crystal ball

1998 ***1/2

1. Crystal Ball
2. Dream Factory
3. Acknowledge Me
4. Ripopgodazippa
5. Lovesign
6. Hide the Bone
7. 2morrow
8. So Dark
9. Move Star
10. Tell Me How U Wanna B Done
11. Interactive
12. Da Bang
13. Calhoun Square
14. What's My Name
15. Crucial
16. An Honest Man
17. Sexual Suicide
18. Cloreen Bacon Skin
19. Good Love
20. Strays of the World
21. Days of Wild
22. Last Heart
23. PoomPoom
24. She Gave Her Angels
25. 18 & Over
26. The Ride
27. Get Lose
28. P. Control
29. Make Your Mama Happy
30. Goodbye

Legend has it, Prince wanted to make a three-disc album titled Crystal Ball back in 1987, but Warner Bros. made him whittle it down to the double-album Sign O' the Times. In the decade that passed from the release of Sign O' the Times and Crystal Ball, many outtakes were bootlegged and circulated among die hard Prince fans. Once Prince's relationship with Warner Bros. ended, he decided to revive Crystal Ball and give it his proper seal of approval. Being a collection of outtakes and rarities, Crystal Ball is a mixed bag kind of album, but it has its high points, such as the title track, "Ripopgodazippa," which was featured in the film Showgirls, and "P. Control," which does appear on some editions of The Gold Experience. There are some low points, too, though, most notably the ridiculous 15-minute long "Cloreen Bacon Skin." Ultimately, it's only for true Prince collectors, not for the casual fan. Also included in most releases of this album was a fourth disc of acoustic material, titled The Truth. I have decided to review that album separately, as it really is an album all its own.