In the first episode of The Crate Keeper and Kwazimodo’s new show, The Crate, we talked about Prince’s first record label that he had control over in name, Paisley Park. The label was started in February of 1985 and was made defunct in February 1994. During that almost ten-year time span, there were more than 34 albums and over 90 singles. The first album to sport the logo of the new record label in Warner Bros. and Reprise was the Prince and The Revolution album Around the World in a Day. The last album released was the Eric Leads (a saxophonist who worked with Prince on many projects from 1985 – 2003 and is in the reformed fDeluxe, which is The Family under a new name and altered line up) album Things Left Unsaid.
Prince formed the label as a way to further his involvement with artists he liked without having to hide his involvement. Up until the label’s creation, Prince was using the alias Jamie Starr and The Starr Company to help write and produce for other artists. The label was a way of showcasing many of the Minneapolis sound bands. Prince hoped that the label would help boost other artists’ careers but only Shelia E., as well as The Time, had any measure of success under the label’s name.
Unfortunately, there was mismanagement within the label by the Cavallo, Ruffalo & Fargnoli firm. The team would sign artists and make other commitments without Prince’s acknowledgment. After a string of lawsuits, the label was closed in February of 1994. This did not stop Prince, because later that year he founded NPG Records (New Power Generation, Prince’s new group). He started it independently from Warner Bros. This label only brought the New Power Generation, Mavis Staples, and George Clinton from Paisley Park Records. NPG Records is still active and run by the Prince Estate.
As far as the artists and genres featured on the label, there is a wide range in both. With genres, there is everything from Pop, Funk, Rock, Jazz, Hip Hop, and R&B. A wide range much like the label’s founder himself. In our episode HERE we featured Prince and the Revolution (of course), The Family, Sheila E. (Kwasimodo’s favorite), Mazarati (My favorite), The Three O’Clock, Jill Jones, Dale Bozzio, Kahoru Kohiruimaki, and Good Question. I chose them as a starting point to hopefully get some people interested in digging into the back catalog. I made a bigger list, a mixtape (more of a Youtube playlist) that is a CD length, 23 songs, intro to the label. It features at least one song from each artist. If you would like to hear more please check it out HERE
Photo Credit: paisleypark.com
Zachary is the Lead Videographer at The WOLF Internet Radio (since 2018) and the co-host of The Crate. For videos checkout Waylin WOLF on YouTube.