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  • Gareth Crook

Graffiti Bridge (1990)

I loved the Graffiti Bridge album and vaguely recall it saying something like “From the motion picture” on the cover. I’d never bothered to watch it though, the CD was enough. With Purple Rain the story is filler for the music and the same applies here. It’s very 90s (which you could say is ahead of its time being released right at the start of the decade), especially in the performances from the stage in The Kid’s (Prince) club ‘The Glam Slam’, all fast cuts and comically suggestive choreography. The Kid is still in a spat with Morris Day and The Time, in their turf war style battle of the bands disagreement first started in Purple Rain. The Kid owes Morris money too, so it’s pay up or lose the club. None of this is important. It’s all just an excuse for Prince to ride around on that custom motorcycle pouting again, this time falling in love with Aura (Ingrid Chavez), who hangs out writing in her diary at a polystyrene looking bridge covered in crap graffiti. Aura is more than just a girl, she’s some kind of spiritual angelic guide, not that it’s all that clear in this misogynistic world where everything is surface. There is no substance. We do get Mavis Staples and George Clinton thrown into the mix, but the whole thing acts as a extended funk pop showcase for the purple one. It’s the songs I’m here for though. Thieves in the Temple, Elephants & Flowers, Shake!, Tick Tick Bang, Round & Round with Tevin Campbell, who on the record I had no idea was a young lad. It’s nearly unwatchable if I’m honest, worse than Purple Rain even and certainly one for only the die hard fans. It can’t even claim any ‘so bad it’s good’ cult cool, Prince who wrote and directed is clearly taking it too seriously. Fair play it has a style, shot on sound stages, it’s all smoke and bright neon lightening, but not even the music can save it.



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