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‘The Bird’ by Morris Day and the Time – Classic Hit or Miss

“The Bird” is a song from The Time’s third album, Ice Cream Castle. The song was initially recorded in the studio in 1983 with all instruments by Prince, except guitar, which was performed by Jesse Johnson. This version was replaced by a live recording with the full band at the First Avenue on October 4, 1983. This is the first Time song to be released both live and featuring The Time as a band, rather than Prince.

 

The title of the upbeat number refers to a dance in which the arms are flapped, mimicking a bird’s wings. Morris Day also squawks throughout the song. The song suggests that by “doing the bird”, one can overcome their troubles. “The Bird” is a funk-rock offering, using both a drum machine and live drumming by Jellybean Johnson. Guitar takes the background for a funk effect, while keyboards play a dominant role in the song. After the main lyrics, there is an extended instrumental section to allow the band to dance. #36 in 1985 – how about today?

 

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