Rave Un2 the Joy Fantastic (Album)

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Rave Un2 the Joy Fantastic
Prince's studio album


November 9, 1999


June 1998 - September 15, 1999

Label (s) NPG Records / Arista Records

Format (s)

Compact Disc , double LP

Genre (s)

Funk , pop , R&B , rock

Title (number)


running time


occupation All songs were produced, arranged, composed and performed by Prince. The following people completed the recordings:
  • Mike Scott - guitar in The Greatest Romance Ever Sold
  • Adele C. - “Queen” in Undisputed
  • Brother Jules - Scratching in Undisputed , Hot Wit U , Prettyman
  • Chuck D - "rhyme animal" in Undisputed
  • Kip Blackshire - Vocoder Vox in Undisputed
  • Kirk A. Johnson, Morris Hayes - Chanting "NPG" in Undisputed
  • Eve - "rhyme" in Hot Wit U
  • Kirk Johnson - drums in So Far, So Pleased and additional percussions in Man 'O' War
  • Larry Graham , Kip Blackshire, DuJuan Blackshire and Johnnie Blackshire - background vocals in Everyday is a Winding Road
  • Michael Bland - drums in Baby Knows
  • Prince and Michael B. Nelson - brass instrument arrangements



Studio (s)

Paisley Park Studio ( Chanhassen )
Electric Lady Studios ( New York City )
O'Henry Sound Studios ( Burbank )
Olympic Studios ( London )

The Vault ... Old Friends 4 Sale
Rave Un2 the Joy Fantastic Rave In2 the Joy Fantastic
Single release
October 5, 1999 The Greatest Romance Ever Sold

Rave Un2 the Joy Fantastic ( English for swarms to the fantastic joy ) is the 23rd studio album of the US musician Prince . It was released on November 9, 1999 on the major label Arista Records / NPG Records and is the sixth and final album that Prince released under his pseudonym of the unpronounceable symbol. Due to differences with Warner Bros. Records , he had given up his stage name in 1993 and only accepted it again in May 2000. For the first time since 1996 Prince worked again with a major label, he sold his previous albums on his own label NPG Records.

The music of Rave Un2 the Joy Fantastic belongs to the genres of funk , pop , R&B and rock music . Some of the lyrics can be interpreted as a reference to Prince's then-wife Mayte Garcia , with whom he had a crisis in 1999 and from whom he divorced in May 2000. Otherwise, Prince picks up on Rave Un2 the Joy Fantastic topics that he already dealt with in his songs from the 1990s: love, affairs, sexual indecentities, interpersonal relationships and allegations against the music industry .

Guest musicians include Ani DiFranco , Chuck D , Clare Fischer , Eve , Gwen Stefani , Larry Graham , Maceo Parker and Sheryl Crow , of whom Prince released a cover version of a song on the album ; In his career he rarely brought out cover versions on one of his studio albums. Compared to other Prince albums, Rave Un2 the Joy Fantastic received mostly low praise from music critics .

In commercial terms, Rave Un2 the Joy Fantastic achieved gold status in the USA, but the album was barely to be found in the top 20 international charts. A tour for the album completed Prince not, but came as part of a promotional campaign on for two weeks in Europe. He also had three television appearances in Germany, which never happened again before or after. Prince was very disappointed with the collaboration with Arista Records and mainly blamed Clive Davis for it.


Collaboration with Arista Records

Clive Davis, 2007

In early April 1999, Prince first met Clive Davis , who founded Arista Records in 1974, in New York City . The two talked about a possible collaboration for a new studio album and met again in late May 1999. Prince played him the first songs from the album Rave Un2 the Joy Fantastic , whereupon Davis was enthusiastic. However, Davis did not present the songs to any other Arista executives and thus obtained no further opinions. Together with Prince's then lawyer L. Londell McMillan (* 1966) he worked out the modalities for a collaboration. Prince received an advance of $ 11 million from Davis (then the equivalent of about 10.4 million euros), which was $ 1 million more than his contracts with Warner Bros. Records .

In June 1999, Arista Records released the album Supernatural by Carlos Santana , which Davis had signed with Arista. A number of well-known guest musicians are represented on Supernatural and the album sold five million times in the USA alone by November 1999; Santana received eight Grammys for Supernatural in 2000 .

