Madhouse (band)

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Madhouse is a jazz fusion band from Minneapolis, created by Prince. Two Madhouse albums (and several singles) were officially released, both in 1987.[1]


Prince had considered the idea of an instrumental jazz–funk album ever since he recorded his first tracks with Eric Leeds for his 1985 side-project, The Family.[2] In late 1985–early 1986, he recorded hours of instrumental music with Leeds and other musicians from his band, Sheila E. and musicians from her own band, as well as members from Wendy & Lisa's families. From these sessions, Prince compiled an album called The Flesh, supposed to be released by an eponymous pseudo-band, but the project was abandoned and its concept modified to become Madhouse.[2]

The title of each song on each album is also its numerical designation on the record (e.g., the third song on the first album is titled, “Three”). Cover art for both albums featured Maneca Lightner playing with a small dog, reminiscent of a 1940s pinup photograph. The videos from 16 were more 1940s gangster-themed. The cover of 16 features the subtitle "new directions in garage music", an homage to Miles Davis' Directions in Music series (in 2002–2003, Prince would dub a jazz album series of his own: New Directions In Music). The only vocals on either album consists mainly of audio snippets lifted from the first two Godfather films and samples of Vanity simulating an orgasm (from the Vanity 6 outtake "Vibrator", later used on Prince's own song "Orgasm" from Come.) There is also a short unreleased 1987 movie, entitled "Hard Life", featuring Madhouse.

At least two other Madhouse albums were later recorded and remain unreleased,[3] both albums entitled "24".

The first "24" was recorded in 1988, mostly by Prince and Eric Leeds. Only one track eventually emerged, heavily edited, on Leeds' 1991 solo-album Times Squared and only bootlegged copies of the whole album are available. This album is more "electronic" than the first two, with a lot of drum programming, samples and keyboards. "21" through "24", also known as "The Dopamine Rush Suite", also feature vocals.

The second "24" was recorded in 1993 with a line-up consisting of Prince (keyboards), Leeds (saxophone), Levi Seacer, Jr. (guitar), Sonny T. (bass) and Michael B. (drums). Only two tracks were officially released, "17 (Penetration)" (as "17" on the 1-800-NEW-FUNK 1994 compilation) and on the CD single "Standing At The Altar", the other one "Asswoop" (or "Asswhuppin' in a Trunk") in 2001, via Prince's website. There was also a limited release on the "NPG Sampler Experience" promo cassette, handed out during the 1995 Gold Tour, which contains excerpts from three tracks from this album: "Asswoop", "Ethereal Segue", and "Parlour Games". The album in its entirely is circulating on bootleg.




  1. "One" – 7:16
  2. "Two" – 5:31
  3. "Three" – 3:16
  4. "Four" – 2:24
  5. "Five" – 1:15
  6. "Six" – 4:28
  7. "Seven" – 4:09
  8. "Eight" – 10:05

Produced and written by Madhouse, label: Paisley Park/Warner Bros., released: 1987


  1. "Nine" – 2:06
  2. "Ten" – 5:04
  3. "Eleven" – 6:14
  4. "Twelve" – 5:14
  5. "Thirteen" – 4:46
  6. "Fourteen" – 5:12
  7. "Fifteen" – 3:49
  8. "Sixteen" – 4:17

Produced and written by Madhouse, label: Paisley Park/Warner Bros., released: 1987


  • "Six" b/w "6 and 1/2"
  • "Ten" b/w "Ten and 1/2"
  • "Thirteen" b/w "Four"


  • "Six" – "Six", "Six (End of the World Mix)", "6 and 1/2"
  • "Ten" – "Ten (The Perfect Mix)", "Ten and 1/2", "Two".
  • "Thirteen" – "Thirteen (The Paisley Park Mix)", "Thirteen and 1/4", "Four".

See also[edit]