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Thread started 07/03/20 9:03am

soladeo1

If CAMILLE was released as a stand alone album in early ‘87....

It would rightfully be considered to be perhaps “Prince’s”
greatest album ever.

It’s a god-smacking masterpiece, from the first second.

The perfect summary of his genius and uniqueness and playfulness and
mirth and mystery.

All killer, no filler.
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Reply #1 posted 07/03/20 10:16am

Farfunknugin

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His greatest album ever? Umm no but a great display of his studio creativity, yes.
[Edited 7/3/20 10:16am]
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Reply #2 posted 07/03/20 10:30am

emesem

LOL no. It would have been considered a wierd, self-indulgent, semi-interesting EP. I've often think the Camille songs should be rereleased within normal voice.

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Reply #3 posted 07/03/20 11:38am

lavendardrumma
chine

It wouldn't unseat Purple Rain but I agree with the general idea that it was a solid record that would been everything fans and critics wanted from Prince. It's missing like...one song maybe...and people are going to argue that not putting out SOTT would have ended the world.

You're also going to get a lot of pushback because there are some people who don't like the Camille songs or don't see the point of collecting them for some curious reason.

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Reply #4 posted 07/03/20 11:47am

herb4

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emesem said:

LOL no. It would have been considered a wierd, self-indulgent, semi-interesting EP. I've often think the Camille songs should be rereleased within normal voice.


Well...the it's not really Camille then so I vote no. The sped up voice is almost the entire point of the record and indicative of the stuff he was messing around with in the studio.

I agree with others that it would be seen as a one off/EP/side project or experimental thing. Releasing it as is without his name on it admittedly would have been a lot of fun but, even living on in as it exists now via bootlegs, the mystique is still there. During this time (and it's well documented) Prince was recording full albums for days at a pace no one else could match and the record industry just simply wasn't set up to handle, which was the early genesis of a lot Prince's problems with his label/contract.

This has all been well documented.

I seriously doubt the album would have been a big seller (or even made a DENT commercially) and and honestly tend to think the mystery surrounding it NOW has rasied its status even MORE than it would have been had it seen an official release. The music is great and it's a nifty little concept that Prince probably knocked off in 6 months or so - another album in the can for for a system not designed to deal with prolific art.

It's still not.

Artists release a new "Album" these days every five years. Might have been a cool throw in for the upcoming SoTT Deluxe but I'm happier having unheard vault tracks TBH.

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Reply #5 posted 07/03/20 1:57pm

jstar69

One of my all time favs. Can’t wait to get ROTF in excellent quality(the version I have is pretty close to excellent). However a lot of my friends who aren’t prince fans think his speed up voice is a little chipmunkish - my usual response, Whatever!
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Reply #6 posted 07/03/20 2:15pm

homesquid

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It would be highly-regarded/rated but would have sold poorly. No hit singles. I'm glad he didn't release it. He did the right thing releasing "SOTT". WB was right to limit it to a double album too.

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Reply #7 posted 07/03/20 2:43pm

VaultCurator

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soladeo1 said:

It would rightfully be considered to be perhaps “Prince’s” greatest album ever. It’s a god-smacking masterpiece, from the first second. The perfect summary of his genius and uniqueness and playfulness and mirth and mystery. All killer, no filler.

I consider the ‘Camille’ album to be top tier and a personal favourite of mine, and even I have to respectfully disagree. It’s incredibly funky, versatile, and has a lot of energy about it, but it doesn't have the grandeur of a ‘Purple Rain’, ‘1999’ or even a ‘Gold Experience’.

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Reply #8 posted 07/03/20 3:02pm

WhisperingDand
elions

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emesem said:

LOL no. It would have been considered a wierd, self-indulgent, semi-interesting EP. I've often think the Camille songs should be rereleased within normal voice.

...do you also think he should've just ca$hed out with Purple Rain II in '85? Eh, maybe give it a couple years first, let the public properly digest the first one for 3-4 years?

please. horrible post.

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Reply #9 posted 07/03/20 3:44pm

LoveGalore

Camille is what people want the Black Album to be - quirky, funky, weird, sexy, alluring. It succeeds in all the ways Black Album horribly fails.
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Reply #10 posted 07/03/20 3:58pm

TrivialPursuit

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Not even close to his great album. You think Camille would be Controversy, 1999, or Purple Rain?

