Jill Jones Talks About Prince ‘All Day, All Night': 365 Prince Songs in a Year
To celebrate the incredibly prolific, influential and diverse body of work left behind by Prince, we will be exploring a different song of his each day for an entire year with the series 365 Prince Songs in a Year.
In 1987, “All Day, All Night” finally saw the light of day when it was released on Jill Jones’ self-titled debut album on Paisley Park Records. The high-energy track marked a rare appearance by the Revolution on a non-Prince record. Despite being one of the best tracks on one of the strongest and most beloved Prince protégée albums, it was never selected to be a single, but remains a fan favorite.
As with many of Prince’s contributions to other artists, the original version with Prince on lead vocals has been on the bootleg circuit for years. It was played live on Prince’s birthday at a special First Avenue concert on June 7, 1984. At that moment, Prince's career changing single, “When Doves Cry," had only been out a few weeks and the release of his blockbuster soundtrack to Purple Rain was still a few weeks away. Prince used the occasion to mark the debuts of “Our Destiny/Roadhouse Garden” (a song that would not get formal release until 2017 on the Purple Rain reissue), “Erotic City” (the future b-side to “Let’s Go Crazy” and “Noon Rendezvous” which was released earlier that day on Sheila E’s debut album.
In Prince’s hands, “All Day, All Night” is a straight-up rocker centered around a haunting spoken word section; in many ways the song shares a spirit with the full-length “Hallway Speech Version” of “Computer Blue” that would also see official release on the reissue. When he remade “All Day, All Night” with longtime collaborator Jill Jones in 1986, they pushed the synths to the front, added some overdubs and laid down new lead vocals.
Jones tells Diffuser that it was the spoken word section that first drew her to the track, and then Prince pushed her further to truly make it her own: “"We kind of got a little crazy with the screaming in it [laughs]. He wanted to keep raising it to a feverish pitch. A frenetic frenzy.”
Listen to Prince's Version of "All Day, All Night"
Prince and Jones keep the lyrics intact, with Prince referring to himself as a “Purple Fox” in his version, Jones a “White Fox” in hers. As Diffuser noted in a post about “She’s Always in My Hair”, Jones had been in Prince’s life as both a romantic and creative partner since the 1999 era; she would continue to collaborate on tracks through the Parade era (Jones appears on the extended version of “Kiss”) and the release of Jill Jones in 1987.
We asked Jones to share the story of how the Jill Jones album and her version of “All Day, All Night” came together. “I was always on his radar,” she says, “but as someone he would call to facilitate vocals on other projects or demos he was working on for other people; so it was a bit hard for him to let me go from that. Many times he would say to me, ‘You don't really want to do this as a solo artist do you?’ (Laughs) I didn't actually sign any contractual agreements with Prince until 1986. His management was eager for my project to be completed, really since 1982, they wanted an album. But during his brief engagement with Susannah [Melvoin] and Under the Cherry Moon filming, a window opened up for me to basically dash off and get an album done. So David Z and I recorded it in NYC, away from the Park. David and I tracked 'All Day, All Night' and Prince and I, I believe went in and did some re-tracking and he was very happy with it. We had very few notes that came back. I remember David and I questioning if it was "white tornado" or "wet tornado" lyrically, and since we couldn't get an answer, we just decided to slur white and wet together (laughs)".
After leaving the Purple Kingdom, Jones has been vocal within and beyond the music industry. While many more of her Prince collaborations remain in the vault, she released an album of original music in 2001 titled Two, and an album singing lead vocals with the Grand Royals in 2004. After Prince’s tragic death, she released a single, “I Miss You” along with a video that lovingly nods to many of Prince’s own iconic video moments.
“I moved out of music actively long ago,” she explains. “I release and perform here and there. I have been in talks to perform a small tour in Europe next year, so we will see. I work for a German company called Qonnexone; we are a 4k streaming solutions company with many new capabilities we are bringing to the forefront. I am involved in marketing and also have a lifestyle branded project, Zen Bitch, soon to launch. I like to stay curious and open in this life. And I feel that if you want to do anything, just do it. Try it all. What the hell.”
And now, Jones' daughter is following her into the spotlight. “I am the proud mama bear, always promoting Azusena,” Jones says. “She is a talent. She is a true artiste. I could only wish I were half the person and talent she is. She writes, plays and sings her own songs. And she just has ‘IT’. No gimmicks. No girly girly ploys. She is the new modern girl. Self sufficient, responsible, self possessed, generous and courageous."