Sunday, November 19, 2017

"The Bird" by The Time

Song#:  2227
Date:  02/23/1985
Debut:  83
Peak:  36
Weeks:  13
Genre:  R&B, Dance

Pop Bits:  The Time's Ice Cream Castle LP was doing well thanks to the hit "Jungle Love" (#6 R&B, #20 Pop), which was featured in the film Purple Rain. The title track of the album served as the second single, but it didn't fare as well only reaching #11 at R&B and missing the Pop chart. This third single would do better at Pop, most likely due to it also being in Purple Rain, and it would get inside the Top 40 while going to #6 at Dance. The response wasn't as good at R&B were it topped out at #33.

ReduxReview:  It was probably smart to go with the live version of this song (see below). The Time were a hot live band and their skills were never on display on record at the time due to Prince controlling everything. So this was a nice change and it highlighted them as a band. It's also the kind of song that is better in concert. It's a fun jam, but there's really not much to it. Therefore, the band's performance is key to making it work along with Morris Day's vocals and ad-libs. Otherwise, it's a bit of a near-novelty, toss-a-way tune.

ReduxRating:  6/10

Trivia:  This song was recorded live in October of '83 when The Time was performing at the First Avenue club in Minneapolis. Later on, in preparation for the album, the song was recorded in the studio. That version had Prince playing all the instruments except guitar, which was handled by Jessie Johnson. It had been recorded for inclusion on the Ice Cream Castle album, but prior to its release the studio version was set aside in favor of the live version. It would mark the first time in three albums that the full band was actually heard on record. All their previous songs and recordings were mainly done by Prince with Morris Day singing over the top of the tracks.