Big Tall Wall

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The Big Pump   < < < Non-Prince Songs All Prince Songs Unreleased Songs > > >   Bill Collector Blues
Big Tall Wall

Song details
Performer: Prince and the Revolution; Prince
Writer(s): Prince (assumed)
Producer(s): Prince (assumed)
Live Appearances
First and last live appearance:
  • This track is not believed to have been performed live by Prince
Performed regularly on tour:
  • none
Performed occasionally in shows:
  • none

Big Tall Wall is an unreleased track, recorded in mid-April 1986 at Galpin Blvd Home Studio in Chanhassen, Minnesota (during the same set of sessions as Crystal Ball, Starfish And Coffee and Visions). It was included as the fifth track on a late April 1986 configuration of the Dream Factory album (which was planned as a Prince and the Revolution release), but was removed as the album underwent changes, and was not included on the 3 June 1986 or 18 July 1986 configurations. In July 1987, Prince revamped the lyrics, and the song was mentioned in the initial script of the Graffiti Bridge movie, dated 22 September 1987. It was included as the first track on the 25 September 1988 configuration of the Graffiti Bridge album. The song remains unreleased.

The track is a minimalist funk/rock song, with Prince's vocals accompanied only by a Linn LN-1 drum machine. The track was recorded around the time when Prince's then-girlfriend Susannah Melvoin had moved out of Prince's house and the lyrics, including "I'm gonna build a big tall wall, stone circle so you can’t get out”, are a direct reference to the round apartment building in Lake Calhoun to which she moved. The song includes the line "I've got more holes than a golf course" which Prince later reused in the party intro to The Ball (heard both in the intro to both Joy In Repetition and Eye No). The line "pretty little baby, you're so glam, every time I see you I wanna slam" also inspired Glam Slam. While the lyrics in the initial version were focused on a negative, possessive relationship, the revised version reframed the lyrics to depict a positive, loving relationship.

Recording Information
Recording Sessions
Date Studio Additional info
Mid-April 1986 Galpin Blvd Home Studio,
Chanhassen, MN, USA
Basic tracking
11 July 1987 Paisley Park Studios,
Chanhassen, MN, USA
Additional recording
Recording Personnel
  • Prince - all vocals and instruments (assumed)

Unreleased Versions
Title Version Additional Info
Big Tall Wall Studio Recorded mid-April 1986
Big Tall Wall Studio Recording after July 1987 changes

Additional Information

See also Trivia

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