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Thread started 01/28/18 12:41pm

Fiona01

Prince's greatest live performances on the piano?

What in your opinion are the best live Prince performances with just him and the piano?

One of my favourites is his performance of The Morning Papers from 21 Nights. He absolutely killed it!

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Reply #1 posted 01/29/18 10:34am

namepeace

His piano medley from the LoveSexy Dortmund show is still the best to me.

Good night, sweet Prince | 7 June 1958 - 21 April 2016

Props will be withheld until the showing and proving has commenced. -- Aaron McGruder
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Reply #2 posted 01/29/18 11:15am

Genesia

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I never understand questions like this. I mean...technically, every time he played the piano was a "live" performance. And unless you were actually there to see it, a recording of a concert is the same as a recording in the studio.

We don’t mourn artists because we knew them. We mourn them because they helped us know ourselves.
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Reply #3 posted 02/01/18 6:38pm

LittleProfesso
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Genesia said:

I never understand questions like this. I mean...technically, every time he played the piano was a "live" performance. And unless you were actually there to see it, a recording of a concert is the same as a recording in the studio.

I'm going to take this statement at face value, and hope I'm not naîvely falling for a troll.

A recording of a concert isn't the same as a recording in the studio for the energy factor, and for many technical reasons - speaking here as a former performer and as a current music professional.

A recording in the studio doesn't have everyone playing/singing at once, which creates a huge difference in the energy of the performance. In fact, the final performance might not even be in the same order as the track was initially laid down. You can find a video of the First Ave Purple Rain recording that has visual annotations about how it was sliced and diced to make the album version. And Dez Dickerson talks about having recorded multiple solos for "When Doves Cry" that Prince then spliced and diced to create the solo we hear on the studio recording. That's not possible with a live recording. Or at least, the label "live" doesn't usually go on something that's processed in that way.

In live recordings, you hear interaction between band and audience, like call-and-response. And keep in mind that for an improviser of Prince's caliber, that audience interaction influences the shape and length of an improvised solo (or the whole performance of the song, if you think of him as bandleader improvising who gets to solo when, for how long etc.). So in a very real sense, the audience is co-creating the song performance for that show.

Also, the performers and producers - as well as the listeners - usually accept a certain amount of imperfection in a live recording that wouldn't be acceptable in a studio recording. Think of fans screaming, or equipment/stage items dropping on the floor etc. I often think Prince's perfectionism in the performance is what kept him from releasing more live albums - and why it took him so long to release one in the first place. Think of how many stories we have about sound techs being fired, or being called out from stage during a concert.

All that said, I am not saying that listening to a live recording is the same as being at a live concert.

If that was a genuine lack of understanding, I hope this helped.

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