On August 24, 1999, Warner Bros. Records released the Prince album, The Vault ... Old Friends 4 Sale ; a day later, Arista Records and NPG Records announced the album Rave Un2 the Joy Fantastic by press release . The album was licensed within the USA by NPG Records via Arista Records, outside the USA via BMG - at the time a subsidiary of the Bertelsmann group, to which Arista Records also belonged. The collaboration was only for one album and Prince received all copyrights of the master tapes . He pointed out in several interviews that he had "not made a contract, just an agreement" with Arista. The name "Prince" was named as the producer of the album, although the musician had an ineffable symbol as a pseudonym at the time. At that time he himself occasionally spoke of himself in the third person and said that “Prince” knew how hits are written and was “a good decision maker”. Davis praised Prince and said he was the artist he "most wanted" to work with. Prince's decision to work with a major label again after three years was explained by the musician: “I think I had to get out of the record industry for a while so I could regain my artistry and be empowered again. The problems I had with so-called majors were ownership and long-term contracts. Both problems are nonexistent in my agreement with Arista. ”He also said complications with music labels have prevented him from allowing guest musicians to appear on his albums in the past.

When Prince was asked by music journalist Anthony DeCurtis (* 1951) for The New York Times whether Rave Un2 the Joy Fantastic was something of a comeback attempt , he replied: "I was never gone."

Album recordings

Prince originally recorded the title track Rave Un2 the Joy Fantastic on July 24, 1988 at Olympic Studios in London when he was on his Lovesexy Tour in the UK . But he was of the opinion that the song was too similar to his hit Kiss from 1986, which is why he didn't want to release it at the time. All other songs on the album, including a reworked version of Rave Un2 the Joy Fantastic , Prince recorded from June 1998 to mid-1999 in his Paisley Park Studio in Chanhassen . According to sound engineer Hans-Martin Buff (born June 18, 1969 in Garmisch-Partenkirchen ), who worked for Prince from 1995 to 1999, The Greatest Romance Ever Sold was the last song that Prince recorded for the album.

Gwen Stefani, 2002

Since 1984 Prince has worked repeatedly with arranger Clare Fischer and had him insert stringed instruments into his songs. In previous years, Prince had sent the songs to him on tapes , and from 1999 he did this with Pro Tools . On Rave Un2 the Joy Fantastic , Fischer, in collaboration with The NPG Orchestra, arranged corresponding parts in the four pieces Man 'O' War , segue , Silly Game and The Sun, the Moon and Stars ; the recordings took place at O'Henry Sound Studios in Burbank .

The Hornheadz, or The NPG Hornz, is a brass band founded in 1991 that first appeared with Prince on May 3, 1991 at a live concert. On Rave Un2 the Joy Fantastic , the band played overdubs on the two songs Hot Wit U and Man 'O' War on May 17, 1999 at Paisley Park Studio .

On July 1, 1999, Prince recorded the song Baby Knows with Sheryl Crow at Paisley Park Studio . After Ani DiFranco had given a concert with guest musician Maceo Parker on July 3, 1999 at Midway Stadium in Saint Paul, Minnesota , Prince also invited the two to his Paisley Park studio; DiFranco recorded acoustic guitars for Eye Love U, But Eye Don't Trust U Anymore, and Parker added saxophone parts to the song Prettyman . When Prince gave a concert at Paisley Park Studio on July 10th, Gwen Stefani from No Doubt was among the audience. Stefani then stayed in Chanhassen and recorded the vocal part in So Far, So Please . Prince mixed the two songs Baby Knows and So Far, So Pleased in late July 1999 at Electric Lady Studios in New York City. In mid-August, Chuck D from Public Enemy added some rap passages to the song Undisputed .

From September 10th to September 15th, 1999 Prince worked again in the Electric Lady Studios; During this time, rapper Eve recorded her vocal parts in Hot Wit U and the Adam & Eve remix of The Greatest Romance Ever Sold . Prince then completed the album Rave Un2 the Joy Fantastic . When Arista Records executives heard the album, they were significantly less impressed than Clive Davis had initially been.


With the upcoming release of Rave Un2 the Joy Fantastic , Prince gave more interviews than ever before in his career. He also played a few concerts to promote the album . The advertising campaign kicked off on September 16, 1999 in Manhattan, New York City, where Clive Davis organized a "listening party" for 500 invited guests in the auditorium of the Equitable Building . He played most of the songs from Rave Un2 the Joy Fantastic to the guests and related an anecdote before Prince did a 50-minute concert but didn't play a single song from the new album. Only a few of the music journalists present reported on the event afterwards. On October 9th, Prince gave another concert as part of a "listening party", this time at the Hotel Fontainebleau Miami Beach . Then he wanted to produce a music video for the song The Greatest Romance Ever Sold and go on tour in the USA , but BMG refused to do so. The music label initially wanted to promote the album in Europe.

On November 15, 1999, Prince began a 15-day advertising campaign for Rave Un2 the Joy Fantastic across Europe. He has given interviews and performed live in the UK, France, Spain, Germany and the Netherlands. He canceled further planned performances in Sweden without giving any reason and flew back to the USA on November 29, 1999.

