P x 2: Rave Un2 The Joy Fantastic (1999) & Rave In2 The Joy Fantastic (2000)

Rave Un2 The Joy Fantastic (1999 Arista Records)
Rave In2 The Joy Fantastic (2000 NPG Records)
A Tale Of Two Princes

Remember when Arista’s Clive Davis miraculously transformed 52 year-old, past-his-commercial-prime Carlos Santana into a crossover radio superstar by hooking him up with youngsters like Rob Thomas? Believe it or not, the legendary record man tried the same idea with Prince. Like Santana, Prince’s sales had tanked in the 90s, despite recording some of his finest material during the decade. Surprisingly, Prince considered Davis’ superstar/cameo/duet idea worth trying. The result is one of Prince’s weaker albums – not without its moments (and a great single) – but clearly without a singular vision to give it what Prince fans buy Prince albums for. One of the reasons might have been that Prince didn’t totally commit himself to the concept, which explains why one needs a magnifying glass to even find Chuck D, Sheryl Crow, Eve, Ani DiFranco & Gwen Stafani in the liner notes. As for the material itself, inconsistent is the keyword – though, “The Greatest Romance Ever Sold” was another under-the-radar million seller for the singer. What many don’t know is that the following year, Prince re-issued Rave, with a slightly different track list, slightly different cover, slightly different title and slightly different mixes… with slightly better results. Tracks were tinkered with or extended, while a handful were substantially re-modified. “Strange But True” and “Everyday Is A Winding Road” were removed from Un2 and replaced with the unreleased “Beautiful Strange” on In2. Online CD sales still being new in 2000, Rave In2 The Joy Fantastic went pretty much unnoticed outside the hive. On Amazon and Ebay, Prince’s version sells for between $400 and $500 (HERE), while the Arista version goes for a penny (HERE). Personally, I’m partial to the remix, but you get a public option.


Un(1999 – Arista Records)
Rave Un2 The Joy Fantastic (4:19)
Undisputed (With Chuck D) (4:20)
The Greatest Romance Ever Sold (5:30)
Segue (0:04)
Hot Wit U (5:11)
Tangerine (1:32)
So Far, So Pleased (With Gwen Stefani) (3:25)
The Sun, The Moon And Stars (5:16)
Everyday Is A Winding Road (6:13)
Seque (0:19)
Man O War (5:15)
Baby Knows (With Sheryl Crow) (3:19)
Love U, But Don’t Trust U Anymore (3:36)
Silly Game (3:30)
Strange But True (4:13)
Wherever U Go, Whatever U Do (8:51)
WebSite Promo (0:44)
Mr. Pretty Man (With Maceo Parker) (4:25)

In2 (2000 – NPG Records)
Rave In2 the Joy Fantastic (Remix) (5:15)
Undisputed (The Moneyopolis Mix) (5:46)
The Greatest Romance Ever Sold (Extended Remix) (8:07)
Hot Wit U (Nasty Girl Remix) (4:24)
Tangerine (Extended Version) (2:14)
So Far, So Pleased (3:25)
The Sun, The Moon And Stars (5:19)
Man O’ War (Remix) (5:12)
Baby Knows (Extended Version) (3:54)
I Love U, But I Don’t Trust U Anymore (3:34)
Beautiful Strange (Previously Unreleased) (4:56)
Silly Game (3:29)
Wherever U Go, Whatever U Do(Original Version) (3:17)
Pretty Man (Extended Version) (5:36)

10 Comments

  • 1
    Jay Mucci
    September 30, 2009 - 20:39 | Permalink

    I think this album is much better than you are giving it credit for. There are a few weaker moments, granted…but I think there are enough great songs to highly recommend it. I think it should have been at least a decent size hit for him.
    I have never owned nor been able to find the remix version….so thank you.

