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Thread started 06/22/17 5:44am

SoftSkarlettLo
visa

Rave Un2 The Joy Fantastic album - a success or a flop?

"Rave" is one of my favourite Prince albums. There was quite a bit of promotion for the album, and Prince even went a bit mainstream by collaborating with popstars such as Gwen Stefani and even answers to the question "Who would win in a fist fight? You or Michael Jackson?"

I read somewhere though that the album was a flop, and failed to sell the minimum required amount of records to make profit.

Then I also read that fans regard the album as a milestone in Prince's career, that is up there with Purple Rain.

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Reply #1 posted 06/22/17 5:48am

feeluupp

Prince had periods where his main objective was to gain his commercial clout back... The three most signifcant years for that were, 1991 Diamonds & Pearls, 1999 Rave, 2004 Musicology...

His 1982 - 1984 years there was so much hype and talk about Prince he could put out anything he would be commercial... 1999 sold over 6 million and you know the history with his next release, that was a 25 million plus seller...

1991 with D&P he did promotion more than he did with all his albums in the 80's combined... He hired MJ's manager Frank Dileo and promoted the album properly and it sold just under 7 million to this day...

1999 was supposed to be another big comeback and he signed with Clive Davis after he saw that Davis rejuvinated Santanas career with Supernatural being a major seller... Obv it didn't happen... Commercially RAVE was a flop, he was everywhere with the promotion but the look and sound just didn't fit the scope of music during that year. RAVE just went GOLD in USA barely selling over 500,000 copies.

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Reply #2 posted 06/22/17 5:48am

nextedition

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I never heard any call it a milestone. Think its one of his worst albums.
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Reply #3 posted 06/22/17 5:59am

thisisreece

nextedition said:

I never heard any call it a milestone. Think its one of his worst albums.

That's a milestone in itself.

Hundalasiliah!
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Reply #4 posted 06/22/17 6:12am

thx185

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SoftSkarlettLovisa said:

Then I also read that fans regard the album as a milestone in Prince's career, that is up there with Purple Rain.

I've never heard the released albums (Rave Un2 or Rave In2) called milestones by fans.

.

It seems possible you might have heard some fans raving biggrin about the unreleased project from the late 80s with the same name. I'm one of those -- I think the leaks of unreleased tracks we have from that project are amazing. I still wouldn't personally call it milestone material, but is is pretty much my favorite unreleased project (that we know about).

"..free to change your mind"
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Reply #5 posted 06/22/17 6:23am

databank

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SoftSkarlettLovisa said:

"Rave" is one of my favourite Prince albums. There was quite a bit of promotion for the album, and Prince even went a bit mainstream by collaborating with popstars such as Gwen Stefani and even answers to the question "Who would win in a fist fight? You or Michael Jackson?"

I read somewhere though that the album was a flop, and failed to sell the minimum required amount of records to make profit.

Then I also read that fans regard the album as a milestone in Prince's career, that is up there with Purple Rain.

I take it that you weren't there at the time.

.

Between 1995 and 2001, Prince was in an all time low: not only, at least in Europe, did the general public lose track of what he was up to but, for the first time, he wasn't hip anymore: tastemakers, critics and hipsters had moved on and Prince was considered a has-been of sorts. I think after the initial excitement over the namechange and dropping WB, people realized that nothing was really about to happen. Rave was released in that context, and as such mostly ignored. IDK if it failed to make profit, but it sold low by Prince's pre-1994 standards. Reportedly, it sold almost 800,000 copies worldwide, which is not bad at all, but in an era when record sales were at an all-time high and for an artist who used to sell between 2M-5M per album for a decade, it was a disappointment.

.

Commercially speaking, the choice of the first single wasn't too smart, at least in regards to P's demographics (people between 20 and 35, who were either too old or too young for a soft ballad like that in those years of indie rock, electronica, trip-hop, classic funk revival, gangsta rap and Neptunes R&B), and Prince quickly had a falling out with Arista regarding low early sales, which led to the album's promotional campagn to be abruptly stopped. The album was released in November and, by January, was dead: no more singles, no more ads, no more aiplay, no more TV shows, nada. Most people didn't even know it was out there. The fact that the music video for TGRES was delivered weeks after its release obviously didn't help rolleyes Given that, 3 years earlier, EMI had went bankrupt and ceased promoting Emancipation a mere 3 months after its release, it sounded like a curse of sorts sad

.

