Numero Group: By The Numbers


Purple Snow: The Pre-Order
August 2, 2013, 8:36 am
Filed under: Newsworthy, Purple Snow

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In the late 1970s, a peculiar sound began bubbling up from the land of 10,000 lakes. Buried beneath 50 solid inches of annual snow, Minneapolis made a Sound quite different than what the pop world foresaw. It issued forth as a slick, black, technologically advanced fusion, poised to storm the charts. Never known for sizable African-American populations, the Twin Cities of Minneapolis and St. Paul in fact harbored a tight-knit community of musicians working feverishly through the late ’70s and early ’80s toward a radical manipulation of American dance music, coating futuristic funk with the glamorous sheen of guitar rock. Synthetic ebony and ivory met electricity, with sexed-up results sent shockingly across the pop heavens like violet lightning.

On 4 LPs or 2 CDs, Purple Snow: Forecasting the Minneapolis Sound—the Numero Group’s breathlessly anticipated 50th mainline release—chronicles the scene’s first steps, false starts, and follow-throughs, sourcing the life’s work of known quantities and shadowy figures alike. In the beginning, there was Purple Haze, whose billing as Haze on two obscure albums left the color purple to their city’s incipient sound. Pepé Willie’s 94 East project gave local prodigy Prince Rogers Nelson an early chance to row along with the crew. From there, the story courses past Jimmy Jam Harris’ extroverted Philly throwback Mind & Matter collective, to Terry Lewis and Flyte Tyme, flamboyant precursor to Morris Day’s The Time. Unearthing basement demos by Prince’s childhood sidekick/departed bassist André Cymone, plus deep cuts from legend-about-town Alexander O’Neal, Numero 050 gathers relentlessly as the sprawling, nonfiction prequel to Purple Rain’s cultural takeover.

Surpassing 30,000 words, our hardbound, full-color book companion to Purple Snow: Forecasting the Minneapolis Sound is a gorgeous, exhaustively detailed, and insight-rich guided tour across two hours of music and a decade of North Star history. Inside, dozens of supporting characters and combos seed clouds for the meteoric rise of a genre formerly known mostly as Prince’s—not to mention unheard product from his top collaborators and fiercest competitors. In game-changing sound and image-rich splendor, Purple Snow: Forecasting the Minneapolis Sound clears a crowded stage, ushering in unsung Twin Cities future-funk talent, to bask for a spotlit moment, out of that persistent violet shadow, and to shine.

Our own Adam “We’re up all night to get” Luksetich made this spiffy teaser video below, featuring the music of the Stylle Band:

About that pre-order:

Back in 1985, with the Minneapolis Sound at the leading edge of its music culture takeover, David “T.C.” Ellis—an aspiring St. Paul rapper—dedicated his own rhyming-couplet document to the genre’s founding city. Constructed upon a sturdy drum machine and vocoder bedrock, “Twin Cities Rapp” contextualized and outright flattered the movement’s marquee contenders, threading together Prince, André Cymone, the Time and Morris Day, Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis, Sheila E, and sundry other Purple Snow honorees. Originally released as a 12” single by Twin Town Records, Ellis’s electro-rap narrative gets into the grooves of a Numero replica 7”—complete with Minnesota silhouette pic sleeve—to be included with the first 500 pre-orders on Numero 050, Purple Snow: Forecasting the Minneapolis Sound, as well as with 2013 LP and CD subscriptions. For all the many strengths of the compendious Purple Snow book, its words almost never rhyme. We’ve left that level of artistry to Minneapolis, to Ellis, and to good old 1985.

The 32-song, four album, 108-page hardbound book, and “Twin Cities Rapp 45” will run you $85.

The 32-song, two disc, 144-page hardbound book, and  “Twin Cities Rapp 45” will run you $35.

