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Madhouse 16, Warner Bros. Records (1987) Madhouse 16 © 1987, Warner Bros. Records
Singles Review (3.5 / 5) Prince Biography Related Artists

Madhouse 16

Warner Bros. Records

Prince is playing drums on the title track 16 and he kills it.

The second album for Prince’s jazz side-project Madhouse, named 16 was recorded at between 30 July and 2 August 1987 right after the shooting of the Sign O’ The Times movie. All but one track was the first material recorded at Prince’s newly operational Paisley Park Studios. The remaining track Nine was recorded at Prince’s Galpin Blvd. home studio.

The album was preceded by Madhouse 8 and by the release of Madhouse’s second album, the musicians contributing to the project had broadened from just Prince and Eric Leeds, to now also include Sheila E, Levi Seacer and Matt Fink. Leeds Seacer and Fink, plus Dale Alexander (94 East) as guest drummer, was Prince’s opening act for the Sign O’ The Times Tour.

This follow up album continues the tradition begun by the first, naming it tracks numerically and so begins where the previous eight track debut album left off, thereby comprising tracks Nine to Sixteen, the last of which gives the name of the album, 16. Prince’s involvement on Madhouse 16 is credited under the pseudonym John Lewis.

Madhouse 24

cd24
Madhouse 24

Much of the material planned for a third Madhouse album was likewise recorded during same 30/31 July 1987 sessions for 16, with the remainder completed in December 1988. Following the nomenclature of previous Madhouse releases the third album was to be named 24. Prince co-wrote the material with Eric Leeds but the work was rejected by Warner Brothers in 1989, Prince later giving it to Leeds to re-work and evolve into his debut solo album released via Prince’s Paisley Park Records in 1991 under the name Times Squared. The Madhouse project was later revived with the recording of new material on 7 July 1993 and was intended for release during 1994/5, however for reasons unknown Prince pulled the project. 17 was the only track from 24 released in its original form, appearing in NPG Records 1994 compilation 1-800 NEW FUNK.

Madhouse

Sax/Flute/Keys
Eric Leeds
Drums
Sheila E.
Bass Guitar
Levi Seacer Jr.
Keyboards
Matt "Dr." Fink
All other instruments
Prince (credited as John Lewis)

Data

Production
Prince (as Madhouse)
Label
Paisley Park Records
Distribution
Warner Bros. Records
Cover/Design
Richard Litt and Laura LiPuma
Released
33 years, 5 months ago on 18 November 1987
Running Time
36:42
US Chart Peak
-
UK Chart Peak
-
Orig. Formats

Tracklist

  1. Nine (2:06) 1
  2. Ten (5:04) 2 3
  3. Eleven (6:13) 2
  4. Twelve (5:15) 1
  5. Thirteen (4:46) 1 3
  6. Fourteen (5:12) 1
  7. Fifteen (3:48) 2
  8. Sixteen (4:17) 2

1 Written by Prince.
2 Co-written by Prince and Eric Leeds.
3 Released as Singles.

Singles from Madhouse 16

(The Perfect) 10 single from Madhouse 16, Paisley Park Records (1987)

(The Perfect) 10

Paisley Park Records

Released
28 September 1987
US Chart Peak
-
UK Chart Peak
-
Format
  1. 10 [The Perfect Mix] (7:13)
  2. (The Perfect) 10 (3:51)
  3. Ten And ½ (3:18)
  4. Two (5:29)
13 single from Madhouse 16, Paisley Park Records (1988)

13

Paisley Park Records

Released
18 March 1988
US Chart Peak
-
UK Chart Peak
-
Format
  1. Thirteen [The Paisley Park Mix] (7:49)
  2. Thirteen And ¼ (5:47)
  3. Thirteen (4:46)
  4. Four (2:24)

Supporting tour

Sign O’ The Times Tour

Sign O’ The Times Tour

1987

Madhouse 16 – review

There can be little disputing sax god Eric Leeds’s contribution to and the footprint he left on Prince’s catalogue. To have inspired Prince to fill three albums worth of material – 24 tracks in total – much can be said for the gentle Eric Leeds. Credited for introducing Prince to the world of jazz in 1986, the style featured heavily in the Sign O’ The Times Tour. Madhouse 16 is the project’s follow-up album to 8, recorded straight off the back of the shooting of the Sign O’ Times movie. Albeit for this occasion, the ensemble became a larger band and the outcome is a larger production – the key influence remaining Prince and Leeds. The album opens with the frantic Nine and sets out a more formulaic tone than the predecessor 8, in that once a melody is found it is worked over some more minutes, this approach is continued with Ten, Eleven and Thirteen, although the effect is still pleasing. The album takes flight midway through, Twelve raising tension as if it were written for a gameshow and has the flair of Prince’s Courtin’ Time. The top track is one of the most delicate ever produced by Prince – Fourteen, should there be ever need of proof enough Leeds is a virtuoso with the flute this is case closed. It betters, but only slightly, the ever climbing Fifteen. Leeds was right when we said Prince kills the drums on Sixteen – he lets fly – and closes the album in Prince’s typical ‘leave em begging for more’ style. If there was ever a showcase to Prince’s depth of talent the Madhouse project fits the bill perfectly. Without it, there would have been no The Rainbow Children.

Madhouse 16

Related release

Madhouse 8

Madhouse 8

Warner Bros. Records (1987)

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