"Parade" is Prince's eighth album. The album is a departure from Prince's previous few records. Synthesizers, drum machines and distorted guitars are less prominent, with more live drumming, horns and orchestral arrangements.
It is credited to Prince and the Revolution, who appear on three songs - Girls and Boys, Mountains and Anotherloverholenyohead. The album also features a full orchestra and several guest musicians, including Sheila E, Miko Weaver, Eric Leeds and Atlanta Bliss.
Prince and the Revolution toured Parade throughout 1986, with a series of dates in the United States in the spring and summer, followed by the Parade Tour in August and September. Details of this tour are taken from photographs and videos from this period.
In the studio
Parade was recorded between April and December 1985 at Sunset Sound studios and Prince's Washington Avenue warehouse studio, Edina, MN. Prince played a Hohner Madcat and Dave Rusan Guitar Cloud guitar on this album. There are few guitar solos, distortion or effects compared to previous albums. An Epiphone Emperor Thinline and a custom Taylor 12 string may also appear on the record.
A notable instrument is the Roland G-707/GR-700 guitar synth system. It appears on Girls & Boys and Anotherloverholenyohead and makes a distinctive "duck" sound. Brownmark also used the G-77/GR-77B, the bass synth version of the G-707, live and one might appear on the album.
Prince continued using Yamaha DX-7, Oberheim OB-Xa/OB-8/OB-SX and Arp Omni keyboards on Parade. He continued using the Kurzweil K250 for orchestral and string sounds and it probably appears on songs like Under The Cherry Moon that don't feature a live orchestra. It is assumed that the Ensoniq Mirage was also used. The Fairlight CMI IIx was a new instrument on this album, and it appears on songs like Christoper Tracy's Parade ("Bizarre" sample), New Position, I Wonder U and Under The Cherry Moon.
The album features a mixture of live and programmed drums, with Prince, Jonathan Melvoin and Sheila E playing acoustic drums. Live drums were probably played on a Yamaha kit. The Linn LM-1 appears on the songs featuring the Revolution (Girls and Boys, Mountains and Anotherloverholenyohead). The song Kiss was produced by David Z and features a Linn 9000.
For a list of equipment used by the Revolution, please see the tour section above.