This is now two days in a row I’ve been unable to find a link to a decent version of the Daily Prince song…and sadly the second day in a row that I’m going to say you’re not missing much. Instead today I post a video of a song that I can’t get out of my head: H.E.R. performing “I Can’t Breathe” live for the the virtual 2020 Roots Picnic. It’s stunning and beautiful and the kind of art I believe Prince would love. H.E.R. is a big Prince fan, so it feels appropriate to put the video in this space.
As for “Velvet Kitty Cat” the best word I can use to describe it comes from Duane Tudahl’s book Prince and the Purple Rain Era Studio Sessions 1983 and 1984 where he called it a “throwaway.” It’s a silly song that was written for Vanity 6 and didn’t see the light of day until it made the vault tracks disc on the Purple Rain Deluxe Edition released in 2017. “Velvet Kitty Cat” was, not surprisingly, a vagina reference with cringeworthy lyrics like this:
You wanna rock, you wanna roll my velvet kitty cat
She’s man’s best friend, furry and cuddly and fat
Take a swing, you’re up to bat
Velvet kitty cat
Ugh. The song comes in at only 2:43 and has a rockabilly vibe to it, but it definitely doesn’t rock. Most of the music on this track seems to have been done with a synthesizer. The most interesting fact I can actually find about this song – also courtesy of Tudahl’s book – is that it is the only known time that Prince recorded a song with a Roland TR-606 Drumatix instead of a LM-1 Linn drum machine.
In late-1983 Denise Matthews, a.k.a. Vanity, left Prince’s camp. Vanity 6 soon became Apollonia 6, named for their new lead singer Apollonia Kotero. While Vanity’s vibe was a bit nastier, Apollonia was softer and had less edge, so songs like “Velvet Kitty Cat” were shelved. I’m surprised it was included on the Purple Rain Deluxe Edition along with so much other impressive work because not only does this song feel like a joke, but it also feels unfinished. Maybe they just wanted Prince’s fan to see a different side of him. I could do without it.
One last thought on this topic: Why didn’t the full Purple Rain Deluxe Edition get a vinyl release? We got 10 LPs with 1999 and we’re getting 13 of them with Sign ‘O’ the Times, yet the full Purple Rain Deluxe Edition was only made available on CD and digital. Prince Estate, I’m telling you right now, I don’t care if it’s three years later, you will still get my $200 if you release it on vinyl. It’s not too late.
Once again, my apologies for not having a link to “Velvet Kitty Cat.” Maybe I’m just trying to spare you. We need to get something better from the Song Randomizer tomorrow. The last four songs I’ve posted scored an average of 1.8. After a solid late-June run we’ve stumbled a bit in early-July. Also, I swear I have no idea what’s coming tomorrow, so don’t accuse me of cheating if it’s a five star song.
I think you can blame Prince for the inclusion of the slight “Velvet Kitty Cat” as well as the lack of a “Purple Rain” LP box. He was alive when that one was planned and the reins were in his control. The paperwork was signed. But once he was gone, he couldn’t delay the PRDLX any longer. For Prince’s best selling album there’s every reason to believe that another much larger 4-6 CD set might get the attention from The Estate once sufficient time has passed. And you’d better believe that there would be an LP box. Not that I would bother. Vinyl is not my thing…unless it’s got things nowhere else.
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Great point. I, however, am a sucker for everything vinyl and would buy every version of it regardless of cost. If they put out a vinyl set for $200 that had everything the CD reissue had I’d be there to get it today.