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Thread started 04/02/18 6:53am

SoftSkarlettLo
visa

Do you suppose Prince's music videos could have been produced differently?

I remember reading in a discussion board in the mid-2000s discussing Prince's music videos. Someone said that P's videos could have been made better - not sure what they meant by this?

I wouldn't say P's music videos are terribly boring - "U Got The Look (Extended)" music video is one of my favourite P music videos. Maybe the public was expecting Prince to put on a cinematic experience for his videos like Michael Jackson, and Prince was saying "my music is for the ears, not the eyes".

What do you think?

[Edited 4/26/18 4:19am]

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Reply #1 posted 04/02/18 7:33am

PurpleDorothy

SoftSkarlettLovisa said:

I remember reading in a discussion board in the mid-2000s discussing Prince's music videos. Someone said that P's videos could have been made better - not sure what they meant by this?



I wouldn't say P's music videos are terribly boring - "U Got The Look (Extended)" music video is one of my favourite P music videos. Maybe the public was expecting Prince to put on a cinematic experience for his videos like Michael Jackson, and Prince was saying "my music is for the ears, not the eyes".



What do you think?



I think that there were plenty of things going on for the eyes in regards to his videos....
"As long as I can hear you smilin' baby
You won't hear my tears."
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Reply #2 posted 04/02/18 8:01am

feeluupp

Some of the early videos were classics due to their simplcicity... Ex: Little Red Corvette, Kiss...

But yea for a creative genius like Prince, his visual ability was far below his musical ability. His music videos were very boring and far under the standard for an artist like his caliber. I mean I remember Madonna in an interview saying how Prince's music videos were not good for an artist of his ability...

When you look at his peers like MJ and MADONNA how complex their music videos were and look at the silly cheap looking music videos Prince made, it's clear Prince's number one priority was making the music and performing it... I don't think he was into music videos too much.

Funny thing his music videos and most of his album covers were just really amateur.

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Reply #3 posted 04/02/18 9:59am

TrivialPursuit

I never really looked forward to his videos because they were boring. They almost all performance videos. I'll discount the early ones because it was sort of the norm in the industry. But by 1984 or after, he could have stepped it up, gotten into some concepts, etc. "Raspberry Beret" was cute with the album cover coming to life, the blue screen, the continuation of the "Take Me With U" story. And that wig, OMG THAT WIG!

I felt it was lazy to release three tour videos from the PR album, too. hell, MJ only had three videos for the monster that was Thriller, and look how well that did! PR was a juggernaut, but with videos compiled mostly from the movie and the tour, it felt like it fell slightly short of even more greatness. "When Doves Cry" being the exception to all that since there was a setup and a video for it, even if you took out the movie clips. "Sex Shooter" was the only other video that stood on its own and did not depend on movie clips to get by. (Of course, define "get by".)

Parade had a few goodies in that the Cobo Hall video for "Anotherloverholenyohead" was a fun look into the newest tour at the time. "Kiss" and Wendy's expression were fun, but ultimately still a little bland. I don't discredit his work in dancing solo with not much else around him than a model here and there.

SOTT stuff was from the movie. Blah.

Lovesexy - I love the "Glam Slam" video. It feels like a rehearsal, which is cute. "I Wish U Heaven" and "Alphabet Street" are lazy (especially the latter) green screen setups.

He did stretch his legs a bit once the NPG was a band and long-form videos (VHS) became popular. He explored a lot with that stuff. Love 4 One Another and The Beautiful Experience are much better examples of him putting together a relatively cohesive package. Didn't have to be a movie, it just had to be interesting. The acting was bad ("We're soul mates"; but not as bad as Ingrid in Graffiti Bridge) but the music was just so fucking good.

He relented back to performance art and montage clips in the late 90s and beyond. Yet fun performance vids like "The One U Wanna C" go unreleased. However, by that time in the early aughts, music videos weren't so much in vogue as they felt like a necessity. It was hypocritical of the industry to almost purpose not play music videos in full anymore yet dismiss a song if it didn't have one. Nowadays you have the audio version on video, then the lyric video, then the regular video - all for free on YouTube. It's not an artform anymore. But Prince certainly missed the boat on some of it throughout his day.

This experience will cover courtship, sex, commitment, fetishes, loneliness, vindication, love, and hate.
http://bit.ly/1D3FG2U
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Reply #4 posted 04/02/18 11:21am

67Cadillac

Prince's best videos for me are:

"Sexy M.F."

"Black Sweat"

"Musicology"

"Cinnamon Girl"

"When Doves Cry"

"Black Sweat"

There are others I enjoy ("Cream") but these are the ones I think really fit the song and / or have some real effort into the production.

