The follow up album to “Sign Of The Times” was to be Prince’s darkest and funkiest album to date. It was called “The Black Album” and was scheduled to come out in late 1987. At the last minute, and after a few promo copies had leaked out, Prince got cold feet and recalled the album replacing it with the far more positive “Lovesexy” album. Both albums had one song in common, the romantic ballad “When Two Are In Love,” otherwise the records were like night and day…or more to the point, good and evil. Prince saw the album as too negative which is why it was shelved.. When Prince released the first single and video from the “Lovesexy” album, “Alphabet St.,” it featured a hidden banner within the video that said “Don’t buy the Black Album, sorry.” When it finally got its contractual obligation, limited edition official release on CD in 1994, it was packaged in black with no credits on the cover and just a list of songs printed on the disc. The original title for the album was to be “The Funk Bible.” The album’s darkest song was called “Bob George” whose title was an amalgam of his manager Bob Cavallo and the critic, Nelson George who became very critical of his output at the time. The song stands out in Prince’s catalog for its gangster overtones and the line “That skinny m.f. with the high voice,” one of the few self-references in his work. This song pokes fun at the then-burgeoning hip-hop scene that threatened to make Prince passé. I’ve gotta get me a hat like the kid in this homemade video!
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