If you were down with Prince and The Revolution as they exploded into international stardom with 1984’s Purple Rain, you likely were drawn to the subplot of The Kid’s band members, Wendy and Lisa, who clashed with their bandleader over his artistic meandering. At the film’s climax, the group dominates Minneapolis’ First Avenue with the film’s title track, an eight-minute opus based upon a set of chords the duo gave their friend and collaborator.
While that story was created for filmic tension, the real-life tension between the talented bandleader and his equally talented band members is a crucial part of the Prince narrative. While the vocals and playing of guitarist Wendy Melvoin (whose first show with The Revolution was a First Avenue gig that was recorded and incorporated into the Purple Rain album) and keyboardist Lisa Coleman were crucial to Prince’s early-to-mid-’80s hit streak, Prince’s tendency to rely on only his own musical gifts ultimately led to the dissolution of his band in 1986. (Prince has worked intermittently with the duo since, offering them co-production work on an uncompleted Prince and The Revolution album in 1999; in 2006 and 2007, Wendy and Lisa appeared on certain live dates with Prince and contributed to his Planet Earth LP.
Left without a band, the duo – friends and collaborators since a very young age and the daughters of great session musicians (Wrecking Crew members Mike Melvoin and Gary L. Coleman) – recorded their own debut LP for Columbia Records. At once reminiscent of Prince’s Minneapolis sound production (former Revolution drummer Bobby Z. co-produced) and the duo’s sunny pop tendencies, Wendy and Lisa never met the kind of success it probably deserved, in spite of killer singles like “Waterfall” and “Honeymoon Express,” both lower-middling U.K. hits. (“Waterfall” hit the charts twice, once as a remixed version in 1989.) Undaunted by the lack of chart success, Wendy and Lisa still record together, having moved largely from pop-rock to film and television composition. (They’ve worked on many high-regarded series including Heroes, Touch, Crossing Jordan and their Emmy-winning work for Nurse Jackie.)
On March 25, Wendy and Lisa will be released as an expanded edition by Cherry Pop Records. Four bonus tracks will be included, all dance mixes of singles including “Honeymoon Express,” “Sideshow” and the 1989 remixes of “Waterfall.” (A previous edition on the Wounded Bird label featured four bonus tracks, including the remixes of “Sideshow” and “Honeymoon Express,” the single edit of “Waterfall” and a non-LP B-side, “To Trip is to Fall.”) A new interview and track-by-track notes from Coleman are also featured in this set, making it a must for fans and collectors.
After the jump, take a look at the track list and find pre-order links for this new reissue.
Wendy and Lisa, Wendy and Lisa: Expanded Edition (originally released as Columbia FC 40682 (U.S.)/Virgin V 2444 (U.K.), 1987 – reissued Cherry Pop CRPOP 119 (U.K.), 2013)
- Honeymoon Express
- Blues Away
- Song About
- Chance to Grow
- The Life
- Everything But You
- Honeymoon Express (12″ Version) (12″ A-side – Columbia 44-07498 (U.S.), 1988)
- Sideshow (Extended Version) (12″ A-side – Virgin VST 1012 (U.K.), 1988)
- Waterfall ’89 (Alice & Sundial Seven”) (single A-side – Virgin VS 1223 (U.K.), 1989)
- Waterfall ’89 (Psychedelic Teepee Twelve”) (12″ A-side – Virgin VST 1223 (U.K.), 1989)