America (Paisley Park/Warner Bros. 20389)
Though I love vinyl, I for one think that CDs have invigorated music collecting more than anything else in the past 30 years. They are so good in so many ways, and the reissue trend has brought to light a huge number of otherwise neglected releases. One sad thing about the mass-market death of vinyl, though, is that releases like this one will probably just fall through the cracks, and be known only to diehards.
What would be really cool would be a huge box set of all the remixes and uncollected versions of Princeís classic era stuff. This maxi-single features "America" from Around the World in a Day in a twenty-plus-minute version that is probably more interesting than the original song itself. As a song, "America" is fine, but as a twenty-minute song, it just rocks. Itís definitely more of a jam than a song, and the wildly indulgent soloing fuels this into a party unto itself. Then Side B offers the extended version of "Girl," at more than eight minutes a slight b-side, but still a good song.
So this is like 30 minutes of prime-era Prince that you otherwise can not get on CD. Of course, I would probably not listen to it much on CD, but on vinyl it does make sense. Well, whatever, Iíll stop arguing both sides of my own point and just go back to getting my groove on.
Review by Barry Buhl