P The Dawn (1995/2008)

The Dawn (1995/2008)
Glorious Construction of Prince’s Mid-90s Unreleased
Masterwork

As fan releases go, The Dawn is hands down one of the all time greats – with stunning studio quality sound, edited as professionally as any major label release. Over the years, Prince’s unreleased, mid-90s masterwork was spread piecemeal across various albums, scuttled projects and extended mix singles. Even casual fans could hear the connected threads that littered various albums like Gold Experience, Come, The Beautiful Experience and a slew of maxi-singles, but the big picture was always elusive… maybe even to Prince himself. Was this particular 3CD vision of The Dawn (a title Prince did have in the works) what he actually intended? Probably not. But, as a longtime fan, I can unequivocally state that the compilers of The Dawn have done a better job of it than Prince has (so far, anyway). Fanatics will enjoy hearing these mid-90s Prince essentials and rare mixes gathered into a massive conceptual structure, while non-fans get an introduction to the utterly fantastic music Prince was making back when no one was paying attention (since falling from public favor over his name-changing, face-painting antics). I’ve loved most of this material for years – though, many of these mixes are culled from outtakes and lesser known re-mixes – and hearing it all expertly compiled in one place brings new life to material I had overlooked myself (like the stitched together contractual obligation, Chaos And Disorder). Three, 19 track discs… each exactly 77 minutes in length. That’s attention to detail. Grab the gorgeous artwork, too. It might be fair to call this Prince’s greatest “release,” had he desired, or been allowed, to put it out like this himself.


ACT 1: COME
- Prologue: The Welcome Experience
Welcome 2 The Dawn (2:08)
- Part 1: The Wild Experience
NPG Operator (0:12)
Come (Part 1) (4:22)
Endorphin Machine (3:51)
Space (5:09)
We March (4:44)
Days Of Wild (7:17)
- Part 2: The Beautiful Experience
NPG Operator (0:18)
The Most Beautiful Girl In The World (6:21)
The Pope (4:33)
Ripopgodazippa (4:37)
NPG Operator (0:06)
Race (8:22)
Empty Room (3:17)
- Part 3: The Mad Experience
NPG Operator (0:07)
Mad (5:30)
Rock & Roll Is Alive (And It Lives In Minneapolis) (4:32)
Shhh (6:58)
Strays Of The World (4:42)

ACT 2: CHAOS
- Part 1: The Control Experience
Pussy Control (5:40)
NPG Operator (0:10)
Peach (3:06)
Chaos & Disorder (4:13)
Shy (4:56)
- Part 2: The Pheromone Experience
NPG Operator (0:15)
Pheromone (4:28)
319 (3:20)
Hide The Bone (5:07)
18 & Over (6:22)
NPG Operator (0:14)
Lemme See That Body Get Loose! (4:32)
- Part 3: The Hate Experience
Papa (2:58)
Dark (5:30)
NPG Operator (0:07)
Billy Jack Kid (8:27)
Eye Hate U (8:51)
Let It Go (5:38)
Don’t Talk 2 Strangers (3:13)

ACT 3: GOLD
- Part 1: The Interactive Experience
Interactive (3:02)
Acknowledge Me (7:11)
NPG Operator (0:11)
Somebody’s Somebody (3:42)
Love Sign (4:36)
- Part 2: The Now Experience
What’s My Name (3:03)
The Ride (8:45)
Zannalee (2:46)
NPG Operator (0:20)
Now (4:29)
Face Down (2:19)
- Part 3: The Dolphin Experience
NPG Operator (0:13)
2morrow (4:19)
The Same December (3:28)
Extraordinary (2:25)
Dolphin (6:18)
Come (Part 2) (11:50)
- Epilogue: The Gold Experience
NPG Operator (0:39)
Gold (7:28)

61 Comments

  • 1
    redsock
    March 9, 2009 - 19:14 | Permalink

    This looks quite good! Thanks!

  • 2
    Appreciative
    March 10, 2009 - 01:29 | Permalink

    Thanks! You've got the best blog in the biz!

