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Powerhouse Radio Newsletter
Prince is King
April 6, 2006

This issue includes...

1) Prince is King
2) Win The Very Best of Peabo Bryson
3) Alicia Keys: Tears for Water
4) Music News: Janet Jackson, Dreamgirl Beyonce', New Edition
5) Concert Dates: Who's on Tour?
6) Solar Success - Whispers, Lakeside, Shalamar, Dynasty
7) Your Feedback via email to King at Powerhouse Radio

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1) Prince is King

Prince, and his latest release, 3121, hit the top spot on the Billboard 200 album chart the first week of its release, selling 183,436 units. It's the first time a Prince release has debuted at number 1. 3121 is his first #1 album since 1989's Batman soundtrack.

The Minnesota native's career exploded in 1984, with the simultaneous success of Purple Rain the movie, album, and single, all achieving #1 chart status at the same time.

Check out these hot highlights from recent 3121 reviews...

Stylus Magazine:

"Where that album (Musicology) didn’t really deserve all of its attendant ink—c’mon, how many of those pieces were projections of how much we wanted it to be a great album? — his new platter (which is his first #1 pop album since 1989’s Batman!) does. This is the Prince album we wanted Musicology to be."

Rolling Stone:

"As on Musicology, the beats get pretty wicked here... But while 3121 is no funkier than Musicology, it does emphasize speedier tempos and, two nods to Zapp aside, more conventional sonics."

All Music Guide:

"Maybe he's no longer breaking new ground, but his eccentricities are now an attribute, not a curse, which goes a long way in making his trademark blend of funk, pop, soul, and rock sound nearly as dazzling as it did at his popular and creative peak in the '80s."

Los Angeles Times:

"The artist formerly known as out of his mind appears to have stabilized.

When Prince "liberated" himself from the major-label music business a decade ago, his musical course became so bewilderingly indulgent that even the occasional bright spot wasn't much cause for celebration, since he'd likely be back soon with something unlistenable.

But here's a sign o' changing times: He's followed 2004's return-to-form album, "Musicology," with another R&B-rock hybrid that recalls the days when he tossed off these gems with effortless brilliance.

Like its predecessor, "3121" looks backward for its inspiration rather than blazing new trails, but its quirkiness, playful tone and rhythmic irresistibility remind you why Prince ruled the world for a while."

New York Times:

"A friendly, happy, concise album."

Dot Music:

"The twenty-fifth album of Prince's twenty-eight year career is a true landmark. Following a decade of misguided, shapeless and self-gratifying nonsense, "3121" is his second good album in a row.

But while "3121" might suggest that, at 47, Prince isn't looking to change the face of music anymore, he's clearly still more than capable of delivering classic Prince albums.

Perhaps the more critical question is whether Prince's comeback - and it's safe to call it that now - will excite anyone under the age of 30."

Philadelphia Inquirer:

"Is the mysteriously named 3121 a classic Prince album, an embarrassing Prince album, or another solid-if-unremarkable effort like its predecessor, Musicology, which sold 2 million copies and propelled the aging imp to surprise stature as the most successful touring act of 2004?

Has there ever been a pop musician (outside of maybe Stevie Wonder) so skilled at genre-hopping that he's made everything he does - a killer guitar solo, an effortless falsetto, a super-tight funk jam - seem so easy?

So what's the verdict on 3121, whose exact meaning is known only to Prince, and which is being ingeniously marketed with a Willie Wonka-like promotion in which a handful of fortunate CD buyers will find "purple tickets" admitting them to a concert at Prince's house in Los Angeles, which he's said to have renamed "3121"?

3121 is essentially a party record, so it sounded good in a party setting, particularly the horn-happy jam "Get on the Boat," which features James Brown alum Maceo Parker on sax, as well as the robotic electro-funk of "Love" and the hard-charging rocker "Fury," which Prince tore up when he performed last month with his latest fetching protege, Tamar, on Saturday Night Live.

(Her album, produced by Prince, is due out in May.)

3121 is looser, less pedantic, and all the better for it. He's not as great as he once was, but Prince can still run the musical gamut with awe-inspiring ease."

BBC in the U.K.:

"Prince revolutionized popular music 20 years ago, and it's taken that long for the world to catch up. It's a hard legacy for anyone to live up to.

The eclecticism of 3121 harks back to that 80s golden age. There's the addictive groove of the title track, the cheesy - but deeply satisfying - boss nova of "Te Amo Corazon", and a supremely competent funk work out by the name of "Get On The Boat".