I was part of a minority of fans who totally LOVED those years, musically speaking, and Rave was on heavy rotation at home, so I'm not very representative, but indeed most fans were very hostile to the so-called "plastic sound" of those years. However, given that I listened to it all the time, most of my friends (we were in our early 20's) got to hear it, and I remember the feedback was positive overall. Has a song like Undipsuted, Hot Wit U or So Far So Pleased been the lead single, with a good music video, it may have worked.

.

Prince did an extensive tour of TV shows in Europe in late 99, but he chose to play either TGRES (in the most conservative shows) or Baby Knows (in the ones targeted at a younger audience) or both. Baby Knows, with it's American Texan feel, wasn't much more to the taste of young late 90's European than TGRES.

.

So in the end, given all the factors above, the album was critically and commercially doomed from the start. A pity for one of P's most commercial and accessible records, it could and should have been D&P 2.

.

This doesn't change the fact that I had a total ball with all the music Prince released during those years. Those records remain the soundtrack of my early 20's, and I love them all deeply.

A COMPREHENSIVE PRINCE DISCOGRAPHY (work in progress ^^): https://sites.google.com/...iscog/home
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Reply #6 posted 06/22/17 6:50am

BoraBora



To me, the 1999 "Rave" is a "wannabe" album.

To relaunch commercially his career it was coinceved as the P version of Santana's "Supernatural", and this is its great defect.

Musically it is a mixed bag, searchin' too much to be trendy in many places.

On top of all, when you choose TGREBS as the 1st single instead of "So Far So Pleased" it is obvious you're missing the goal.



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Reply #7 posted 06/22/17 7:19am

maceoparker007

RAVE IN2 THE JOY FANTASTIC is so much better than the standard album

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Reply #8 posted 06/22/17 7:20am

Poplife88

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Total flop. A bloated mess of an album and it was handled horribly. Not sure if it was Prince or Clive or a combo of both but the thing in most aspects just didn't work. Of course there are great songs on there (I Love U but Don't Trust U being my fave of the bunch) , and I think the remix album (In2) is a huge improvement, but looking back this was not a fun time being a Prince fan.

We're gonna need a bigger boat
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Reply #9 posted 06/22/17 7:35am

fen

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databank said:

SoftSkarlettLovisa said:

Then I also read that fans regard the album as a milestone in Prince's career, that is up there with Purple Rain.

I take it that you weren't there at the time.

.

Between 1995 and 2001, Prince was in an all time low: not only, at least in Europe, did the general public lose track of what he was up to but, for the first time, he wasn't hip anymore: tastemakers, critics and hipsters had moved on and Prince was considered a has-been of sorts. I think after the initial excitement over the namechange and dropping WB, people realized that nothing was really about to happen. Rave was released in that context, and as such mostly ignored. IDK if it failed to make profit, but it sold low by Prince's pre-1994 standards. Reportedly, it sold almost 800,000 copies worldwide, which is not bad at all, but in an era when record sales were at an all-time high and for an artist who used to sell between 2M-5M per album for a decade, it was a disappointment.

I distinctly remember buying this album from a small independent record store where I lived. I would have been around 19. It was the kind of place that was a labour of love for the owner, an affable man of Indian descent who had an encyclopedic knowledge of music and liked to share it. I asked for the new Prince album, he smiled kindly and said “It's supposed to be a good one”, almost sympathetically. His young assistant, a doleful young man wearing a Nirvana t-shirt turned and spat vehemently “Prince is f@!king shit!”. The owner corrected him and said that his old stuff was great, but the young man just snorted and disappeared into the stock room. I don't think that I read a single review during this period that didn't contain the phrase “a return to form” (although they often differed on whether a particular album was or wasn't one). I was still a fawning young fan who eagerly swallowed everything that he put out, but few of my peers were interested in Prince or had any appreciation of his previous work. Most were overtly hostile. I was just annoyed that the title track had been edited down (I'd always liked the track).

