The Glamorous Life Analysis

1315 Words 6 Pages
Track 5: The Glamorous Life
Sheila E., The Glamorous Life

One of the most significant outcomes of the Sunset Sound sessions was an album for Sheila Escovedo, a young Latin with well-honed percussion skills. She was the daughter of a professional backing player and had been introduced to Prince by Carlos Santana. With some considerable coaxing, Prince got Sheila to take a stab at the mic. Following a first, successful collaboration on “Erotic City,” Prince pulled her into the studio with a pile of his demos and completed an entire album on her behalf in just five days. As with his other women, she went to market with a new name: Sheila E. Her album was titled The Glamorous Life, and it was “Jamie Starr’s” third production of the year (under
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The black-and-white album cover and the treatment of the title (“Sheila E. in The Glamorous Life”) imitated a vintage cinema bill. Sheila was the “director,” and her staff was the “cast.” The material on The Glamorous Life was surprisingly clean and straightforwardly pop. It seemed deliberately designed to ensnare the whole of pop culture. Gone were the controversies and experimentalism. It was all listener-friendly hooks and verses. The strategy worked. The title track, “The Glamorous Life,” took up roost on the charts, peaking at #5 on Pop radio and crowning the list of dance singles. It was one of Prince’s most enduring hits ever, a classic in the library of ‘80s pop. Sheila E. became a major star, and her success was another cornerstone in Prince’s burgeoning empire. With all these channels of output—Sheila E., the Time, Apollonia, his movie soundtrack and the B-sides—Prince still had leftover outtakes that made their way into the hands of other artists. One such beneficiary was Sheena Easton. Using the pseudonym Alexander Nevermind, Prince provided the British singer with a confection of sexual double-entendre – a track called “Sugar Walls.” The song made the Top 10 on both the Pop and Black charts and secured Sheena’s popular success in the …show more content…
He was a rock guitar god one moment. The next, he was swiping James Brown’s funk and teaching the teacher how to really make it sweat. Ten minutes later, he was a half-naked, vulgar imp, twirling down fire poles, sliding across the floor, crawling to the edge of the stage on his belly. Three spins later, he was a blues troubadour at the keyboards, crooning in a piercing falsetto – a lost boy crying to be mothered. And he had a new outfit for every metamorphosis. His almost-see-through lace pants were most memorable. The Purple Rain show continued to be driven by his sense of theatricality, and he directed the band to treat each section as if it were a scene in a play. The moody middle of the show was most unusual – and most critically offensive. During a long period of eerie darkness and sound effects with spectral light, Prince openly acknowledged the moral conflict he felt about the material he performed. He sang “God,” an esoteric B-side that borrowed lyrics from the Book of Genesis, and delivered a penitent monologue. A moment later, his shirt was off, and he was getting naughty again. He climbed into a bathtub and writhed under a shower of neon

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