When Prince played the song Baby Knows on Top of the Pops in London on November 18 , he caused a scandal after the performance; he requested that the backstage area of all staff except his crew be cleared so that he had enough privacy for an interview with a BBC reporter . Among other things, Robbie Williams had to leave the backstage area, whereupon he said the following on stage: “Can you fucking believe that? I'd like to give him a kicking like it's 1999 [allusion to lyrics from 1999 ], only he's got too many minders. ”(Eng .:“ Can you damn it believe that? I would like to kick him as if it were it was 1999, only he has too many watchdogs ")

Carlos Santana, 2000

On November 25, 1999, Prince appeared on German television for the first time and was seen as a musical guest on The Harald Schmidt Show . Then he was still with the Glücksspirale and VIVA , where Charlotte Roche interviewed him on her program Fast Forward . Ultimately, these three appearances were Prince's only one on German television in his career.

From January 2000 the album Rave Un2 the Joy Fantastic was barely represented in the top 100 of the international charts. Prince accused Arista of bad music promotion for his album. The label, on the other hand, was of the opinion that Prince was no longer cooperating and was withdrawing. Prince criticized Clive Davis publicly and only wanted to continue promoting the album if Arista would release a second single, which Davis did not want to assure him. “I thought you would be different from what the press described you. Everyone warned me, ”Davis said to Prince. After The Greatest Romance Ever Sold, he wanted to release So Far, So Pleased , the duet with Gwen Stefani , as the second single , but he needed the approval of the Interscope Records label , to which Stefani was under contract at the time. But the label refused to accept Prince.

In early March 2000, Prince accused Clive Davis and Arista Records, via his then- website, of causing the album to fail in the charts. A few days later, Prince announced the postponement of his planned remix album, Rave In2 the Joy Fantastic , adding sarcastically: “Mister Davis” would “get time to fulfill his promise and produce some real hit singles that went after 'at the top in the charts 'shoot'. In an interview with the city ​​magazine City Pages of the metropolitan area of ​​Minneapolis-Saint Paul Prince said cynically: “But I'm not mad at these guys. What else is Clive Davis supposed to do? He cannot sing ”. Davis did not comment publicly on Prince's statements, but stopped promoting Rave Un2 the Joy Fantastic entirely. Months later he was asked by a journalist why the Prince album had sold much worse than Supernatural by Carlos Santana . Davis replied that Prince had "delivered a great album" but did not reach "the target group of thirteen to nineteen year olds," which would have been very important for commercial success.

Following Prince's death in 2016, sound engineer Hans-Martin Buff said Clive Davis called Prince at Paisley Park Studio several times asking for changes to the album Rave Un2 the Joy Fantastic . But over time, Prince deliberately stopped answering these calls and sent Buff to the phone so that Prince would deny Prince's presence.

Design of the cover

Art director and photographer Steve Parke (* 1963) was responsible for the album design. Parke worked with Prince from 1988 to 2001 and was responsible for the cover design of the albums Graffiti Bridge (1990), The Gold Experience (1995) and One Nite Alone… (2002).

On the front cover , Prince can be seen from his waist up on the right side of the picture. He wears a goatee and hairstyle with little Rasta braids with tied blue ribbons, his eyes look to the left. As outfit Prince has a bodysuit in bright royal blue on to his neck hangs a chain with a pendant of his unpronounceable symbol. On the left side of the picture both the album name “Rave Un2 the Joy Fantastic” and its symbol are printed in light royal blue. The background is completely white. On the back cover Prince wears the same outfit and can also be seen on the right side of the picture, but this time standing and playing a purple guitar in the shape of his symbol. The track list is printed on the left side of the picture.

The booklet is designed as a fold-out cover that can be spread out into a poster measuring 356 × 237 mm. There is a photo of Prince on the front by Steve Parke. The recording was made in Marbella on an estate that Prince had given to his then-wife Mayte Garcia in 1998 . Prince is standing in the swimming pool with only his head visible. Parke loved working with Prince outside of the studio. When designing the cover, Parke was inspired by the album cover “with the model heads” Electric Café by the German band Kraftwerk from 1986, because in 1999 Prince “wanted to put everything on the Internet and virtualize things”. Parke subsequently digitally processed Prince's hands with a computer to create “a symbol of connection, the organic with the digital”.

All the lyrics are printed on the back of the poster and in the liner notes Prince thanked both Mayte Garcia and Manuela Testolini, whom he married in 2001. In addition, in the liner notes he laments the death of lambs for people's desire for soft woolen clothing .


The music of Rave Un2 the Joy Fantastic belongs to the genres dance-pop , funk , soul , contemporary R&B , pop music and rock music . For the record Prince used the first time since the 1980s, again a Linn LM-1 - drum machine . He actually wanted to retrofit it with MIDI , which was not technically possible. In addition, Prince used for filming a Oberheim - Synthesizer .