[Edited 6/22/17 7:53am]

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Reply #10 posted 06/22/17 8:19am

mediumdry

I had the "privilege" of being invited to a pre-release listening party for the album. So I was there with my brother and a few other Prince fan friends. The place was filled with roughly 50 fans and some record company people. Before the start, there was excitement.

.

The more songs were being played, the more the atmosphere went down and the more polite the applause. I don't think too many people stayed afterwards, even though there were supposed to be some drinks.

.

Relative to the hype, I feel this is his worst album. Whoever thought this would work was clearly out of their minds. I just checked at Princevault to see a quick overview of his albums... to me, this is a milestone album in that it is the worst. (because of the amount of him tryiing so hard to make something that would top the charts)

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Reply #11 posted 06/22/17 8:32am

BoraBora



On a side note, I never understood the use of the original 1989 version of Rave as the title track and opener for the album.
As a fan from the 80's like me, to have it was a treat, but placed in an album ten years later doesn't seem the most inspired of the choice.
And to be honest, after being used to the live fast version, this slow version doesn't scream for a place in the "Top Parade of P outtakes". It's nice, but that's all.


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Reply #12 posted 06/22/17 9:15am

TrivialPursuit

First, the album was definitely not a milestone. That point in his career was, because it was new music, a new distribution deal, it was 1999 and we all knew what that meant, there was all this Clive & Prince chatter, etc. It was an interesting time in his career, but the album itself was not a milestone. It did win a few awards, namely the award for the liner notes about animals and veganism or whatever.

The album flopped because of Prince. He waited forever to get a video out for "The Greatest Romance Ever Sold", hired a stripper to be in the video, and by the time it hit the airwaves, no one gave a shit. It was a horrible first single, a lame track, and as usual Prince's insight into what is a hit and what's not was glaringly lacking. Clive and everyone else fought him on the singles. TGRES was horrible all the way around. It drags along like a zombie's broken leg.

The singles should have been:

Baby Knows

Everyday Is A Winding Road

Man O' War

So Far, So Pleased (a planned single but canceled)

Wherever U Go, Whatever U Do

Or there abouts. TGRES should have never been a single. Even the Neptunes commented on their struggle to find a decent way to remix the song when offered.

The album had good potential, a handful of good songs for radio. He certainly played a lot of the songs on different TV appearances, etc. But of course, he blamed Clive, and not himself, for it not doing nearly as well as it could have done. It's noted that it debuted & peaked at #18 in the US, and made it to #17 in Canada. Did a bit better overseas, in limited areas.

It's not his worst record, but it isn't making too many folk's top 10 list, I would bet. I think paired down, it's a bit stronger. There is some fluff on there. (Strange But True, Sun Moon & Stars, TGRES, Silly Game). While I enjoy the Prince-esque approach to the album, the Linn programming, a few of the songs sounded flat in production. And despite The Rainbow Children having an organic quality about it, the aforementioned flat production seemed to be a precursor to later releases.

"Despite everything, no 1 can dictate who u r 2 other people." - Prince |
http://bit.ly/unboxingprince
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Reply #13 posted 06/22/17 9:26am

BoraBora

TrivialPursuit said:



The singles should have been:

Baby Knows

Everyday Is A Winding Road

Man O' War

So Far, So Pleased (a planned single but canceled)

Wherever U Go, Whatever U Do




I think the 1st single was to be SFSP, definitely.

It is the catchiest of all songs, good for remixes and a duet with a then in auge singer like Gwen Stefani.

Anyway, I can't see "Everyday Is A Winding Road" as a potential single.

I think it is one of the worst tracks ever released by P, a bad mashup of a drunk "Sleep Around" with a drunk Sheryl Crow song. Not deserving an album release.




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Reply #14 posted 06/22/17 9:29am

TXfan

It's actually the album that made me pull away from Prince. I'm not sure what it was, the outfit, the hair, or the music? I did get back into Prince after seeing him in concert again ( Musicology)
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Reply #15 posted 06/22/17 10:34am

2045RadicalMat
tZ

For certain it was a flop.