  • 3
    Capt. Willard
    March 11, 2009 - 04:31 | Permalink

    Thanks for commenting.

  • 4
    yotte
    March 11, 2009 - 14:49 | Permalink

    Mr Willard, I really appreciate your posts… especially the Prince stuff. Thanks SO MUCH!

  • 5
    Jay Mucci
    March 12, 2009 - 02:12 | Permalink

    Very interesting posting. I'm curious…who exactly put this together and how did they come about this configuration of songs (in this order) and why? I'm curious to read as much about this as possible.

  • 6
    Capt. Willard
    March 12, 2009 - 02:30 | Permalink

    The compilers are listed in the artwork's liner notes. How they decided what to include, or arrived at this particular order, is a question for them, however. One would figure that they are fanatics… with at least some insight. Many Prince projects that never saw the light of day have been detailed and are well known amongst fans. I don't know if this is one of those or not. I CAN say, as someone who owns every Prince release, that this is an outstanding listen – whether it's the Purple One's original intention or not. And, for non-fans, it's a great introduction to his mid-90s output. Also, the segues are seamless.

  • 7
    Jay Mucci
    March 12, 2009 - 03:03 | Permalink

    Thanks for the reply. I haven't finished downloading this yet. I probably have most of these songs in 1 form or another. But I'm definitely interested in hearing how this sounds in this capacity. You've got a great site. Some really intersting stuff. Like, for instance, I didn't know Cheap Trick re-recorded "In Color" with Steve Albini, and I had been looking for those Bears and dB's albums for years. Keep up the great work.

  • 8
    Capt. Willard
    March 12, 2009 - 03:39 | Permalink

    Thanks for commenting, Jay. If you know most of this material (like I do) then I'll be surprised if you don't enjoy it just like I did. (There were also a few tracks that were new to me, which was nice.) What ties all of this madness together are the NPG Operator segues, which showed up on a few different Prince releases. Hearing them all together, themed with seemingly related tracks (actual or not) was a treat. Fortunately for me, I'm not such a Prince know-it-all that I questioned the sequencing's literal perfection. I just enjoyed the flow. Let me know what you think.

    And yeah… those Bears and db's are the best.

  • 9
    yotte
    March 12, 2009 - 09:59 | Permalink

    Again, this is so freakin' great I can hardly stand it! I'd LOVE to getta hi-res copy of this… got one in 320 or flac? Also, I'd be happy to send you links any Bears albums you're missing. I have a couple of Psychodots as well…

  • 10
    Jay Mucci
    March 12, 2009 - 12:02 | Permalink

    The only thing is, I thought "The Dawn" was a rumored music project/movie from the mid-80s…? Was Prince talking about resurrecting it in the mid-90s? I wonder why this set consists of all mid-90s songs. But then again, the rumored "Roadhouse Garden" album that was supposed to come out in 1999 was to include mid-80s Revolution tracks (from what I know), so who knows…
    Also, there was supposed to be a "Crystal Ball II" collection in 1999 with more unreleased tracks throughout the years. I guess it got cancelled at the last minute.
    Speaking of last minute cancellations, what happened to the Neil Young & Crazy Horse album "Toast" (recorded in 2000) that was supposed to come out last month? And of course the "Archives" set? Now, he's coming out with that "Fork in the Road" album. With Prince or Neil Young, it's always a case of "I'll believe it when it's actually in my hands."

  • 11
    Jay Mucci
    March 12, 2009 - 12:13 | Permalink

    By the way, if you get a chance, check out my blogsite – The Beat Patrol. It has a little bit of everything. Videos, old album reviews, poetry, political-related items, Beat literature articles, etc. I also put a link to your page. http://beatpatrol.wordpress.com/about/

  • 12
    Jay Mucci
    March 12, 2009 - 13:58 | Permalink

    Actually, I just realized that "The Dawn" WAS supposed to come out in 1994 and then in 1997 and was supposedly completed. So maybe this IS Prince's album the way he intended it to be…? I have a feeling it might be. If not, then whoever did put this together did a great job…I just started listening to it and you are right – the segues are seamless. There was definitely some brilliant creativity that went into this, whether this was Prince's vision or someone else's. And the "Come" songs seem to sound better within this context. Excellent job!

