After Prince departed for his soon-to-be stratospheric solo career, he envisioned an adjunct band that would stretch the limits of R&B, an outfit he assembled and dubbed The Time.
After auditioning lead vocalists, including noted R&B crooner Alexander O'Neal, Prince settled on old friend Day, who had given him the song "Partyup" for his Dirty Mind album. The Time's first three albums, 1981's The Time, 1982's What Time Is It? and 1984's Ice Cream Castles, were written, produced and performed by Prince, with Day on lead vocals and select guest performances. Day developed a manic, swaggering stage persona and was backed by an actual band of hypertalented Funk/Pop players when they hit the road.After scoring numerous R&B/Pop hits, Day and the Time broke through with Ice Cream Castles.
The mega-hits "Jungle Love" and "The Bird" were featured in Prince's film Purple Rain, as was Day in an antagonistic role, and all of the exposure pushed The Time to new chart heights. Sadly, the band couldn't capitalize on the success, having broken up before Purple Rain's premiere.The band reunited to play a part in Prince's third film, Graffiti Bridge, which resulted in the 1990 album Pandemonium (featuring the hit "Jerk Out"), but then The Time slipped away once again. Day has done a few solo albums over the past 28 years, some acting and occasionally toured with retooled versions of The Time to ecstatic fan response.
Five years ago, the original Time reunited to perform with Rihanna at the Grammys, while 2011 saw the release of Condensate from Morris Day and the Original 7ven, comprised of most of The Time's first roll call. Day’s performance at the Macy’s Music Festival this weekend is billed as “Morris Day and The Time.”The Time's blend of Funk, Pop and Rock was a huge influence on the rising Hip Hop generation and remains relevant today, evidenced by the fact that three decades later, the question, "What time is it?" elicits the same fevered response: "Time for Morris Day!"
MORRIS DAY AND THE TIME play Saturday, July 27 with R. Kelly, KEM, Fantasia, Leela James and others downtown at Macy's Music Festival in Paul Brown Stadium. Buy tickets, check out performance times and get venue details here.