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Reply #5 posted 04/02/18 11:26am

lastkeymusic

imho although sign o the times was probably a revolutionary video considering it was a lyric video (uncommon as hell in the 80's), it was unintentionally revolutionary cause i don't think prince prepared a music video for it lmao, at least according to ro's book

so i wish it was different, maybe more visually relevant to its apocalyptic theme; it would have been interesting to see what he truly had in mind (unless that was what he had in mind; we may never truly know...)

just a sucka in the dream factory
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Reply #6 posted 04/02/18 2:16pm

SoulAlive

Prince's best videos are "When Doves Cry" and "Batdance".Both of these are excellent.

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Reply #7 posted 04/02/18 6:48pm

berlinas2k

I remember reading that he was making a video for every song. That tells me that he was the sole creative force behind them. Artists like MJ and Madonna had teams helping bring their visions to life and only on the singles. Massive budgets do wonders for a video and perhaps P was trying to do things on a shoestring budget.
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Reply #8 posted 04/02/18 11:27pm

214

The Holy River video is super cheap. He could have done much better videos.

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Reply #9 posted 04/03/18 8:16am

BartVanHemelen

avatar

feeluupp said:

When you look at his peers like MJ and MADONNA how complex their music videos were and look at the silly cheap looking music videos Prince made, it's clear Prince's number one priority was making the music and performing it... I don't think he was into music videos too much.

.

Except Alan Leeds has talked about how Prince had him listen to a new song and was already talking about the video etc.

.

He surrounded himself with too many mediocre people later on, especially when it came to artwork etc. And some of the band members he recruited post-1995 are just bleh.

© Bart Van Hemelen
This posting is provided AS IS with no warranties, and confers no rights.
It is not authorized by Prince or the NPG Music Club. You assume all risk for
your use. All rights reserved.
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Reply #10 posted 04/03/18 8:19am

BartVanHemelen

avatar

lastkeymusic said:

imho although sign o the times was probably a revolutionary video considering it was a lyric video (uncommon as hell in the 80's), it was unintentionally revolutionary cause i don't think prince prepared a music video for it lmao, at least according to ro's book

.

I'm 100% convinced that one was commisioned by Warners. Zero input from Prince.

© Bart Van Hemelen
This posting is provided AS IS with no warranties, and confers no rights.
It is not authorized by Prince or the NPG Music Club. You assume all risk for
your use. All rights reserved.
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Reply #11 posted 04/03/18 9:01am

databank

avatar

I agree that too many loooked cheap for an artist of his caliber, at least after 1987.

Not necessarily that you need special effects and Hollywood stars, Kiss is a perfect example of how one can be sober and elegant at the same time, but Thieves In The Temple or Alphabet St., for example, just look like they've been made by amateurs (even by the standards of that time).

Some are also simply poor taste, like Breakfast Can Wait: really inappropriate sad

On the other hand, there were also a lot of really cool videos, but you'd have expected more.

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Reply #12 posted 04/03/18 9:25am

ufoclub

avatar

databank said:

I agree that too many loooked cheap for an artist of his caliber, at least after 1987.

Not necessarily that you need special effects and Hollywood stars, Kiss is a perfect example of how one can be sober and elegant at the same time, but Thieves In The Temple or Alphabet St., for example, just look like they've been made by amateurs (even by the standards of that time).

Some are also simply poor taste, like Breakfast Can Wait: really inappropriate sad

On the other hand, there were also a lot of really cool videos, but you'd have expected more.

"Thieves in The Temple" was fine (it was 35mm film quality) until it hit the extended part and it was in one room with a cheap video greenscreen.

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Reply #13 posted 04/03/18 9:34am

Genesia

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Of course, they could have been different.

We don’t mourn artists because we knew them. We mourn them because they helped us know ourselves.
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Reply #14 posted 04/03/18 10:04am

databank

avatar

ufoclub said:

databank said:

I agree that too many loooked cheap for an artist of his caliber, at least after 1987.

Not necessarily that you need special effects and Hollywood stars, Kiss is a perfect example of how one can be sober and elegant at the same time, but Thieves In The Temple or Alphabet St., for example, just look like they've been made by amateurs (even by the standards of that time).

Some are also simply poor taste, like Breakfast Can Wait: really inappropriate sad

On the other hand, there were also a lot of really cool videos, but you'd have expected more.

"Thieves in The Temple" was fine (it was 35mm film quality) until it hit the extended part and it was in one room with a cheap video greenscreen.

nod that's precisely what I was talking about lol

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Reply #15 posted 04/03/18 10:05am

databank

avatar

Genesia said:

Of course, they could have been different.

lol lol lol falloff

Reply of the year hug

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Reply #16 posted 04/03/18 10:16am

1725topp

I guess because I was raised in an area--home of the blues--where performance is sacred, the "so-called" performance video didn't bother me. In fact, the "performance" video tended to give some idea of the type of live performer the artist would be. (Prior to the internet, there were very few ways that audiences knew how an artist looked or the type of performer an artist was.) Thus, I don't always think that a video must be conceptual to be effective or enjoyable. That being said, I think Prince did a nice job with most of his videos, moving easily between the "performance" video to the "conceptual" video. I'd rather Prince do that than having him make a lot of videos that would cause me to wonder, "WTF does this have to do with the song?" I guess I never needed a video to tell me if a song was any good or to hide how bad a song is. It's a shame that most artists today can't command the attention of an audience by just performing their song.

