URL: http://prince.org/msg/7/375654

Date printed: Wed 23rd Jul 2014 1:07pm PDT

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Forums > Prince: Music and More > Irony of the "Emancipated" Prince
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Thread started 02/07/12 7:48am

alphachannel

Irony of the "Emancipated" Prince

A couple of threads have been started related to Prince's missing "experimentation" in his songs of late. Here's fodder for debate (I hope); ironically do you think Prince gets more conservative or conventional when he has more freedom?

Examples:

  • Free of Warners he can release as much as he wants, whenever he wants directly to his public yet his releases have become increasingly infrequent since the album-a-year days of the '70s & '80s
  • With the rise of digital recording he now has essentially an unlimited number of tracks at his disposal but his songs for the most part lack the complexity, subtle nuances and flourishes you find in his analog-era songs

Some say an artist is more creative when he's pushing against a barrier -- take away the restrictions and his artistic fire dims; maybe that's it. Anyway does anyone else agree or am I way off base on this?

Reply #1 posted 02/07/12 8:54am

jayARDAHB

alphachannel said:

A couple of threads have been started related to Prince's missing "experimentation" in his songs of late. Here's fodder for debate (I hope); ironically do you think Prince gets more conservative or conventional when he has more freedom?

Examples:

  • Free of Warners he can release as much as he wants, whenever he wants directly to his public yet his releases have become increasingly infrequent since the album-a-year days of the '70s & '80s
  • With the rise of digital recording he now has essentially an unlimited number of tracks at his disposal but his songs for the most part lack the complexity, subtle nuances and flourishes you find in his analog-era songs

Some say an artist is more creative when he's pushing against a barrier -- take away the restrictions and his artistic fire dims; maybe that's it. Anyway does anyone else agree or am I way off base on this?

Totally agree...

He's got nothing to say because he pretends to know everything as a result of his conversion to Jehovahnism.

When comes back to reality, he'll see that he's yesterday's news - hopefully that'll inspire him to do something that matters.

Reply #2 posted 02/07/12 9:05am

DecaturStone

Prince USED say music should be free. Yet he wants all images and videos to be taken that he is not making a profit off of. neutral

He says that WB won't allow him to be 'free'. Yet he won't allow the Time nor the Family to be free.

Rather than irony I think he was forced to face reality without WB

Reply #3 posted 02/07/12 9:23am

alphachannel

DecaturStone said:

Prince USED say music should be free. Yet he wants all images and videos to be taken that he is not making a profit off of. neutral

He says that WB won't allow him to be 'free'. Yet he won't allow the Time nor the Family to be free.

Rather than irony I think he was forced to face reality without WB

Wow -- great point. Maybe Prince was like the angry teenage girl who says her stupid & controlling parents are trying to ruin her life. She runs away from home to break free and learns the hard way that life on the mean streets alone is miserable.

There's still an opportunity for Prince to go home -- they still love there and will give him a big hug...

Reply #4 posted 02/08/12 1:55am

SquirrelMeat

In volume terms, Prince did release a lot more after Warner. But it was more sporadic and less coherent.

I think Prince's biggest problem in his career is his lack of ability to self control / edit material, so to only release the best of the best. He has always loved every tune, and fought to get it out. His sheer speed of writing and short attention span meant he could never get out everything he wanted, and sometimes, thats a good thing.

In the WB era, two things conspired on Prince that forced control on his output, leading to punchier, stronger albums.

The first was WB themselves, who kept Prince in check for a number of years, limiting him to a max of an album a year, and rejecting projects where required.

The second control measure was vinyl. Prince knew he only generally had 45 minutes to make an annual statement (90 if he was lucky), so his own material had to fight for its place. So the cream rose to the top, the b sides covered some almost rans, and associated artists picked up the slack. Plus we were left with a wonderful vault legacy.

When CD's went mainstream (Grafitti onwards), Prince tried to fill them straight away, and the albums suffered. Grafitti would have been a great 9 track. D&P would be stonger without Daddy Pop, Strollin and Jughead and Push. Symbol would make a much stonger 10 track. Gold would have been stronger without We March and Shy.

Of course, albums like Come and Chaos were only shorter because he was delivering a minimum for contracts sake. However, they hang together quite well.

