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Thread started 09/04/08 4:02pm

Efan

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How live are Prince's shows?

In several Prince tours I've seen, I've noticed that he's used a little supplemental help. Has he always done this? Which of his tours have been completely live without the use of any prerecorded or automated portions?

For example, Sheila did an awesome job drumming on the Lovesexy tour, but there were some automated programmed beats as well, most notably during the "Alphabet St." finale. In the Jam of the Year and Hit n Run tours, I'm pretty sure he used some prerecorded vocals in some spots, or at least it seemed that way. I never saw the shows in London last year, but I was listening to a portion of one concert today and thought it seemed to have a prerecorded vocal part.

Feel free to add your own examples of this if you'd like, because I'm very curious about it. I'm also curious if anyone feels it's a "cheat"--I don't, at least not in the minimal uses I've noticed Prince doing it. Thoughts?
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Reply #1 posted 09/04/08 4:46pm

GaryMF

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Interesting question. I personally hate when bands "cheat" by using pre-recorded tracks.

Use of some sequenced parts is more of a grey area.

In the PR tour (and ostensibly Parade and even SOTT) he clearly used the Linn LM-1 for many of the songs as the main beat and Bobby played cymbals.

I'm not sure how they did in Parade, you hear a mix of Linn and live drums in the same song.

On Sott "Forever in My Life" is clearly a drum machine; you even hear P tell someone to turn it off at the end.
rainbow
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Reply #2 posted 09/04/08 4:51pm

Efan

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GaryMF said:

On Sott "Forever in My Life" is clearly a drum machine; you even hear P tell someone to turn it off at the end.


Thanks for the response. Are you talking about the officially released SOTT movie? I've never heard that comment from Prince, but I'll have to listen for it. I would assume the person he'd be talking to there would be Sheila. I remember--someone correct me if I'm wrong--an old interview Sheila did where she talked about how she was basically the musical director of the Lovesexy show and was not only playing live drums but was also responsible for all programmed beats and making sure they were stopped and started correctly. So it would seem to make sense that she would have had the same responsibility during SOTT, since the shows were so similar.
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Reply #3 posted 09/04/08 5:08pm

GaryMF

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Efan said:

GaryMF said:

On Sott "Forever in My Life" is clearly a drum machine; you even hear P tell someone to turn it off at the end.


Thanks for the response. Are you talking about the officially released SOTT movie? I've never heard that comment from Prince, but I'll have to listen for it. I would assume the person he'd be talking to there would be Sheila. I remember--someone correct me if I'm wrong--an old interview Sheila did where she talked about how she was basically the musical director of the Lovesexy show and was not only playing live drums but was also responsible for all programmed beats and making sure they were stopped and started correctly. So it would seem to make sense that she would have had the same responsibility during SOTT, since the shows were so similar.

Sorry, yeah i meant on the live show. Sheila is upfront...it's when he has Sheila, Bonnie and someone else upfront doing FIML almost a cappella, just to the drum machie. Towards the end he calls out someone's name ("Mark" Maybe) and the beat drops out.

Ineresting you bring up Sheila as MD. Wikipedia says she was MD for Prince but I'd never heard her say that. I know she's been MD for various artists like Beyonce etc. but wondered why P would need one since he plays basically everything.

I think in the last few years leading up to Family Jamm, Sheila's bass player has been her MD, which is interesting.
rainbow
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Reply #4 posted 09/04/08 11:45pm

PDogz

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Prince seems to mix it all together in a way that it always comes across fresh and very live. For example, at Madison Square Garden, there was a segment where he was actually scrubbing a hand held sampler of his own records, like "Soft and Wet", "I Wanna Be Your Lover", etc. while he was doing other stuff along with it.
"There's Nothing That The Proper Attitude Won't Render Funkable!"

star
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Reply #5 posted 09/06/08 10:18am

GaryMF

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PDogz said:

Prince seems to mix it all together in a way that it always comes across fresh and very live. For example, at Madison Square Garden, there was a segment where he was actually scrubbing a hand held sampler of his own records, like "Soft and Wet", "I Wanna Be Your Lover", etc. while he was doing other stuff along with it.