Promotion was blitzed and then it tanked, and like the poster above stated...it just disappeared. It wasn't hip with anybody, especially "my age group" which was in high school at the time.

Conspicuously it was listed in my yearbook as #1 "welcome return" for pop stars... I was a Prince fan and had not even heard about it (but then again I didn't have cable). It got no radio support...and if the glaring attempt was to do crossover success...the songs just didn't cut it.



My fav trax R:



Strange But True (too dense for a casual listener....great track but musically it's stagnant...me?....I get it)

Undisputed.... great track, but really not a duet. A guest spot with Chuck D that is "tasted, but wasted"....production minimalism also snipes at its bombast (which SHOULD be emphasised with a title like that)

TGRES - Los Tigres? .....Great song.... Would have fit a narrative music video. SHOULD HAVE BEEN FORCEFULLY INCLUDED IN SOME CROSS/FILM promotion. (soundtrack) wouldn't have fallen into obscurity.



....but all in all, it seemed too casually laid back. Nothing has "oomph" in it.



Eye Love U But I DOn't Trust U Anymore is fantastic, as is Tangerine.... the only fun song on it is PRETTYMAN... and that's thrown away.

It didn't sound like there was much fun on the album..

Everyday.... was done extremely well, but the low key production bogged down everything. I don't understand how this was the "most" they could get as contributions for a public "exploitation" album.



Nothing dancy. Nothing really "Upbeat/Positive".... SFSP has a little touch of positivity, but it's a dull ass song. Very little personality on it. Almost as if it was all done on sleeping pills. (a style he'd revisit with the "Bria Valente" album)

Maybe I'm too critical, but the WORST WORST WORST lack of consideration was putting such a weak ass opener on the album. Rave.... it's minimalist stuff... but even minimalism worked better on songs like "United states of division" and "S-E-X" in different days. This is just ludicrous to lead an album with such a dull start. That tinny drum loop would just make someone want to hit "skip"

the "tire screeching vocals" are great....but nothing saves it. It's dull

[Edited 6/22/17 10:42am]

[Edited 6/22/17 10:58am]

"Damn Dolores, pick another subject, please...introduce the carpet to something other than your knees...."
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Reply #16 posted 06/22/17 11:06am

Anthoknee

I remember buying Rave at a point when I was into his 90's records, I had even bought Emancipation and was sort of disappointed by it (it was the quality of some tracks that did it for me) but this is the record that broke me completely! The whole of the effort seemed way LESS that the sum of it's parts...Yes, I loved So Far, So Pleased and ILUBIDTUA but for every good idea there were a few bad ones like the guests and that it all came off as seriously desperate. Which isn't a vibe I ever got from Prince until this album. As a fan, I felt cheated because of how discombobulated it all sounded, like it was focus-grouped to death. About 4 months into 2000 I walked into the same record store I bought it from and there were was like 6 or 7 copies of it in the used bin so I guess I wasn't alone in my revulsion. Was it a flop? Unfortunately, yes. Is it his worst? Not by a long shot...

[Edited 6/22/17 12:50pm]

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Reply #17 posted 06/22/17 2:07pm

SpookyNopetopu
s

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I like it for what it's worth -- a very 'light' sort of album, but not, like, top form Prince. More like some stuff he was playing with that time he was really bored. lol

But no, it's not really an album I associate with Prince the SuperMusician.

I imagine myself inside your bedroom; oh, I imagine myself in your sky.
kitty cop
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Reply #18 posted 06/22/17 2:36pm

Identity

I can hardly believe it came out in 1999. It's such a terrible album. If only it were possible to return it today for a full refund. lol

💬 Fear no evil.
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Reply #19 posted 06/22/17 2:50pm

novabrkr

It seems that there is no consensus whatsoever what the good tracks on it are. Just like the case is with Emancipation.

I think one of the reasons for it is that the album is just stylistically incoherent. It's not a complete mess, but Prince should have made more consistent production choices for the songs included on the album.

