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Prince & The Revolution

The Bird Rehearsal

Label: Free Boot Generation
Cat No: #FBG 33
Running Time: 39:46 / 43:59
Source: Soundboard Recording
Quality: EX+
Released: August 2010


Rehearsal : Summer 1983

Disc 1

1. The Bird 2. Baby I'm A Star (#1) 3. Baby I'm A Star (#2) 4. Baby I'm A Star (#3)

Disc 2

1. Let's Go Crazy (#1) 2. Let's Go Crazy (#2) 3. Computer Blue 4. G-Spot 5. I Would Die 4 U 6. Instrumental 7. Electric Intercourse (#1) 8. Electric Intercourse (#2) 9. Purple Rain 10. Purple Rain


This recording really highlights just how poorly some bootlegs were handled in the past. It’s the same source as the previously available version on Sabotage’s Purple Rush Vol. 2 but the difference between the two couldn’t be greater. Tapes get copied over and over and then poorly transferred and given out to the masses. It really isn’t until you hear a version from a much lower generation tape (as is the case here) that you can appreciate the original quality and what we have here is truly a fantastic example of that. Clear, crisp and superbly mastered it’s a wonderfully rich and well rounded recording and I’ve no hesitation given it a EX+.

Basslines rumble along nicely, well defined with no distortion, vocals are strong and clear and you really can enjoy the whole ensemble with no major hiccups or annoyances. I do love it when a recording like this surfaces! So all the better when the content can match up with the quality, then. Of course, that depends on your view of rehearsals but as I’ve commented in the past, I’m quite fond of them so I really enjoyed listening to this one again.

Although it’s never really stated anywhere ‘as fact’, it reasonable to assume this rehearsal was a warm-up for the Benefit Concert at First Avenue on August 3rd and we’re treated from the start with a very lengthy rendition of The Bird (clocking in at around 25 mins) followed by numerous versions, both vocal and otherwise, of Baby, I’m A Star. Considering it’s a rehearsal, the band seem pretty tight from the off even though you could argue some of the tracks would be still fairly fresh to them but listening to Computer Blue stirs up emotions of those first few times you heard it and it’s almost pitch perfect from the off. It’s also a joy to hear such rarities as G-Spot and Electric Intercourse feature too and considering I’ve grown weary of Purple Rain these days, I must admit the version on here is superb featuring a much more ‘piano led’ feel to it.

So, if rehearsals are your cup of tea than this release is a definite for you but I would urge you to grab a copy nonetheless as the sound quality alone makes it a must. The accompanying artwork is as professional and stylish as anything the guys have produced before and is, frankly, stunning.

Not long ago I may have argued that bootlegs like this don’t turn up very often these days but this year has so far proved me wrong. Long may it continue.
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