Mavis Staples, ‘Kain’t Turn Back’ (1993) — A brain tickle

Posted by Pierre Igot in: Music
April 8th, 2005 • 7:58 am

The two albums that Mavis Staples released on Prince’s Paisley Park label are both terrific. The second one, entitled The Voice, includes this very funky track called “Kain’t Turn Back”, which is credited, not to Prince, but to Bernard Belle.

Does Prince appear anywhere on the track? It’s hard to tell, especially since Prince tends to make a lot of uncredited contributions or to use pseudonyms. (The album credits do specify, “Additional Programming by Statik”, and I am not sure who Statik was/is.)

What tickled my brain today, while listening to the track, was that it features a background vocal snippet that I am sure I have heard on another track that is either by Prince or Prince-related. The background vocal is exactly at 01:35. It’s a five-note “wah-hoo-oo-wah-hoo” sung by a male voice. It only occurs once in the song.

When it comes to vocals, only Mavis Staples is credited on this song. Yet this snippet is clearly not sung by her. (It’s not Prince either.) And I am sure I have heard it elsewhere on a Prince or Prince-related song. But which?

The neat thing about being a Prince fan is that there are all kinds of little clues like this scattered throughout his own recordings and related artist recordings, and you just have to listen to the music again and again to explore these connections, because they might show one particular song under a new light, etc.

But right now I just can’t remember what other Prince track this vocal snippet appears on.

2 Responses to “Mavis Staples, ‘Kain’t Turn Back’ (1993) — A brain tickle”

  1. Olivier2 says:

    You heard it in the “Come” remix from “The Beautiful Experience” TV special (and numerous bootlegs).

  2. Pierre Igot says:

    Excellent! That’s exactly where it comes from… And it also happens to be my favourite version of “Come”—even though it was never officially released on CD. Thanks a lot.

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