I like it how he started using the LinnDrum again during that period, but the album just didn't really groove to me. It's clunky throughout. I guess that was the problem with a lot of music from that era though - not just a problem with Prince's stuff.

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Reply #20 posted 06/22/17 5:30pm

jaawwnn

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A flop a flop a flop a flop a flop a flop a flop.


That's not to say it's not without its merits, but good god a FLOOOOOP. And up there with Purple Rain? Don't make me laugh. Up there with Goldnigga and the Mayte album maybe.

novabrkr said:

It seems that there is no consensus whatsoever what the good tracks on it are. Just like the case is with Emancipation.

I think one of the reasons for it is that the album is just stylistically incoherent. It's not a complete mess, but Prince should have made more consistent production choices for the songs included on the album.

I like it how he started using the LinnDrum again during that period, but the album just didn't really groove to me. It's clunky throughout. I guess that was the problem with a lot of music from that era though - not just a problem with Prince's stuff.

yes this is very true, some of the tracks earmarked a few posts up as "singles" i'd put in amongst his worst ever tracks.



and then he leaves off a song as incredible as Beautiful Strange for the fanclub only version. and in doing so removes one of the other highlights? Oh Prince lol

[Edited 6/22/17 17:32pm]

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Reply #21 posted 06/22/17 5:33pm

rdhull

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This release was some sad times. I felt it was really over becuse it seemed we were still on the sidelines after all the fanfare. Even the promotional appearances (that morning show performance of baby Knows..egads). It did have some personal gems but still. Thank god 2004 happened.

And everytime I scratch my nails down someone else's back I hope you feel it.. WELL CAN YA FEEL IT?!
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Reply #22 posted 06/22/17 5:35pm

jaawwnn

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I was about 14 when this album came out, didn't know much by Prince bar Diamonds & Pearls and The Most Beautiful Girl. I heard The Greatest Romance and saw the album cover and swore off Prince for the best part of a decade.

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Reply #23 posted 06/22/17 5:40pm

rdhull

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jaawwnn said:

I was about 14 when this album came out, didn't know much by Prince bar Diamonds & Pearls and The Most Beautiful Girl. I heard The Greatest Romance and saw the album cover and swore off Prince for the best part of a decade.

lol damn! Good thing you hadnt picked up the Dirty Mind one

And everytime I scratch my nails down someone else's back I hope you feel it.. WELL CAN YA FEEL IT?!
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Reply #24 posted 06/22/17 5:43pm

jaawwnn

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rdhull said:

jaawwnn said:

I was about 14 when this album came out, didn't know much by Prince bar Diamonds & Pearls and The Most Beautiful Girl. I heard The Greatest Romance and saw the album cover and swore off Prince for the best part of a decade.

lol damn! Good thing you hadnt picked up the Dirty Mind one

ha i dunno, it's less ridiculous somehow. Plus if someone had played me that one at the time i'd probably have jumped right onboard.

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Reply #25 posted 06/22/17 5:57pm

thedance

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I have heard the Rave album sold 7.000 copies only in the UK back when it was released...

True, "Rave In 2" is far better. nod

Prince 4Ever. heart
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Reply #26 posted 06/22/17 5:58pm

rdhull

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thedance said:

I have heard the Rave album sold 7.000 copies only in the UK back when it was released...

True, "Rave In 2" is far better. nod

yeah, he talks shit about Questlove and D on the remix lol

And everytime I scratch my nails down someone else's back I hope you feel it.. WELL CAN YA FEEL IT?!
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Reply #27 posted 06/22/17 6:00pm

feeluupp

thedance said:

I have heard the Rave album sold 7.000 copies only in the UK back when it was released...

True, "Rave In 2" is far better. nod

Your right... The highest position it got on the U.K. charts was only #145

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Reply #28 posted 06/22/17 6:04pm

macaylasdad

i have taken better dumps then Rave! fart

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Reply #29 posted 06/22/17 6:08pm

luvsexy4all

this is what happens when u go out of your way to try to be commercial........however... most of it is excellent in its own way

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