Really??? what tour? Musicology? I don't remember that. I was at the last night of MSG with Sheila.

I just watched Live at Aladdin today for the first time.....besides the fact that the sound was very weird, it seemed like there were some "Strings" tracks added..... Renato was playing acoustic jazz piano yet I still heard string pads over it.
rainbow
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Reply #6 posted 09/06/08 10:59am

PDogz

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GaryMF said:

PDogz said:

Prince seems to mix it all together in a way that it always comes across fresh and very live. For example, at Madison Square Garden, there was a segment where he was actually scrubbing a hand held sampler of his own records, like "Soft and Wet", "I Wanna Be Your Lover", etc. while he was doing other stuff along with it.

Really??? what tour? Musicology? I don't remember that. I was at the last night of MSG with Sheila.

I just watched Live at Aladdin today for the first time.....besides the fact that the sound was very weird, it seemed like there were some "Strings" tracks added..... Renato was playing acoustic jazz piano yet I still heard string pads over it.

September 24, 1998 - The Artist - New Power Soul
Had to check my ticket stub to be sure, which I'm only now realizing is all but almost completely faded sad Doug E. Fresh was also at that show, adding his vocalizations on top of the scrubbing Prince was doing on the sampler, which basically looked like a turntable held by a strap around his neck like a guitar. It was an odd demonstration, but consider who we're talking about, lol.
"There's Nothing That The Proper Attitude Won't Render Funkable!"

star
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Reply #7 posted 09/06/08 11:16am

Rabom

Hey, what are u talking about?

Prince is more live than any other Superstar today.
Madonna uses Pre recorded stuff. Michael Jackson did it ! Robbie Williams takes a rest in his shows !!!
But Prince always sings live !
I`ve seen a lot of shows and i can say that when Prince uses prerecorded parts, they are always in the background.
He never lipssynched or something like that.
To use drumcopmputers does not mean that the show isn`t live.
In the SOTT Area "Forever in my life" had to sound that way !!
And i didn`t mind.

In every version of 1999 there is this typical drumsound !!!
Without it.it wouldn`t be 1999 !
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Reply #8 posted 09/06/08 3:14pm

GaryMF

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Rabom said:

Hey, what are u talking about?

Prince is more live than any other Superstar today.
Madonna uses Pre recorded stuff. Michael Jackson did it ! Robbie Williams takes a rest in his shows !!!
But Prince always sings live !
I`ve seen a lot of shows and i can say that when Prince uses prerecorded parts, they are always in the background.
He never lipssynched or something like that.
To use drumcopmputers does not mean that the show isn`t live.
In the SOTT Area "Forever in my life" had to sound that way !!
And i didn`t mind.

In every version of 1999 there is this typical drumsound !!!
Without it.it wouldn`t be 1999 !


Chill smile no one is saying Prince lipsynchs like the poor excuses for "artists" nowadays. I think the original poster was just curious if and how P ever "adds" in other parts, that's all.

We all know no one out there can put on a live show like Prince! smile

And actually, regarding 1999, I think you are referring to the Linn LM1 drumm sound which is the snare throughout the 1999 album and most of Purple Rain too.

In recent concerts he has abandoned the Linn even for 1999.
And I agree, using a drum machine isn't the same as using "tracks" in my opinion. Someone still needs to control the drum machine! smile
rainbow
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Reply #9 posted 09/06/08 3:47pm

Efan

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GaryMF said:

Rabom said:

Hey, what are u talking about?

Prince is more live than any other Superstar today.
Madonna uses Pre recorded stuff. Michael Jackson did it ! Robbie Williams takes a rest in his shows !!!
But Prince always sings live !
I`ve seen a lot of shows and i can say that when Prince uses prerecorded parts, they are always in the background.
He never lipssynched or something like that.
To use drumcopmputers does not mean that the show isn`t live.
In the SOTT Area "Forever in my life" had to sound that way !!
And i didn`t mind.

