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Thread started 10/26/16 5:21pm

anangellooksdo
wn

Prince and the U.K. - Why?

I'm watching my taped show of "Rock Legends: Prince" which has been airing on AXS TV lately. I'm noticing once again what I've seen of course by looking at record sales charts and other general observations, that the U.K. seemed to really embrace Prince.

This seems to me to have been an almost career-long thing, especially post-Purple Rain, when a lot of us Americans were not watching him as closely anymore.

Was Prince was more loved by the U.K. (and even other countries as well...seems to be a HUGE Australia following as well...)?

And why is this? This happens with other musicians too I've noticed. They seem to do better after their commercial peak outside of the US.

So was there a special connection between Prince & the U.K.? And why?
[Edited 10/26/16 17:23pm]
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Reply #1 posted 10/26/16 5:27pm

IsufferfromMPS

Because other countries weren't totally taken over by rap and grunge music. The appreciated his music and style and didnt call homophobic slurs and expect him to play only the oldies but goodies
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Reply #2 posted 10/26/16 6:59pm

BillieBalloon

It has a queen..I think Prince was her adopted son.

biggrin
Baby, you're a star.

Meet me in another world, space and joy
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Reply #3 posted 10/26/16 7:56pm

MD431Madcat

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The United Kingdom is 243,610 square kilometers or 94,060 square miles

That’s about 57% the size of 'California'.

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Reply #4 posted 10/26/16 7:58pm

NinaB

avatar

Me biggrin
"We just let people talk & say whatever they want 2 say. 9 times out of 10, trust me, what's out there now, I wouldn't give nary one of these folks the time of day. That's why I don't say anything back, because there's so much that's wrong" - P, Dec '15
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Reply #5 posted 10/26/16 8:41pm

gandorb

There is a long history of musicians, especially balck ones, being more embraced in western Europe than the US, especially supporting tours of people who no longer were having hitsl In addition to prince, other examples were Nina Simone and TinaTurner (before her US comeback with What's Love Got to Do With It), I once read an atricle about this and they named several other prominent black musciains in the past for whom this was true. I am not aware that this has extended to hip hop artists,

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Reply #6 posted 10/27/16 3:58am

Dibblekins

I think there are a number of plausible reasons:
.

1) Western Europe (particularly the UK) tends to be more secular than the USA; we're not especially right-wing / conservative / religious as a whole - and so our artistic preferences are possibly a bit more 'liberal' - in that sense, the pre-JW Prince could be embraced without too much of a raised eyebrow;
.

2) We're a very small country - with a very eclectic population - London in particular can be seen as a cultural melting pot, with people from all over the world widely represented. It was inevitable that Prince's 'chameleon-esque' self would appeal to various factions of the country;
.

3) The UK loves its freaks and weirdos (my ex-boyf is an American and he used to comment on how the Brits have this facade of a stiff-upper-lip but are actually the most freakish and naughty behind closed doors, lol). When the USA dismissed Prince (in the 90s) as being too bizarre with which to bother, a lot of people in the UK just accepted his behaviour as par for the course for someone of an artistic temperament!
.

4) Prince was just part of a continuing movement in the UK which comprised all manner of androgynous / gender-fluid / ethnically, and musically, diverse artistes;
.

5) Our tabloid newspapers - I do recall them LOVING to report on P's shenanigans with the name change, the symbol 'thing', his fight with WB - it was all juicy fodder to sell more papers. And the more papers he sold, the more fascinated a lot of people became - hence his retaining popularity here when it might have been dissipating elsewhere.
.

6) The Brits love an underdog - I think, in America, the culture is much more success-orientated (by all means, please do correct me if I'm wrong). In America, everyone loves a winner (and after his fall-out with WB and decision to basically shun the commercially successful formula used by the record industry, P 'stopped' being a winner and was seen as a nutcase / failure instead).

In the UK, our national tendency is to support the 'outsider', the sorry loser...Perversely, had Prince started being a 'big star' again, his popularity might have declined somewhat - because we (and our tabloids) love to disparage those we perceive as getting too big for their boots! eek
.

Just a few thoughts on the topic - I know they're a bit long-winded but it IS a fascinating subject (to me, anyway)! biggrin

.

