I wrote about the song “Our Destiny” back in June and I toyed with the idea of combining it with “Roadhouse Garden” simply because they’re also combined as one track on the 2017 Purple Rain Deluxe Edition. Now I kind of wish I had because I’m struggling to find any new light to shine on it.
“Roadhouse Garden” was recorded by Prince, Wendy Melvoin, and Lisa Coleman in May of 1984. Because of the timing it would’ve been impossible for this song to be considered for the Purple Rain soundtrack since that was released only a month later. It’s also not believed to have been considered for 1985’s Around the World in a Day album. Prince did work on a Prince & The Revolution album in the late-1990’s that was tentatively titled Roadhouse Garden, but it never materialized.
So, like so many other Prince songs, “Roadhouse Garden” sat for decades in the vault. Finally in 2017 it was released with 11 other vault tracks on the Purple Rain Deluxe Edition. On the album it was paired with “Our Destiny” and in to one 6+ minute track as they do have the same tempo and bass drum programming. “Our Destiny” just flows seamlessly in to “Roadhouse Garden.” According to Prince Vault it’s unclear if this was Prince’s intention or if it happened when the Deluxe Edition was being created after his death. Interestingly, it’s possible that there was a limit to the number of vault tracks that could be included in the Deluxe Edition and combining the two songs in to one track was a way of cheating to get an extra song on the album.
For me, “Roadhouse Garden” is a forgettable song. It’s not bad, but it’s mediocre when compared to Prince’s other work during that time. The lyrics are intersting, but it’s not enough to save an otherwise average song. There are plenty of songs in that era, and even on the Vault disc of Purple Rain Deluxe Edition that I prefer. I once again beg the Prince Estate to put the full Deluxe Edition on vinyl so I can enjoy all of the extra Deluxe Edition stuff that way.