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Cross The Line   < < < Non-Prince Songs All Prince Songs Unreleased Songs > > >   Crystal Ball

Crystalball album.png
from the album Crystal Ball
Song details
Performer: Prince
First Released: 29 January 1998 - Crystal Ball album
Album(s): Crystal Ball
Writer(s): Prince
Producer(s): Prince
Live Appearances
First and last live appearance:
Performed regularly on tour:
  • none
Performed occasionally in shows:
  • none

Crucial is the fifth track on the second disc of Prince's 20th album Crystal Ball (his fourth using the name SymbolSmallerBlue.png). The album is not clearly divided between Prince tracks and SymbolSmallerBlue.png tracks, but the liner notes' discussion of this track state "All instruments and vocals by Prince", so it is credited to Prince in this entry.

Basic tracking took place on 13 September 1986 at Prince's Galpin Blvd Home Studio in Chanhassen, Minnesota (four days after the end of the Parade Tour in Japan, the day before recording Coco Boys); this version missed the guitar solo.

Eric Leeds added a saxophone part on 6 November 1986 (the day after sequencing the Camille album), at Sunset Sound in Hollywood, California, at Prince's request, but when Prince heard it, he let Leeds know that the main saxophone solo was in the place where the guitar solo would be, so the saxophone solo was discarded when Prince recorded the guitar solo in early-to-mid November, at Sunset Sound.

The song was written specifically for the planned musical The Dawn, which was ultimately abandoned, and the song was never intended for any of Prince's many late-1986 album projects (although the album notes in Crystal Ball state that it was intended for Sign O' The Times and was replaced by Adore).

It is believed that the version used for release on Crystal Ball was edited in 1997, although this has not been confirmed.

Recording Information
Recording Sessions
Date Studio Additional info
13 September 1986 Galpin Blvd Home Studio,
Chanhassen, MN, USA
Basic tracking
6 November 1986 Sunset Sound,
Hollywood, CA, USA
Saxophone overdubs by Eric Leeds
Early-to-mid November 1986 Sunset Sound,
Hollywood, CA, USA (assumed)
Guitar solo overdub
January 1987 Mad Hatter Studios
Los Angeles, CA, USA
Orchestra overdubs by Clare Fischer
Recording Personnel

Released Versions
Title Length Released Version Additional info
Crucial 5:05 Crystal Ball Studio

Unreleased Versions
Title Version Additional Info
Crucial Original version before saxophone and guitar solo overdubs
Crucial Studio Longer recording with some vocal and musical mixing differences, and lengthy saxophone solo by Eric Leeds
Crucial Studio Longer recording with some vocal and musical mixing differences, and lengthy guitar solo
Crucial Studio Version with Susannah Melvoin singing lead
Crucial Studio Version with Clare Fischer Orchestra overdubs (possibly the same as above)
Additional Information

See also Trivia

Cross The Line   < < < All Songs Unreleased Songs > > >   Crystal Ball