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Reply #17 posted 04/03/18 12:01pm

bonatoc

avatar

TrivialPursuit said:



SOTT stuff was from the movie. Blah.

Lovesexy - I love the "Glam Slam" video. It feels like a rehearsal, which is cute. "I Wish U Heaven" and "Alphabet Street" are lazy (especially the latter) green screen setups.



You're crazy, you're nuts.
First of all, watch them full screen, in the dark.


"Sign O' The Times" is one of the absolute best music videos ever,
from any artist, it's the "Subterranean Homesick Blues" of the eighties,
the nineties and the '00s. Still to be beaten in its category.

Maybe you're not the video game type.






"Alphabet St." is fantastic.
Maybe you're not the comics fan.
Mondino is all over Baz Luhrmann's work.
It's hilarious, you probably missed a ton of shots,
all high on your judgemental boots.

It's supposed to look cheap. It's an anti-video.
The last chorus is like spots of colors when you press your eyelids for too long.

Prince, on a "Highway to Love". Did you get it?






"I Wish U Heaven" is a state of grace.
You had to live the times.
It's supposed to look like a collage,
a children's book.

Remember the kids in "Russians", "Open Your Heart" and "Boys of Summer"?
All Mondino.






[Edited 4/3/18 12:21pm]

The Colors R brighter, the Bond is much tighter
No Child's a failure
Until the Blue Sailboat sails him away from his dreams
Don't Ever Lose, Don't Ever Lose
Don't Ever Lose Your Dreams
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Reply #18 posted 04/03/18 12:05pm

bonatoc

avatar

About "I Wish U Heaven" : if you've never been erotico-spiritually devoured by the song
with your headphones on, the vision may not match.

The Colors R brighter, the Bond is much tighter
No Child's a failure
Until the Blue Sailboat sails him away from his dreams
Don't Ever Lose, Don't Ever Lose
Don't Ever Lose Your Dreams
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Reply #19 posted 04/03/18 12:19pm

bonatoc

avatar

I'm still furious at the doofus who is in charge of the Official Youtube channel.


All the videos are ruined by the "next video" plastering!


Especially the end of "Alphabet St.", the end of "Glam Slam", all of them!


We get it, there's a channel, I'm watching it!

[Edited 4/3/18 12:24pm]

The Colors R brighter, the Bond is much tighter
No Child's a failure
Until the Blue Sailboat sails him away from his dreams
Don't Ever Lose, Don't Ever Lose
Don't Ever Lose Your Dreams
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Reply #20 posted 04/03/18 12:53pm

feeluupp

... naw... for an artist of his caliber his music videos are lame... overanalyzing them making them more artistic or meaningful as they seem is like trying to defend planet earth as a genius prince album... it is what it is. lol

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Reply #21 posted 04/03/18 1:17pm

feeluupp

PAISLEY PARK

DINNER WITH DELORES

THE HOLY RIVER

THE DAISY CHAIN

U MAKE MY SUNSHINE

CHOCOLATE BOX

... are some of the most cringeworthy corny videos I've ever seen from a musical genius... lol

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Reply #22 posted 04/03/18 1:29pm

bonatoc

avatar

feeluupp said:

PAISLEY PARK

DINNER WITH DELORES

THE HOLY RIVER

THE DAISY CHAIN

U MAKE MY SUNSHINE

CHOCOLATE BOX

... are some of the most cringeworthy corny videos I've ever seen from a musical genius... lol


What can I say, I agree.
But "Kiss" stands, I think a good dozen are great.
"Automatic" certainly is, and what about the Purple Rain tour videos?
A live video was still the official clip.

But yeah, what about
THE ONE SONG

if we go that way?
Yeech.

The Colors R brighter, the Bond is much tighter
No Child's a failure
Until the Blue Sailboat sails him away from his dreams
Don't Ever Lose, Don't Ever Lose
Don't Ever Lose Your Dreams
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Reply #23 posted 04/03/18 1:35pm

feeluupp

bonatoc said:

feeluupp said:

PAISLEY PARK

DINNER WITH DELORES

THE HOLY RIVER

THE DAISY CHAIN

U MAKE MY SUNSHINE

CHOCOLATE BOX

... are some of the most cringeworthy corny videos I've ever seen from a musical genius... lol


What can I say, I agree.
But "Kiss" stands, I think a good dozen are great.
"Automatic" certainly is, and what about the Purple Rain tour videos?
A live video was still the official clip.

