. She stayed with him throughout, and they continued their flight home the following morning. Prince died following a relapse on 21 April.

Data

Production
Prince and Judith Hill
Label
NPG Records
Distribution
NPG Records
Cover/Design
Annie Madison
Released
6 years, 1 months ago on 23 March 2015
Running Time
41:14
US Chart Peak
Not charted
UK Chart Peak
Not charted
Orig. Formats

Tracklist

  1. As Trains Go By [feat. Prince] (4:34)
  2. Turn Up [feat. Prince] (3:28)
  3. Angel In The Dark (4:08)
  4. Beautiful Life (4:02)
  5. Cure (2:42)
  6. Love Trip [feat. Prince] (3:01)
  7. My People (2:43)
  8. Wild Tonight [feat. Prince] (4:18)
  9. Cry, Cry, Cry (5:06) 1
  10. Jammin' In The Basement (3:32)
  11. Back In Time (3:45)

1 Release as a single.

Singles from Back In Time

Cry, Cry, Cry single from Back In Time, NPG Records (2015)

Cry, Cry, Cry

NPG Records

Released
21 September 2015
US Chart Peak
-
UK Chart Peak
-
Format
  1. Cry, Cry, Cry (5:06)

Back In Time – review

Judith Hill came part of Prince lore for the wrong reasons. She was his last girlfriend and with him in that fateful flight to MPLS in which was forced to put in a diversion and an emergency landing for Prince to receive emergency medical treatment. Furthermore, Michael Jackson previously enlisted Hill to appear as backing singer for his ill-fated This Is It Tour. Her album Back In Time would be Prince’s final side-project. To some, she was considered the Jonah of music legends. Judith’s debut solo album was dropped on the internet in March 2015 without fanfare or warning, slipped out as if it were something dodgy. The opposite is more true: It is remarkable. Hill is by no means afflicted with bad luck. The album rides high on a wave of excitement and Hill’s retrospection on her life, no narrative that’s downtrodden or downbeat but a story full with life and vitality. While the project is Hill’s and her creative vision powers through, the production shows Prince was still very much in top form during his final year, and his DNA is all over it this record. Back In Time is gloriously solid and its standout tracks (and there are plenty) are the funky as hell As Trains Go By and the sweeping Angel In The Dark, from start to end this collection is pure immersion. Shamefully under promoted, Back In Time deserved a far grander marketing strategy than a mere email list circulation.

Back In Time

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