Ani DiFranco, 2005

The title track Rave Un2 the Joy Fantastic is a sparingly produced and at times demo-like sounding piece from the funk and rock genre. The rhythm - phrase generated by the Linn LM-1 Drum Computer and electric piano game at times recalls Kiss of 1986. In addition, Prince added oriental add flavored guitar game he from the song The Max (1992) of his album Love Symbol removed. He adorns the title song with some guitar riffs and improvisations , but without going into a solo . The rhythmic groove differs from the other album songs.

Undisputed is from the genre funk and dance pop . Prince plays the Linn LM-1 drum computer in a choppy manner and the song ends with a funky guitar riff he plays. Undisputed contains a sample of the song Bring the Noise (1988) from the album It Takes a Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back by Public Enemy .

The R&B ballad The Greatest Romance Ever Sold is a mid-tempo number with a melancholy melody . The verses end with the melody going down a semitone step by step before a fast oriental motif flows into a passage before the chorus, which shows decorative cascades of synthesizer play. Musically, Prince was inspired by Mayte Garcia when the two were on vacation in Morocco .

According to sound engineer Hans-Martin Buff, the transition segue (Miles Davis 199?) Originally included the words “Prince, Prince, Prince, Prince” spoken by Miles Davis , taken from an earlier interview in which Davis said, “Prince is as good as every jazz musician ”. But Davis' estate administrators did not release the excerpt, which is why there are four seconds of silence dedicated to Miles Davis on Rave Un2 the Joy Fantastic .

Hot Wit U is from the funk and dance genre. In the foreground, the Linn LM-1 drum computer and the cheerfully played Oberheim synthesizer dominate, sometimes reminiscent of Prince songs from the 1980s. The rap of Eve may sound professional but uninspired; one could get the impression that Prince really wanted to appeal to a younger target group.

The jazz- inspired tangerine is a soulful piece and serves as an interlude ; the song is only 1:31 minutes long and can almost be described as unplugged because Prince mainly plays acoustic guitar . The piece shows influences from Joni Mitchell .

So Far, So Pleased is the first guitar-heavy rock music song. Prince takes a two-thirds break, introducing a new guitar motif before playing a guitar solo.

The Sun, the Moon and Stars is a laid-back soul-pop song. The rhythm is influenced by jazz and reggae . In contrast, there are shallow synthesizers and a deep electric bass . Clare Fischer added string instruments .

The peppy, disco- inspired cover version Everyday Is a Winding Road was written by Sheryl Crow in 1996 . From the original version, which comes from the rock genre, Prince created a completely different version.

Maceo Parker, 2002

The tenth track, called segue, is only 19 seconds long. The instrumental is played by The NPG Orchestra and was arranged under the direction of Clare Fischer. The piece serves as a bridge to the following song Man 'O' War .

Man 'O' War is a melodramatic soul ballad. Arranged strings by Clare Fischer and subtle horn shades add sophistication, while a restrained guitar solo provides some energy.

Baby Knows begins with Sheryl Crow playing the harmonica and, after So Far, So Pleased , is another guitar-heavy song from the rock music and blues rock genres . The punchy drumming comes from Michael Bland, who was also a member of Prince's backing band The New Power Generation .

The simple and sensitive piano ballad Eye Love U, but Eye Don't Trust U Anymore is accompanied by subtle guitar playing by Ani DiFranco . The sparsely arranged piece is similar to Sometimes It Snows in April (1986) from the album Parade . The melody also has elements from Condition of the Heart (1985) from the album Around the Word in a Day and from the 1992 Prince song I Can't Love U Anymore , which has not been released to this day (2020) .

Silly Game is a calm, stringed , soul-pop number that takes Prince in his most traditional and accessible form. He recycles a clarinet-like sound whose wind chime-like sound he had already used in previous songs. The rhythm consists mainly of a plastic-sounding synthesizer bass.

The bass line of the minimalist song Strange but True from the funk genre is sometimes reminiscent of Erotic City from 1984. Prince recorded the song with the Linn LM-1 drum computer and created a soundscape consisting of distorted and alienated voices, different from them Motifs are attached. According to sound engineer Hans-Martin Buff, Prince only placed the song on the album at his request. Buff thought the song was "fantastic," but then "he [Prince] had to think about those swatches." Before that, it was "the real Prince" from the 1980s, as Buff "loved him". Prince did not use the Linn LM-1 drum machine, as is usually thought; he switched guitar effects devices behind the tom toms , which resulted in the fills in the song. The original version was originally eight minutes long, according to Buff.

Wherever U Go, Whatever U Do is a wistful and melodic, guitar-heavy mid-tempo song that can be assigned to the genre Easy Listening . The arrangement is composed simply, consisting of guitar, electric bass and Linn LM-1 drum computer. A clear chorus is missing, instead two sections alternate, one of which is instrumental music and focuses on decorative guitar lines. Towards the end, the song is modulated to a higher key before returning to the previous key. The drum pattern is reminiscent of Forever in My Life (1987) from Sign "☮" the Times album , while the melody at times resembles Every Breath You Take (1983) by The Police .