In every version of 1999 there is this typical drumsound !!!
Without it.it wouldn`t be 1999 !


Chill smile no one is saying Prince lipsynchs like the poor excuses for "artists" nowadays. I think the original poster was just curious if and how P ever "adds" in other parts, that's all.

We all know no one out there can put on a live show like Prince! smile

And actually, regarding 1999, I think you are referring to the Linn LM1 drumm sound which is the snare throughout the 1999 album and most of Purple Rain too.

In recent concerts he has abandoned the Linn even for 1999.
And I agree, using a drum machine isn't the same as using "tracks" in my opinion. Someone still needs to control the drum machine! smile


Very true. I don't think anyone can touch Prince in concert, but I was definitely curious about how Prince uses some "non-live" help.

And I'll admit to being disappointed when Prince does lipsynch, as when he appeared on Oprah, but I by no means think he does it often. But how he uses the help, and when, is interesting to me.
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Reply #10 posted 09/06/08 5:41pm

TiMix

I loved his use of samples on the musicology tour - like the sampled intro to When Doves Cry and the sample of the guitar from kiss.

I don't mind if he does samples as long as he sings live.
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Reply #11 posted 09/06/08 6:00pm

prime

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GaryMF said:

On Sott "Forever in My Life" is clearly a drum machine; you even hear P tell someone to turn it off at the end.


I remember at the end he yelled "Mark"....I never thought about that but you could be right... confused hmmmm

I haven't seen it in a while but the music does stop right when he calls out his name and then the "All right" chant starts.....hmmmm

The only 'Mark(s)' credited to the movie are:
Mark Adelman / Road Manager
Marc Margulies / Assistant Camera and Light Operator: Vari*Lite
[Edited 9/6/08 18:00pm]
Prime aka The Kid

"I need u to dance, I need u to strip
I need u to shake Ur lil' ass n hips
I need u to grind like Ur working for tips
And give me what I need while we listen to PRINCE"
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Reply #12 posted 09/06/08 8:04pm

FlamingRaindro
p

prime said:

GaryMF said:

On Sott "Forever in My Life" is clearly a drum machine; you even hear P tell someone to turn it off at the end.


I remember at the end he yelled "Mark"....I never thought about that but you could be right... confused hmmmm

I haven't seen it in a while but the music does stop right when he calls out his name and then the "All right" chant starts.....hmmmm

The only 'Mark(s)' credited to the movie are:
Mark Adelman / Road Manager
Marc Margulies / Assistant Camera and Light Operator: Vari*Lite
[Edited 9/6/08 18:00pm]

Think about it - the band's all standing there, where's the music coming from if not the band?.... Obviously not live
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Reply #13 posted 09/06/08 8:32pm

Dewrede

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Rabom said:

Hey, what are u talking about?

Prince is more live than any other Superstar today.
Madonna uses Pre recorded stuff. Michael Jackson did it ! Robbie Williams takes a rest in his shows !!!
But Prince always sings live !
I`ve seen a lot of shows and i can say that when Prince uses prerecorded parts, they are always in the background.
He never lipssynched or something like that.
To use drumcopmputers does not mean that the show isn`t live.
In the SOTT Area "Forever in my life" had to sound that way !!
And i didn`t mind.

In every version of 1999 there is this typical drumsound !!!
Without it.it wouldn`t be 1999 !





he has lipsynched live performances of TGRES and Jam Of The Year tho
amongst other songs
[Edited 9/6/08 20:32pm]
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Reply #14 posted 09/07/08 9:10am

prime

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Dewrede said:

Rabom said:

Hey, what are u talking about?