Have a seat on that one.

I'd agree with LoveGalore a bit. The Black Album has more hype than really great songs. It had a few but stuff like "Bob George" or "Dead On It," while comical, don't lend much to something I'd wanna hear over and over. Good opening tracks, but "Rock Hard" is just sorta trudging along. "2 Nigs" sounds like a Madhouse outtake (and would've served excellent as a b-side to "6" or "10"). "Superfunky" is a workout and deserves a spot on an album somewhere.

Camille is a really strong album. No real storyline per se, and the cohesiveness comes partly in the voice. But it is chocked full of strong songs. "Housequake," "Strange Relationship," "Feel U Up," "Shockadelica," "If I Was Your Girlfriend." It feels more carnal than The Black Album and frankly would've juxtaposed Lovesexy better. Oddly, we may not have had Lovesexy had it no been for Prince seeing the devil and doing X and regretting TBA.



"eye don’t really care so much what people say about me because it is a reflection of who they r."
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Reply #11 posted 07/03/20 4:22pm

mbdtyler

Swap out "Good Love" and maybe one other song for "Crystal Ball", and I honestly think it would have rivaled SOTT as we know it as a single-disc/LP release
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Reply #12 posted 07/03/20 4:28pm

SoulAlive

LoveGalore said:

Camille is what people want the Black Album to be - quirky, funky, weird, sexy, alluring. It succeeds in all the ways Black Album horribly fails.


I agree.
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Reply #13 posted 07/03/20 4:51pm

LoveGalore

TrivialPursuit said:

Not even close to his great album. You think Camille would be Controversy, 1999, or Purple Rain?

Have a seat on that one.

I'd agree with LoveGalore a bit. The Black Album has more hype than really great songs. It had a few but stuff like "Bob George" or "Dead On It," while comical, don't lend much to something I'd wanna hear over and over. Good opening tracks, but "Rock Hard" is just sorta trudging along. "2 Nigs" sounds like a Madhouse outtake (and would've served excellent as a b-side to "6" or "10"). "Superfunky" is a workout and deserves a spot on an album somewhere.

Camille is a really strong album. No real storyline per se, and the cohesiveness comes partly in the voice. But it is chocked full of strong songs. "Housequake," "Strange Relationship," "Feel U Up," "Shockadelica," "If I Was Your Girlfriend." It feels more carnal than The Black Album and frankly would've juxtaposed Lovesexy better. Oddly, we may not have had Lovesexy had it no been for Prince seeing the devil and doing X and regretting TBA.





I'm very surprised Superfunky didn't end up on SOTT. Smack dab in the middle of the sessions, around the time he is disbanding the Rev and itching to get back to something more akin to his grimier days, and yet it gets passed up for stuff like Starfish and Coffee
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Reply #14 posted 07/03/20 5:22pm

radicalrojo

I tend to think that if he'd have gone through on Camille as a concept, he'd have placed something like "U Got the Look" on it as an opener or lead single just to prop it up. I know he hadn't recorded "U Got The Look" by the time he'd scraped the Camille album, but my guess is he would have done something like that.

Also, for what it's worth, he hadn't released an album with only 8 songs since Controversy. Interesting that he also scrapped The Black Album, which also had only 8. He didn't release an album with that few of songs until those jazz records in the 00s.

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Reply #15 posted 07/03/20 6:56pm

bonnie184

Camille has arguably the greatest Prince song ever, iiwyg. Not a commercial success, but a fan favorite. Speculating, he might have promoted it better, possible video, who knows. I think if released, Housequake could have been the lead single. Strange Relationship could have been a single. A few options for singles actually.


Success is also based on promotion, and if he wanted to promote it it would have been a success. It's a stellar album, although not as good as SOTT. Probably would have sold well, $9.99 on cassette. SOTT also suffered due to the price tag. I remember working in a record store and people couldn't get past the price tag. The CD listed at like $35. Best Buy wasn't around yet to start the $9.99 price war.


Also An EP is 5 or 6 tracks and 30 minutes or less. 8 track albums were still common back then. When CD started hold 70 plus minutes. Things changed, everybody wanted more material and albumd started suffering because more minutes equals more songs. "filler tracks" started appearing, which lead to weaker albums.

