|Time Waits For No One is the seventh solo studio album by American R&B and gospel singer Mavis Staples (her first on Paisley Park Records), and her first to include input by Prince.
Six of the album’s eight songs are written, produced and largely performed by Prince (Interesting, Come Home, Jaguar, Train, I Guess I’m Crazy and Time Waits For No One).
Al Bell and Homer Banks wrote and produced (with Lester Snell) the two other songs (20th Century Express and The Old Songs) and the two non-album tracks Land Of Ecstasy (released as the b-side of Jaguar) and All The Discomforts Of Home (released as the b-side of 20th Century Express). Prince is listed as the executive producer of the whole album and the non-album tracks, although he is not believed to have had any input on the four tracks not written by him. A third non-album track, Christmas Vacation, written by Cynthia Weil and Barry Mann for the National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation 1989 film, was included on the Time Waits For No One maxi-single and released as a promotional single by Paisley Park Records. Prince was not involved in the recording of that song either and is not listed as a co-producer.
Prince (through manager Bob Cavallo) approached Mavis Staples about recording an album in Autumn 1987 after seeing her perform as part of The Staple Singers in August 1987 at The Forum, Inglewood, CA, USA. The group had been unsigned for 13 years, and Mavis Staples soon signed with Paisley Park Records.
Sessions and compiling
Work on the album began in February 1988, when Prince recorded Interesting.
He sent the track, along with Jaguar (a vault track recorded in January 1987, originally intended for Sheena Easton), to Mavis Staples in Memphis, TN, USA, where she recorded lead vocals on both tracks using producers Al Bell, Homer Banks and Lester Snell at Ardent Studios.
In late June 1988, shortly before leaving for the European opening of the Lovesexy Tour, Prince recorded Time Waits For No One for the album, and revised Come Home (initially recorded January 1987), I Guess I’m Crazy (initially recorded October 1987) and Train (initially recorded July 1986), and all four songs were sent to Mavis Staples for lead vocal overdubs.
Prince and Mavis Staples did not work together in the studio on this album, therefore, although they did work together in late July 1988, in Olympic Studio, London, England, on God Is Alive, which was not considered for the album, as well as on later projects following the release of this album.
The album produced three singles, 20th Century Express, Jaguar and Time Waits For No One, but failed to chart.
- Mavis Staples - lead vocals
- Prince - all instruments, except where noted (credited only as "featuring..."), background vocals on Interesting, Come Home, Jaguar, Train and Time Waits For No One
- Levi Seacer, Jr. - bass guitar on Interesting
- Miko Weaver - guitar on Interesting
- Boni Boyer - keyboards on Interesting, background vocals on Time Waits For No One
- Dr. Fink - keyboards on Interesting
- Eric Leeds - saxophone on Interesting, Come Home and Train
- Atlanta Bliss - trumpet on Interesting, Come Home and Train
- Lester Snell - clavinet on Interesting, keyboards on Train
- Homer Banks - background vocals on Interesting, Come Home and Train
- William Brown - background vocals on Interesting, Come Home and Train
- Sheila E. - drums, percussion and background vocals on Time Waits For No One
- In precious memories of Mrs. Oceola "Moms" Staples. My mother bowed... she prayed for me... I love you forever.
- In this album, I share with you another phase of my life. It could not have come to pass without the blessings of the Lord God Almighty, who has given us the power and strength to move dark clouds out of the sun’s path, enabling its rays to shine upon us... Thank you Master.
- Pops, my dad, my hero - From a child your words yet ring in my ears... "believe in yourself, believe in what you’re doing... never say I can’t, always, yes, I can, have faith, keep a positive mind and always take the Lord along with you everywhere you go."
- We have many a mile to travel, to ever, if ever, walk in our elders' footsteps... Thanks Pops - for the shortcuts... I’m very fortunate to have the world’s oldest teenager for a dad.
- Thanks to my sisters Cleotha (Boo), Yvonne (Bunni), and my favorite brother Pervis (Pup) for your support and encouragement.
- Prince, you are without a doubt one of God’s chosen few. It has been a pure delight working with you. I’ve traveled the world and met a lot of people, but I’ve always felt that if I kissed enough frogs, someday I'd meet a Prince.
- Special gratitude to my Pastor Rev. Jeremiah A Wright Jr., Rick (Moon) Frio, attorney John David, Roy Ayers III, Benny Medina, Carol Tabor, Mom and Pop William Brown Sr., Alonna Joi Ford, Ardent Studios, Sally, Linda and Teresa, Alan Leeds, Paisley Park staff: Therese Stoulil, Femi Jiya, Matt Larson, Brad Marsh and Helen Hiatt. Karen Krattinger, Kathy Vasipoli, Dr. Rowland Sidney, Pervis Roe, Gwendolyn, Perleta, Reverly and Paris Staples, Albert Magnoli, Jerry and Mildred Spikes, attorney Arnim Johnson Jr., Nona Hendrix [sic], Bilie Christian, Bigfoot, Roszita (Squeeky) Banks, Patricia Snell, Jean Stokes and Tommy Hill, and my baby sisters: Cynthia Maria Staples, and Carolyn (Gotta Find Me An Angel) Franklin.
- The joy that I have, the world didn’t give it to me. Mavis