The End of the Revolution

Prince with Lisa and Wendy, Rolling Stone no. 472, April 1986 by Jeff Katz

Old school Prince die hards like me get a bit nostalgic when thinking back to the Revolution days. There was a certain dynamic and chemistry with the lineup – Prince, Bobby Z. on drums, Matt Fink on synth, Lisa Coleman on keys, Wendy Melvoin on guitar, and Brown Mark on bass – that in my opinion hasn’t been matched since. I don’t doubt for a second that every member of Prince’s band is and has been a talented musician. It’s just that the Revolution lineup seemed right. Totally subjective, I know, and it probably has to do with favoring the lineup that was in place when I discovered Prince’s music.

So the last official gig with this lineup took place on September 9th, 1986 in Yokohama, Japan. It was the last show of the Parade tour. Prince pulled out a B-side rarity (“Love or Money”), a heartfelt version of “Sometimes it Snows in April”, a killer jam on “Anotherloverholenyohead”, a preview of “Hot Thing” during “Head”, and so much more.

All in all, the Revolution played one helluva finale.

Prince and the Revolution
Parade Tour
September 9th, 1986
Yokohama, Japan

1. Around The World In A Day
2. Christopher Tracy’s Parade
3. New Position
4. I Wonder U
5. Raspberry Beret
6. Delirious
7. It’s Gonna Be A Beautiful Night (Chant)
8. Controversy
9. A Love Bizarre (W/ Sheila E)
10. Do Me, Baby
11. How Much Is That Doggie In The Window – Lady Cab Driver
12. Automatic
13. D.M.S.R.
14. When Doves Cry
15. Little Red Corvette
16. Do U Lie?
17. The Ladder
18. Condition Of The Heart
19. Under The Cherry Moon


20. Anotherloverholenyohead
21. Love or $
22. Head
23. Pop Life
24. Girls & Boys
25. Life Can Be So Nice
26. 1999
27. America
28. Kiss
29. Sometimes It Snows In April
30. Purple Rain

What is the Revolution up to these days?

dr. fink

Matt “Dr.” Fink: The Doctor is still in. Matt is active in the Minneapolis music scene, churning out his brand of electro-funk. You can catch up with him on his official site and his MySpace page.

Wendy and Lisa

Wendy & Lisa: Wendy & Lisa haven’t slowed down since they parted with the Revolution. They have released several albums, and have played with Prince here and there throughout the years. Just this past weekend at Prince’s 3121 Rio show in Vegas, Wendy and her twin sister Susannah joined Prince for “A Love Bizarre”, and Wendy joined in on acoustic guitar during “Purple Rain”.

You can catch up with Wendy and Lisa’s latest happenings on their official site and their MySpace page. Also, there’s a bunch of W&L stuff on YouTube. Check out this video of Wendy, Lisa, and Susannah singing “Strung Out”.

brown mark

Brown Mark: Mark is still active in the music industry as a member of Cryptic. You can hear their latest on his MySpace page.

Bobby Z: There’s not much info on the web about what Bobby Z. is up to these days. Can anyone provide an update? G.?

Prince, Parade tour

Prince: As for the man, you never know with him. He’s been playing weekends at the Rio in Vegas since November, he tore shit up at the Super Bowl in Feb., and a couple of days ago, his web site was updated with a cryptic flash video showing a quick snippet of Prince standing over a globe with the words “Planet Earth” .. . “Summer 2007”. Album? Tour? Live Earth performance? Who knows, maybe all of the above.

He always keeps it interesting.


  • BlueSkyMine

    Did you see that Wendy and Susannah showed up at the Rio over the weekend, played some “A Love Bizzare” and “Purple Rain”. That combined with the performance at The Brit awards gives the tiniest glimmer of hope that there is some small repairs going on in the background in the “Revolution” camp.

  • Charlie

    21 years since the Revolution split….wow! The New Power Generation was good, but the Revolution was the most talented line up the man has ever been on stage with.

  • Malchus

    You forgot to mention that Wendy and Lisa provide the score to the hit TV series “Heroes”. I only just figured that one out a couple of weeks ago.

  • Pete

    Kyle – thanks for the Bobby Z. update.

    Malchus – In the words of Johnny Carson, “I did not know that!” I really have to Tivo that show, I keep hearing good things about it.

  • Buddha

    I would have to agree with this being the best line up. I like Andre Cymone on guitar , but Wendy was the shit. (I can rember the cold day back in 1987 when Charlie and I walked across Univ. of MD College Park campus on a Thursday night to go to the record store to get Wendy and Lisa’s self-titled debut album. If U are a fan of the Revolution, I suggest checking out where a good bit of the influences for some melodies and grooves on many of the Revolution era tunes came from. You won’t be sorry.

  • Jshua

    ok, my turn………

    There is one thing incredibly appropriate about this particular lineup which is different than any other lineup Prince has ever been privy too–and that is this……

    With this particular lineup (in my humble opinion) Prince still understood the idea that: “dirt is good and also spiritually funky”…….

    and therefore allright!

    For yeal yo!

    Think about it, from henceforth, there is no other band that has that intrinsic ELEMENT within the conceptive “sound” that this band encompassed…

    In other words: It took a lot of sweat, blood and tears to pull this one off and everything else (after the pro’s came in) was easy street!

    Trust me, I’m not “shining on” anything that has come forth after this, but I will suggest that this band is COMPLETELY SLEPT UPON!!!

    Don’t believe me?

    Then check this out: D’angelo’s VOODOO tour, which is completely based off of this….

