Kelly’s Eyes

Prince was (and probably is) brilliant, but one of the prices for that brilliance was his legendary irritability. He was notoriously hard to work for — people worked for Prince, never really with him — and he ditched collaborators and band members on a regular basis. What happened to the men and women who had the chance to watch and learn from one of pop’s greatest before being rudely discarded? Some fared better than others. Andre Cymone was one of Prince’s earliest musical companions, helping him out on his first two albums from the late 70s and the legendary 94 East recordings, which weren’t released until 1985. Cymone struck out on his own in 1982, and his debut album, Livin’ In The New Wave, contained Cymone’s version of the pop-rock-soul-funk mix that Prince made into high art on 1980’s Dirty Mind. Sometimes, Cymone gets it exactly right, like on the bouncing yet lovelorn “Kelly’s Eyes.” Those album graphics are straight out of Star Wars.

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