Local Current Blog

Watch a 1988 documentary on the Minneapolis Sound

KTCA-TV (the station now known as Twin Cities PBS) aired The Minneapolis Sound in 1988, narrated and produced by Emily Goldberg. The 60-minute documentary spotlighted artists including Prince, the Time, the Replacements, Hüsker Dü, the Jets, Alexander O’Neal, and others, and it’s just emerged on YouTube.

“Right now, Minneapolis has become one of the major music centers in the country,” said Nelson George from Billboard, “in rock, pop, and R&B.”

The film includes short clips of Prince’s hit songs like “Kiss” and “Little Red Corvette” with commentary by Chris Moon from Moon Sound Studios and Owen Husney from American Artists reminiscing about when they first met Prince and how dynamic he was.

“He’s very very gifted,” says Robert Christgau from the Village Voice. “One of the most gifted pop musicians of the decade. Possibly the most gifted pop musician of the decade.” Not everyone loved Prince, though, even in his heyday. “Prince makes me wince,” says one music listener featured in the documentary.

The film also features a tour of Flyte Tyme Productions led by “Jimmy Jam” Harris — beginning with the “Hall of Fame,” as he calls it, featuring wall plaques that start with the Time and go all the way to Janet Jackson’s Control (1986).

“I say it’s a Prince sound,” said Harris, describing the Minneapolis Sound. “That’s where it all began. Everybody is taking different pieces of it and incorporating their own sound.”

(Heads-up: This is a historical broadcast, and it’s a reminder that there are things to miss about the ’80s music scene — as well as some things better left in the past. The first few minutes include a homophobic slur.)

Erianna Jiles is a student at Saint Paul College.