"[W]ill command the rapt attention of casual fans and scholars alike." Booklist, Starred Review
From Prince's superstardom to studio seclusion, this second book in the award-winning Prince Studio Sessions series spotlights how Prince, the biggest rock star on the planet at the time, risked everything to create some of the most introspective music of his four-decade career.
Duane Tudahl takes us on an emotional and intimate journey of love, loss, rivalry, and renewal revealed through unprecedented access to dozens of musicians, singers, studio engineers, and others who worked with him and knew him best—with never-before-published memories from the Revolution, the Time, the Family, and Apollonia 6. Also included is a heartfelt foreword by musical legend Elton John about his time and friendship with Prince.
Duane Tudahl is an award-winning author who has worked in entertainment for over thirty years. He has produced and/or directed documentary programming for the History Channel, CBS, GTV, Fox, Discovery, Pax, the Gospel Music Channel, the Food Channel, Tru-TV, and HGTV, among others.
In this second Prince Studio Sessions series, Tudahl continues to explore the annals of Prince’s voracious creative drive, even while touring the Purple Rain album at a pinnacle of his stardom. Working day-by-day and session-by-session, Tudahl meticulously recreates Prince’s daily timeline in 1985 and 1986 while layering in a heap of technical information about the production process, equipment, and mixes that were created (many vaulted, still unheard). Brief snippets of information provide context for Prince’s surroundings, the people he worked with, and concurrent events, but the focus remains on the music and how it poured out of Prince wherever he was, whether on the road or back at the studio. While these years weren't all glory—Prince sustained blows like the failure of his directorial debut Under the Cherry Moon, his decision not to participate in the “We Are the World” recording, and wavering public opinion after strutting around with his bodyguards at awards shows—it seems to have had little effect on his creativity and productivity. Compulsively readable and hugely useful to researchers, this dense chronology will command the rapt attention of casual fans and scholars alike.
A new book by Duane Tudahl, Prince and the Parade & Sign O’ The Times Era Studio Sessions: 1985 and 1986, provides a definitive account of two heady years that followed Prince’s Purple Rain breakthrough, climaxing with his completion of a mammoth three-record set that would be pared down into Sign o’ the Times.
Tudahl continues his Prince saga in this laudatory book, which is a meticulously researched day-by-day account of Prince’s songwriting, recording, and live performances during 1985 and 1986. It chronicles the making of the film Under the Cherry Moon and the albums Around the World in a Day, Parade, and Sign o’ the Times. Using interviews with Prince’s fellow musicians and studio engineers, Tudahl painstakingly describes the importance of each stage rehearsal, concert, and song mix, and creates an intimate portrait of the singer, songwriter, and actor. Prince emerges as a controlling, sometimes generous, many times denigrating, wildly creative workaholic who became increasingly imperious after his Purple Rain stardom. The second installment in Tudahl’s Prince chronology is a treasure trove for fans.
The 600-plus-page tome captures Prince’s arguably most creative era in fascinating detail. More than anything else in Prince’s life, the recording sessions and tour dates — i.e. the music — provided the framework for everything else in that life, and Tudahl expertly weaves the details into the music that was made at the time. This book is something fans can savor for months on end.
Duane Tudahl's work has now become must-reads for Prince aficionados. Prince may be the most important musical artist of the latter half of the twentieth century and this book underlines this with zero fanfare. Just read the magic, as it rolls from day to day. Amazing stuff.
[A] thick daily chronicle of Prince's recording sessions in those two years, which means it's essentially a daily chronicle of Prince's life. As Tudahl documents here (and in his equally essential predecessor volume focusing on the Purple Rain era), days when Prince was in no way involved in a recording project were rare for his entire adult life.... Tudahl's book is a sizable tome, but it's readable throughout: you're left thinking that there are few better ways to understand Prince than to see his life through the lens of the recording studio, which was always his temple.
For a second time, author and Prince historian Duane Tudahl set out to do something that could never be questioned or contradicted when it came to telling Prince‘s real story. Painstakingly digging through hundreds, if not thousands, of studio work orders, interviews with band members who were there (print and audio), and cross-referencing notes and statements. Then he put it all in chronological order and arduously documented the sources to alleviate any questions any naysayers may have.... The details of Prince‘s work ethic and recording habits are mind boggling and staggering. Even people who claim to know even the smallest details of Prince‘s life have to hand the crown to Duane Tudahl. His exhaustive and comprehensive research was poured over in order to verify and check every detail for authenticity and become the undisputed document of record of Prince‘s life both in and out of the studio.... It is by far the most entertaining and thorough history of Prince that has or will ever exist. Duane Tudahl has accomplished the impossible by capturing lightning in a bottle twice. Through hard work and commitment to honor the legacy of Prince, his in-depth knowledge and storytelling mastery shines on every page. These two books are now the standard by which all books about Prince will be judged. Every Prince fan should add this book to their collection now.