Prince is more live than any other Superstar today.
Madonna uses Pre recorded stuff. Michael Jackson did it ! Robbie Williams takes a rest in his shows !!!
But Prince always sings live !
I`ve seen a lot of shows and i can say that when Prince uses prerecorded parts, they are always in the background.
He never lipssynched or something like that.
To use drumcopmputers does not mean that the show isn`t live.
In the SOTT Area "Forever in my life" had to sound that way !!
And i didn`t mind.

In every version of 1999 there is this typical drumsound !!!
Without it.it wouldn`t be 1999 !





he has lipsynched live performances of TGRES and Jam Of The Year tho
amongst other songs
[Edited 9/6/08 20:32pm]



Really? I read in an interview that he only does it if they make him...like at an award shows...they he won't wear a mic or anything....
Prime aka The Kid

"I need u to dance, I need u to strip
I need u to shake Ur lil' ass n hips
I need u to grind like Ur working for tips
And give me what I need while we listen to PRINCE"
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Reply #15 posted 09/07/08 9:11am

prime

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FlamingRaindrop said:

prime said:



I remember at the end he yelled "Mark"....I never thought about that but you could be right... confused hmmmm

I haven't seen it in a while but the music does stop right when he calls out his name and then the "All right" chant starts.....hmmmm

The only 'Mark(s)' credited to the movie are:
Mark Adelman / Road Manager
Marc Margulies / Assistant Camera and Light Operator: Vari*Lite
[Edited 9/6/08 18:00pm]

Think about it - the band's all standing there, where's the music coming from if not the band?.... Obviously not live


I don't ned to think about it...I'm with ya. In Vegas he had the same music playing in the back ground when he sang Forever in my life and then went into Everyday people...he jsut add some keys but the background is the same.
Prime aka The Kid

"I need u to dance, I need u to strip
I need u to shake Ur lil' ass n hips
I need u to grind like Ur working for tips
And give me what I need while we listen to PRINCE"
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Reply #16 posted 09/07/08 9:43am

Dewrede

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prime said:

Dewrede said:






he has lipsynched live performances of TGRES and Jam Of The Year tho
amongst other songs
[Edited 9/6/08 20:32pm]



Really? I read in an interview that he only does it if they make him...like at an award shows...they he won't wear a mic or anything....



he did an interview for dutch tv in 1999 where he lipsynched TGRES also he lipsynched it on other occasians


the time i saw him lipsynch Jam Of The Year was on an award show indeed
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Reply #17 posted 09/07/08 6:55pm

GaryMF

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FlamingRaindrop said:

prime said:



I remember at the end he yelled "Mark"....I never thought about that but you could be right... confused hmmmm

I haven't seen it in a while but the music does stop right when he calls out his name and then the "All right" chant starts.....hmmmm

The only 'Mark(s)' credited to the movie are:
Mark Adelman / Road Manager
Marc Margulies / Assistant Camera and Light Operator: Vari*Lite
[Edited 9/6/08 18:00pm]

Think about it - the band's all standing there, where's the music coming from if not the band?.... Obviously not live

As stated above, the FIML on SOTT movie is a drum machine playing. Otherwise I believe it's live. And using a drum machine can still be "live".
rainbow
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Reply #18 posted 09/07/08 7:08pm

prime

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Interesting....I think when Prince say's "real music by...." is that there is a band in the studio and on stage. He just doesn't go on stage with background music and lypsyncs the whole concert....there may be some drum machine, etc but it is a live show.
Prime aka The Kid

"I need u to dance, I need u to strip
I need u to shake Ur lil' ass n hips
I need u to grind like Ur working for tips
And give me what I need while we listen to PRINCE"
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Reply #19 posted 09/08/08 7:23pm

FlamingRaindro
p

GaryMF said:

FlamingRaindrop said:


Think about it - the band's all standing there, where's the music coming from if not the band?.... Obviously not live

As stated above, the FIML on SOTT movie is a drum machine playing. Otherwise I believe it's live. And using a drum machine can still be "live".

