Emancipation (Prince album)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Emancipation
Studio album by Prince
Released November 19, 1996
Recorded 1995–1996
Genre Pop, funk, soul, R&B, rock
Length 180:00
Label NPG/EMI
Producer Prince
Prince chronology
Chaos and Disorder
(1996)
Emancipation
(1996)
Crystal Ball
(1998)
Singles from Emancipation
  1. "Betcha by Golly Wow!"
    Released: November 13, 1996
  2. "The Holy River / Somebody's Somebody"
    Released: January 13, 1997
  3. "Face Down"
    Released: 1997 (promo)
Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 3.5/5 stars[1]
Blender 4/5 stars[2]
Robert Christgau A−[3]
Entertainment Weekly B[4]
The Independent unfavorable[5]
The Rolling Stone Album Guide 4/5 stars[6]
Spin (7/10)[7]

Emancipation is the nineteenth studio album by Prince (then known by the love symbol he created). The title refers to Prince's freedom from his contract with Warner Bros. Records after 18 years, with whom he had a contentious relationship. The album was Prince's third to be released that year (along with Chaos and Disorder and the soundtrack album of the Spike Lee movie, Girl 6), making 1996 one of the most prolific years for material released by Prince.

Emancipation is also the first triple full-length original R&B studio (non-compilation) album ever released.[citation needed]

Overview[edit]

Emancipation is something of a concept album, celebrating his release from Warner Bros. as well as his marriage to Mayte Garcia, who became his wife on Valentine's Day earlier that year. With his newfound creative freedom, Prince experimented more openly with varying genres, including house, adult contemporary and blues. Prince also freely commented on his fame and dealings with Warner Bros. ("White Mansion"; "Slave"; "Face Down") while also returning slightly to the "computer" theme he explored a decade earlier ("Emale"; "My Computer".)

"Jam of the Year" is the opening song on the album. It features Prince, singing in his falsetto range, and Rosie Gaines on backing vocals. It later became the name of the tour for the album, and a live version of the song was released as part of a single called "NYC Live" in 1997.

Prince wrote several songs and ballads dedicated to his child, most of which appear on the second disc of the album. Unfortunately, the child, born in October (about 1 month before the album's release), suffered from Pfeiffer syndrome type 2, a rare skull disease, and died shortly after birth. A recording of the child's heartbeat is featured as part of the percussion of "Sex in the Summer".

Emancipation marked the first album in Prince's career to include cover versions of songs written by other songwriters; Prince claimed that he had wanted to cover songs in the past, but was advised against it by Warner Bros. Four such covers appeared on the album: "Betcha by Golly Wow!" (previously a hit for The Stylistics), "I Can't Make You Love Me" (previously a hit for Bonnie Raitt), "La-La (Means I Love You)" (previously a hit for The Delfonics) retitled "La, La, La Means I Love U", and "One of Us" (written by Eric Bazilian, and previously a hit for Joan Osborne). Notably, Prince changed the chorus of "One of Us" from "What if God was one of us / Just a slob like one of us" to "...Just a slave like one of us".[8]

The album is notable for its format: it consists of three discs, each containing 12 songs with exactly 60 minutes per disc. Prince insinuated to the press at the time that the number of songs, discs and length of the album had a connection with the Egyptian pyramids.

Response[edit]

In the U.S., the album debuted at #11. Though not a major seller, it did sell over 500,000 copies, and being three discs, it was qualified to being certified double platinum (the RIAA certifies based on amount shipped rather than sold). Emancipation is the fourth best-selling triple album ever in the United States.[citation needed]

The subsequent Jam of the Year Tour was a major success (though ironically very few songs from Emancipation were included in the concerts, and the vast majority of the album's tracks remain unperformed), resulting in a significant comeback for Prince, after the commercial and critical disappointment of Chaos and Disorder from earlier that year.

Track listing[edit]

All tracks written, music and lyrics, by Prince except where noted

Disc 1[edit]

  1. "Jam of the Year" – 6:09
  2. "Right Back Here in My Arms" – 4:43
  3. "Somebody's Somebody" – 4:43 (Prince, Brenda Lee Eager, Hilliard Wilson)
  4. "Get Yo Groove On" – 6:31
  5. "Courtin' Time" – 2:46
  6. "Betcha by Golly Wow!" – 3:31 (Thomas Bell, Linda Creed)
  7. "We Gets Up" – 4:18
  8. "White Mansion" – 4:47
  9. "Damned if I Do" – 5:21
  10. "I Can't Make U Love Me" – 6:37 (Mike Reid, Allen Shamblin)
  11. "Mr. Happy" – 4:46
  12. "In This Bed I Scream" – 5:40

Track 11 contains a sample of What Can I Do? (1994) by Ice Cube.

Disc 2[edit]

  1. "Sex in the Summer" – 5:57
  2. "One Kiss at a Time" – 4:41
  3. "Soul Sanctuary" – 4:41 (Lyrics: Prince, Sandra St. Victor, T. Hammer)
  4. "Emale" – 3:38
  5. "Curious Child" – 2:57
  6. "Dreamin' About U" – 3:52
  7. "Joint 2 Joint" – 7:52
  8. "The Holy River" – 6:55
  9. "Let's Have a Baby" – 4:07
  10. "Saviour" – 5:48
  11. "The Plan" – 1:47
  12. "Friend, Lover, Sister, Mother/Wife" – 7:37

Disc 3[edit]

  1. "Slave" – 4:51
  2. "New World" – 3:43
  3. "The Human Body" – 5:42
  4. "Face Down" – 3:17
  5. "La, La, La Means I Love U" – 3:59 (Bell, William Hart)
  6. "Style" – 6:40
  7. "Sleep Around" – 7:42
  8. "Da, Da, Da" – 5:15
  9. "My Computer" – 4:37
  10. "One of Us" – 5:19 (Eric Bazilian)
  11. "The Love We Make" – 4:39
  12. "Emancipation" – 4:12

Track 6 contains a sample of Atomic Dog (1982) by George Clinton.
Track 7 contains a sample of Squib Cakes (1974) by Tower of Power.

