282: Roadhouse Garden

Unreleased (1984) / Purple Rain Deluxe (2017)
Recorded in 1984, Roadhouse Garden attended an Around the World in a Day finishing school and graduated in finger cymbals and childlike wonder. In the lyrics Prince gives us a tour of his memory palace on a Toyland train, crashing through a model village and ad-libbing new verses of Here’s the Church (the nursery rhyme later sung on Count the Days). Until 2016 the only circulating version was its sole live performance, recorded on Prince’s birthday that year, and was conjoined with Our Destiny – a half-formed thing thankful for an ending. But Roadhouse Garden had higher aspirations than this soundboard coupling and at one point in the late nineties the song was set to be the title track of a compilation of unreleased Revolution songs. The project was sadly shelved due to a disagreement between Prince and Wendy and Lisa, so we had to wait until a few months after his death before a newly-single and studio-recorded Roadhouse Garden was seen out and about. The separation from Our Destiny didn’t last long though: in 2017 the Purple Rain Deluxe remaster reunited the two divorcees – grafting them into one track again. Two childhood lovers now forever entwined, in mass consumption as they were in bootleg obscurity.