Track list:

Disc 1

94 East – If You See Me
Aura – Taste Of Love
Herman Jones – I Love You
Orville Shannon – Oh Lover
Mind & Matter – I’m Under Your Spell
Haze – Waiting For The Moment
Prophets Of Peace – Get It On
Cohesion – Expense
Mind & Matter – Sunshine Lady
The Lewis Connection – Higher
Flyte Tyme – It’s The Things That You Do
Herman Jones – Ladie
Michael A. Dixon and J.O.Y. – You’re All I Need
Music, Love & Funk – Stone Lover
Cohesion – Cohesion
Haze – I Do Love My Lady
The Lewis Connection – Got To Be Something Here

Disc 2

Walter Lewis & the Blue Stars – I Have Love at Home
Flyte Tyme – I’ve Got You On My Mind
Quiet Storm – Can You Deal With It
Steven – Quick
The Stylle Band – If You Love Me
The Girls – I’ve Got My Eyes On You
Sue Ann Carwell – Should I Or Should I Not?
Alexander O’Neal – Do You Dare
Ronnie Robbins – Contagious
Alexander O’Neal – Borrowed Time
Orville Shannon – One Life To Live
André Cymone – Somebody Said
Walter Lewis & the Blue Stars – Do It Baby Do It
Rockie Robbins – Together
Mind & Matter – No One Else Can Do It To Me Baby

Side A

94 East – If You See Me
Aura – Taste Of Love
Herman Jones – I Love You
Orville Shannon – Oh Lover

Side  B

Mind & Matter – I’m Under Your Spell
Haze – Waiting For The Moment
Prophets Of Peace – Get It On
Cohesion – Expense
Mind & Matter – Sunshine Lady

Side C

The Lewis Connection – Higher
Flyte Tyme – It’s The Things That You Do
Herman Jones – Ladie
Michael A. Dixon and J.O.Y. – You’re All I Need

Side D

Music, Love & Funk – Stone Lover
Cohesion – Cohesion
Haze – I Do Love My Lady
The Lewis Connection – Got To Be Something Here

Side E

Walter Lewis & the Blue Stars – I Have Love at Home
Flyte Tyme – I’ve Got You On My Mind
Quiet Storm – Can You Deal With It
Steven – Quick

Side F

The Stylle Band – If You Love Me
The Girls – I’ve Got My Eyes On You
Sue Ann Carwell – Should I Or Should I Not?
Alexander O’Neal – Do You Dare

Side G

Ronnie Robbins – Contagious
Alexander O’Neal – Borrowed Time
Orville Shannon – One Life To Live
André Cymone – Somebody Said

Side H

Walter Lewis &the Blue Stars – Do It Baby Do It
Rockie Robbins – Together
Mind & Matter – No One Else Can Do It To Me Baby


14 Comments so far
Leave a comment

I want the vinyl box, all 3 45’s and I’m dying to know the difference in book pages of the cd and vinyl box versions. Pretty jacked over this. You guys did an unreal job I can tell. Wowzers. Frickin’ Funk Xmas bigtime.

Comment by Dan Woods

The CD book is smaller, therefore it requires more pages to convey the same amount of information. There are a handful of photos in the CD version that do not appear in the LP version.

Comment by numerogroup

I literally can’t wait for this. $35 for 2 CDs and a hardbound book?! How can you guys even do that? That deal is insane. Pre-ordering ASAP.

(Wish the Light: On the South Side was offered this way as well)

Comment by Dave W

[…] Purple Snow: Forecasting the Minneapolis Sound is available for pre-order now, and includes a bonus 45 of “Twin Cities Rapp.” The entire 4LP/2CD box set will fall 11/12/13. […]

Pingback by Minneapolis Battle of the Brands | Numero Group: By The Numbers

What’s the proposed release date? Can’t find it anywhere.

Comment by D. Sanderson

November 12, 2013.

Comment by numerogroup

[…] Pre-Order Purple Snow: Forecasting the Minneapolis Sound now to ensure you receive the bonus 7-inch,… […]

Pingback by Prints: Proofing Purple Snow | Numero Group: By The Numbers

I want to order this, but am finding it difficult. I love that Herman Jones has 2 songs.

Comment by Penelope Pope

WE’re getting hundreds of orders in just fine. If you can’t get it online, call 7735225013 and they’ll take it over the phone.

Comment by numerogroup

[…] THIS INCREDIBLE SET OF VINYL HERE NumeroGroup Purple Snow, the Numero Group’s ambitious 50th mainline release, chronicles false starts and […]

Pingback by Purple Snow-Forecasting The Minneapolis Sound-Official Trailer | Rugged Ones

[…] as part of your Numero subscription service (on limited Purple vinyl, no less). Some of you have pre-ordered it to ensure you receive a copy of the pre-order bonus “Twin City Rapp” by the Twin City […]

Pingback by Purple Snow is Becoming a Reality | Numero Group: By The Numbers

Any idea when these preorders will ship?

Comment by Ronnie Martin

CDs at week’s end, LPs early next week.

Comment by numerogroup




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