As a diehard, I love as much volume as I can get, but few would disagree that Emancipation would have made a killer 10 track disc, rather than a spralling plastic brain dump.

He finally learned the lesson with Musicology onward, but that could be more about his slowed production than self control.

Only time will tell if the vault is still filling up, but coupled with the fact that he is often choosing to re-record old songs, makes me think he has slowed down writing considerably.

If he was with Warner now, they would problably agree with each other more than any time in the past.

.
Reply #5 posted 02/08/12 3:22am

lynx

Sorry, D & P is way better than the mess Musicology was.....even with Jughead. Push and Daddy Pop sound good even today.

Reply #6 posted 02/08/12 3:41am

SquirrelMeat

lynx said:

Sorry, D & P is way better than the mess Musicology was.....even with Jughead. Push and Daddy Pop sound good even today.

I wouldn't disagree, but D&P would have been even stronger if Prince could self control, rather than simply fill every minute of the format avaiable to him. The inclusion of weaker tracks stopped the album being great.

.
Reply #7 posted 02/08/12 4:21am

LittlePurpleYoda

alphachannel said:

A couple of threads have been started related to Prince's missing "experimentation" in his songs of late. Here's fodder for debate (I hope); ironically do you think Prince gets more conservative or conventional when he has more freedom?

Examples:

  • Free of Warners he can release as much as he wants, whenever he wants directly to his public yet his releases have become increasingly infrequent since the album-a-year days of the '70s & '80s
  • With the rise of digital recording he now has essentially an unlimited number of tracks at his disposal but his songs for the most part lack the complexity, subtle nuances and flourishes you find in his analog-era songs

Some say an artist is more creative when he's pushing against a barrier -- take away the restrictions and his artistic fire dims; maybe that's it. Anyway does anyone else agree or am I way off base on this?

You are making a dangerous amount of sense here. Mind the lemmings!

Reply #8 posted 02/08/12 9:12am

EyeJester7

SquirrelMeat said:

In volume terms, Prince did release a lot more after Warner. But it was more sporadic and less coherent.

I think Prince's biggest problem in his career is his lack of ability to self control / edit material, so to only release the best of the best. He has always loved every tune, and fought to get it out. His sheer speed of writing and short attention span meant he could never get out everything he wanted, and sometimes, thats a good thing.

In the WB era, two things conspired on Prince that forced control on his output, leading to punchier, stronger albums.

The first was WB themselves, who kept Prince in check for a number of years, limiting him to a max of an album a year, and rejecting projects where required.

The second control measure was vinyl. Prince knew he only generally had 45 minutes to make an annual statement (90 if he was lucky), so his own material had to fight for its place. So the cream rose to the top, the b sides covered some almost rans, and associated artists picked up the slack. Plus we were left with a wonderful vault legacy.

When CD's went mainstream (Grafitti onwards), Prince tried to fill them straight away, and the albums suffered. Grafitti would have been a great 9 track. D&P would be stonger without Daddy Pop, Strollin and Jughead and Push. Symbol would make a much stonger 10 track. Gold would have been stronger without We March and Shy.

Of course, albums like Come and Chaos were only shorter because he was delivering a minimum for contracts sake. However, they hang together quite well.

As a diehard, I love as much volume as I can get, but few would disagree that Emancipation would have made a killer 10 track disc, rather than a spralling plastic brain dump.

He finally learned the lesson with Musicology onward, but that could be more about his slowed production than self control.

Only time will tell if the vault is still filling up, but coupled with the fact that he is often choosing to re-record old songs, makes me think he has slowed down writing considerably.

If he was with Warner now, they would problably agree with each other more than any time in the past.

yeahthat You managed to put the pieces together quite well! I totally agree with your points and which earnestly Prince has gained a considerable amount of self control and honesty. smile

I remember him saying; it's a shame he has got so good at making records, when touring is what he really wanted to do. NOW it's a bit too late, he makes most of his money because of touring.

He could go back to them, but that would KILL his ego, and I doubt he even thought about it. But I am sure they would agree on many aspects they did not before.

Xpectation Surrender Falls N2 This Power Fantastic! eye kNOw!

URL: http://prince.org/msg/7/375654

Date printed: Wed 23rd Jul 2014 1:07pm PDT