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MN Music: Paisley Park Studios

A cache by MrRogersNghbor Send Message to Owner Message this owner
Hidden : 06/06/2010
2 out of 5
2 out of 5

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Paisley Park

Paisley Park Records was Prince's record label, associated with and funded in part by Warner Bros. Records. It was started in 1985, following the success of the film and album Purple Rain. The label shares its name with Prince's recording complex Paisley Park Studios and the song "Paisley Park" on his 1985 Around the World in a Day album.


The studio was designed by architect firm BOTO Design Inc, of Santa Monica, California, and was completed in 1988. It contains a recording and stage complex, and covers 55,000 sq ft (5,100 m2).

Artists who recorded for Paisley Park include The Time, Sheila E., The Family, Mavis Staples, George Clinton, Carmen Electra, Jill Jones, The Three O'Clock, Ingrid Chavez, Dale Bozzio, and Taja Sevelle.

While Prince had great chart success in the 1980s, the success did generally not transfer to other acts. With the exception of Sheila E.'s 1985 album Romance 1600 (also the label's debut non-Prince release), Tevin Campbell's single "Round and Round", and The Time's 1990 release, "Pandemonium", the label never had any commercial successes by artists other than Prince. In 1994, amid Prince's feud with Warner Bros., Warner ended its distribution deal with Paisley Park, effectively closing the label. Prince later started NPG Records.

Paisley Park Records also released albums by Mazarati, Good Question, Madhouse, Eric Leeds, and the late Tony LeMans, whose debut album was produced by David Gamson of Scritti Politti. Also of note, the President of Operations for the label was Alan Leeds, brother of saxophonist Eric Leeds, who played sax in Sheila E.'s band, The Family and also toured with The New Power Generation. Alan won a Grammy for writing the liner notes for a James Brown album, and at one point served as Prince's tour manager on several tours. Craig Rice also served as President shortly after Alan Leeds left.

Prince's management firm at the time, Cavallo, Ruffalo & Fargnoli, affectionately known as the "Spaghetti Bros.", began signing artists to the label, at times even without Prince's knowledge or permission. That precipitated the beginning of the end to a successful partnership. Shortly after firing the management team, lawsuits ensued and it was discovered that the label was mismanaged from the outset, with Warner Bros. taking heavy losses due to exorbitant advances paid to Prince and his management team for the label. Warner Bros. also helped to pay for the recording studio built in Chanhassen, a US$10 million world-class recording facility that also was a soundstage. Warner executives insisted on a return on their investment, which resulted in several major artists recording their albums at Paisley Park Studios, at times even against Prince's wishes.

Paisley Park Records folded with Prince retaining the masters of all artists, artists advances that were kept by the company, and no support from the label. All releases are out of print, including releases by George Clinton, whose albums recorded on Prince's label are the only recordings of his that are currently out of print.

There were catalog numbers for both the original pressing of The Black Album (25677) and for Camille, but they were canceled and abandoned and, therefore, it can be said that both of those albums (which showcase the Camille alter ego) and certainly the numerous unreleased music and full length films and video work that are known to have been created in Prince's state-of-the-art Paisley Park studios are among the rarest of the Prince catalog on the Paisley Park record label.

WARNING:  Cache is NOT inside the fence or anywhere inside Paisley Park Studio Grounds. That is private property and should not be trespassed upon. Cache is just a few feet off the sidewalk.

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