BY CHRIS RIEMENSCHNEIDER
STAR TRIBUNE /TNS
Warner Records has announced plans to release a 40th anniversary double-LP reissue of The Time’s self-titled 1981 debut on July 16. Bandleader Morris Day, however, says that’s not cool.
The Prince-produced six-song collection features the classic hit “Cool” alongside concert staples “Get It Up” and “The Stick” — will be released as a $32 deluxe edition on red-and-white colored vinyl via Warners’ reissue imprint Rhino Records.
Now available as a $32 preorder, the set will include a second LP with single edits of five tracks, including a two-part version of “Cool.”
“The Time” reissue will be promoted as part of Rhino’s Black Music Month campaign, which will also include new editions of albums by Miles Davis, Robert Flack, Curtis Mayfield, the Drifters and others.
Not included in debut
Day didn’t seem averse to the idea, but rather he sounded unhappy not to be included in the planning for it.
“Interesting, no one from Rhino or Warner Music thought it a good idea to reach out to me or any of the fellas regarding this reissue,” the Minneapolis native said in a post Tuesday on Instagram. “I got a serious problem with that.”
Day further added in the comments section, “So much could have gone behind this reissue of ‘The Time’ album… fun acts, commentary, mini documentary, ‘REUNION’ PERFORMANCE of said album, etc. — But y’all dropped the ball on this one. #notcool”
Rhino/Warners representatives did not yet respond to a request for comment. The team there has earned pretty high marks so far for its treatment of Prince’s posthumous reissues, including last year’s just plain glorious expanded three- to eight-disc editions of “Sign o’ the Times” as well as the 2019 six-disc box-set version of “1999.”
Prince, of course, had his hands all over “The Time.” Working under the pseudonym Jamie Starr, he played all the instruments on the record except for Dr. Matt Fink’s synth on “Cool,” and he handed the tracks off to Day with scratch vocals for him to follow.
“Only in recent years did we start saying that basically [Prince] and I did the whole damn album,” Day said in a 2017 interview with Rolling Stone. “The Time wasn’t even together as a band at the time. We put the band together after we got the deal with Warner Brothers.”
Here’s hoping Day and the rest of the fellas can be involved in subsequent reissues, especially any new treatment of their timeless 1984 classic “Ice Cream Castles.”