Alternate configurations[edit]

July 1995 configuration[edit]

  1. "Right Back Here in My Arms" (Different version than released)
  2. "Slave 2 the System" (Officially unreleased)
  3. "Slave" (Different version than released)
  4. "New World"
  5. "2020" (Officially unreleased)
  6. "Feel Good" (Officially unreleased)
  7. "Journey 2 the Center of Your Heart" (Different version than released)
  8. "I'm a DJ" (Officially unreleased)
  9. "Emancipation" (Different version than released)

Mid-1995 configuration[edit]

  1. "Emancipation" (Different version than released) – 4:30
  2. "Right Back Here in My Arms" (Different version than released) – 4:32
  3. "Slave 2 the System" (Officially unreleased) – 3:05
  4. "Slave" (Different version than released) – 5:09
  5. "2020" (Officially unreleased) – 2:09
  6. "New World" – 3:41
  7. "Feel Good" (Officially unreleased) – 4:05
  8. "Journey 2 the Center of Your Heart" (Different version than released) – 4:14
  9. "I'm a DJ" (Officially unreleased) – 4:47
  10. "(Excuse Me Is This) Goodbye" (Later released as "Goodbye" on Crystal Ball) – 4:30

August 1996 configuration[edit]

Full tracklist and sequencing unknown, but triple album, includes:


Personnel[edit]

  • Mr. Hayes - keyboards (CD1 - #6, 2-10, 3-10), backing vocals (1-4)
  • Tommy Barbarella - keyboards (1-6, 2-10, 3-10)
  • Tom Burrell - additional keyboards (1-10)
  • Ricky Peterson - piano (2-1), additional keyboards (2-10)
  • Kathleen Dyson - guitar (2-1, 2-4, 2-6, 3-11), backing vocals (1-4)
  • Mike Scott - guitar (3-5)
  • Rhonda Smith - bass (1-4, 1-7, 1-10, 2-1, 2-6), backing vocals (1-4)
  • Sonny T. - bass (1-6, 2-10, 3-10)
  • Michael B. (1-6, 2-10, 3-10), Kirk Johnson (unspecified tracks) - drums
  • Eric Leeds - saxophone and flute (1-1), saxophone (1-4,1-7, 1-10, 2-4, 2-6, 3-6)
  • Walter Chancellor Jr. - saxophone (1-1, 3-6)
  • Brian Gallagher - tenor saxophone (1-5, 1-9, 2-10, 3-7)
  • Kathy Jensen - baritone saxophone (1-5, 1-9, 2-10, 3-7)
  • Brian Lynch (1-7, 2-4, 3-6), Steve Strand (1-5, 1-9, 2-10, 3-7), Dave Jensen (1-5, 1-9, 2-10, 3-7) - trumpet
  • Michael B. Nelson - trombone (1-5, 1-9, 2-10, 3-7)
  • Rosie Gaines (1-1), Kathleen Bradford (2-12), Rhonda Johnson (2-12), Chanté Moore (3-5), Kate Bush (3-9) - backing vocals
  • Mayte - Spanish spoken word (1-9), backing vocals (3-10)
  • Ninety-9 - vocal sample (1-2, 3-4), spoken word (2-7)
  • Scrap D. - rap (1-11, 3-8)
  • Michael Mac - scratches (2-7)
  • Savion Glover - tap performance (2-7)
  • All other vocals and instruments performed by Prince.

[9]

Singles and Hot 100 positions[edit]

  1. "Betcha by Golly Wow!"
  2. "Right Back Here in My Arms"


  1. "The Holy River" (radio edit)
  2. "Somebody's Somebody" (edit)
  3. "Somebody's Somebody" (live studio mix)
  4. "Somebody's Somebody" (Ultrafantasy Edit)


  1. "Somebody's Somebody" (radio edit)
  2. "Somebody's Somebody" (album version)


References[edit]

  1. ^ Erlewine, Stephen Thomas. "Prince: Emancipation > Review" at AllMusic. Retrieved 16 September 2011.
  2. ^ Harris, Keith (June–July 2001). "Every Original CD Reviewed - Prince". Blender (Alpha Media Group) (1). 
  3. ^ Christgau, Robert. "Prince". robertchristgau.com. Retrieved 16 September 2011. 
  4. ^ Sinclair, Tom (13 December 1996). "Emancipation (1996): Prince". Entertainment Weekly (Time) (#357). ISSN 1049-0434. Retrieved 16 September 2011. 
  5. ^ Gill, Andy (22 November 1996). "Prince Emancipation". The Independent (London). ISSN 0951-9467. OCLC 185201487. Retrieved 16 September 2011. 
  6. ^ Brackett, Nathan; Hoard, Christian (2004). The New Rolling Stone Album Guide (Revised 4th ed.). Firefly. ISBN 978-0-7432-0169-8. 
  7. ^ "Prince - Emancipation CD Album". CDUniverse.com. Retrieved 4 August 2012. 
  8. ^ Farley, Chirstopher John (25 November 1996). "The Artist Formerly Known as Hot". Time (Vol. 148 No. 24). ISSN 0040-781X. Retrieved 16 September 2011. 
  9. ^ http://princevault.com/index.php/Album:_Emancipation