There isn’t a lot of officially released, non-album Prince music out there to pore over and obsess about during the first few years of his career. We also don’t have hours and hours of bootlegs (Grand Central tracks notwithstanding) or demos of songs that either ended up on the albums released during the early years or found their way onto future recordings. Even the B-sides of singles coming from Prince’s first three releases; For You, Prince, and Dirty Mind, are all tracks that can be found on these albums. We wouldn’t even see a widely released 12″ single for several more years with the release of the “Let’s Work” in 1981.
What we did get, in 1978, is a promotional 12″ of “Just As Long As We’re Together” and “Soft & Wet”, which included “Disco Mix” versions of both tracks. These remixes have been credited to Jim Burgess, a New York based producer and DJ that had success producing and remixing tracks from Alicia Bridges (“I Love the Nightlife”) and Rod Stewart (“Do Ya Think I’m Sexy”). “Just As Long As We’re Together” and “Soft & Wet” were already disco-ready tracks off a disco influenced album (For You) but Warner Brothers were eager to push Prince onto the dance charts by providing DJs with a record they could spin, flip over, and spin again.
Unless you’re a completionist, the Disco Mix version of “JALAWT” is not substantial. It adds about 5 seconds in length from the album version and the differences between the two songs are barely noticeable. These subtle differences begin right after the second verse where Jim chose to add a repeat of the standard break instead of the more interesting break on the original where Prince includes the ascending synth line. Jim also removes some of the instrumentation to make the mix a bit more bare bones. I suppose this choice was meant to highlight some of the funkier basslines over the synths, but at this point, my preference still lies with the original mix. Additionally, the Disco Mix appears to have been slowed down just slightly, another interesting choice for a mix that was intended to be played for dancing.
The going rate for this 12″ promo vinyl is in the $50-100 range and it doesn’t even provide the owner a cool cover photo of Prince circa 1978. Considering that all you get is a basic record printed with the standard Warner Brothers logo, I would instead seek out an mp3 version from a Prince friend/fam that is open to sharing with you and give it a spin. “JALAWT” is a great song and its worth hearing this Disco Mix, even if it’s basically the same song with minor tweaks, but in my opinion it’s not worth buying at the current price.
The “Soft and Wet Disco Mix” is even more insubstantial. The differences between the Disco Mix and LP versions are only perceivable to those who have heard the album version 100 times. The drum track and synth lines have subtle variations to them, but the overall track length is not increased with an extension of the musical break or any added elements. Listen for yourselves and play a game of “what’s the difference?”
Overall Score: 3.5 / 5