The Question Of U

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The Question Of U

Graffitibridge.jpg
from the album Graffiti Bridge
Song details
Performer: Prince
First Released: 20 August 1990 - Graffiti Bridge album
Album(s): Graffiti Bridge
Writer(s): Prince
Producer(s): Prince
Live Appearances
First and last live appearance:
Performed regularly on tour:
Performed occasionally in shows:

The Question Of U is the fourth track on Prince’s twelfth album Graffiti Bridge. The song also features in the movie Graffiti Bridge.

In 2004, a live version (as The ? Of U) in a medley with Fallin’ and The One was offered as both audio and video by NPG Music Club for $5.55 for members ($7.77 for non-members).

In 2007, a live version using the lyrics of The One, was included as the 14th track on Prince’s fourth live album Indigo Nights (credited only as The One).

The song started of as an instrumental committed to tape during the so-called “Paisley Jam” on 28 December 1985 at Sunset Sound in Hollywood, California with Sheila E., Levi Seacer, Jr. and Eric Leeds. It was the same session that also produced Madrid, Breathless, Slaughterhouse, U Just Can’t Stop, Run Amok, High Calonic and Mobile). At this point it was titled 12 Keys by Eric Leeds, who named all the tracks from the session.

It is unknown if this version was ever considered for The Flesh album or any other project at the time.

In July 1986 a new version was cut by Prince alone in his Galpin Blvd Home Studio in Chanhassen, Minnesota. This re-recording was shelved until Prince began work on Graffiti Bridge and in the Autumn of 1987, he pulled it out again to recorded additional parts.

A year later it was later included as the fifth track on the 25 September 1988 configuration of Graffiti Bridge, and remained there for the late 1989 configuration, before switching places with Elephants & Flowers for the 1990 configuration, to become the fourth track, where it remained for release. What appears on the album is in fact an edit. The original version ran about a minute longer.

In March 1990 Clare Fischer recorded string overdubs for the song at Mad Hatter Studios in Los Angeles, California, and while they were not utilized in the released version, parts of it can be heard in the live version of the song as it was played on the Nude Tour.

A single of The Question Of U was also planned, but this was not released.


Recording Information
Recording Sessions
Date Studio Additional info
28 December 1985 Sunset Sound - Studio 3,
Hollywood, CA, USA
Tracking, mix (12 Keys)
29 December 1985 Sunset Sound - Studio 3,
Hollywood, CA, USA
Horn overdubs, mix (12 Keys)
6 July 1986 Galpin Blvd Home Studio,
Chanhassen, MN, USA
Tracking, overdubs (re-recording, instrumental)
October 1987 (estimate) Paisley Park Studios,
Chanhassen, MN, USA
Overdubs, including vocals (assumed)
March 1990 Mad Hatter Studios,
Los Angeles, CA, USA
Orchestra overdubs by Clare Fischer
Recording Personnel

The Question Of U

  • Prince - all vocals and instruments


12 Keys


Versions
Released Versions
Title Length Released Version Additional info
The Question Of U 3:59 Graffiti Bridge Studio
The Question Of U 6:04 NPG Ahdio Show # 11 mp3 (not available as a separate track) Rehearsal Unknown recording date and location (Paisley Park Studios in Chanhassen, Minnesota is likely)
The ? Of U, Fallin’, The One 10:59 NPG Music Club .wma download Live a.k.a. 2004 Tour Audio; 7 April 2004, Qwest Center, Omaha, NE, USA
Video Versions
Title Length Released Version Additional info
The Question Of U 3:59 Graffiti Bridge DVD Live promo video 31 August 1990, Tokyo Dome (東京ドーム), Tokyo, Japan; see The Question Of U for details
The ? Of U, Fallin’, The One 10:59 NPG Music Club .wmv download Live a.k.a. 2004 Tour Video; 7 April 2004, Qwest Center, Omaha, NE, USA
Broadcasts/streaming (only)
Title Length Released Version Additional info
The Question Of U T.B.C. Live concert radio broadcast Live 22 July 1990, Estadio Vicente Calderón, Madrid, Spain; short version during piano medley
The Question Of U T.B.C. Live concert radio broadcast Live 22 July 1990, Estadio Vicente Calderón, Madrid, Spain; incl. Electric Man lyrics
The Question Of U T.B.C. Delayed concert TV broadcast Live 29 July 1990, Estadio Santa María del Mar, La Coruña, Spain
The Question Of U T.B.C. Delayed concert TV broadcast Live 31 August 1990, Tokyo Dome (東京ドーム), Tokyo, Japan; incl. Electric Man lyrics; edited for The Question Of U promo video
The Question Of U T.B.C. Delayed concert TV broadcast Live 19 January 1991 (a.m.), Estádio Jornalista Mário Filho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil; instrumental only
The Question Of U / The One T.B.C. Live concert online stream Live 10 May 2015, Baltimore, MN, USA, Royal Farms Arena; incl. Electric Man
Sampled, Referred to, Quoted in...
Title Length Released Version Additional info
Soul Psychodelicide Studio Unreleased 1989 track
Graffiti Bridge Cue 2:27 Graffiti Bridge DVD Studio Instrumental interpolation heard in the background
The One 9:07 Indigo Nights Live 22 September 2007 am, 3121 at The IndigO2, London, England; includes musical backing of The Question Of U
Unreleased Versions
Title Version Additional Info
12 Keys Studio part of so called ‘Paisley jam’
The Question Of U Studio Original 1986 re-recording (instrumental)
The Question Of U Studio After 1987 overdubs
The Question Of U Studio 1990 version with later discarded orchestra overdubs by Clare Fischer
 
Additional Information

See also Trivia

  • In the handwritten 2 December 1987 version of the script for Graffiti Bridge, instead of the lyric All of the questions in my life will be answered, When I decide which road 2 choose it reads Music is like an amusement park, each cord a ride and I don’t know which one 2 do.

References
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