  • 13
    Capt. Willard
    March 12, 2009 - 15:35 | Permalink

    Yotte,
    This is all I have, res-wise. If you're a torrent type, I'm sure Google has something floating around out there. Thanks for the The Bears and Psychodots, but I'm all set. Thanks for commenting.

  • 14
    Capt. Willard
    March 12, 2009 - 15:46 | Permalink

    Jay,
    Glad you like it. Sounds like you weren't that big of a Come fan (which I loved – totally dug the smooth groove). But, I never really warmed to Chaos And Disorder. Yet THOSE tracks sound better in this context to me. Just goes to show something, though I'm not sure what. As for albums that never materialized, Prince had dozens of them. Just grabbed "Camille" (from '86) recently, though, all of those songs have since surfaced on other albums in one form or another. Prince is one guy that is tough, but fun, to keep track of when it comes to all his unreleased or unrealized stuff. Thanks for the follow up.

  • 15
    Jay Mucci
    March 12, 2009 - 17:45 | Permalink

    I liked "Come" but I just thought it was one of his weaker ones, although I did like "Papa," "Letitgo" and "Loose!" alot. The funny thing is, I LOVE "Chaos and Disorder" (even wrote a review of it on my site) and think it's one of his great "lost" albums. But I think alot of the songs on this "Dawn" collection sound better here. I'd like to hear that "Camille" album the way it was supposed to be. Also the original versions of "Crystal Ball" and "Dream Factory." Have you heard "The Undertaker" ? That's a great one. Live in the studio, heavy guitar, bluesy. Or any of his internet-only releases (Chocolate Invastion, Xpectation, The Slaughterhouse)?? Great stuff…

  • 16
    Capt. Willard
    March 12, 2009 - 18:09 | Permalink

    Funny how his material hits different people in different ways. I'll get Camille together and post it this week. I HAD Dream Factory on CDRs, but haven't seen them in a while. Time to rummage. I've got the internet only stuff, though my Undertaker is @128 (and pieced together from other sources). If you have an original one with better quality you can share, let me know.

  • 17
    Jay Mucci
    March 12, 2009 - 18:59 | Permalink

    For all that I know about computers, one thing I'm still not sure about is how to send someone music files. Any suggestions?
    And yeah, it is funny how different songs of his hit people in different ways. That's the great thing about him. He always has something that someone will like.

  • 18
    Capt. Willard
    March 12, 2009 - 19:10 | Permalink

    Drop me an email directly (in my profile) and I'll walk you though it.

  • 19
    redsock
    March 12, 2009 - 20:50 | Permalink

    Willard, do you have ftp access? I have flacs of "Dream Factory" and (I think) "The Undertaker". If not, I could convert them to 320 and send you Rapidshare links.

    • 20
      Josh Ritta
      December 13, 2014 - 13:03 | Permalink

      Huge fan and thanks to all the rarities on this website I’ve only just discovered. Any chance I can get that rip of The Undertaker in 320? Would be most grateful.

  • 21
    Capt. Willard
    March 14, 2009 - 10:38 | Permalink

    Hey Red,
    I DO have Dream Factory. Found the discs today. And Jay was kind enough to send me The Undertaker. Thanks again for the offer.
    W

  • 22
    tock
    March 14, 2009 - 20:23 | Permalink

    Ooo, yes, more great Prince please. Can;t wait to hear Dream Factory. Good interview with Wendy and Lisa about it here:

    http://www.vibe.com/news/online_exclusives/2009/03/what_had_happened_was_lisa_coleman_and_wendy_melvoin/

  • 23
    Ding Pression
    March 17, 2009 - 12:07 | Permalink

    Some great stuff here. Thanks so much!