[Edited 10/27/16 3:58am]

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Reply #7 posted 10/27/16 4:22am

CherryMoon57

avatar

NinaB said:

Me biggrin

And me! nod wink

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Reply #8 posted 10/27/16 4:45am

CherryMoon57

avatar

Dibblekins said:

I think there are a number of plausible reasons:
.

1) Western Europe (particularly the UK) tends to be more secular than the USA; we're not especially right-wing / conservative / religious as a whole - and so our artistic preferences are possibly a bit more 'liberal' - in that sense, the pre-JW Prince could be embraced without too much of a raised eyebrow;
.

2) We're a very small country - with a very eclectic population - London in particular can be seen as a cultural melting pot, with people from all over the world widely represented. It was inevitable that Prince's 'chameleon-esque' self would appeal to various factions of the country;
.

3) The UK loves its freaks and weirdos (my ex-boyf is an American and he used to comment on how the Brits have this facade of a stiff-upper-lip but are actually the most freakish and naughty behind closed doors, lol). When the USA dismissed Prince (in the 90s) as being too bizarre with which to bother, a lot of people in the UK just accepted his behaviour as par for the course for someone of an artistic temperament!
.

4) Prince was just part of a continuing movement in the UK which comprised all manner of androgynous / gender-fluid / ethnically, and musically, diverse artistes;
.

5) Our tabloid newspapers - I do recall them LOVING to report on P's shenanigans with the name change, the symbol 'thing', his fight with WB - it was all juicy fodder to sell more papers. And the more papers he sold, the more fascinated a lot of people became - hence his retaining popularity here when it might have been dissipating elsewhere.
.

6) The Brits love an underdog - I think, in America, the culture is much more success-orientated (by all means, please do correct me if I'm wrong). In America, everyone loves a winner (and after his fall-out with WB and decision to basically shun the commercially successful formula used by the record industry, P 'stopped' being a winner and was seen as a nutcase / failure instead).

In the UK, our national tendency is to support the 'outsider', the sorry loser...Perversely, had Prince started being a 'big star' again, his popularity might have declined somewhat - because we (and our tabloids) love to disparage those we perceive as getting too big for their boots! eek
.

Just a few thoughts on the topic - I know they're a bit long-winded but it IS a fascinating subject (to me, anyway)! biggrin

.

[Edited 10/27/16 3:58am]

Interesting points Dibbleskin, ultimately, I think Prince didn't really care whether he was a winner or not, he seemed focused on spending time on stage and delivering good live music to the fans, and enjoyed playing for them, which he did extensively in the UK, and the UK public was very grateful for it. Also it is possible that one of his first experiences of a big audience might have left a bad taste in his mouth (I'm thinking with the Rolling Stones in 1981) and perhaps made him apprehensive, if only a little, about US audiences for the rest of his career. He did say in a very early interview in Holland that everything felt different in Europe, and that he was more at ease there... Interview on here

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Reply #9 posted 10/27/16 5:14am

Dibblekins

CherryMoon57 said:

Dibblekins said:

I think there are a number of plausible reasons:
.

1) Western Europe (particularly the UK) tends to be more secular than the USA; we're not especially right-wing / conservative / religious as a whole - and so our artistic preferences are possibly a bit more 'liberal' - in that sense, the pre-JW Prince could be embraced without too much of a raised eyebrow;
.

2) We're a very small country - with a very eclectic population - London in particular can be seen as a cultural melting pot, with people from all over the world widely represented. It was inevitable that Prince's 'chameleon-esque' self would appeal to various factions of the country;
.

3) The UK loves its freaks and weirdos (my ex-boyf is an American and he used to comment on how the Brits have this facade of a stiff-upper-lip but are actually the most freakish and naughty behind closed doors, lol). When the USA dismissed Prince (in the 90s) as being too bizarre with which to bother, a lot of people in the UK just accepted his behaviour as par for the course for someone of an artistic temperament!
.

4) Prince was just part of a continuing movement in the UK which comprised all manner of androgynous / gender-fluid / ethnically, and musically, diverse artistes;
.

5) Our tabloid newspapers - I do recall them LOVING to report on P's shenanigans with the name change, the symbol 'thing', his fight with WB - it was all juicy fodder to sell more papers. And the more papers he sold, the more fascinated a lot of people became - hence his retaining popularity here when it might have been dissipating elsewhere.
.