The hidden track and last song on the album, Prettyman , is from the funk genre. Prince created a rhythmic groove by incorporating repetitive keyboard phrases with a static bass voice, which is accompanied by live drumming and Oberheim synthesizers. Of all the Prince songs, he's one of the most reminiscent of James Brown , especially since his former saxophonist Maceo Parker is involved in the piece.

Lyrics and singing

In the lyrics of the album Rave Un2 the Joy Fantastic , Prince takes up similar themes as in his songs from the 1990s. They in turn deal with love, affairs, interpersonal relationships and allegations against the music industry . Prince sings most of the songs with melodic music , only Undisputed he sings in spoken chants . In addition to his characteristic falsetto singing , Prince also uses lower voices.

The song Rave Un2 the Joy Fantastic celebrates life and the enjoyment of life through a new perspective that rejects weapons and drugs. Prince's take on a brave new world consists of a planet of lovers and cities of good times. The chorus consists of a solemn recitation of the song name, with Prince recording his voice in multiple tracks to create a powerful texture . The song Everyday Is a Winding Road is also about the statement that one should enjoy life itself.

Chuck D, 2006

The album contains more songs about failed relationships than romantic love songs, which many music critics interpreted as an indication of a separation between Prince and his then-wife Mayte Garcia . Prince denied that some of the lyrics alluded to a possible breakup with Garcia.

Eye Love U, but Eye Don't Trust U Anymore is the lamentation of a betrayed lover. Regarding this, Garcia wrote after Prince's death in her book (2017) that in real life it was exactly the opposite; the lyrics refer to allegations that they made against Prince and are based on a marriage dispute in September 1999 in Marbella . Garcia described Prince's portrayal as a "swipe" at her. However, Prince said an argument between his parents inspired him while writing the lyrics; his father accused his mother of having an affair after she wore her newly bought dress the wrong way when she returned from shopping. In Man 'O' War , Prince depicts an angry woman who has left her lover because he allegedly slept with another woman. But their allegations are untrue. Prince sings the piece in both falsetto and lower voices, recording his singing with 14 tape tracks. The vocal performance seems overloaded and doesn't convey the sullen mood of the lyrics. Silly Game also deals with a failed affair. Similar to Man 'O' War and Eye Love U, but Eye Don't Trust U Anymore , the man feels that his wife has treated him unfairly, even though he loves her and therefore does not think he deserves such treatment. The tangerine , sung exclusively by Prince in falsetto, is about a man who misses his ex-girlfriend and wants to forget her mandarin negligee . Wherever U Go, Whatever U Do is an affirmative song , as some can be heard on the 1991 album Diamonds and Pearls .

Eve, 2003

The title name The Greatest Romance Ever Sold is an obvious variation on The Greatest Story Ever Told (1949), a book by Fulton Oursler (1893-1952) about the life of Jesus Christ that is considered a classic and reverent work. The song begins with the haunting chorus, which contains Prince's multi-layered voices: in the chorus he only sings “The Greatest Romance That's Ever Been Sold”, but never the actual song title. The lyrics are about the power of love and the kind of romance that touches the soul. Prince is also concerned with the question of why Adam did not leave Eve . So Far, So Pleased is the story of a developing romance, with Prince "so far, so pleased" with how this affair has turned out. He sings the lyrics with Gwen Stefani . The Sun, the Moon and Stars is essentially about the gentle seduction of a woman by her lover. The excitement they feel from their love makes "the sun, moon and stars" appear closer than ever before. Prince wrote the song in Marbella after a dinner with Mayte Garcia, Larry Graham and his wife Tina. Sound engineer Hans-Martin Buff wanted to shorten the song because he found it "a bit cheesy". Prince laughed about it and asked Buff jokingly: "Hans, how is your love life?"

Sexual themes and hedonism can be found in Hot Wit U and Baby Knows . Hot Wit U is essentially a statement from Prince how he would like to heat up the body heat they share with his girlfriend. Baby Knows is about an attractive woman who knows the hippest places in town and how to treat her husband. For the lyrics, Prince was inspired by the then MTV presenter Ananda Lewis (* 1973), with whom he often spent evenings in New York City in mid-1999 at the Club Life nightclub . Baby Knows is sometimes reminiscent of the Peach (1993) lyrics from The Hits / The B-Sides , because Prince is primarily concerned with the look of an attractive woman, especially her buttocks . Prince sings the lyrics similar to a voice effect he calls "Camille"; his voice appears a bit higher and faster by means of pitch shifting .

