In 1985 I walked into Nightwind’s Music & Video in Niles, Michigan. I was thumbing through the Prince divider when I discovered this surprising cut of wax between a Let’s Go Crazy and a When Doves Cry 12-inch-record (you’ll remember what those are if you’re a cool old person). It caught me off guard because while Paisley Park was supposed to the first single off the forthcoming album, Around The World In A Day, it was pulled back at the last minute and Raspberry Beret was issued instead (a wise commercial move). Yeah, I know. This is the sort of semi-useless information only Prince freaks know. Guilty as charged.
I immediately clutched it to my chest like an old lady grasping her pearls walking down a dark alley. I looked around. To the left. To the right. Behind me. Then I thought “What if this isn’t supposed to be out here? What if they won’t sell it to me?” Clearly, I would be getting away with something when I walked up to the register.
I nervously made my way to the counter where a dark-haired, mulleted (hey, it was the 80s), thickly bespectacled fellow rang me up without consequence. I hustled my tightly clenched, lily-white ass home immediately and dropped the needle on the record almost before I removed it from its sheath.
The B side was the regular version of the song along with the legendary non-album cut, She’s Always In My Hair. That would have been enough on its own to make me deliriously (no pun intended…maybe) happy. However, the true prize was the A side. The reason why all the oxygen left my body when I pulled it out of that dusty bin in the first place. It was the Paisley Park remix.
An 8 minute plus extended version of the song with all sorts of extra sounds swimming on top of the original track. Planes taking off and landing. Gulls chirping by the sea. Waves crashing on the beach. A DJ throwing in some scratches. Backwards tape loops. A stuttered drum beat in the back half, and all sorts of scorching guitar bracketing the middle of the record.
It is a beast.
The thing is, I went on to work in music retail for close to ten years (including five years managing the very store I plucked this rarity out of), and I’ve been crate digging for more than thirty. Never once have I seen this gorgeous black disc again. Believe me, I’ve looked. I love it so much I’d like to have a back up.
There aren’t many items I own that I would whup some ass over, but this is certainly one. Most of my other possessions are either replaceable or just not that important to me. This thing though? It doesn’t leave the house unless I move out of this shack or when I die. And when I do kick, whoever gets it in my modest estate sale better damn well appreciate it, or I’m coming back from the dead and striking them down with furious anger. They better recognize.
I guess you could say Paisley Park is in my heart.
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