  • 2
    Capt. Willard
    October 1, 2009 - 00:32 | Permalink

    I was really just comparing it to his other work. This one and New Power Generation have always been low on my personal list. It should be a given that even Prince's worst is as good as some other artist's best. Which ones (not counting off-shoot albums like NEWS) would you rank lower?

  • 3
    Willard
    July 31, 2011 - 02:34 | Permalink

    .
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    Search HERE
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  • 4
    June 4, 2013 - 08:18 | Permalink

    Thanks for giving this album light. I like it. (His version, anyway.)

    I remember being in Circuit City and almost buying it based on a write-up I’d seen in the (gulp) ‘USA Today’. Sadly, I chickened out.

    You seem like quite the Prince fan. Anything between ‘Diamonds and Pearls’ and ‘Musicology’ you’d recommend?

    • 5
      Willard
      June 4, 2013 - 08:42 | Permalink

      Actually, a lot. Many folks checked out on Prince in the 90s because of his ridiculous non-musical shenanigans (painting his face, changing his “name”), and radio wasn’t playing the guy for reasons I still don’t understand. But I’m a big fan of the Love Symbol album (1992, the one with the symbol on the cover) and Gold Experience. About half of the 3CD Emancipation is pretty great and, if you’re into something off the beaten path, The Rainbow Children is very cool. Personally, I find his newer stuff (Musicology onwards) likable and enjoyable… but not as inventive as his 90s stuff. The fact that his religious beliefs have limited his subject matter and verbiage might be part of it, but he just isn’t quite as “dangerous” as he was in the 90s (and before). But… that’s just me. I still have them and occasionally listen to those, but I’m always drawn back to stuff like “Sexy MF.” I would HIGHLY recommend the 3CD fan-made compilation The Dawn (HERE), we’ve also got others in the archives you can hear before you D/L, like Come (HERE, dissed by many, but I’ve always liked it), Emancipation (HERE), The unreleased Montreux Jazz Festival tapes are pretty cool (HERE), “The War” is neat, if you just want to hear P free-forming live at Paisley Park on a 26 minute promo-only track (HERE), and if you want to hear some of the rarest Prince there is, check out “Black MF In The House” from the mega-rare Prince/NPG CD, Gold Nigga (HERE). But then… I like almost everything the guy does, so I’m not always the best judge. But, as you can tell, I love his 90s output over anything else, even his glory years of the mid-80s.

  • 6
    aitoid
    June 4, 2013 - 21:57 | Permalink

    I heartily agree with your comments about Love Symbol album, Gold Experience, Emancipation and especially the very excellent The Rainbow Children. I’d also recommend tracking down Crystal Ball which is a 3 (+1) disc set of “previously bootlegged” material from the 80s and 90s and is also very excellent.

  • 7
    Willard
    June 4, 2013 - 22:30 | Permalink

    You obviously like his 90s stuff, too. If you haven’t grabbed The Dawn, you should. It might be my favorite Prince… and it’s a boot. Crystal Ball was actually 3CDs + 2… The NPG Orchestra’s Kamasutra (kind of a throw away, if memory serves) and his “acoustic” album, The Truth (which we have posted HERE). I’ve been meaning to post Crystal Ball for a while but still haven’t gotten around to it for whatever reason.

  • 8
    aitoid
    June 5, 2013 - 17:52 | Permalink

    I have The Truth but hadn’t heard of Kamasutra (as far as I recall). I also hadn’t heard of The Dawn, but I’m grabbing it from you now, thanks.

    • 9
      Willard
      June 5, 2013 - 18:54 | Permalink

      Bust my hump some and I’ll rip it. The best that I can recollect, it’s pretty forgettable. Muzak, maybe. Truth is, I can’t even remember it. But… if you want it, pester me, I’ll be happy to do it.

  • 10
    aitoid
    June 6, 2013 - 04:48 | Permalink

    S’ok I found it elsewhere on-line. Thanks anyway. Will give it one listen and my completist heart will be sated.

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