That's more than a stretch!
What's the difference between somebody off stage pressing 'play' on a pre-recorded drum machine or pressing 'play' on on any other form of pre-recorded music?...
NOTHING is what.
Pre-recorded background music simply isn't live, whatever way you cut it sunshine...
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Reply #20 posted 09/08/08 8:29pm

GaryMF

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FlamingRaindrop said:

GaryMF said:


As stated above, the FIML on SOTT movie is a drum machine playing. Otherwise I believe it's live. And using a drum machine can still be "live".

That's more than a stretch!
What's the difference between somebody off stage pressing 'play' on a pre-recorded drum machine or pressing 'play' on on any other form of pre-recorded music?...
NOTHING is what.
Pre-recorded background music simply isn't live, whatever way you cut it sunshine...

THere is a difference. A drum machine plays a pattern. you still have to stop it, start it, especially the way Prince plays with breaks, stops on the 1, etc.

A pre-recorded track you cant do any of the improv like you can with someone controlling a drum machine.
rainbow
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Reply #21 posted 09/08/08 9:01pm

boombox

I must say Prince has the best and livest showes I've ever been to.The thing is He uses some sampling of his voice for backrounds which kind of sucks. Why won't he just get back up singers? But the band is allways so perfect. I've only been to one show when I wasn't that imprest and it was still a good show. Prince is just a top f the line artist that's all it is to it. I don't even like all of his music like most of you guys. But when it comes to a live show he's number one on my list.
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Reply #22 posted 09/08/08 9:24pm

pianoman

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GaryMF said:[quote]

Efan said:




Ineresting you bring up Sheila as MD. Wikipedia says she was MD for Prince but I'd never heard her say that. I know she's been MD for various artists like Beyonce etc. but wondered why P would need one since he plays basically everything.


From experience it's just easier to start and stop things with the drums sometimes as it's hard to go against them - maybe that's what she means by 'MD'?
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Reply #23 posted 09/08/08 9:32pm

pianoman

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boombox said:

I must say Prince has the best and livest showes I've ever been to.The thing is He uses some sampling of his voice for backrounds which kind of sucks. Why won't he just get back up singers?


Some of the backing vocals are so dense (7 uses loads of different lines for instance) that playing back is sometimes easier. Plus it adds a new texture of 7 or 8 "Princes" in addition to his (largely female) live backing, making it all sound gorgeous and full.

But the band is allways so perfect.

Co-sign. I watched them 5 times in London last year and they're so tight it's scary.

.
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Reply #24 posted 09/08/08 10:52pm

Tamera1

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speaking about the drum machine i always thought that too like how he would have two drum sets and two drummers playing them to reproduce that sound
follow the leader follow the leader
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Reply #25 posted 09/09/08 8:59am

Efan

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pianoman said:[quote]

GaryMF said:

Efan said:




Ineresting you bring up Sheila as MD. Wikipedia says she was MD for Prince but I'd never heard her say that. I know she's been MD for various artists like Beyonce etc. but wondered why P would need one since he plays basically everything.


From experience it's just easier to start and stop things with the drums sometimes as it's hard to go against them - maybe that's what she means by 'MD'?


Maybe. I can't find the interview where she said it, so I guess I could be wrong. But I was pretty sure she was referred to as the MD for the tour somewhere. In this interview, I remember her saying that she had a lot of responsibilities and things to take care of during the Lovesexy show--not just the live drumming.
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Reply #26 posted 09/09/08 2:29pm

GaryMF

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Wikipedia lists Sheila as MD for Lovesexy and SOTT I think.

I would love to watch Sheila rehearse with any of her bands.....and see her process for arranging the songs.

Especially since her main instrument is not really melodic, it would be really cool to see how she arranges the horns and the keys etc (even though we know she plays a bit of guitar and piano) to get the sound she wants.

Speaking of which, I wish she would tour with her "Sheila E" band and hit the East Coast!!! smile

I saw her with the E family in SF a few months ago.....but I want to hear some classic Sheila Funk!
rainbow
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