This Day in ’87: Paisley Park Opens
30 years ago today, Paisley Park Studios opened in Minneapolis, Minnesota, giving Prince a place to lay down whatever tracks he wanted, whether he had any intention of actually releasing them or not. Prince wasnât the only one who recorded there, of course: plenty of other songs and albums were constructed within the studioâs hallowed halls, ranging from huge hits to cult favorites. Weâve compiled a list of five such songs, and you may be surprised by some of the names and some of the songs with ties to Paisley Park.
1. R.E.M., âShiny Happy Peopleâ â When R.E.M. initially arrived at Paisley Park, their intent was simply to mix the OUT OF TIME album, but they ended up doing a fair amount more, including recording Kate Piersonâs vocals on âShiny Happy People,â adding melodica to âEndgame,â and having a snowball fight. They also had a couple of encounters with Prince, but they didnât walk away as besties with His Royal Badness. âI passed Prince in the hallway one time, and I said, âHello,â and he looked at me and smiled at me,â recalled Mike Mills in a Rolling Stone piece on OUT OF TIMEâs 25th anniversary. âApparently that freaked everyone out because employees were not supposed to look at him or speak to him in any way.â
2. Stone Temple Pilots, âLounge Flyâ â This track from Purple was recorded while STP were on the road. âWe just get bored on tour and thought it would be nice to take a day off and go into the studio,â said Eric Kretz, in a post on Scott Weilandâs official Facebook page. Within the same post, Robert DeLeo offered some specifics about the track: âWhat sounds like backwards drums is actually backwards guitar, a 12-string acoustic tuned to D minor. The whole song is played in open tuning D minor.â If you say so, Robert. We just think it sounds awesome.
3. MC Hammer, âAddams Grooveâ â To be honest, we donât know anything about the recording sessions for this song. We just wanted an excuse to offer up the video for this track.
4. Warren Zevon, SPLENDID ISOLATION â Weâre not entirely sure what material Zevon recorded during his time at Paisley Park, but we do know it was something from his 1989 album SPLENDID ISOLATION. Rather than post a track from that album and find out after the fact that we picked one that wasnât recorded there, we decided weâd instead post Zevonâs cover of âRaspberry Beret,â which he recorded with members of R.E.M. as Hindu Love Gods. Why? Because itâs awesome.
5. BoDeans, âGood Thingsâ â This Wisconsin band was pretty big on the college charts, but they hadnât made a breakthrough into the mainstream until they teamed up with David Z for their BLACK AND WHITE album. This track became their biggest hit up to that point, and while Prince might not have played on it, David Zâs history as a sideman for The Purple One made him a high-profile pick for production and led to enough of a tweak to their sound that audiences ate it up.