Despite a few too many insipid ballads, it's his most focused album in years; devotees of classic Prince will love it. It's not anything new, but then changing the course of music twice in a lifetime is probably just a little too much to ask for."


More Prince facts:

  • He's sold more than 100 million records worldwide.

  • Prince launched his online NPG Music Club in the early '90s, pioneering direct sales and content creating a formula that other musicians have copied.

  • Prince was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2004.


Test your knowledge of Prince in this fun quiz prepared by Sean Monkman and our friends at the CBC in Toronto, Canada:


2) Win The Very Best of Peabo Bryson

Peabo Bryson has just released...
"The very Best of Peabo Bryson," featuring all of his hits. He's included some great duets too, with Roberta Flack, Regina Belle, Natalie Cole, and Celine Dion.

Powerhouse Radio has several copies of this 2006 CD, along with a special bonus just for you.

To enter our random drawing, go to:

(Editor's note - the contest has ended - we have winners!)

This contest is for Powerhouse Radio Newsletter subscribers only. The deadline to enter is Friday, April 14, 2006. Good luck!

3) Alicia Keys: Tears for Water - Songbook of Poems & Lyrics

In hardcover since November 2004, and paperback since November 2005, "Tears for Water" is a glimpse inside the soul of Alicia Keys, through her own words.

She dedicates the book "for all who believe in the power of words and their potential to heal."

Tears for Water is a combination poetry slam and lyric collection, with what Alicia calls her most delicate thoughts, some originally written for her eyes only.

She's poured through her journals and notebooks to share lots of her early prose, never recorded, plus we're given the full lyrics to all of the tunes in "Songs in A Minor," and "The Diary of Alicia Keys."

We don't get a timeline of when each item was written, but part of the fun in reading through the material is guessing at what stage of her life she put her thoughts on paper. One assumes that with more maturity comes more emotional depth in expressing feelings.

Alicia does provide some background information after certain poems, letting us know all about themes and characters.

Here's an excerpt from a longer piece she calls "Everywhere is Nowhere"

"I've made my home in many places

From New York streets and subway seats

to London's cold and foggy sleets

From hotel rooms in the biggest suites

to motels sick with dirty sheets

In smoky clubs, that barely fit 104

to the largest stage of screaming more!

I've slept quite hard on buses and trains

with daily trips on wide-winged planes

and some days I've often felt very strange

cause something's missing..."

These are strong images from the mind of Alicia Keys. Tears for Water is a national bestseller, and an intimate look into the heart of a talented writer - performer.


Review written by King for the Powerhouse Radio Newsletter

4) Music News: Janet Jackson, Dreamgirl Beyonce', New Edition

Janet Jackson
Can legendary producers Jimmy Jam & Terry Lewis, (who produced two tracks on the recent Earth Wind & Fire Illumination CD), create more magic for Janet Jackson?

It's been 20 years since Janet released "Control." Jam & Lewis are back in the saddle with the queen of wardrobe malfunction producing a new CD to be released in May, 2006.

Janet will need some major mojo to pass 2004's Damita Jo CD, which after two years, despite several strong tracks on the release, has yet to sell a million copies.

Dreamgirl Beyonce'
Coming to a movie multiplex near you in December, 2006 - Dreamgirls, an update of the Broadway spectacular, (originally with Jennifer Holliday), now starring Beyonce'.

Dreamgirls is the story of a fictional group, (loosely based on The Supremes), who break down racial barriers in the music business in the 1960's.

Also in this movie adaptation, former American Idol finalist Jennifer Hudson, Tony Award winning actress Anika Noni, Jamie Foxx as the manager of "the Dreams," along with additional roles featuring Eddie Murphy and Danny Glover.

New Edition
Bobby Brown, Ralph Tresvant, Mike Bivins, Johnny Gill, Ricky Bell and Ron DeVoe, better known as New Edition, are scheduled to give "Candy Girl" a thrill one more time at the Essence Music Festival, July 1 - 3 in Houston, Texas (moved out of New Orleans this year because of Hurricane Katrina damage to the Superdome).

New Edition will also be performing on other selected dates, (but not necessarily with Brown).

Have you been following the recent sensational tabloid stories about Whitney Houston and Bobby Brown? These stories get more unbelievable every month!

