Marvin's Room is the home of R&B on CBC. The show airs Friday 7:00 p.m on Radio 2, Sunday 8:00 p.m on Radio 1, Wednesday at 4:00 a.m and Friday at 3:00 p.m on SiriusXM.
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Marvin's Room with Amanda Parris on CBC Radio
On April 21st, 2016, the music world was at a standstill. Without warning, without preparation, without a goodbye, we lost Prince.
On that day I was working on the first ever episode of Marvin’s Room. I knew that without a doubt we had to play some Marvin Gaye and of course there had to be some Drake. I figured I’d include a little old school Canadian R&B and some new R&B joints to introduce you to. I also knew without a doubt that the playlist for that first episode had to include Prince. It was unthinkable to introduce a show about R&B and not have him help set the stage. So on that day I was writing a script about the autobiography that Prince was working on and wondering what juicy stories it would gift us. A few hours later in the midst of tears, shaking with shock and disbelief, I deleted my script and started again, this time writing a tribute.
For this episode, we’re breaking convention and rather than taking you on a whirlwind journey of the R&B world, we’re going to stay to set our navigation directly to the world of the purple one. This episode is all about the magical, iconic and beautiful artist Prince Rogers Nelson; the legends who inspired him, the music he made, the artists he mentored and the rivalries he waged. Since this is still Marvin’s Room, and we have to stay true to our mission, in between the tribute I’ll be hooking you up with some Canadian R&B because there is a ton of good music getting released right now.
I hope you’ve got your side sweep set and your ruffled blouse on. For this episode, it’s all about Prince.
Prince - Let’s Go Crazy
Michael Jackson - Bad
Drake - Passionfruit
Ebhoni - Time
Alicia Keys - How Come You Don’t Call Me
DVSN - One in a Million Remix
Kennedy Rd - All I See
The Weeknd - Wicked Games
D’Angelo - Untitled (How Does it Feel)
Prince - Purple Rain
Prince – Let’s Go Crazy
There is the sound of a crowd cheering and a voice overhead says, “Ladies and gentlemen. The Revolution.” And then the opening chords arrive while you hear one of the best opening monologues of a song ever written. Prince appears: a black silhouette holding a guitar against a haze of purple smoke. A quick montage of faces adorned in classic 80’s punk hairstyles and makeup is disrupted every now and again with tight frames on Prince’s lips and eyes as he meticulously eye shadow while staring directly to the camera...staring directly at you. And then comes the incredible moment. The moment when you realize that this film is going to be the melodramatic over-the-top iconic film you never knew you needed: Prince licks his fingers and smooths down his goatee…while still staring directly at you. Cue: swoon.
It’s the opening song and scene of the film Purple Rain and it’s the only way to begin this tribute. This is Prince with “Let’s Go Crazy.”
Alicia Keys – How Come You Don’t Call Me
The number of artists who have been influenced by Prince are too many to count: Janelle Monae, Miguel, Beyonce and Alicia Keys are some of the standout names among them. Alicia Keys had the great honour of inducting Prince into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and included a cover of his song “How Come You Don’t Call Me?” on her debut album. When he died, she wrote the following message on social media: “Perhaps the most tremendous thing Prince showed us, is how music can be the closest expression of freedom. His songs defied all the rules and taught us to let go of boundaries placed on us by the world and by each other. The only person who can keep chains around us and box us up is ourselves. He never gave in. I’m grateful for his example. I’m that much more free because of Prince.”
This is Alicia Keys with her cover of the Prince song, “How Come You Don’t Call Me?”
Funkadelic – Maggot Brain
Throughout this episode, we’ll explore artists who looked to Prince for inspiration, but we didn’t have enough time to delve deeply into the artists who inspired the purple one. There was James Brown for sure, Sly Stone without a doubt and Prince often spoke of his admiration for Joni Mitchell. And there was also Funkadelic.
The song “Maggot Brain” by Funkadelic is considered one of the greatest guitar songs of all time. Legend has it that George Clinton, while under the influence of LSD (of course), told guitarist Eddie Hazel to play as though he had been told his mother was dead. The result is this epically haunting 10 minute guitar solo that was recorded in a single take and became the title song of Funkadelic’s third album. It’s definitely not in our usual R&B wheelhouse of sounds, but rumour has it that Prince was inspired by “Maggot Brain” when he crafted Purple Rain.
It feels like the perfect tribute to our late icon.
The Marvin's Room R&B Stream
Explore the world of R&B, 24 hours a day 7 days a week with our new "Marvin's Room R&B" stream. Inspired by the studio where Marvin Gaye recorded much of his legendary music and by the more recent Drake song of the same name, Marvin's Room brings back the old school and introduces what's going on. Hear: Patti LaBelle, Party Next Door, Toni Braxton, Alicia Keys, Destiny's Child, Prince, Deborah Cox.
Explore the world of R&B from neo-soul to trap soul and everything in between. Inspired by the studio where Marvin Gaye recorded much of his legendary music and by the more recent Drake song of the same name, Marvin's Room brings back the old school and introduces what's going on. Hear: Patti LaBelle, Party Next Door, Toni Braxton, Alicia Keys, Destiny's Child, Prince, Usher, Deborah Cox and more!