Catalog # 085/86
Release Year 1999
2CD Length 70:21 | 57:42
Date/Venue 26 December 1998 Stuttgart Germany
Source Audience Recording
Fink's Comments (rates this release 4.75/5.0)
A surprisingly good Newpower Soul Festival concert and an excellent audience recording. The quality of the recording is surprisingly impressive and is certainly amongst the 3 best of the short European December 1998 concerts. The audience level is at an absolute minimum for nearly the entire duration of the show, and the first half of the recording is especially audience-free. The sound is very powerful and contains a certain amount of 'kick' which makes it extremely enjoyable, and I'd have no hesitation in saying this one of the best audience recordings from any of the 1998 shows.
The show itself is equally impressive, and whilst it is lacking a piano segment, Prince adds a few numbers which make this show pretty memorable. The first and most obvious is 'Computer Blue' which takes you completely by surprise and is an absolute joy to listen to. This is the only time it appeared on the tour and is performed rather uniquely. It's a bolt out of the blue, it's an evident crowd pleaser and when it kicks in it is THE highlight of the entire tour. Prince adds a line from Lenny Kravitz 'Are You Gonna Go My Way?' during the first verse, and as if that weren't special enough it is followed by another rarity in the form of an instrumental 'The Question Of U'. Normal service is resumed with '2001:Also Sprach Zarathustra' before there is a lengthy jam segment which incorporates parts from 'Flashlight' (instrumental), the chorus of 'Joy & Pain' along with instrumental portions of 'Talkin Loud & Sayin Nothing' with added keyboard flashes from Prince bearing a passing resemblance to 'Hypno Paradise' (the version of Hypno Paradise played here is not the track made available via the NPG Music Club, and although the packaging titles the jam as 'Hypno Paradise', it's stretching the truth a little).
The remainder of the show is pretty straightforward and certainly short of anything unusual. Without the addition of both 'Computer Blue' and 'The Question Of U', this would have been a very enjoyable concert with a pretty typical set-list, however the fact these 2 tracks are played makes this one of the best, most unique shows of the tour. Add to that the fact the recording is one of the best for it's time - and you have an excellent release by Sabotage. My one tiny query is that 'Purple Rain' seems to end very abruptly, although whether that's down to an edit on Sabotage's part or not I'm unclear. The accompanying booklet is fairly decent with some quality pictures and a report of the show by someone in attendance.
Comments (rates this release 4.5/5.0)
One of the best concerts from the brief European tour of December 1998. Several one-offs here, including 'Hypno paradise' and 'Computer blue', and with Prince on great form throughout this is well worth getting.