  • 24
    Chance
    March 28, 2009 - 20:55 | Permalink

    Wow, this one's incredible! I don't know much Prince past the eighties, so, as folks are saying, this is a great intro. Love the way it all connects together, even if that's got nothing to do with Prince's own ideas. It all works nicely. Stunning graphics, too. Thanks very much!

  • 25
    Capt. Willard
    March 28, 2009 - 21:05 | Permalink

    Cool, thanks for commenting. A lot of people tuned Prince out in the 90s, and it's some of his funkiest work. Great to hear folks turning on to it. Thanks for the follow-up.

  • 26
    Capt. Willard
    December 1, 2010 - 17:31 | Permalink

    .
    .
    .
    Find it all HERE.
    .
    .
    .

  • 27
    ate2zee
    February 3, 2012 - 17:26 | Permalink

    Being the last one on the block to try to get The Dawn, I see that I waited too long. Part 1 Come has been removed. Thanks muchly for parts 2 & 3–I’m listening to them right now–& yes–Thanks! At this point I’m hoping to somewhat piece together Part 1 from purchasing Come, but from your comments get the impression that won’t be the same. Having not heard the part 1 that was removed, I’m curious how close the purchased album Come will be.

  • 28
    Willard
    February 3, 2012 - 18:37 | Permalink

    There’s a new number 1 up now. Thanks.

  • 29
    ate2zee
    February 4, 2012 - 16:11 | Permalink

    I’m not kidding, I totally see why they made you the Captain. Thanks ever so! Again, I’m kind of an after the fact type, but in case you’ve not seen it, I’ll pass on a YouTube from the 2004 R’n’R Hall of Fame when they inducted Prince & George Harrison (had passed on in 2001 but was represented by son Dhani.) Its a bit long, so if your attention span is short like mine, at least watch the last minute or two. It starts out with a crowd of old timers–Tom Petty, Jeff Lynne, etc plugging away at My Guitar Gently Weeps with Dhani. Prince is not visible, but toward the end steps out of the shadows in a RED fedora & shirt & asbsolutely takes over with a little solo that he plays to Dhani. He doesn’t forget to include every R’n’R trick in the book except lighting his guitar on fire–even does Spinal Tap thing where he leans back so far someone has to stand him back upright. At the end he throws his guitar in the air & walks off with a big old smirk on his face. Priceless Prince. But The Dawn Part 1 track 17–Rock & Roll is Alive (And It Lives in Minneapolis)–no amount of money could cover what thats worth.

  • 30
    Willard
    February 4, 2012 - 17:24 | Permalink

    Yeah, I remember this. Enjoyed watching it again, thanks. I thought at the time, that the version of the tune was so note-perfect (especially those lead riffs)… and then Prince comes out. It must have pissed off a bunch of the oldsters wallowing in Wilburymania to see him hogging the spotlight. I loved him, but I just know that others thought he was an irreverent sore thumb.

  • 31
    ate2zee
    February 5, 2012 - 01:07 | Permalink

    Right. I’m no Prince expert, but being from Minneapolis I can tell you that pissing people off is another one of Prince’s extraordinary gifts–he’s just plain not Minnesota Nice enough for people. But then when there’s a rumor that Prince might just be showing up somewhere to jam with so and so after such & such, everyone tears over there like a herd of buffalo & will wait around for him until “The Dawn”. I couldn’t tell if the old-timers on the video were pissed or not, but Prince clearly put a smile on Dhani’s face, and Dhani’s face is George’s face.

    • 32
      Willard
      February 5, 2012 - 04:30 | Permalink

      I didn’t mean the players though. I meant viewers not hip to Prince’s genius thinking he came out and mucked up this perfect rendition. It’s amazing how many people can’t get past how he acts and looks, to even know how good he is. As a long time defender, I’ve run into many.

