Catalog # SAB015
Release Year 1997
CD Length 69:08
Date/Venue Broadcasts & Studio Outakes
Quality EX- / EX+
Fink's Comments (rates this release 4.5/5.0)
This is actually one of Sabotage's better early releases, and certainly one of the nicest covering the Emancipation era. The release begins off with the 'Freedom Concert' from Paisley Park. The show itself is hardly the most awe-inspiring performance Prince has ever given, but the show does include a rather unique and very enjoyable version of 'Joy In Repetition'.
The other tracks performed at the show went on to become regulars on the US 1997 tours, and the versions performed are identical, although slightly abridged. Next we have the version of '2morrow' which went on to appear on the official release of the 'Crystal Ball' album. I believe this is the earliest broadcast of the song (hence it's inclusion here), however it is identical to the released version. The complete Oprah Winfrey broadcast takes up the majority of this disc, and whilst it is an intriguing, farcical item to watch, as with most other TV interviews it doesn't really lend itself to an audio only release like this one.
Second to last is the Emancipation outtake 'Sarah' which is available on any of the larger outtake sets, but it is perfectly understandable why it has been included here. The final track on this set is 2m 30 seconds from the press conference given by Prince after the 'Freedom Concert' at Paisley Park. The sound quality is extremely poor and at times it is very hard to make out the questions being asked to Prince, and his reply. That said it is still a fascinating, rather rare addition.
The accompanying artwork and booklet of an extremely high standard with the usual stunning artwork and pictures - although no information of any kind. Overall this is one of Sabotage's better releases, and certainly one of the best of any label concerning the rather bland Emancipation era.
Deane's Comments (rates
this release 4/5.0)
The so-called 'Freedom day' concert was broadcast with Prince's permission and consequently the sound quality is first-rate. As is the show - very tight and funky with great performances of 'Joy in repetition' and 'One of us', amongst others. The Oprah Winfrey show is a mixed blessing. The music is good, very good even, but the interview has the potential to make you feel nauseous. Prince goes on about his undying love for Mayte, his supposedly 'split' personality and what it is like to be 'free'. The crowd laped it up but then this is Oprah! Part of a Paisley Park press conference rounds off the bootleg but the sound is very quiet and it's hard to make out everything that's being said.