Thematically, Prettyman stands out from the songs described above and, with a wink, is about an imaginary handsome man who wants to find a wife. The man thinks he's an irresistibly cool guy, but is really a shallow failure with no plan. Prince thought of Morris Day and The Time when writing the lyrics , he said.

Two songs comment on the music business and artistic integrity. Although Undisputed is not a classic rap song, the lyrics have a tendency to be brave and the protagonist boasts of his skills as an entertainer , which is common in many songs in this genre. Chuck D works as a rapper and the chorus is "NPG, get rowdy now". The song also contains a short humorous opera-like song that Prince deliberately sung poorly . The song title refers to Prince's "undisputed truth", innovative and finally "being free", which people would realize with enough time. Strange but True has an at times cryptic and spiritual lyrics that Prince only speaks and does not sing. At the beginning the text is about a love affair between a man and a woman. Then Prince changes the subject and mentions the "unknown faces" that he has already forgotten. He sings of "little lies and alibis " that are after him like "gold diggers" and thus remind him of some of the negative sides of his fame. But after he was “freed from this chain of events”, it reminds him of his origins. The lyrics can be interpreted as an allusion to the music label Warner Bros. Records, with which Prince was in dispute at the time.

In the track 17 segue (1,800 New Funk Advertisement) Prince can be heard in a distorted voice, how he advertises his former websites , as well as for the former US telephone service 1-800-New-Funk , through which Prince's sound carriers are ordered could.

List of titles and publications

No. song author length
01 Rave Un2 the Joy Fantastic Prince 4:19
02 Undisputed (featuring Chuck D ) Prince 4:20
03 The Greatest Romance Ever Sold Prince 5:29
04th segue ( Miles Davis 199?) Prince 0:04
05 Hot Wit U (featuring Eve ) Prince 5:11
06th Tangerine Prince 1:31
07th So Far, So Pleased (featuring Gwen Stefani ) Prince 3:24
08th The Sun, the Moon and Stars Prince 5:15
09 Everyday Is a Winding Road Sheryl Crow , Jeff Trott, Brian McLeod 6:12
010 segue Prince 0:19
011 Man 'O' War Prince 5:14
012 Baby Knows (featuring Sheryl Crow ) Prince 3:18
013 Eye Love U, but Eye Don't Trust U Anymore ( feat.Ani DiFranco ) Prince 3:36
014th Silly game Prince 3:30
015th Strange but True Prince 4:12
016 Wherever U Go, Whatever U Do Prince 8:50
017th segue (1 800 New Funk Advertisement) Prince 0:43
018th ( Hidden Track ) Prettyman (featuring Maceo Parker ) Prince 4:24
  • The use of the English pronoun "I" (German: "I") has been stylized as an "eye symbol" in almost all of Prince's songs since 1988 .

On November 9, 1999, Rave Un2 the Joy Fantastic was released. The album was released on compact disc and as a double LP on vinyl , although the two tracks segue (1,800 New Funk Advertisement) and Prettyman are not available on the double LP. The song Wherever U Go, Whatever U Do is specified on the CD with a length of 8:50 minutes, but after 3:17 minutes there is only a break; During this break, the track 17 segue (1,800 New Funk Advertisement) is switched to.

The Japanese CD edition does not contain this pause, but has the 17th song bonus track The Greatest Romance Ever Sold in the Adam & Eve Remix with rapper Eve. The version is 4:29 minutes long. Track 18 starts with a break of 1:02 minutes before segue (1,800 New Funk Advertisement) begins. 19th and last track is Prettyman . On the day the album was released, Prince also announced the remix album Rave In2 the Joy Fantastic .

Prince worked with a major label , Arista Records , for the first time since his 1996 album Emancipation . He had sold his albums from 1997 to 1998 on his own label, NPG Records ; but these albums had received little attention from the mass media . Prince denied having returned to a major label because sales of his albums through NPG Records had disappointed. These publications were very lucrative for him financially; According to his own statements, he received a maximum of 1.40 US dollars per CD sold from Warner Bros. Records, but seven dollars from his label NPG Records. In the meantime, he would rather be “number 1 at the bank” than at the top of the music charts, Prince said at the time.

On December 18, 1999, Prince played a live concert in his Paisley Park Studio, which was watched on New Year's Eve 1999 in the US for a one-time fee of 19.95 US dollars (19.86 euros at the time) on a pay-TV station could be. On June 5, 2000 he released film recordings of this concert under the title Rave Un2 the Year 2000 on DVD and VHS . Guest musicians include Lenny Kravitz , Maceo Parker , Rosie Gaines and The Time .

On April 26, 2019 The Prince Estate published (dt .: The Princeton discount ) the Boxset Ultimate Rave , which both Rave Un2 the Joy Fantastic and Rave In2 the Joy Fantastic includes as a double album in lilac-colored vinyl. Also included is the live DVD Rave Un2 the Year 2000 . Posthumously , The Prince Estate officially manages all of Prince's phonogram releases.