  • 33
    ate2zee
    February 5, 2012 - 15:34 | Permalink

    Agree. I read through some of the viewer comments on that YouTube, & just had to stop–alot of viscious comments. So much pain in the world–& music is a healing force, both to the creator & the listener. I guess all music doesn’t rise out of pain, but most of the best stuff does, including Prince’s. In his case, he creates out of pain & he also is one. He’s a mystery–one that is better left unsolved, God Bess Him!

    • 34
      Willard
      February 5, 2012 - 16:30 | Permalink

      Virtually never read YouTube droppings. Thanks for reminding me why. Truth be told, Prince is just an oddball. An eccentric, musically gifted oddball. It amazes me that this guy didn’t rule the roost continually, like he did during the Purple Rain days. But he followed his own whims and many just couldn’t keep up. Then he tried in so many ways to build little empires of handpicked artists forged in his image, but the trends never totally took off. He’s done that since the 80s, and still dabbles in it a bit today. But, that output! You can’t even make that much music – much less know how and be able to – without having your head in a different place altogether. And that Prince most certainly has. He’s in my top 5 of artists, along with The Beatles & Zappa. But to me… Prince is the only bona fide genius of the bunch… despite how he sometimes looks and acts.

  • 35
    ate2zee
    February 5, 2012 - 23:55 | Permalink

    An incredibly productive, musically gifted oddball–yes. What must it be like to be the occupant of that brain day in & day out. Then he steps out into the world where he’s greeted with over the top adulation, intrusive cruelty, or potshots. One minute people are poking fun at him & the next they’re never going to wash that shirt they were wearing when a drop of spit flew from his mouth & landed on it while he sang Purple Rain (Hey, I only did that once.) But the problem is, in Minneapolis we have a hard time with men who wear high heels, appear buck naked on their album cover, etc but also– “we loves our Prince” as you previously commented. All this cognitive disonance gives rise to our need to hear those funny Prince stories. I’ve sometimes wondered, OK–Does Prince mean to be funny when he does or says this stuff? I’ve mostly decided that he does. And I feel a little bad that I called him a pain in my previous post, since he’s probably no bigger a pain than I am. BTW thanks for Prince’s Montreux Jazz that I just got.

  • 36
    Muddy
    May 1, 2012 - 01:07 | Permalink

    This is great! Someone did a great job. And now it’s in 320! Thanks, Capt.

    • 37
      Willard
      May 1, 2012 - 08:49 | Permalink

      No shit. A really great job.

  • 38
    Grateful
    July 7, 2012 - 18:36 | Permalink

    Re:
    Prince- “Camille”:
    http://www.mediafire.com/?1wl1pk9emooiuya
    (sorry, I destroyed the C-Box with mistakes)
    this link should do it…

  • 39
    Willard
    July 7, 2012 - 20:12 | Permalink

    Thanks for the extra work, Grateful. Not sure what the deal is with the other MF link. Zero clue, actually. As for those rapidshare links, the link addresses were correct and all worked (when I copied them from C-Box Central), so why the [link] in C-Bpx wouldn’t take you to the page was curious. Oh well… I went ahead and killed all the unnecessary stuff. Drop me a direct email is you would, via the contact link in the upper right text. Thanks again for all the help.
    Cheers
    W

    • 40
      July 18, 2013 - 01:15 | Permalink

      Hi Captain WIllard, thanks for all the great work. I too am having trouble locating the link. Help???
      Thank you

  • 42
    August 9, 2012 - 08:54 | Permalink

    Hi i have been after the Dawn for YEARS!
    My copy got trashed years ago.
    This is THE Definative 90s Prince album/bootleg.
    THANK U!!
    Please re-upload the NewFunk Sampler Series.Every other link online is dead.
    Thank u :)
    Joshy ‘so pumped 2 b here!’

  • 43
    Steve
    December 6, 2012 - 03:04 | Permalink

    Thank you for your intriguing posts , all your labors and attention to detail.
    Have loved Prince since turned on to him by Christgau’s great review of
    “Dirty Mind” back in the day. I’m now 65 and still get giddy with amazement
    listening to him. Thank you for this posting . I’ve downloadedit all, but Disc 2
    is now missing – MF is extinguished and is missing in action at DF.
    Would it be possible to get a re-up ? Much appreciated. Thank you.

