Prince was deeply inspired by the funk bassist Larry Graham, who pioneered the slap bass style in Sly and the Family Stone before launching his own Grand Central Station in the early 1970s. The two musicians formed a deep and lasting friendship that extended far beyond music; by the late 1990s, Prince credited Larry with being a spiritual mentor in addition to a musical one, and Larry had moved to Chanhassen to live and work in closer proximity to Prince.
Larry Graham is my teacher.”
Prince, Bass Player, 1999
Thanks to Prince's encouragement, Larry revived his long-retired funk band, Graham Central Station, to release his first album under that name since 1979. GCS 2000 was released on Prince's NPG Records in 1998, and was co-produced by Larry and Prince.
Prince, Chaka Khan, and Larry Graham would embark on the New Power Soul Festival Tour to promote their trio of new albums on NPG Records — which also included Chaka Khan's Come 2 My House and the New Power Generation's Newpower Soul — performing dates across the U.S. and Europe.
Something sparked musically, something expressing love and appreciation. It was a whole musical connection and experience that went down that went beyond anything we could have said.”
Larry Graham, Philadelphia Daily News, 1998
GCS 2000 Album Credits
Larry Graham bass, vocals Chaka Khan vocals Tina Graham vocals Latia Graham vocals Cynthia Robinson trumpet Jerry Martini saxophone Gail Mudrow guitar, vocals Wilson Rabb guitar, vocals Robert "Butch" Sam organ, vocals Ricky Peterson keyboards Kirk Johnson drums The NPG additional shouts The Hornheadz (Michael B. Nelson, Kathy Jensen, Dave Jensen, Brian Gallagher, Steve Strand) horns Brother Jules scratches Marva King vocals Rhonda Smith vocals Kat Dyson vocals Clare Fischer string arrangement