Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Discuss: Prince


david_b said...

I like any artist, of any genre or style of music, that pushes boundaries, yet can still rock without getting on some stage and yakkin' about his politics.

Like my fav Frank Zappa said, 'Just shut up and play your guitar...'.

I like this about Prince. Great rocker, innovator of rock/funk fusion, calls his shots, doesn't make a big deal out of himself (well, at least not in the last 20yrs or so..), and puts on a good, solid show.

LOVED his 'Rasberry Beret' song and video, very 'Retro Pepper-ish'. Not a big fan overall, but I liked the movie 'Purple Rain', a bit self-absorbed but a smart film. Morris Day was great in the movie and his Time group always put on an entertaining show when I saw them, serving as a great counterpoint to Prince's show both in the movie and on tour. I believe they scored some level of success when coming out from under Prince's umbrella.

And yes, I always thought Apollonia was/is smoldering HOT.

Edo Bosnar said...

I like Prince as well, and really respect him for the reasons david_b mentions. Another thing I like about a lot of Prince's songs is they are sexy without being sexist (i.e., he successfully walked that 'fine line' that so bedeviled Spinal Tap).
Purple Rain, by the way, is actually brilliant if you think of it more as an extended music video rather than a traditional film. And yes, Morris Day's bits in it - both the music and dialogue - are quite amusing.

Mike said...

His work on the '89 Batman movie is drilled in my brain. My first real job was working at a movie theater at that time and I remember cleaning out the theater during the closing credit role and hearing his music over and over and over. Then I'd turn the radio on on the way home and there's Prince's Batman music yet again. Then I get home and turn MTV on and there's Prince's Batman music again, and again, and again ... over and over and over.

Batman and Prince was unavoidable back in the Summer of '89.

david_b said...

Did anyone ever see 'Under the Cherry Moon'..? I never think much about the film, but when I do I always wanted to at least watch it at some point.

It was Prince's follow-up film, more a straight dramatic role.

Karen said...

I’ve always enjoyed Prince’s music. He is just a tremendously talented performer. I remember when I first heard about Prince. He was one of the opening acts for the Stones and was not received very well by their fans. My curiosity piqued, I had to seek him out. I went out and bought “Dirty Mind” and listened to it repeatedly. It was a mixed bag for me; some tracks I really liked, some I didn’t care for. This, it would turn out, would be a recurring theme for me with Prince. I played it for my friends and they thought I had lost my mind. Who was this weird guy I was listening to? I liked it enough to get “Controversy” too. Of course, by the time “1999” came out, with “Little Red Corvette” on it, everybody knew who Prince was and even my friends now thought he was cool.

My favorite Prince album is “Sign o’ the Times;” I have to also admit that that was the last album of his that I really loved. It was a huge concept album that also rocked. I haven’t heard much of his stuff in the last ten years. It seems like he’s put out a ton of albums but most of them flew under my radar. I thought “Lovesexy” was hit or miss –in fact, I look at a lot of his work that way. But I think it’s because he’s not content to do the same thing over and over. Prince experiments and tries different things. Personally, it’s not always things I want to hear. But I respect him for challenging himself.

Anonymous said...

Prince is probably my favorite musical artist. I mean, I really love the Beatles and Stevie Wonder - but when it comes to Prince I have all his albums, remixes, b-sides, a bunch of bootlegs, outtakes, etc. . .

His work has been pretty hit or miss since the the mid-90s, but he still has a few great songs (that never got much radio play) and even when he goes overboard with the religious stuff it is still interesting me (one thing I always loved about him is his mix of the profane and the spiritual).

Like Karen, Sign o' the Times is my favorite of Prince's records, but the first I ever listened to was 1999.

I have done a bunch of writing about Prince. Recently had an academic review of his song "If I was Your Girlfriend" publishing a literary & arts journal Stone Canoe (published by Syracuse University), and I used to keep a music-themed blog where I wrote at length about 1999, but also wrote some about other songs.

Also, if you haven't done so, swing over to my current blog and check out the video of Prince playing the solo on "While My Guitar Gently Weeps" at the 2004 Rock n' Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony.

I could go on and on. . . but if you have questions about Prince, I can probably answer them. For example, Under the Cherry Moon is a terrible TERRIBLE film. I should know, I own it. :)

- osvaldo

Karen said...

I've seen that video on Mr. Oyola's blog of "While My Guitar Gently Weeps" and it's a knock-out! You really should all go check it out.

One of the things that used to kill me in the 80s was the needless and false comparisons of Prince and Michael Jackson. "Who's better:Prince or Michael Jackson?" You would hear this over and over. To my mind, it was a ridiculous question. With all due respect to Jackson, Prince was clearly the more talented, more well-rounded artist. He wrote all his own material, could sing and play multiple instruments, produced in the studio, produced others, and was a hell of a performer on stage. While Jackson was a great singer and performer, he simply couldn't match all of Prince's qualities.

I often felt the comparison was made simply because they were the only two black men on MTV at the time.

J.A. Morris said...

I like Prince's music up through 'Around The World In A Day', but I can't get into him after that.

But he's responsible for one of my favorite (bad) lyrics of all time:

"She wasn't too bright to know the way she kissed me I knew she knew how to get her kicks"

Anonymous said...


I think you're right that the Prince/MJ comparison has a lot to do with their race and visibility in pop music in the 80s - but I also think their unconventional depiction of masculinity (or what some might call their lack thereof) probably had a lot to do with comparison as well.

However, anyone who pays attention should be able to tell that MJ was pretty conventional in his approach to love and sex in his songs, while Prince wrote songs about all sorts of craziness - can never imagine MJ singing a song like "Head" or "Erotic City."

Which is not to put down MJ - he was fantastic in his own way.

Edo Bosnar said...

Thanks for that link, mr. oyola; absolutely wonderful.
And yeah, I definitely thought the comparisons between Prince and MJ were nonsensical even back then, and even more so now. It's really obvious that they operated at completely different levels. It's kind of like comparing, I don't know, Pete Townshend to David Cassidy...

Karen said...

Of course no discussion of Prince is complete any more without bringing up Charlie Murphy's tale from the Chapelle Show, about how Prince and his band completely destroyed him and his friends at basketball, and afterwards, well, you should watch the clip:

Anonymous said...

I wasn't a fan of Prince even back in the day, but he was an original and he definitely did his own thing. He took risks... I gotta respect him for that.

Graham said...

I always liked Prince back in the day. I really liked the way he took chances with his music....wasn't afraid to go in different directions, regardless of the fans he might alienate in the process. I didn't necessarily dig everything he tried, but each new direction had some great moments. Even his filler material was worth a listen to me.

ric doe said...

back in college days, i made an atrocious two sided 120 minute tape borrowing stock of then girlfriend and her 2 roomates. one side: FootPrince was the danceable stuff, and side B, FingerPrince was the more dramatic piano based stuff. don't have it (or any tapes) now, but i played it extensively, so i must've dug it! also two more mentionables 1. also wandering around MTV at the time of the comparison MJ/P times was Rockwell, Oran "Juice" Jones, and Living Color. 2. No man alive made getting out of a bath tub in wet jeans any sexier than this man, Shount!

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