I had the honor and privilege of recording and editing my 1st (but 7th overall… 7 is a special number…) Grown Folks Music Inside The Album podcast for the new year and for 30 years of a seminal and beloved project in Prince’s vast catalogue for most Prince diehards, Madhouse 8, alongside Ivan Orr Ricky Wyatt & Arthur Turnbull of The Music Snobs and Entry Points! Released in 1987 at the height of Prince’s commercial success (Sign O’ The Times would be released only 2 months later), this album was simply an incredible debut of Prince’s funk/jazz, totally instrumental, side project with saxophonist extraordinaire and key music collaborator, Eric Leeds! This is an album in my collection that I will continue to listen to until there is no longer breath in my body. Madhouse 8 is just as powerful today as it was on the first day I listened to it 30 years ago. Now that he is gone, for me, this is one of the albums Prince left for us to get us through this thing called life (which is needed now more than ever). This album is also very important to remind everyone who listens that Prince was, yes, a Pop/Rock/R&B Icon, but even more important than that a consummate musician with SO much more music inside of him!
The Madhouse album and single covers are truly magical. As an aspiring designer at the time, I spent many hours staring at these covers for their distinctive, instantly recognizable, art direction, photography (Thank you, Richard Litt!), color, typography, and logo design (Thank you, Glen Parsons!). The Madhouse project contains some of my favorite album and single cover designs by the very talented Laura LiPuma (Thank you for so many extraordinary covers! You had my dream job for sure!), featuring the beautiful, Maneca Lightner (Thank you!), whose image is forever burned on a many retina whenever Madhouse is thought of.
Source material referenced in this episode can be found here:
- Uptown Magazine #5
- Syncopated Strut by Miles Marshall Lewis in Wax poetics Issue 50
- Dance Music Sex Romance by Per Nielsen