6) The Brits love an underdog - I think, in America, the culture is much more success-orientated (by all means, please do correct me if I'm wrong). In America, everyone loves a winner (and after his fall-out with WB and decision to basically shun the commercially successful formula used by the record industry, P 'stopped' being a winner and was seen as a nutcase / failure instead).

In the UK, our national tendency is to support the 'outsider', the sorry loser...Perversely, had Prince started being a 'big star' again, his popularity might have declined somewhat - because we (and our tabloids) love to disparage those we perceive as getting too big for their boots! eek
.

Just a few thoughts on the topic - I know they're a bit long-winded but it IS a fascinating subject (to me, anyway)! biggrin

.

[Edited 10/27/16 3:58am]

Interesting points Dibbleskin, ultimately, I think Prince didn't really care whether he was a winner or not, he seemed focused on spending time on stage and delivering good live music to the fans, and enjoyed playing for them, which he did extensively in the UK, and the UK public was very grateful for it. Also it is possible that one of his first experiences of a big audience might have left a bad taste in his mouth (I'm thinking with the Rolling Stones in 1981) and perhaps made him apprehensive, if only a little, about US audiences for the rest of his career. He did say in a very early interview in Holland that everything felt different in Europe, and that he was more at ease there... Interview on here

.

I agree with you in many ways - I think he cared more about owning his material, having integrity, and being successful on his own terms than towing the party (record company) line and being more 'popular' (a commercial 'winner') as a result.
.

However, I think he cared very much about winning his personal battle for freedom / ownership of his masters. So, in that sense - he was determined, ferocious, and unbending in his desire to 'win' - it's just that he chose a different battle to many other musicians - and I guess not everybody appreciated that, preferring to think of him as a weirdo, a nutcase, a loser, a has-been instead.
.

I also think that the UK tends to have a fondness for weirdos, nutcases, losers, and has-beens! There have been so many that we've supported and celebrated over the years, if you think about it (in sports as much as anything else)! lol
.

Edit: I've never been called DibbleSKIN before, lmao!!! That's a new one - I rather like it!!

[Edited 10/27/16 5:15am]

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Reply #10 posted 10/27/16 5:49am

CherryMoon57

avatar

Dibblekins said:

CherryMoon57 said:

Interesting points Dibbleskin, ultimately, I think Prince didn't really care whether he was a winner or not, he seemed focused on spending time on stage and delivering good live music to the fans, and enjoyed playing for them, which he did extensively in the UK, and the UK public was very grateful for it. Also it is possible that one of his first experiences of a big audience might have left a bad taste in his mouth (I'm thinking with the Rolling Stones in 1981) and perhaps made him apprehensive, if only a little, about US audiences for the rest of his career. He did say in a very early interview in Holland that everything felt different in Europe, and that he was more at ease there... Interview on here

.

I agree with you in many ways - I think he cared more about owning his material, having integrity, and being successful on his own terms than towing the party (record company) line and being more 'popular' (a commercial 'winner') as a result.
.

However, I think he cared very much about winning his personal battle for freedom / ownership of his masters. So, in that sense - he was determined, ferocious, and unbending in his desire to 'win' - it's just that he chose a different battle to many other musicians - and I guess not everybody appreciated that, preferring to think of him as a weirdo, a nutcase, a loser, a has-been instead.
.

I also think that the UK tends to have a fondness for weirdos, nutcases, losers, and has-beens! There have been so many that we've supported and celebrated over the years, if you think about it (in sports as much as anything else)! lol
.

Edit: I've never been called DibbleSKIN before, lmao!!! That's a new one - I rather like it!!

[Edited 10/27/16 5:15am]

lol Ooops, sorry Dibblekins, that was totally unintentional on my part, I blame my keyboard which needs fixing urgently!

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Reply #11 posted 10/27/16 5:50am

BillieBalloon

Nice analysis Dibblekins. Just want to make a point about your comment about various factions. I think his appeal was more general to the UK population and not as niche as you state. His audience was and still is very diverse. Judging by his audience at various shows, the crowd was mixed across races and genders. I feel that he didn't appeal to "groups" of people but more to the general public as a whole. There never seemed to be any division amongst the audience.


London is a melting pot and naturally the audience would be more diverse there but that demographic was also representative of the country as a whole, i.e no boundaries, all ages, races and genders.