    (go find it–its out there and ?uestlove kept a diary of its evolution)

    Sting and Ron Wood (of the Rolling Stones) jammed on it with the tune “Miss you”…..


    So many people vibed off this one that as the next morning arose out of the “mystical wave that rose and crested” (i.e. Hunter S. Thompson)
    they were willing to do something about it!

    Hence, the Neo-Soul Movement that credits Prince first and foremost for its existance!

    Truth is: He borrowed it from a unique position which suggested that—>the sky’s the limit! (which is a binding statement unto itself but I digress..)

    I mean, look at what he (Prince) experienced in being born in 1958 (which no one ever takes into account—-yes, I’m talking about segregation) to the idea that he is the leader of an entire new movement of sound and being….

    can you get to that?!?!?!

    Because (as a black person)

    I CAN’T!

    I can’t even get to the idea of Sly or George (nevermind JIMI) and what they accomplished because I can feel it and subconciously (and spiritually) and know it but, I will never know the true depth of an Eddie Hazel or a Larry Graham experienced because I was not there within context……

    But I will suggest this: When one’s ear is touched by this “awakening”, they will then understand what it was “all about” and what this recording represented, some twenty years in (AT THAT TIME) far removed from “Live at the Apollo, volume ………”

    that it, in reality represented something

    Which was this: We are all human!

    Hey Pete, can I get an Amen!?!?!


  • Nicole

    OMG! Thank you for posting this concert. If you can believe it, I went to the show in Yokohama the night before this show on 9.8.86 I was in 8th grade at the time and it took 1-1/2 hours to take the train down there from Tokyo, but it was definitely worth it. That show was my first time seeing Prince live and what a wonderful introduction that was. Thank you for bringing back those great memories.

  • Pete

    Nicole – that’s really cool! And while you were in 8th grade too… in Japan.

    I wasn’t able to see Prince for the first time until I was 18. During the Purple Rain tour, I was 14, and my parents shot down the idea of me going to Chicago to see Prince.. IN A LIMO! I was devastated. This girl a couple of years older than me invited me along. Unfortunately, my folks weren’t as excited about the idea as I was.

  • Mrs. Cornish

    Okay…I guess I need to jump in on the love for the MAN. Wow Nicole, I thought I was young when I saw him for the first time. I got to go to the 1999 tour in Spring of 83 for the first time and my first concert too! THANK GOD my parents knew nothing of Prince!!! Gee, Pete, I think I will make it a point to mention this story when I am around your parents again. I was in 7th grade and just turning 13 years old. Oh the memories… Then the last time I had gotten to see him was the Musicology tour 23 years later and it just wasn’t the same. He was in search of a new balance and think he has found it when he released the 3121, when he has brought the funk back! I still LOVE the man and his music and sing praises to the path he has created for all.

    AMEN and all praise PRINCE =)

  • Chirag

    Wow Some great comments on this.

    I am going d/load later but one of my Fave P vids (infact ironically not a vid really) is the “anotherloverholeinyohead video”. The band really were on the 1 at that time, and the very funky its gonna be a beutifull night came from one of the shows around this time and was thankfully included on SOTT as a goodbye to the band.

    I agree with the earlier post in regards to the d’angelo tour, i remember reading an article when he was touring and he said hed got hold of many shows on Video to see what cues P used for hes band etc and to learn from it.

    Thanks once again for sharing Pete

  • Eric

    In addition to Heros, Wendy and Lisa have done a few soundtracks, including one that is one the tip of my tongue, but is eluding me….

    great post, though!

  • "christopher"

    …from germany with love…..

    i saw prince 4 the first time in the later 80`s live here in germany….

    from this moment on i never, never can be cured from this drug !!!

    my first and my last wish…..give the man a handshake an say:

    “thank u 4 changing my whole life”

    thank u prince and………

    may u live 2 see the dawn…..

  • viscobubby

    I work with Z and his label. Sweetheart of a dude. Thanks for posting. Let’s hope someday they re-master the albums and add as bonus tracks some of the 200 unreleased tracks I have. Peace IE. NO BUSH.

  • deb

    I have that Rolling Stone issue with Prince, Lisa & Wendy. It’s in less than mint condition, though. I’ve been a fan since his second album (1979) but I fell in love with him when I saw the publicity photo promoting “For You”, you know the one; he’s wearing a black leather jacket and has a huge afro. I thought he was SO fine! 😀

  • Ty

    I agree with U all, the Revolution had a soul connection with Prince that will never be duplicated. They were Erotic City/Uptown/Paisley Park and even Alphabet St…I really love the follow up band(which I call the Evolution) because everyone in the next band were a part of the Revolution years:Sheila E, Eric Leeds, Atlanta Bliss, Mico Weaver, and the starr Dr Fink. Boni Boyer & Levi Seacer jr were too but through Sheila E’s band. the 2 male dancers were apart of the Parade tour Revolution and in the Prince camp since Purple Rain dance-they were actually in the movie Purple Rain dancing during the Times performance. So this group had a wonderful vibe with Prince too. Cat was the only real new comer but she fit right in, She had the best vibe with Prince out of all the following dancers.

    I’m definately hoping for a perminent reunion with the Revolution: Sheila on percussion, Cat dancing, Mico on guitar behing Wendy.
    The London 2007 performance were Sheila E Wendy & Lisa performed with P proved that on those of the Revolution years can truly make Prince shine. The Purple Rain performance was electric.

    And seeing Wendy & Sheila on stage with Prince during his Minneapolis shows & 1st Avenue aftershow was emotional.

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