New albums and reissues expected from Prince, the Time, the Suburbs and Soul Asylum – Twin Cities
July is an important month for local artists, with new and reissued albums due by big names. Here is an overview of what is available.
The Suburbs, “Festival of the Poets” (out now): The Suburbs – a band that has the distinction of releasing the first (“The Suburbs EP”) and last (“Viva! Suburbs! Live at First Avenue”) albums on Twin / Tone Records – are back with their third Reunion-era album.
The band recorded it last year with the same lineup that performed on “Hey Muse” in 2017: founding members Chan Poling (vocals, keyboards) and Hugo Klaers (drums); guitarists Stevie Brantseg and Jeremy Ylvisaker; bassist Steve Price; singer Janey Winterbauer; and horn players Stephen Kung (trumpet), Max Ray (sax) and Rochelle Becker (sax). The dozen new songs include the formidable single “Summertime”, which 89.3 The Current plays frequently.
Soul Asylum, “The Silver Lining (Expanded Edition)” (released July 9): The mid-2000s was a time of transition for Soul Asylum. In May 2004, bassist Karl Mueller was diagnosed with throat cancer. (A benefit concert for Mueller in October included an onstage reunion of Bob Mold and Grant Hart of Husker Du.) However, he went into remission and was able to record most of “The Silver Lining,” which would become the first group. album in eight years.
Mueller’s cancer recurred and he passed away on June 17, 2005. The following summer, “The Silver Lining” hit the shelves and Prince, among others, was a fan. (More on this in a bit.)
Now, Legacy Recordings is releasing a new, digitally expanded version of the album, which includes all 12 original tracks, the previously hidden bonus track “Fearless Leader” and “Showtime,” which was previously only available on the Japanese CD. The label also gives the EP “Stand Up and Be Strong” its digital debut. It includes the title song, a single “Silver Lining” and four songs recorded live at First Avenue in December 2005.
Le temps, “Le temps (extended edition)” (released July 16): A clause in Prince’s contract with Warner Bros. allowed him to recruit and produce other artists for the label, which led to Prince creating Time, in part from the already existing band Flyte Tyme.
While Time was a real band, the Purple One pulled all the strings on their self-titled 1981 debut album. He recorded and performed almost everything on the record, except for Matt “Doctor” Fink’s synth contributions to the song “Cool” and the voice of Morris Day, which he had to sing the same way Prince did on the demo. He also wrote almost everything, with uncredited Dez Dickerson and Lisa Coleman contributing to several pieces.
To celebrate its 40th anniversary, Rhino Records is reissuing “The Time” as a double LP. The label reverted to the original analog tapes for the Extended Edition, which includes all six original tracks and six previously unreleased alternative takes and editions.
Prince, “Welcome 2 America” (released July 30): Since his death, many new music of Prince has been released. But this is the first time that a true full-length album – rather than a compilation of songs – that Prince himself had considered officially releasing.
Recorded in 2010, Prince had planned to release it the following year in conjunction with his tour of the same name. It features backing vocals by Shelby J., Liv Warfield and Elisa Dease and was co-produced by Morris Hayes.
The album features 11 Prince originals and a cover of Soul Asylum’s 2006 single “Stand Up and Be Strong”, which Prince renamed “Stand Up and B Strong”. It’s unclear why Prince decided to put the project on hold, but it appears he was still planning to release it in June 2010 when he debuted the song “Hot Summer” exclusively on 89.3 The Current.
“Welcome 2 America” will be released on CD and vinyl. The deluxe version includes both CD and vinyl as well as a Blu-ray featuring an unreleased concert recorded on April 28, 2011 in California. The 23-song concert features a dozen covers of songs by Janet Jackson, Bob Dylan and Wild Cherry. The show ends with Prince performing on Roxy Music’s “More than This,” a song he has performed only three times in his career.