A side note: Audiences had no qualms with his lyrics (the sexual ones) and would sing them back to him. I think he felt they were comfortable with this.

Eccentric behaviour is embraced and people are not as shocked by it in U.K. The press would report his outlandish behaviour but the public have always understood odd characters and have an affection for them.


He had an affection for London, his second home. cool and said it was a wonderful city in an interview. He choose London for his 21 night residency because he said it was where he had played some of his favourite shows. London has a long and interesting history with rockstars, Jimi Hendrix was more popular in London/UK than he was in his native country at least in the beginning.
[Edited 10/27/16 5:52am]
Baby, you're a star.

Meet me in another world, space and joy
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Reply #12 posted 10/27/16 6:24am

callimnate

avatar

Simple..... 'Mericans have shit taste in music. wink
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Reply #13 posted 10/27/16 6:45am

PR3121

avatar

CherryMoon57 said:



NinaB said:


Me biggrin

And me! nod wink


Me too biggrin
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Reply #14 posted 10/27/16 7:06am

dalboy2

I have actually thought about this and think UK fans in general are more open minded to support artists that do not fit in a particular one genre. This is because historically we had radio and Tv music programmes (Top of the Pops) that had and catered for everyone rather then fully specialist. Note we did however have specialist programmes for certain music genres but the general pop stations had everything that was considered good and popular. Obviously today we do now have more specialist radio and Tv programmes.

But in general I think the UK audiences do have good memories and have strong core audience that have sense of support and loyalty to certain artists. Especially the Artists they love and have grown up with. UK also tend to show strong support for artists that the US now consider to be more nostalgia acts.

I tend to think most US pop audiences seem to forget certain artists if they fall out the mainstream or radar in certain ways.
[Edited 10/27/16 7:31am]
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Reply #15 posted 10/27/16 7:20am

leecaldon

MD431Madcat said:

The United Kingdom is 243,610 square kilometers or 94,060 square miles

That’s about 57% the size of 'California'.

And your point is?

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Reply #16 posted 10/27/16 7:24am

disch

I think it's fair to say that the dominant musical styles in the '90s US migrated away from what Prince was doing -- especially with the rise of hip hop and perhaps country.

IsufferfromMPS said:

Because other countries weren't totally taken over by rap and grunge music.

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Reply #17 posted 10/27/16 7:24am

Guitarhero

We love him in the UK and we also appreciated his post 80's music. Only thing that gets me down is he only had one number 1. Blame those with no music taste just look at the number 1's in the Uk since the 80's confused

Bryan Adams number 1 for 26 weeks for the song (Everything i do) I do it for You.

nuts ill

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Reply #18 posted 10/27/16 7:38am

CherryMoon57

avatar

Guitarhero said:

We love him in the UK and we also appreciated his post 80's music. Only thing that gets me down is he only had one number 1. Blame those with no music taste just look at the number 1's in the Uk since the 80's confused

Bryan Adams number 1 for 26 weeks for the song (Everything i do) I do it for You.

nuts ill

.

I feel the same, but this has often been the case with a lot of other great artists, musicians and others, who - probably being ahead of their time - don't necessarily fit the majority's expectations or get the widest recognition during their lifetime but whose work grows steadily posthumously.

.

Having said that, charts classments are also based on sales and that also relies on the frequency of singles releases, and marketing methods.

[Edited 10/27/16 8:47am]

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Reply #19 posted 10/27/16 7:39am

BillieBalloon

MD431Madcat said:

The United Kingdom is 243,610 square kilometers or 94,060 square miles


That’s about 57% the size of 'California'.





What's your point?
Baby, you're a star.

Meet me in another world, space and joy
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Reply #20 posted 10/27/16 7:46am

bluegangsta

avatar

Dibblekins said:


6) The Brits love an underdog - I think, in America, the culture is much more success-orientated (by all means, please do correct me if I'm wrong). In America, everyone loves a winner (and after his fall-out with WB and decision to basically shun the commercially successful formula used by the record industry, P 'stopped' being a winner and was seen as a nutcase / failure instead).

This.

I also think that 99.9% of Americans lack an intullectual apreciation of music.

