375: Witness 4 the Prosecution

Unreleased (1986)
With its courtroom setting and theme of a relationship turned sour, Witness 4 the Prosecution sounds like The Gold Experience’s I Hate U in a former life. It is unreleased but has been leaked in three distinct flavours, morphing from bluesy rock into sparse, electronic funk. The first version is a Prince solo effort and rocks enough bells but was improved on for the second version after it was left in the hands of The Revolution to overdub whilst he was overseas working on the Under The Cherry Moon film. Featuring elastic bass and gospel backing vocals they inject the funk that was previously missing, creating a Dream Factory shoe-in. A liminal state of rock/funk. The third guitar-less version was another solo recording, with synthetic steel drums replacing the band but it’s a cold flame in comparison. The Revolution were disbanded the following day and although his next album was to be the career apogee of Sign O’ the Times, these versions of Witness 4 the Prosecution show that Wendy, Lisa et al still offered him a dimension he couldn’t always replicate as a sole trader.