  • 44
    Willard
    December 6, 2012 - 10:17 | Permalink

    Thanks, Steve. New link up for #2

  • 45
    Steve
    December 6, 2012 - 15:05 | Permalink

    Thank you ; for hours of contemplation , aural arousal , and reflection .

  • 46
    Willard
    December 6, 2012 - 15:50 | Permalink

    Don’t forget to check out all the other Prince we’ve got. Cheers.

  • 47
    Miezul1
    March 25, 2013 - 09:53 | Permalink

    Just discovered your website. I feel lost. I’m searching but I don’t find !!! Am I blind ? Did I miss something ?
    Do I have to ask for re-up ?
    Thanks for giving to me the great light of the sun at the dawn.

    • 48
      Willard
      March 25, 2013 - 12:30 | Permalink

      Comment #25

      • 49
        Miezul1
        March 26, 2013 - 18:06 | Permalink

        Ok thanks :-)
        I just went today today to the doctor for new glasses !

        • 50
          Willard
          March 26, 2013 - 18:10 | Permalink

          No prob. 40 or 50 comments don’t make it any easier.

  • 51
    April 27, 2014 - 07:28 | Permalink

    Yeah, this was around the time that like a lot of other fans, I dropped out. Not even really sure why; I was always a fan of P’s excess and from what I remember, there was plenty of that to be had in the coming years, even if one had to work a little to get hold of it. But your P posts and comments are some of the most interesting on your site and this sounded like a good place to pick up where I’d left off. It’s really amazing what you have here; thanks so much!

  • 52
    peerke
    June 8, 2014 - 13:09 | Permalink

    Hi Willard, thanks for this, and all the other stuff. You’re the greatest.
    The links for the artwork don’t work anymore. Any chance for a fix?
    Thanks.

    • 53
      Willard
      June 8, 2014 - 13:17 | Permalink

      MediaFire sometimes gives false negatives. Click MF again, it’s working OK.

  • 54
    Dougls
    June 17, 2014 - 23:49 | Permalink

    Rock on

  • 55
    JMo
    August 1, 2014 - 10:39 | Permalink

    my god capt. you certainly weren’t kidding…the dawn is the REAL thing. endlessly fascinating. thank you.

    • 56
      Willard
      August 1, 2014 - 10:41 | Permalink

      Cool, glad you’re digging it. It IS mighty impressive.

  • 57
    Wayne
    October 5, 2014 - 11:52 | Permalink

    Thanks for making this available. I had one of the earlier versions that got warped,so glad to have the final version. Wow I forgot how really great this is,imagine if P was allowed to release this as proposed and had a free ” Reign ” with WB’s to release music unfettered? Agree best of the 90’s material and awesome to have it @320. Keep up the great work, much appreciated. PS, check out the new dvd, Slave Trade : How Prince Re-Made the Music Business. Great doc of the whole 90’s period all the way up to 3rdeyegirl with interviews with Sonny T and Mike B and others. PPS, If you don’t have it already I could find a way to convert it and send it to you and maybe share it with the interested folks here. Let me me know and thx agin.

    • 58
      Willard
      October 5, 2014 - 16:47 | Permalink

      Thanks for the tip. I’ll keep an eye out for it. Personally speaking, I don’t really download videos for viewing (and the few times I have, I almost never watch them). Others might be interested, though. Cheers.

  • 59
    October 9, 2014 - 02:17 | Permalink

    You can certainly see your enthusiasm within the work you
    write. The world hopes for even more passionate writers like
    you who aren’t afraid to say how they believe. At all times follow your
    heart.

  • 60
    Wayne
    October 20, 2014 - 21:36 | Permalink

    Excellent Doc on Prince from Diamonds and Pearls to 3rd Eye Girl…………Prince – Slave Trade : How Prince Re made the Music Business……https://mega.co.nz/#fm

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