Purple Snow: Forecasting The Minneapolis Sound
Here we have a double disc compilation that aims to place some of the antecedents to that disco/funk/soul/R’n’B/pop sound that Prince made his own. A goldmine for deep-cut enthusiasts, Purple Snow: Forecasting The Minneapolis Sound features plenty of obvious names including early Jam and Lewis, Alexander O’Neal and 94 East but it gets pretty obscure too – we even hear a solo track from Andre Cymone, part of Prince’s stable at one time.
Prince of course had the vision – he was the one that packaged it all up, and he had the talent, sure. A gifted writer, singer and player, but this compilation definitely features some nuggets – there are plenty of gems here. And a Prince fan is going to want to spend some time unpacking this.
Casual fans need not apply, there’s probably too much slow-jam and dated-sounding meandering pop here for all but the keenest of hip-hop heads, crate diggers and disciples of the Purple One. But if you give this the time it plays through nicely overall – the meandering moments are part of the fun.
Worth it for the small fistful of gems such as Mind & Matter’s Sunshine Lady, Ronnie Robbins’ Contagious, Orville Shannon’s Oh Lover and 94 East’s opening track, If You See Me.
Hey, of course there’s a lot more magic here too. Depends of course on how deep you want to go, on how keen you are. But it’s certainly an interesting compilation. And though Prince Rogers Nelson might not have been across all of what’s here – and eventually competing with some of it, surpassing all of it rather swiftly too – you just know he was listening. He was hearing this. A lot of what’s here helped make him the mountain of music, the fountain of funk that he is once again today and that – most importantly – he was across that crucial first decade of his solo career.