They say comparison is the thief of joy but I can’t help measuring Under the Cherry Moon against the similar-sounding Question of U. Which do you prefer? I used to think the peak-Prince aura of the 80s surrounded the first, while the second wore the millstone of the 90s. But that’s a mirage as both were written in 1985. Over the years I’ve grown to prefer the Graffiti Bridge track as the patchwork quality of that album makes me latch on to the peaks with an iron grip. In contrast, there’s not a single bad track on Parade so Under the Cherry Moon blends in against a backdrop of consistent excellence. Setting is important. It’s why I’ve only watched the Under the Cherry Moon motion picture once. It was part of a perfect after-hours moment, cherished due to many reasons not involving the film that I don’t want to rewatch it lest I pollute the memory. I’ve read enough reviews since that suggest a critical eye wouldn’t be kind. This was almost two decades ago so I can’t recall how well the title song was utilised but as it waltzes with an air of the French Riviera and death it sounds thematically on point. Or perhaps the song has slowly supplanted the film in my mind. There’s enough space in the composition to fill with an accumulation of black and white Gallic daydreams over the years. Have I filed them under a plot of a film I daren’t watch back? Maybe I do prefer this Parade track. It could be the closest I’ve come to being a Hollywood director.
89: Under the Cherry Moon