[Edited 7/3/20 18:57pm]

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Reply #16 posted 07/03/20 7:20pm

SquirrelMeat

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As with any Prince project, the problem was never an issue of quality, it was an issue of artistic commitment to promote.

Good Love and Feel U Up were very commercial in the context of 1986. But Prince was more interested in mystery / enigma / re-invention at this point his career. He was having a musical equivalent of a mid-life crisis, ironically, producing some of his best work.

.
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Reply #17 posted 07/03/20 9:00pm

databank

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homesquid said:

It would be highly-regarded/rated but would have sold poorly. No hit singles. I'm glad he didn't release it. He did the right thing releasing "SOTT". WB was right to limit it to a double album too.

So basically your main concern regarding P's career is how much money he and WB made? eek

How, exactly, did you benefit from P's record sales in 1987? eek

.

[Edited 7/3/20 21:00pm]

A COMPREHENSIVE PRINCE DISCOGRAPHY (work in progress ^^): https://sites.google.com/...iscog/home
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Reply #18 posted 07/03/20 9:14pm

databank

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SquirrelMeat said:

As with any Prince project, the problem was never an issue of quality, it was an issue of artistic commitment to promote.

Good Love and Feel U Up were very commercial in the context of 1986. But Prince was more interested in mystery / enigma / re-invention at this point his career. He was having a musical equivalent of a mid-life crisis, ironically, producing some of his best work.

A good symptom of what you say the the totally odd choice of Shockadelica as Camille's leas single, while typically Good Love was the obvious choice, or Housequake, or Strange Relationship, Feel U Up indeed, or basically pretty much anything on the album before Shockadelica lol (not that I dislike the song, it's just not very commercial, therefore illustrating P's need for commercial self-sabotage in the name of reinvention).

.

To get back to the OP's question, I's say the question is more whether it would even have been marketed, and considered by critics, as Prince's official 1987 album or if it would have been labeled as some kind of side-project à la Madhouse, with a proper "Prince" canon album to follow a little bit later in 1987 (and, knowing Prince, this would have been likely to happen)? The way I see it, Camille was more of a pre-Black Album concept (dark, funky and anonymous), not to be perceived as a canon Prince record. It's possible it would today be praised as an awesome Prince album, or that it would be completely forgotten, stuck as it would have been between Parade and the "proper" 1987 Prince album.

.

Of note is that the OP was talking about critical acclaim and legacy only, never even addressing sales. But for some really sad reason, everyone brings it back to the mundane matter of sales, as if sales has anything to do with great art, and vice versa. I don't think Bill Laswell fans ever address the matter of sales when discussing his records, just sayin'.

.

This is the result of mass media brainwashing, and the way they managed to make the average person believe great artists are multimillion sellers while indie artists are unintersting and boring. This really is the morbid triumph of cheap capitalist entertainment over arts and culture sad

A COMPREHENSIVE PRINCE DISCOGRAPHY (work in progress ^^): https://sites.google.com/...iscog/home
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Reply #19 posted 07/03/20 11:13pm

BartVanHemelen

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databank said:

Of note is that the OP was talking about critical acclaim and legacy only, never even addressing sales. But for some really sad reason, everyone brings it back to the mundane matter of sales, as if sales has anything to do with great art, and vice versa. I don't think Bill Laswell fans ever address the matter of sales when discussing his records, just sayin'.

.

Prince is a pop artist.

© Bart Van Hemelen
This posting is provided AS IS with no warranties, and confers no rights.
It is not authorized by Prince or the NPG Music Club. You assume all risk for
your use. All rights reserved.
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Reply #20 posted 07/03/20 11:15pm

TrivialPursuit

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LoveGalore said:


I'm very surprised "Superfunky" didn't end up on SOTT. Smack dab in the middle of the sessions, around the time he is disbanding the Rev and itching to get back to something more akin to his grimier days, and yet it gets passed up for stuff like "Starfish and Coffee."


That's not totally implausible. Disk 1 of SOTT feels slightly less cohesive than Disk 2. Disk 2's only issue, for me and I previous stated this elsewhere, was "The Cross." And while I love "Beautiful Night," it could have been omittied in favor of including something like "Superfunky" somewhere on the record. I'd even swap "IT" for "Feel U Up," although I like the song. It could've found life as a b-side instead.