Bankruptcy for Death Row Records?
Is Bankruptcy protection facing Death Row Records, whose artists during the 1990's included Snoop Dogg and the late Tupac Shakur?

An uppaid judgment against Owner Marion "Suge" Knight for $107 million dollars is at the heart of the recent bankruptcy filing in Los Angeles.

Knight claims the record label has $1 million to $10 million dollars in assets, and debts of over $100 million.

Both Death Row Records Inc., and Knight, have filed for protection under Chapter 11 of the federal US bankruptcy law.


Editor's comment:

Although remnants of some of the following once great black owned or controlled record companies remain, despite amazing success, we've seen the rise and fall of...

* Motown Records in the 60's and 70's
* Philadelphia International Records in the 70's and 80's

Consolidation by the bigger labels into a collection of super giants, like Sony , helped kill off the smaller independent labels.

Another problem for smaller labels...no control over the means of distribution, meaning that their ultimate fate is in the hands of the super giants, who, like retailer Walmart, set and make the distribution rules for all those who want to play.

5) Concert Dates: Who's on Tour?

Roberta Flack
Friday, April 7, 2006
Ryman Auditorium
Nashville, TN

Thursday, April 20, 2006
House of Blues
Cleveland, OH

Black Eyed Peas
Friday, April 21, 2006
Madison Square Garden, NY, NY

Maze & Frankie Beverly
Sunday, April 23, 2006
The Grove of Anaheim
Anaheim, CA

New Edition
Saturday, April 29, 2006
D.A.R. Constitution Hall
Washington, DC

Mary J. Blige, Kanye West
Saturday, May 6, 2006
Verizon Wireless Amphitheater
Irvine, CA

O'Jays & Jerry Butler
Saturday, May 20, 2006
North Fork Theatre
Westbury, NY

Natalie Cole
Saturday, May 27, 2006
Field of Dreams
Sonoma, CA

Donna Summer
Friday & Saturday, May 26 - 27, 2006
Bank Atlantic Center
Fort Lauderdale, FL

Donna Summer
Sunday, May 28, 2006
Ruth Eckerd Hall
Clearwater, FL

6) Solar Success - Whispers, Lakeside, Shalamar, Dynasty

Sound of Los Angeles Records, better known as Solar, was home to a modest, yet very successful collection of soulful R&B recording artists, including The Whispers, Lakeside, Shalamar, Dynasty, Carrie Lucas, Midnight Star, Kylmaxx, and Baby Face.

Founder Dick Griffey entered the music business in the 1960's, eventually promoting big concert tours for The Jackson 5, and Stevie Wonder.

In the early 1970's, Griffey became talent coordinator for Don Cornelius on TV's Soul Train. By 1975, Cornelius and Griffey teamed up to launch Soul Train Records. Soul Train Records would eventually become Solar, with Griffey responsible for the new company, without any involvement from former partner Don Cornelius.

You can argue that The Whispers were the most successful of the Solar acts, and the most hard core R&B group in the Solar stable.

Shalamar found lots of cross-over pop acceptance, while Dynasty kept dance floors hot.

Lakeside, Midnight Star, and Kylmaxx pumped out a steady diet of funky grooves.

Discover their complete stories: The Whispers, Shalamar, Lakeside, and Dynasty, from the official Solar biographies...


7) Your Feedback via email to King at Powerhouse Radio

Juan writes:

"Thanks for the great music. Powerhouse Radio makes my work day go by a lot smoother. By the way, thank you for playing Dionne Warwick's "Track of the Cat." I had forgotten about that gem. You guys are the best!"

And here's Jason's quick email jolt:

"Love the music, Jason, London UK (just chillin !!)"

Patricia comments on Powerhouse Radio's Valentine duets:

"Nice list, but what about Curtis Mayfield & Linda Clifford, Between You Baby & Me? Thanks for allowing us to express ourselves."

King's comment:

Great suggestion Patricia, I love it.


Don't be left out, because we're listening. Leave your comments, feedback, or music requests here:


You can also post a comment in our guest book message board.

Read all of the back issues of The Powerhouse Radio Newsletter from 2002 to the present...



Published by PowerhouseRadio.com.
Editor: King
Copyright 2006 by Powerhouse Radio
All rights reserved
Powerhouse Radio


More 2006 Powerhouse Radio Newsletters:
December - Christmas Jollies
November - The Classic Soul R&B Music Jam
June - The Classic Soul R&B Music Jam
January - So Long to Lou Rawls Soul

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