Single releases

Only one single was released from the album: The Greatest Romance Ever Sold was released on October 5, 1999 in a radio edit version that is 4:31 minutes long. The song can be heard as the B-side in the Adam & Eve Remix , in which Eve is involved. A maxi single from The Greatest Romance Ever Sold was released on November 23, 1999.

In addition, two promo singles have been released with Baby Knows and Man 'O' War . Baby Knows was released as a 1-track CD in late 1999, but was only released in the Netherlands. In early 2000, a promo single from Man 'O' War with the three versions Radio Edit Without Guitar Solo (3:56), Radio Edit With Guitar Solo (3:59) and Call Out Research Hook (0:15) was released exclusively in published in the USA.

Music videos

With The Greatest Romance Ever Sold, Prince only produced a music video for songs by Rave Un2 the Joy Fantastic . From November 6th to November 8th, 1999, director Malik Sayeed shot footage in Prince's Paisley Park studio. The music video didn't premiere until December 1999, two months after the single was released.

In the video, Prince and the Cape Town- born dancer Desray Junca perform the sexual act in pantomime, and at 4:14 the computer animation simulates a pregnancy. Prince had met Junca in 1999 in Paris at Crazy Horse , where she worked as a stripper . According to Prince's wife at the time, Mayte Garcia, he "crossed a line by his own standards". When Garcia's mother saw the music video she was very upset: “What man comes up with the idea of ​​embarrassing his wife in public like that! What a bad guy. This is not my son-in-law! ”Five days after Prince's death, Junca said in an interview on April 26, 2016 that she was in a relationship with Prince from 1999 to 2001. He even lived with her and wanted to integrate her professionally as an employee, which she refused to do both. The last time she saw Prince was shortly after his father's death (August 25, 2001). Prince changed the cover version of the original text "I hitched a Ride with a Vending Machine Repair Man" of the song Everyday is a Winding Road by Sheryl Crow to "I hitched a Ride with a Crazy Horse Showgirl".

At the end of 1999 Prince produced a second music video with Hot Wit U in his Paisley Park Studio , but the song can be heard in the Nasty Girl Remix . Prince himself was the director. Desray Junca is once again involved. The video premiered on May 24, 2000 - eight days after Prince reverted to his original stage name - on the streaming media channel RealNetworks , but after that he stopped showing the video publicly. It has only been officially available to view posthumously since 2018 on Prince's YouTube user account.

Cover versions

Cover versions of songs from the album Rave Un2 the Joy Fantastic only exist by the Norwegian saxophonist Håkon Kornstad and Maceo Parker ; both recorded instrumental versions of The Greatest Romance Ever Sold . Parker released his interpretation in April 2000 on his album Dial: MACEO , on which he also covered Baby Knows . Kornstad released his version on the 5-CD box Shockadelica - 50th Anniversary Tribute to Prince , on the occasion of Prince's 50th birthday in June 2008.



Compared to other Prince albums, Rave Un2 the Joy Fantastic received rather reserved praise from music critics . Although some were of the opinion that it was one of his best albums in the 1990s, it was mostly cautious or negative. In contrast to the other songs, the ballads were mostly praised.

The newspaper USA Today revealed by Rave Un2 the Joy Fantastic enthusiastic and gave three and a half stars out of four. It is the best album that Prince has recorded in a long time. The 15 tracks ranged from slow jams and aching ballads to sweaty funk workouts and pop-rock explosions, all of which are connected by the common threads of seductive vocals, organic instrumentation and crisp arrangements. Overall, Rave [sic] is "sexy, intoxicating and solemn."

Music journalist Jim Walsh of St. Paul Pioneer Press gave it three out of four stars. On the album is "everything we have come to know and love about the artist who was formerly known as Prince," both for better and for worse. It is true that it contains "neither the groundbreaking stuff of his masterpieces" from the 1980s, nor "much of his best experimental work" from the 1990s. But Rave Un2 the Joy Fantastic is "full of the same sparkling screams, melodies and production skills that have shaped his 20- plus -year career". The best of the 15 songs are the ballads, especially Eye Love U, but Eye Don't Trust U Anymore .

Touré from the US music magazine Rolling Stone gave three and a half stars out of five. Although the songs Undisputed and Hot Wit U marked "the worst work of his 90s [sic] years", there are also "a handful of great songs" - the best Prince moments since his 1992 album Love Symbol . Cited as examples Touré recorded the five songs The Greatest Romance Ever Sold , Tangerine , The Sun, the Moon and Stars , Eye Love U, but Eye Don't Trust U Anymore and Prettyman . Ultimately, "the quality of those few sublime moments outweighs the weak album around them."