There is some sort of charm to the Camille tracks being scattered about the way they were, even thru 1988 with "Scarlet Pussy." Reminds me of what he did with the HIGH album tracks.

"eye don’t really care so much what people say about me because it is a reflection of who they r."
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Reply #21 posted 07/04/20 12:05am

databank

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BartVanHemelen said:

databank said:

Of note is that the OP was talking about critical acclaim and legacy only, never even addressing sales. But for some really sad reason, everyone brings it back to the mundane matter of sales, as if sales has anything to do with great art, and vice versa. I don't think Bill Laswell fans ever address the matter of sales when discussing his records, just sayin'.

.

Prince is a pop artist.

Yet he ain't Britney Spears or Kylie Minogue, is he?

A COMPREHENSIVE PRINCE DISCOGRAPHY (work in progress ^^): https://sites.google.com/...iscog/home
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Reply #22 posted 07/04/20 12:27am

databank

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BartVanHemelen said:

databank said:

Of note is that the OP was talking about critical acclaim and legacy only, never even addressing sales. But for some really sad reason, everyone brings it back to the mundane matter of sales, as if sales has anything to do with great art, and vice versa. I don't think Bill Laswell fans ever address the matter of sales when discussing his records, just sayin'.

.

Prince is a pop artist.

Besides, define "pop".

What is "pop"? Popular? How is a form of art's nature purely characterized by its popularity? And more interestingly when you begin looking into "art" or "avant-garde" or "experimental" music you do realize that past the few groundbreaking artists they are just as formulaic as pop, and that what was defined as "pop" at some point would have been (and often was) defined as "experimental" and "avant-garde" a decade or 2 later.

Not to want to sound ridiculously postmodernist or relativist, but this separation between "popular" art vs. "serious" art has been dismissed long ago.

It's just another way for, on one side, elites to dismiss anything that's "below" them (according to the standard in their community) and, on the other side, for major entertainment companies to lead "regular" poeple into dismissing anything that does not conform to the easy listening "popular" norm of the day as being "intellectual" and "boring". This is all total busllshit, and of all people I'm pretty sure you know it as well as I do wink

Either way, Prince's sales never had anything to do with the quality or inventiveness of his music. I'd even go as far as to say that his most succesfully commercial era is a paradox, because what were the odds that someone could produce such weird, crazy shit as he produced in the 80's yet meet mainstream success? Prince, if not for WB's heavy promotional support, should have been an obscure indie artist whose music was too "weird" for the average joe. He's not the only one: by the industry's standard, people like Kraftwerk, Björk or Kate Bush (to name a few) should never have met mass success either, they just happened to be on the right label, in the right place at the right time, and somehow manage to touch the masses with music that the entertainment industry usually tries to dismiss as "weird" and "boring".

[Edited 7/4/20 0:29am]

A COMPREHENSIVE PRINCE DISCOGRAPHY (work in progress ^^): https://sites.google.com/...iscog/home
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Reply #23 posted 07/04/20 10:19am

TrivialPursuit

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BartVanHemelen said:

databank said:

Of note is that the OP was talking about critical acclaim and legacy only, never even addressing sales. But for some really sad reason, everyone brings it back to the mundane matter of sales, as if sales has anything to do with great art, and vice versa. I don't think Bill Laswell fans ever address the matter of sales when discussing his records, just sayin'.

.

Prince is a pop artist.


"eye don’t really care so much what people say about me because it is a reflection of who they r."
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Reply #24 posted 07/04/20 1:19pm

emesem

WhisperingDandelions said:

emesem said:

LOL no. It would have been considered a wierd, self-indulgent, semi-interesting EP. I've often think the Camille songs should be rereleased within normal voice.

...do you also think he should've just ca$hed out with Purple Rain II in '85? Eh, maybe give it a couple years first, let the public properly digest the first one for 3-4 years?

please. horrible post.

ATWIAD is his weakest album of the 80s so yeah maybe. Camille as a album would have been a joke. Except for Erotic City (and maybe Rock Hard) the sped up voice is corny AF.

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Reply #25 posted 07/04/20 5:31pm

Moonbeam

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Eh, if released as is, it would be among the least great of his 80s albums, IMO, though still very good of course. It's still a very fun and fascinating "side project", and I agree with those who say they prefer it to The Black Album.

