Catalog # SAB 177/178/179/180
Release Year 2002
4CD Length 77.43 | 72.27 | 75.20 | 78.15
Date/Venue Purple Rain Tour Rehearsals
Source Soundboard Recordings
Mike's Comments (rates this release 5/5.0)
A great round-up of Purple rain-era rehearsals. Quite a number of the songs featured were played rarely, if at all, during the concerts of 1984-85 which makes this set very interesting to anyone who has graduated beyond being a casual fan. The first rehearsal here is for the birthday show of 1984, the second pre-dates the start of the Purple rain tour by just under a month and is by and large a performance of the regular setlist, while the third is most likely in preparation for the 'homecoming' St. Paul concerts just after Christmas 1984. This is definitely recommended.
Discs 1 and 2 concentrate on rehearsals in preparation for Prince's upcoming 26th birthday concert at First Avenue on 7th June 1984. The rehearsal on Disc 1 suffers terribly from hissing in places, and it is extremely audible during both 'Irresistible Bitch' (where it's at it's worst) and 'When We're Dancing Close And Slow'. A number of the tracks during the mid-section of the rehearsal also have a very annoying clicking/whirring sound. The opening '17 Days' has a number of edits throughout where the tape was incomplete and Sabotage have done a decent job of making it run as smoothly as possible. The running order of the songs must also be called in to question as most other releases of this rehearsal have the tracks performed in a different order - just because The Vault states this as the running order doesn't necessarily make it true - something Sabotage are guilty of constantly. The rehearsal itself, whilst being very enjoyable, really holds little of interest in terms of the performance. More or less this is a straight run-through with a fair amount of work done on teaching the band the intro to 'Possessed'. As always a "live" performance of 'Something In The Water' is a personal highlight, however this particular one fades out prematurely. A good rehearsal, but the quality of the recording is very frustrating at times.
The rehearsal featured on Disc 2 is as close to the actual birthday performance we have, and judging by the performance it surely must have taken place days before the show itself. A video recording of this rehearsal is circulating with the best version so far being Habibi's 'Roadhouse Rehearsal'. The rehearsal features various takes on the (as yet) unreleased 'Our Destiny / Roadhouse Garden' which makes this a little more special with their inclusion. The remainder of the rehearsal is performed as if it were in front of a crowd and features Prince calling out various shouts "Thank you for making this number 1 for 69 weeks", etc, etc. Unfortunately as with the rehearsal on Disc 1 the quality leaves a little to be desired. It is certainly not the clearest or cleanest recording in circulation and is also very thin. I can only presume this has been sourced from the circulating video recording due to the unimpressive quality.
Disc 3 contains a full scale rehearsal for the Purple Rain tour and appears to be a complete production with lighting and stage effects due to various comments Prince makes throughout regarding sound issues, dry ice and lighting problems. Musically it's rather uninteresting as very little out of the ordinary takes place, however it is fascinating to hear Prince performing the set (complete with "who screamed first, was it you?" speech) as this is the only full scale rehearsal currently circulating. Interestingly prior to 'The Beautiful One's there is a short segue which appears to have been dropped by the time the tour opened in November. It consists of the woman crying backwards from the scene in Prince's bedroom from Purple Rain (which later went on to make an appearance on the 2004 Musicology tour). The recording again suffers from an audible hiss throughout, but is certainly less intrusive than the rehearsals on Disc 1 & 2. Moving on to Disc 4 we have a rehearsal from winter 1984 which eagle-eyed folks will recognise as being previously released on 'Purple Rush 1' - and raises a genuine question as to why it is also on this release. I'm baffled as to it's inclusion and the accompanying booklet contains no information as to why it's been repeated on this release. The content is exactly the same and the only audible difference appears to be the tape hiss has been reduced. It's a minimal improvement, but certainly not enough to justify the rehearsal being released twice. Disc 4 closes out with a short rehearsal focusing on material for The Family from summer 1984, along with the final track from the Purple Rain tour rehearsal from Disc 3.
This particular volume of the Purple Rush series is
undoubtedly the poorest in terms of quality and content. The first 2 rehearsals
do contain some very rare tracks, but the quality is very questionable. Disc 3
is certainly the best quality, but the content is not very impressive. Disc 4 is
rehashed material and not at all worthy of inclusion. The accompanying booklet
(as with all other Purple Rush volumes) contains text lifted directly from
Uptown/The Vault and is unimaginative, very lazy and piss-poor.