|Studio album by Sheila E.|
|Released||August 12, 1985|
|Genre||Funk, pop, R&B|
|Label||Paisley Park/Warner Bros.
|Sheila E. chronology|
Romance 1600 is the second album from singer-drummer-percussionist Sheila E.. Although Prince wrote and played on the whole album, other than the instrumental "Merci for the Speed of a Mad Clown in Summer", the only track he is credited for openly on the album sleeve itself is "A Love Bizarre", which was co-written and produced with Sheila E. and is a duet between the pair. The song, a 12-minute epic, became a major hit in its edited radio-friendly form.
During her hiatus, she had garnered a lot of exposure via the media, including appearing in the movie Krush Groove, in which she performed "A Love Bizarre" and "Holly Rock". She had also performed for a wide audience as an act on Prince and The Revolution's Purple Rain Tour.
The video for "Sister Fate" (the album's lead single) introduced a new image of the performer: a somewhat female-Prince influenced protégée. "Sister Fate"'s B-side featured the cryptic protest song "Save the Children". However, the album itself featured many tracks that were personal and help to support the embodiment of the thematic faux-French Renaissance episodic adventure that the lead single's video and the album art intended to set up for the listening audience.
This concept-theme album became a staple within Prince's camp at the time, which saw Prince inspired by a more glamorous, high fashion stylized image, which included Romance 1600, along with The Family's self-titled debut album, and his own 1986 release, the soundtrack album Parade. This marked a clear visual departure from the more "street tough" image of the Minneapolis sound acts from his pre-Purple Rain success, namely The Time and Vanity 6. Although the album received mixed reviews, "A Love Bizarre" was the album's biggest hit single. On January 28, 1986, the album was certified Gold by the RIAA.
All songs written and composed by Prince, except where noted.
|3.||"A Love Bizarre" (Prince and Sheila E.)||12:18|
|7.||"Merci for the Speed of a Mad Clown in Summer" (Sheila E.)||2:47|
- Sheila E. – lead vocals, percussion, drums, strings, bass guitar, keyboards, arranger, producer, writer
- Juan Escovedo – percussion (tracks 3 and 8)
- Eddie M. – background vocals (tracks 3 and 4); saxophone (tracks 1–4; 6–8)
- Ken Grey – organ (track 1)
- Stef Burns – guitar (tracks 2 and 8)
- Karl Perazzo – bongos (track 6)
- Prince – guitar, bass (tracks 3 and 4); vocals, arranger, producer, writer; vocals (track 5)
- Micheal Weaver – background vocals (track 4)
- Stef Birnbaum – background vocals (tracks 3 and 4)
- Susie Davis – background vocals (tracks 2, 3, 6)
- Benny Rietveld – background vocals (track 6)
|U.S. Billboard 200||50|
|U.S. Billboard R&B Albums||12|