Podcasts Political Beats

Episode 110: Eli Lake / Prince [Part 2]

(Warner Bros.)

Scot Bertram and Jeff Blehar are joined by Eli Lake to continue their discussion of Prince.

Introducing the Band:

Your hosts Scot Bertram (@ScotBertram) and Jeff Blehar (@EsotericCD) are joined by Eli Lake. Eli is a contributing editor at Commentary, and fellow at the Clements Center at UT-Austin. Follow him on Twitter at @EliLake.

Eli’s Music Pick: Prince, Pt. 2 (1985-1991)

Join us once again as we deepen our Strange Relationship with Prince! Eli rejoins the gang as they pick up their discussion of the amazing career of Prince Rogers Nelson in the aftermath of Purple Rain and Around The World In A Day and Eighties megastardom. Having conquered America his own way, yet endlessly restless and ambitious, Prince proceeds to wander through an ill-begotten movie project (Under The Cherry Moon, with the wildly underrated album Parade attached) and a period of indecision and various scrapped projects until finally he emerges with Sign O’ The Times in 1987. 

Now widely hailed as his greatest achievement, it didn’t sell at the time and inaugurated a period where Prince would increasingly go to war both with himself and his record label. Hear the early results on this episode, as we discuss the fascinating narrative that leads to Lovesexy (a CD he insisted be released as one single 44-minute-long track, to prevent listeners from skipping around), then Batman, then another unfortunate movie tied to a fantastic album, and finally his great commercial revival with Diamonds And Pearls. Yes, the dire rhymes of Tony M. are discussed. Yes, all the outtakes and discarded projects are discussed. And the story will only get stranger in our final episode, next time.