As far as critical acclaim goes, I don't think it would be as highly regarded as at least Purple Rain, 1999, Dirty Mind, or Parade. Among the songs that have been released in some form or another, only "If I Was Your Girlfriend" and "Housequake" place on acclaimedmusic, and neither as high as "Sign o' the Times".

Feel free to join in the Prince Album Poll 2018! Let'a celebrate his legacy by counting down the most beloved Prince albums, as decided by you!
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Reply #26 posted 07/05/20 4:01am

Moonbeam

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Regarding the discussion of Prince being a pop artist, he certainly was. A lot of his material represented a conscious effort to win over the pop crowd. Of course he was unique, and he fit into the 80s pop landscape in part because he played such a huge part in shaping it, but he had lots of hits for a reason! Take a song like "1999", which is a synth funk song at its core, but is loaded with pop hooks. Its pop appeal helped to make his innovation with the Linn-1 have such a big impact. You can make similar arguments for "Little Red Corvette", "Purple Rain", "Raspberry Beret", "I Would Die 4 U", "Kiss", "U Got the Look", etc. They all had massive pop appeal! That doesn't minimize what Prince did at all, and I agree with databank that the label of "pop" is too often used to divide listeners.

It's worth mentioning that Prince was often a reluctant pop artist, making moves seemingly designed to alienate pop crowds. But there were also many moments where he clearly courted the mainstream (Diamonds and Pearls, Rave Un2 the Joy Fantastic, Musicology) as well. A great part of what has made Prince so fascinating to follow is that he constantly changed his sound and style, finding new inspiration from a wonderfully diverse universe of sounds. But to deny that his journey didn't often intersect with the mainstream, and not merely by accident, misses the mark IMO.

[Edited 7/5/20 4:02am]

Feel free to join in the Prince Album Poll 2018! Let'a celebrate his legacy by counting down the most beloved Prince albums, as decided by you!
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Reply #27 posted 07/05/20 11:52am

mediumdry

it would have definitely been one of my favorites. Maybe not as great as Around The World In A Day, but, for me, it's better than any Prince album up to that point, on par with Parade..

Paisley Park is in your heart - Love Is Here!
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Reply #28 posted 07/05/20 12:11pm

databank

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Moonbeam said:

Regarding the discussion of Prince being a pop artist, he certainly was. A lot of his material represented a conscious effort to win over the pop crowd. Of course he was unique, and he fit into the 80s pop landscape in part because he played such a huge part in shaping it, but he had lots of hits for a reason! Take a song like "1999", which is a synth funk song at its core, but is loaded with pop hooks. Its pop appeal helped to make his innovation with the Linn-1 have such a big impact. You can make similar arguments for "Little Red Corvette", "Purple Rain", "Raspberry Beret", "I Would Die 4 U", "Kiss", "U Got the Look", etc. They all had massive pop appeal! That doesn't minimize what Prince did at all, and I agree with databank that the label of "pop" is too often used to divide listeners.

It's worth mentioning that Prince was often a reluctant pop artist, making moves seemingly designed to alienate pop crowds. But there were also many moments where he clearly courted the mainstream (Diamonds and Pearls, Rave Un2 the Joy Fantastic, Musicology) as well. A great part of what has made Prince so fascinating to follow is that he constantly changed his sound and style, finding new inspiration from a wonderfully diverse universe of sounds. But to deny that his journey didn't often intersect with the mainstream, and not merely by accident, misses the mark IMO.

[Edited 7/5/20 4:02am]

I certainly don't deny he was a pop artist and sometimes did his best to be. There even often was a conflict between the true artist he wanted to be and the multimillionaire superstar he also wanted to be. But he clearly was more than just a pop artist, unlike other acts who are little less than products.

A COMPREHENSIVE PRINCE DISCOGRAPHY (work in progress ^^): https://sites.google.com/...iscog/home
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Reply #29 posted 07/05/20 1:12pm

SantanaMaitrey
a

Alright, let's go back in time. Kiss was a hit. The film was a flop, but the tour was a success. And then we have Good Love or Housequake as a first single by Camille. Everybody knew that Prince used aliases and pseudonyms, so everybody would have known it was him. That would have created a buzz. Where's The Revolution? Why is he using this name? Is this his new direction? Lots of media attention! Yeah, I think this album would have been a hit.
[Edited 7/5/20 13:14pm]
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