Always cry 4 love, never cry 4 pain.
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Reply #21 posted 10/27/16 7:49am

BillieBalloon

bluegangsta said:



Dibblekins said:



6) The Brits love an underdog - I think, in America, the culture is much more success-orientated (by all means, please do correct me if I'm wrong). In America, everyone loves a winner (and after his fall-out with WB and decision to basically shun the commercially successful formula used by the record industry, P 'stopped' being a winner and was seen as a nutcase / failure instead).



This.

I also think that 99.9% of Americans lack an intullectual apreciation of music.




I knew somebody was going to come out with this. eek
Baby, you're a star.

Meet me in another world, space and joy
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Reply #22 posted 10/27/16 7:50am

thedoorkeeper

And how many #1 singles did he have in the UK?
Most have been many many #1 hits since the UK love for Prince is boundless.
So how many?
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Reply #23 posted 10/27/16 7:50am

jayseajay

BillieBalloon said:

MD431Madcat said:

The United Kingdom is 243,610 square kilometers or 94,060 square miles

That’s about 57% the size of 'California'.

What's your point?

I think the point is that he doesn't understand the difference between size and population.

Not like I love my guitar....
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Reply #24 posted 10/27/16 7:57am

BillieBalloon

jayseajay said:



BillieBalloon said:


MD431Madcat said:

The United Kingdom is 243,610 square kilometers or 94,060 square miles


That’s about 57% the size of 'California'.




What's your point?

I think the point is that he doesn't understand the difference between size and population.




Let's give him a lesson in basic geography.

California population: 38.8 million

United Kingdom population: 64.1 million
Baby, you're a star.

Meet me in another world, space and joy
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Reply #25 posted 10/27/16 8:08am

NinaB

avatar

PR3121 said:

CherryMoon57 said:



NinaB said:


Me biggrin

And me! nod wink


Me too biggrin

lol
"We just let people talk & say whatever they want 2 say. 9 times out of 10, trust me, what's out there now, I wouldn't give nary one of these folks the time of day. That's why I don't say anything back, because there's so much that's wrong" - P, Dec '15
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Reply #26 posted 10/27/16 8:29am

Guitarhero

thedoorkeeper said:

And how many #1 singles did he have in the UK? Most have been many many #1 hits since the UK love for Prince is boundless. So how many?

Already answered above. Having one number has nothing to with the UK loving Prince and vice versa.

[Edited 10/27/16 8:40am]

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Reply #27 posted 10/27/16 8:38am

NorthC

One very simple reason is that both countries have the same language which makes a crossover much easier! And of course England has been influenced by American rock and blues since the days of The Stones and The Beatles. French chansons for instance were never popular in England. They were popular in Holland in the 50s and 60s, but since then the influence of English in our culture has grown immensely. It's worth noting that Prince's popularity is much bigger in northwestern Europe (where people usually speak English very well) than in the southern countries.
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Reply #28 posted 10/27/16 8:47am

NouveauDance

avatar

Some good points made. I will agree with these: We like underdogs, eccentrics, mavericks etc. Quite a few US black artists have found a large and loyal audience in the UK and Europe, often better than back home.

.

I think Prince also toured here a lot which helped and liked the reception he got here.

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Reply #29 posted 10/27/16 9:00am

Dibblekins

BillieBalloon said:

Nice analysis Dibblekins. Just want to make a point about your comment about various factions. I think his appeal was more general to the UK population and not as niche as you state. His audience was and still is very diverse. Judging by his audience at various shows, the crowd was mixed across races and genders. I feel that he didn't appeal to "groups" of people but more to the general public as a whole. There never seemed to be any division amongst the audience. London is a melting pot and naturally the audience would be more diverse there but that demographic was also representative of the country as a whole, i.e no boundaries, all ages, races and genders. A side note: Audiences had no qualms with his lyrics (the sexual ones) and would sing them back to him. I think he felt they were comfortable with this. Eccentric behaviour is embraced and people are not as shocked by it in U.K. The press would report his outlandish behaviour but the public have always understood odd characters and have an affection for them. He had an affection for London, his second home. cool and said it was a wonderful city in an interview. He choose London for his 21 night residency because he said it was where he had played some of his favourite shows. London has a long and interesting history with rockstars, Jimi Hendrix was more popular in London/UK than he was in his native country at least in the beginning. [Edited 10/27/16 5:52am]

Forgive me - that's what I was trying to say (albeit not very well)!

I totally agree with all you're saying, BB!

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