Prince, but not Prince... The Time!
November 29, 2019 9:13 PM   Subscribe

The Time is a strange beast. After two albums of being nearly but not quite noticed, they were suddenly blew up on the music scene as the antagonist band up against Prince + The Revolution in the film Purple Rain. Actually being Prince playing most instruments with Morris Day following a Prince vocal track for recording, they were suddenly huge. But they'd already disbanded (for the time being). This third album [38m], Ice Cream Castle, is a minor masterpiece of soft-R-rated funk/rock. Side A: Ice Cream Castles, My Drawers, Chili Sauce posted by hippybear (18 comments total) 32 users marked this as a favorite
I remember Morris for dropping the F-bomb on SNL when I was a kid. What I didn't know is that Prince dropped the f-bomb on SNL 10 years prior. THANKS INTERNET
posted by not_on_display at 9:48 PM on November 29, 2019

One of the most bizarre things about their most successful album being really performed mostly by Prince is that the regular band had Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis, one of the most astonishingly successful R&B writing and producing teams in history--if someone said, "Think of your favorite Janet Jackson song", in all likelihood it's one of their numbers. Jerome Benton, probably the member of the Time that most people think of after Day, is Lewis' brother, and Jimmy Jam's father is named Cornbread Harris, maybe the most bluesy name over.
posted by Halloween Jack at 9:56 PM on November 29, 2019 [5 favorites]

Prince was amazing in this performance at the36th NAACP Image Awards 2005. But this crowd didn't get a true rage going until Morris walked onto the stage. I say Morris upstaged Prince here. He was the only guy who could do that. He's that good.
posted by NedKoppel at 10:43 PM on November 29, 2019 [10 favorites]

Well, until Sheila E. comes on, I mean, forget it.
posted by NedKoppel at 10:45 PM on November 29, 2019 [15 favorites]

I worked a festival show where they were the headliner about . . . hmmm, maybe 8-10 years ago and it was one of the best damn shows I've ever seen, they were super tight and super funky and if you ever get a chance to see them live DO IT!!
posted by soundguy99 at 5:00 AM on November 30, 2019 [1 favorite]

Thanks for this! It led to an excellent conversation over breakfast about Morris Day.
posted by minsies at 5:07 AM on November 30, 2019

It led to an excellent conversation over breakfast about Morris Day.

Is it International Morris Day again already? Where does The Time go? Oh, wait, they are still on tour.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 5:57 AM on November 30, 2019 [12 favorites]

Morris Day interview on CBC's Q on his memoir and time with Prince.
posted by GhostintheMachine at 6:18 AM on November 30, 2019

Years ago when I was dating my future wife, we went to the state fair and poked around for a few hours until evening. Then I drug her in to see The Time and she was so bored, but I don't think she noticed I was crying tears of joy. Morris and Jerome were both touring with them, not sure about the rest of the band. They looked bored. A bunch of people got trotted out onstage from a corporate skybox and when Morris said "White folk! Your ass too tight!" he really, really meant it.

I've loved this album since I was a teenager. Chili Sauce! oh lord.
posted by Catblack at 7:37 AM on November 30, 2019 [2 favorites]

Morris Day, the King of Smarm a priceless comic creation!
posted by shnarg at 8:25 AM on November 30, 2019

Google "Oak tree video" and turn it up.
posted by wenestvedt at 10:06 AM on November 30, 2019 [2 favorites]

My friends and I said "chilleh sauwce" all the time. And let's not overlook "Jessie, n-now Jerome...yayuss" providing Eddie Murphy with his formative lispy-gay "yess" bit. At least that's the way I see it. Regardless, "777-9311" is also still the jam.
posted by rhizome at 10:32 AM on November 30, 2019 [1 favorite]

My friend whose a drummer worships that 777-9311 beat.
I used to hate them in the day - because I Just remember when they broke in the late 80s / early 90s (to my non-attentive ear/eye)...

I thought they were 2 bit Prince imposters (LOLOOOL) - i had no idea. And it wasn't until the late 90s when I finally let myself appreciate their awesomeness (thanks NAPSTER!)
posted by symbioid at 11:13 AM on November 30, 2019 [3 favorites]

Don't forget Jesse Johnson.

"Underrated guitarist teams up with overlooked genius to create under-appreciated song."
posted by bongo_x at 1:51 PM on November 30, 2019

A few years later: Donald Trump (Black Version)
posted by neroli at 7:44 PM on November 30, 2019 [1 favorite]

I named my wife's green-cheeked conure Morris after the oh-so-smooth Mr Day.

Squawk! Hallelujah!
posted by Abehammerb Lincoln at 3:07 PM on December 2, 2019 [1 favorite]

Well, two things.

First, for me, The Time is always and best remembered for What Time Is It? album, and specifically the track "The Walk". It opens side two, on the album and cassette, which was all I had in 1982.

I'm pleased to report that the song itself is Wikipedia-notable. A huge chunk of it is set up as a conversation between Day and the now sadly departed Vanity, about whether or not she's going to change into the lingerie Day has stored, incongruously, in his glove compartment.

(Go with it.)

Anyway, that's why I will always love the Time, and it's why I was so excited about point two.

Second, a few years ago Day and the Time were among the bigger acts performing at Houston's unfortunately defunct Free Press Summer Fest. Held in June in Houston, you might be forgiven for thinking that, for a daytime set, Day & co. might've toned down the schtick in deference to the humid-blast-furnace weather.

You would be wrong.

Unlike every other act -- which entered the stage from a walkway to a backstage area -- they rolled up to the stage in a blindingly white stretch Escalade, and Day (true to form) was sporting a full length fur.

The set was perfect and, honestly, unchanged. He still does the mirror bit with Jerome. They OWNED the crowd from the get-go. It was glorious and wonderful, and stands out as one of the few times I've seen acts from my youth in the last decade or so with no hint of disappointment.

Long live the Time.
posted by uberchet at 10:17 AM on December 4, 2019 [5 favorites]

I meant to include this: Listening the "The Walk" today, with the benefit of 37 additional years of musical consumption, and it's just GLARINGLY OBVIOUS what a 100% Prince joint it is -- the arrangement, the tones, the production, and especially the guitar lines.
posted by uberchet at 7:13 AM on December 5, 2019

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