Catalog # SBS03
Release Year 1995
2CD Length 78:16 | 67:58
Date/Venue 12 Dec 1981 Columbia / 4 Feb 1982 Saginaw
Deane's Comments (rates this release 5/5.0)
Two excellent soundboard shows from the Controversy Tour. The shows are very much alike and both have excellent sound quality. Includes a 12 page booklet with period photos and very little information about the shows. City Lights is an amazing set of 11cds (9 shows) and is an important document of early Prince performances.
Dale's Comments (rates this release 4.75/5.0)
The only complaint I have about this part of the City Lights set is the show selection. It is meant to document the Controversy leg of the tour, yet the setlist of the shows they chose are closer to the Dirty Mind tour. At least one of the discs should have included "The Second Coming" intro and a few more Controversy tracks than appear on these shows. There are several good soundboard recordings that would be suitable replacements for at at least one of these discs, such as Bloomington 6 February 1982 which was released in 1995 on Moonlight 2CD. Overall still this is a wonderful and release, and a necessity in anyone's collection as there aren't too many soundboard recordings to choose from-from this time period. The shows are smooth and upbeat, and Prince performs them with a lot of angst. Often times replacing parts of songs with ad-lib lyrics and/or expletives.
Mike's Comments (rates this release 5/5.0)
The fantastic sound quality makes both of these shows well worth having. The only difference in the 2 sets is 'Sexy dancer', played in Columbia but not Saginaw, but Columbia comes across as a more special show anyway even without the extra song. The best document of the Controversy tour around.
Comments (rates this release 5/5.0)
This part of the City Lights set concentrates on 2 of the best quality soundboards circulating from the Controversy tour. Unfortunately both are incomplete and the set-lists are rather similar - however why these 2 particular shows have been chosen is rather obvious when you hear the quality of the recordings.
What is a little disappointing though is that neither of these Controversy recordings feature the show's opening 'The Second Coming' - having one of them feature that would have made this even better. The Columbia recording is fractionally better quality, however both are remarkably clear and sharp. The Columbia show is a good deal longer due in part to the fact 'Sexy Dancer' was performed, however a number of the long breaks between encores have been left intact - the show itself is only 5 minutes longer.
Both shows have a 5/6 second sound loss during the show (Columbia's occurs during 'Do Me, Baby' and Saginaw's during 'Controversy') but considering the overall quality it would be ungrateful to complain. In my personal opinion the Columbia concert is a slightly better show, however the lengthy version of 'Head' from the Saginaw show is very special and worthy of mention. Not only does it contain the usual guitar masturbation of other shows, but also includes what appears to be a keyboard/synth solo from Prince.
I can't praise these recordings highly enough, and this is without doubt one of the best quality, most important sets circulating. I should also point out that The Vault / Uptown claims that the show on Disc 1 is from an unknown venue in Columbus, Missouri. Prince clearly states "Columbia" various times throughout the show, and a little research has proven the exact venue to be the Carolina Coliseum at the University Of South Carolina.