Thursday, March 01, 2007


ANALOG TO DIGITAL: THE GREAT TWIN CITIES FUNK POP BAND THAT WASN'T

(First: Sorry so long between posts. The next couple of days should be better. In the meantime, here's some more from my continuing efforts to transfer some vinyl music to MP3s.)


When Sinead O'Connor had a hit with "Nothing Compares 2 U," articles about her always touched on a few points:
1) She's bald
2) She's odd
3) U2 helped her get her start
4) She's Irish
5) Prince wrote it


But Prince didn't write it for O'Connor. He wrote it for The Family, might've-been-huge-but-wasn't Paisley Park act consisting of three refugees from the recently disbanded Time (St. Paul Peterson, Jellybean Johnson, and percussionist/hype man Jerome Benton), saxophonist/vocalist Eric Leeds, and Susannah Melvoin, twin sister of The Revolution's Wendy Melvoin.


They released one album in 1985, but even by the time I got curious about hearing the original version of "Nothing Compares 2 U" and was already buying up every Prince b-side I could get my hands on, it was hard to find. Was it some lost treasure of Minneapolis funk? I finally had my question answered recently when I found a vinyl copy for $5.99. Answer: No.


But it's not bad either, as these two tracks suggest. "Screams Of Passion" was the single and while I'm not going to say that this version of "Nothing" surpasses O'Connor's or the version Prince threw on his greatest hits collection. But it's worth hearing anyway.





P.S. The new embedded file-sharing system comes via a free site called Divshare, which I recommend.

2 comments:

Eric Grubbs said...

Nice rendition of "Nothing Compares 2 U." I was ready for some dancey drum machine beats to kick in, but they (thankfully) never came.

jemiah said...

You are the first person I've ever seen who has ever heard of this group that didn't hear about it from me. This album was a staple of my sixth-grade angst and I've always wondered what happened to St. Paul...