Theft of the Dial: The Revolution

Andrea Swensson and The Revolution.
Andrea Swensson of The Local Show and The Revolution. (Evan Frost | MPR News)
Theft of the Dial: The Revolution
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The Revolution are in town to perform this weekend at Celebration 2017, the four-day long event taking place at Paisley Park to honor the life of Prince on the anniversary of his passing. Ahead of their highly anticipated weekend performance and ensuing tour, the Revolution stopped by The Current to flood our airwaves with their favorite Prince songs and to share the stories of how theses songs became so dear to them.

Before jumping into their carefully curated playlist, the band first talked a little bit about how their reunionncame about. To the band, touring and sharing the experience of Prince's music with people is really the best way they could honor their late band leader and friend. "He would want us to go out there, play, celebrate and entertain," Mark Brown explained. "Because that's what he was, an entertainer."

The set kicked off with "Computer Blue," a track that was featured in Prince's iconic film, Purple Rain. The song was a pick by Brown and was described by him as "one of the funkiest tracks that I remember playing." For Doctor Fink, "Lady Cab Driver" is one of his essential Prince tracks because of its message of equality. "I love the message it conveys," he elaborated. "Because Prince really loved to empower women."

The messages Prince conveyed through his music also had a profound impact on Wendy Melvoin. For her, "Annie Christian" is one of those songs that always stuck with her. "When I was in my last year of high school I heard that song," Melvoin recalled. "To this day, he was probably the most touched musician I ever had the pleasure of working with, knowing and learning from. And that song, that a young guy would write something like that was so profound to me."

Several of the members identified "Controversy" as a ground breaking song, but for Lisa Coleman, it holds a special place in her heart. "Whenever I hear that song, I have all these memories that go with it from when he called me over to sing and work on the song," Coleman explained. "I just remember it so clearly, I can feel him next to me when I hear that song."

Bobby Z. based his song selections largely off of the musical ingenuity they represent. For him, "It's Gonna Be Lonely" was a song where by the time it was finished, he "knew that [Prince] was growing musically, exponentially." Bobby Z. also considers "Sexuality" the song that is "kind of the epitome of his beat making."

As for their hopes for Celebration 2017 and the upcoming tour, the Revolution's primary focus is to bring Prince's music to the people.n"We were Prince's band, we weren't Prince," Coleman claimed. "And that's just what we're gonna to do is be his band, and people can come and experience that and love what he loved."

Use the audio player above to listen to the Theft of the Dial interview with the Revolution.


"Computer Blue"
"I Wanna Be Your Lover"
"Private Joy"
"Lady Cab Driver"
"It's Gonna Be Lonely"
"Annie Christian"
"When Doves Cry"


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  • A guide to Prince's musical inspiration As part of our celebration of Prince's life and legacy, we've assembled an annotated playlist featuring the musical heroes depicted on his wall of influences and inspirations at Paisley Park.
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  • The Current celebrates Prince: programs and events schedule The Current is celebrating the life and legacy of Prince through music. As we approach one year since we lost the local legend, we will honor his musical contributions with a weekend packed with purple. See a complete schedule of programming and events.

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