Stephen Thomas Erlewine from Allmusic was disappointed and gave two and a half stars out of five. He criticized the commercial aspects that had played a role in the album and said it was "shocking" how "soulless" most of the songs were recorded. But “even stranger” is “how obviously Prince is putting it on the pop charts”. There were "some cool moments" on the album, but "oddly enough, most of them are tracks with superstars". Especially with the three songs Undisputed , Baby Knows and So Far, So Pleased , Prince sounds “committed and adventurous”. These songs, together with the “passable funk-pop titles” and the ballads, are “quite entertaining”. But their presence underlines how "boring the rest of Rave [sic]" is.

Music critics David Wilson and John Alroy also gave two and a half stars out of five. The album is “packed with instrumental, vocal and compositional brilliance”, but Prince “doesn't have much to say”. On the album, “non-melodic experiments” like Undisputed and Strange but True switched to “beautiful love songs” like The Sun, the Moon and Stars and Man 'O' War . If the approach works like Tangerine , Prince sounds “like a genius”. But if this is not the case, as with "the boring" Hot Wit U , he looks like a "genre-adapted show-off". Overall, Rave Un2 the Joy Fantastic Prince is the most radio- worthy album in a long time, although it didn't bring him back to the top of the charts.

The British music magazine New Musical Express was very disappointed and only gave one of five stars. Among other things, she wrote: "It is as if Prince was killed around the turn of the century, and his record company kept the incident secret and released excerpts from his previous sessions as new albums". Natalie Nichols of the US national daily Los Angeles Times said the album "brings back memories of how innovative Prince once was."

After Prince's death in May 2016, the music journalists Albert Koch and Thomas Weiland from the German music magazine Musikexpress reviewed the album Rave Un2 the Joy Fantastic and gave it four out of six stars. Prince celebrates with Sheryl Crow "as fanatically as he used to with Sheila E. " and has combined a successful "mixture of jazzy breakbeats and strings". The album is "often misunderstood", said the music journalists.

After Prince's death in 2016, Clive Davis said: “Prince was unique as a musician, performer and songwriter. He was clearly one of the greatest personalities of all time, always fascinating, magical, and up to date. He was unique in every way. Knowing Prince personally meant knowing someone who was kind and gentle, phenomenally brilliant, intellectually curious, and who loved the music with all their senses. The music world has tragically lost one of its greatest formative members ”.

Charts and awards

Charts Top ranking Weeks
Chart placements
Germany (GfK) Germany (GfK) 39 (5 weeks) 5
Austria (Ö3) Austria (Ö3) 44 (2 weeks) 2
Switzerland (IFPI) Switzerland (IFPI) 19th (12 weeks) 12
United Kingdom (OCC) United Kingdom (OCC) 145 (1 week) 1
United States (Billboard) United States (Billboard) 18th (15 weeks) 15th
  • US: 1 × gold for 500,000 copies sold on December 10, 1999

In the first week, Rave Un2 the Joy Fantastic sold 84,000 copies in the US charts, which wasn't a particularly good result for the time. Although the album received gold status for 500,000 copies in the USA, only between 350,000 and 425,000 albums were actually sold; Arista Records had shipped 500,000 copies, but not all of them were sold. Ultimately, U.S. sales matched Come's with 345,000 units in 1994.

In the UK, Rave Un2 the Joy Fantastic was banned from the charts because Arista made a mistake in the London advertising campaign; the company distributed copies of the album free of charge at an event, but this was forbidden under the regulations of the British Phonographic Industry at the time. Rave Un2 the Joy Fantastic achieved the highest ranking in Germany in May 2019 when it was re-released as a box set Ultimate Rave , and in 1999 the album reached number 53.

  • March 18, 2000: Prince received the "Dolly Green Special Achievement Award" at the 14th Genesis Awards in Beverly Hills for the liner notes of Rave Un2 the Joy Fantastic , in which he criticized the extraction of woolen clothes by lambs. The award was presented to him by actress María Conchita Alonso . On the way to the stage Prince allowed himself a joke and said, "Wow, when I realized where I was, I took off my fur coat ."
  • April 24, 2000: Prince named Artist of the Year at the Minnesota Music Awards. He also won the “Major Label Record of the Year” award for the album Rave Un2 the Joy Fantastic .
year title
Top ranking, total weeks, awardChart placementsChart placements
(Year, title, , Placements, weeks, awards, comments)
1999 The Greatest Romance Ever Sold DE79 (7 weeks)
- - UK65 (2 weeks)
US63 (13 weeks)

Clive Davis selected The Greatest Romance Ever Sold as the single from the album and predicted the song would be "number 1 in the world". Prince was also convinced of commercial success and said ironically to a reporter for The New York Times : "Tell me this is not a hit."


Web links

Individual evidence

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