1985 The Time – Jungle Love
A provision in the contract that Prince signed with Warner Brothers Records allowed him to recruit other artists for the label and produce their music. After seeing the 1980 film The Idolmaker, Prince became inspired to create a band that would create music similar to his early records. He signed up Minneapolis funk/R&B band Flyte Tyme as the nucleus of his new band and added guitar player Jesse Johnson to the band. He also recruited his childhood friend Morris Day as the new lead singer.
Prince dubbed the new band The Time. Perhaps the best-known members of the band were Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis, who later became extremely successful songwriters and producers.
The band’s first album did not feature any of the band’s members except Morris; Prince played all the instruments on the album and Morris followed detailed instructions for the vocals. Two singles from the 1981 album reached the top on the R&B chart and #14 on the US Dance chart, but the best they could manage on the Hot 100 was one record that reached #90.
Prince appears to have convinced Morris to fire Jimmy and Terry from the band after a blizzard in Atlanta caused them to miss a performance, so they were gone from the band before the filming of the film Purple Rain.
Their third album again featured mostly Prince on the instruments, although Jesse finally go to play guitar on the recordings. The first single from the album, Jungle Love, finally gave the band some success on the Hot 100, where the record reached #20 in 1985. The single again took the band into the top ten on the R&B chart and reached #9 on the US Dance chart.
The album also spawned another top forty single on the Hot 100 when The Bird made it to #36.
In 1985, the band simply fell apart. Morris left to pursue a solo career while several members continued playing together as The Family.
The band reunited in 1990 and even managed to reach the top of the R&B chart and #9 on the Hot 100 with their new single, Jerk Out.
Several more reunions and disbandments have followed over the years. Morris continues to lead a band called Morris Day and the Time but can only do so by paying Prince’s estate (the owner of the trademark) for the privilege.
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