Talking ‘Bout The Revolution with Lisa Coleman
By Jay S. Jacobs
– Pop Entertainment
The Revolution love what they are doing, but they hate the reason that they have to do it.
The group, made up of Wendy Melvoin (guitar, vocals), BrownMark (bass, vocals), Lisa Coleman (keyboards, vocals), Matt Fink (aka Dr. Fink, keyboards) and Bobby Z. (drums), is still best known as Prince’s band during arguably the musical icon’s most fertile period. They played on such classic albums as 1999, Purple Rain, Around the World in a Day and Parade. They also played themselves in the film Purple Rain.
The Revolution was disbanded in 1987 when Prince decided he wanted to work with other musicians and make the Sign ‘O’ the Times album a solo platter. (The Revolution had recorded quite a few of the songs that ended up on that two-record set in the unreleased Dream Factory project.) Melvoin and Coleman started recording together under the group name Wendy & Lisa, doing five albums together, as well as a lot of movie and television soundtrack work. The other guys have had long careers as songwriters, producers and musicians-for-hire.
In the decades since The Revolution played together as a band occasionally but mostly went their own ways musically. However, everything changed on April 21, 2016, when Prince died way too young, due to an accidental opioid overdose. As a way of dealing with the loss of a friend, they started playing together. It felt right, so they decided to do some shows as a tribute to Prince. That reunion has stretched out for over a year now, including an upcoming show on March 9 at the SugarHouse Casino in Philadelphia.
We caught up with Lisa Coleman to discuss the band’s place in music history and the reunion shows.