The only major song from the classic film, Purple Rain, to have never previously been released… Finally, after 25 years, comes Dez Dickerson’s lost Minneapolis classic, ‘Modernaire’, mastered from a newly discovered tape recording. As if that wasn’t enough, the record also features a freak-a-holic cover version by Egyptian Lover. Keeping the spirit and energy of the original alive, there are remixes by Hot Persuasion, DMX Krew and Faceless Mind, driven by the searing beats of the 808 and LinnDrum. Also featuring a disco-machine version by Complexxion, this is the sound of the modernaire!
Dez Dickerson tells the ‘Modernaire’ story:
“Without a doubt, the most widely known and sought-after of my songs is ‘Modernaire’. The song was immortalized in the film, Purple Rain, during my performance onstage with my band, The Modernaires (then comprised of Paul Cassady on bass, Roland Lozier on keyboards, Ernie LaViolet on drums, and the late, great Joe Hunt on guitar). Whilst all but 18 seconds of our big screen debut wound up on the cutting room floor, the song became somewhat of an underground favourite, with some going as far as taking a snippet of the tune from the film soundtrack and looping it!
“Originally, all the music from Purple Rain was to have been included on a single soundtrack album, but Prince continued to write material well after completion of the shooting of the picture. In the end, only his music ended up on what became the Purple Rain album.
“‘Modernaire’ is the most overtly Prince-influenced of anything I ever recorded, for obvious, practical reasons – in that it was to be part of the film and subsequent soundtrack project, it needed to fit well with the rest of the music. Prince and I collaborated on the recording, which also accounts for his strong influence. He particularly pushed for me to find a new singing voice on the track, which he succeeded in helping me to accomplish.
“This song was originally to have been released by Warner Bros. as a single at the beginning of my 1983-84 Kamikaze Tour. In fact, when we started the tour in late 1983, many DJs requesting interviews were aware of the single and asked what the release date was. Prince had arranged for his managers, Cavallo, Ruffalo & Fargnoli, to represent me during that time, and they believed they had it all worked out with the label as far as my deal was concerned. But, in fact, things never did come together with Warner. They subsequently began searching for a deal with virtually every other major label on the planet, from Capitol to Polygram, with several of them verbally committing to sign me. But, when it was all said and done, more was said than done!
“Ironically, I received a call from the business affairs department at Warner over one year after their initial plans to release the single, requesting that I supply them with a B-side and artwork – they were finally going to release it after all. But in the end, (you guessed it) it never happened.
“For this Citinite release we were unable to locate the original two-track analogue master of the song and have been forced to utilize one derived from a cassette copy of the original master. Surprisingly, the quality is much better than one would expect!”
The EP is available on vinyl and mp3, and can be purchased from the “Own Our Music” links at the bottom right of this page.