Presented in diary form across the two years in question, we're granted access to concerts, video shoots, studio sessions and soundchecks, which allows us to track Prince's creative progress. We see in detail how songs grow from a germ of on idea recorded on tape during a soundcheck to becoming some of the most recognizable tracks of oil time. Every recording session is documented, songs taking on various forms, held in the vaults until they find a home on a project.
Compiled from hundreds of interviews with a dream wishlist of Prince's closest collaborators, including Wendy Melvoin, Lisa Colemon, Brownmark and Bobby Z, arranger Clare Fischer, sound engineer Susan Rogers, Sheila E and Eric Leeds, Tudahl's book is on access-all-areas pass to the star's creative hub and the closest thing to being in the studio with him.
Contributions from Susannah Melvoin (Prince's girlfriend at the time) offer a rare, more personal side to the star and illustrate how he was impacted by his relentless work ethic and rarely switched off. Meticulously researched, superbly presented - the day-by-day format really is akin to having a peek at Prince's diary. With a handful of previously unpublished photographs, this is on indispensable addition to the collection of any fan of the Purple One.
A fascinating insight into the elusive world of Prince during one of his most creative periods, this meticulously researched and respectful account includes insights from hundreds of his collaborators and closest confidantes, resulting in an immersive experience that’s as close to being in the studio with the Purple One as it’s possible to have
Duane Tudahl's in-depth research combined with the vast number of people interviewed for this stunning series makes this new book, about perhaps Prince's artistically most interesting time of his career, another must-read.
The only thing better than reading about Prince’s music is listening to it. Duane Tudahl inspires us to do both.
Duane is the quintessential Prince historian. This book will definitely give you accurate insight into his creative process.
Duane Tudahl set the bar high with his previous book. I’m glad to say that the sequel, Prince and the Parade and Sign “O” the Times Era Studio Sessions: 1985 and 1986, is even better. The book contains many interesting musical and lyrical observations by Duane, providing undisputed proof that he is the leading scholar of Prince’s work.
An excellent and thorough account of the creative process. A must read for anyone interested in understanding the complexities and vicissitudes of Prince’s musical journey.
Historians and scholars will have Duane Tudahl to thank for the meticulous effort he has brought to understanding Prince Rogers Nelson through the lens of how he spent his days.
I have often wondered if the legacy of Prince would remain in good hands. After reading Duane Tudahl’s works, I am sure it is.
The work coming from Duane Tudahl is top notch. It’s a singular and superlative work.
Prince and the Parade and Sign “O” the Times Era Studio Sessions is such an invaluable resource that you'll wonder how you ever tried navigating this transformative period of Prince's work without it.
Thank you Duane for keeping Prince and all of our hard work and legacy’s alive.
Duane is the one person who has managed to pull all of the different threads together and represent Prince's work in the best possible way.
Upon release, critics deemed Tudahl’s tome five-star worthy, while hardcore fans hailed it as some kind of holy bible on the purple one. In much the same way Ian McDonald’s Revolution In The Head had beamed new light on the Beatles’ catalogue, Tudahl had unlocked some of the mystique and magic behind Prince’s music, skillfully dissecting the star’s time in the studio to disclose how everything from the hits to unreleased or unfinished tracks were composed, cut and committed to tape…. For long-term Prince fans though – smitten (like this writer) since the 1980s when buying or trading barely-audible to scratchy-quality vinyl and cassette bootlegs was the only way to hear unreleased songs and shelved albums – the book’s real draw are the stories around the actual studio dates, seeing his astounding work rate mapped out and discovering how the writing and recording dates of songs such as “Raspberry Beret”, “U Got the Look” and “Kiss” considerably pre-dated their eventual release, thus underlining further the creative depth of this great man’s work. A bible indeed.
9/9/22, Michael Dean Podcast: Duane Tudahl joined the show to talk about the paperback release, and he gave an exclusive sneak preview of the next book in the series.
5/16/2021: The Violet Reality host Casey Rain praises Duane’s latest book. Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2n_QEbeIC7Q
2/11/21, Choice: Included in Forthcoming Titles in African American Studies feature. LINK: https://www.choice360.org/choice-pick/forthcoming-titles-in-african-american-studies/
5/6/21, TrueFunkSoldier: Read the review and coverage of the new book.Link: https://truefunksoldier.wordpress.com/2021/05/06/book-review-prince-and-the-parade-and-sign-o-the-times-era-studio-sessions-1985-and-1986/
6/7/21, Mic: Read an interview with Duane Tudahl about the book.Link: https://www.mic.com/p/the-author-of-a-new-prince-book-explains-how-he-discovered-a-new-side-of-the-artists-genius-81113633
6/10/21, UltimateClassicRock.com: One of the world’s largest classic rock sites excerpts the book and says it is
“[An}excellent and detailed document of one of the most fruitful eras of Prince’s career.”