348: Make Your Mama Happy

Crystal Ball (1998)
Built from brisk horn stabs, varying vocal registers and a positive message of ‘you can make it if you try’, this is Prince at his most Sly and The Family Stone – an influence that’s confirmed by the liner notes citing the 1973 Fresh album as inspiration. Like the cartoon image of two midgets in a trench coat, Make Your Mama Happy masquerades as being double the size. It’s a two-minute song played twice, once with the vocal track and once without. A 7″ edit and an instrumental spliced together to pass unnoticed as a full length mix. It’s largely worked too as I’ve not seen this cut and shut job referenced anywhere but I’ve overlaid the two halves and, apart from the vocals, they really are identical. Whether this expediency was an artistic choice or a placeholder to be rerecorded later is not clear but as the tight, staccato funk is the highlight of this Crystal Ball track, hearing it unhindered is hardly a chore. It makes Mama, Papa and the whole Family Stone happy.