Documentary producer and director Tudahl draws on unlimited access to studio archives and interviews with Prince’s music associates and friends to produce this meticulously detailed chronicle of Prince’s rise from local Minneapolis celebrity to one of the world’s biggest rock stars. Tudahl presents a day-by-day description of Prince’s live shows and his studio work from the release of his album 1999 in late 1982 to the making and release of the album and movie Purple Rain in late 1984. Tudahl opens the doors at L.A.’s Sunset Sound studios and provides insider glimpses into Prince’s recording processes. According to the original work order for the session for “When Doves Cry,” Prince recorded the song in a single day; it became his first number one hit. Producer Peggy McCreary, interviewed here, says Prince knew exactly what he was doing and knew he had a hit. For each recording session, Tudahl lists the studio and some elements of the song being laid down, as well as the names of the producers and engineers. Prince fans will most enjoy Tudahl’s thorough archival work; his fascinating book offers a portrait of an artist continually seeking to grow creatively and maintain control over his musical identity. (Jan.)
Though it covers just two years in Prince’s life, Prince and the Purple Rain Era Studio Sessions is, hands-down, the most exhaustive study of the most crucial period in Prince’s career. It also sets the scene for what looks set to become a series of books that, depending on how much ground they up covering, will likely obliterate the need for another serious critical study of the Purple One’s work. In over 20 years of graft, Duane Tudahl has interviewed almost anyone who recorded with, helped facilitate the dreams of, or got a perfumed whiff of Prince during his time coming off the cult-level success of 1999 and gearing up for the globe-shattering triumph of Purple Rain…. With Prince now unable to ever tell his own story, Tudahl and his interviewees are lifting the veil with love, in order for the rest of the world to understand what a genius he was. In doing so, a bar has been set that, frankly, it looks like only he himself will be able to reach. The next volume can’t come soon enough.
The Beatles and Apple Records. Elvis and Sun Records. Musicians and their iconic works are often associated with a particular studio. Prince expert Tudahl points out that although most people link Prince with his Paisley Park home studio in Minnesota, his biggest albums were in fact recorded at Sunset Sound Studios in Los Angeles. Tudahl’s granular study of Prince during his 1983 and 1984 recording sessions covers the production not only ofPurple RainandAround the World in a Dayas well as ‘Little Red Corvette,’ ‘When Doves Cry,’ ‘Raspberry Beret,’ and many B-sides but also recordings by the Time, Sheila E., the Bangles, Sheena Easton, and Stevie Nicks. Tudahl also describes more than 100 live performances and rehearsals by Prince during this fruitful two-year period and discusses thePurple Rainfilm soundtrack and the origins of the movie. Tudahl conducted hundreds of hours of interviews with Prince’s former band members, studio engineers, and others. Although he did not interview Prince before his untimely death for the book, he does include copious quotations from the Purple One to create a fly-on-the-wall effect. A revealing behind-the-scenes glimpse of a musical genius. Prince fans will savor the details.
2017 Winner of ARSC Best History in Rock Music
2017 Winner of ARSC Best History in Rock Music
Prince insiders eagerly anticipate Duane Tudahl's book for the thoroughness and diligence he has brought to his investigation. His work has the rare qualities of a good reporter's objectivity coupled with an insider's instinct for the true story.
A labor of love over 20 years in the making, Tudahl’s meticulous day-to-day chronicle of Prince’s creative output during his most commercially popular era is one of the most comprehensive works ever crafted about the Purple One…. While there has been a lot written on the Purple Rain era because of its popularity, the genius of this book lies in its attention to detail. Simply put, the work Tudahl has done on this book is astounding. It is truly a mix of a recording log and a memoir…. This book ranks right up there with the likes of Per Nilsen’s DanceMusicSexRomance and Uptown Magazine’s The Vault as indispensable pieces of the literary Prince canon. The fact that the one and only Questlove, a self-professed Prince scholar, contributed the Foreword tells you how important and vital this book (the first volume in a potential Studio Sessions series) is. Books like these help keep Prince’s legacy alive and remind us what a special artist he was. Tudahl should be applauded for his exhaustive effort.
Duane Tudahl has uncovered the hard work and real time hours behind the genius that was Prince. An awesome lifetime task that will hopefully lead to future volumes.
An amazing work. Valuable research and a terrific perspective
Duane Tudahl’s meticulously researched work is truly remarkable. It shows how closely Prince’s work was intertwined with his life. Providing unique insights into Prince’s creative process and personality, this book is a must for anyone wanting to understand this exceptionally talentedanddriven artist.
Archivist, interviewer, and discerning fan Duane Tudahl has delivered a fly-on-the-wall account of some of Prince's most important and productive years in the studio. This book bristles with energy, passion, and knowledge, and stands as an essential documentation of Prince's work and artistic process.
The level of detail in the book is phenomenal. PrinceVault will be forever in debt to the research that Tudahl did.
Die-hards and casual Prince fans, alike, will find the book to be a worthy contribution to an already vast body of knowledge. Tudahl hopes this book is the first in a series that explores, in depth, each album in Prince’s extensive repertoire…. In the end, there is no single definitive expert on Prince and no one person’s ego should be so great as to think there is. The stories shared by those whom Tudahl interviewed is a testament to this fact. Prince was Prince…. In reading Tudahl’s book, it is clear the Purple Rain Era Studio Sessions of 1983 and 1984 started with love. It is also painfully clear that the story we attempt to understand ended the same way- with love and a tinge of sadness- on April 21, 2016…. No matter how many books are written, and stories told, we will still be left trying to figure him and his genius out 30 years from now; and that’s what you take from this book, from the stories, and from the puzzle that was Prince. Tudahl gives you a piece, maybe seven, but not the whole puzzle; that you must seek on your own by listening to the message in the music and the music in the message. And even then, you will never be quite sure his meaning; you will never know all the answers or all the sides to him. Perhaps, the not knowing is exactly what he wanted for us, after all.