But yeah, what about
THE ONE SONG

if we go that way?
Yeech.

I think some of his videos are actually classics due to their simplicity. Little Red Corvette and Kiss are just classics, they are so simplistic it shows the true essence of Prince the performer.

Automatic is one of my favorite music videos, it showed the dangerous side of Prince, if I'm not mistaken that video was not allowed to be played on MTV...

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Reply #24 posted 04/03/18 2:17pm

PeteSilas

SoftSkarlettLovisa said:

I remember reading in a discussion board in the mid-2000s discussing Prince's music videos. Someone said that P's videos could have been made better - not sure what they meant by this?

I wouldn't say P's music videos are terribly boring - "U Got The Look (Extended)" music video is one of my favourite P music videos. Maybe the public was expecting Prince to put on a cinematic experience for his videos like Michael Jackson, and Prince was saying "my music is for the ears, not the eyes".

What do you think?

never really occured to me for the most part, but., i was a early part of the mtv generation so that is to say, i was always more focussed on the music. the people who said he didn't do much with videos were right I guess, never made no difference to me though. the fashion his vids were shot sound pretty ramshackle and poorly planned to me but didn't matter. I must admit though, that some of his vids with more production value like the batman ones do show the potential of the medium. Partyman was a mediocre song but a great video with prince at his most accessible and humorous, even poking fun back at wierd al yankovic who accused him of having no sense of humor.

Prince.org: With fans like these he didn't need haters.
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Reply #25 posted 04/03/18 3:39pm

42Kristen

stfu Prince's music videos are what they suppose to be. Once you heard the song on the radio. You visualize what the music video would be. Once you saw the music video to the song. It is not what you expected.

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Reply #26 posted 04/03/18 7:36pm

databank

avatar

bonatoc said:



"Alphabet St." is fantastic.
Maybe you're not the comics fan.
Mondino is all over Baz Luhrmann's work.
It's hilarious, you probably missed a ton of shots,
all high on your judgemental boots.

It's supposed to look cheap. It's an anti-video.
The last chorus is like spots of colors when you press your eyelids for too long.

Prince, on a "Highway to Love". Did you get it?


Contrarily to urban legend (I myself believed it for many years, IDK why), JB Mondino did NOT direct the Alphabet St. video. He did Mia Bocca and the Lovesexy cover art but he had nothing to do with Alphabet St.

.

As stated on Princevault (and prior to that in various books), this is how it happened:

"The decision to make a video was a spur of the moment thing, after Prince had a change of mind about not wanting do a video for the song. It was a snowy Sunday afternoon, when Prince called Alan Leeds that he wanted to do the video. Leeds searched all day and finally found local video producer Michael Barnard prepared to come and do the shoot. Sheila E. And Cat were also commissioned. Equipment was rented from a local cable tv company.

The video shoot commenced at 7:00 p.m. and was shot using four cameras with 2/3" tubes, shooting on 3/4" U-matic cassettes." (http://princevault.com/index.php?title=Video:_Alphabet_St.)

.

So, no offense to Mr. Barnard but that was a cheap video made at the last minute, in totally improvised conditions, on a cheap budget, with cheap equipment, directed by an obscure and far from state-of-the-art local director that probably usually shot local TV ads for local shops and little stuff of that kind. And it shows.

.

So no, it's not an anti-video that's supposed to look cheap. It's just a cheap video that looks cheap because it has cheap production values.

.

Now why not after all, sure, it's not all bad, but if Prince had stuck to the exact same concept, if he'd planned proper production in advance and hired a higher standard director, he could have made the same video, only it would have looked 10 times better.

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Reply #27 posted 04/03/18 8:29pm

PeteSilas

in many ways videos hurt music, at least for me. I used to be able to close my eyes and get images from what i heard, annie christian was scary as shit to me, just listening to it in the dark with my eyes closed, didn't need no video. MTV kinda of retrained us to not be able to listen to music without watching something. I think it revolutionized and rejuvenized the industry at the time but it really did nothing for the art, nothing at all. the magic that music can create in one's mind is superior to any video i've ever seen, by far.

Prince.org: With fans like these he didn't need haters.
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Reply #28 posted 04/03/18 8:50pm

thisisreece

Prince has some good music videos, such as the videos for Raspberry Beret, Kiss, Sign o the Times, and Cinnamon Girl, but I prefer the earlier perfomance based music videos, such as those for the Dirty Mind, Controversy, and 1999 albums. These put emphasis on Prince as a musical artist and performer, and as 1725topp said, give an idea of the artist in the live arena. My favourite Prince music video is the taped performance of '4 the Tears in Your Eyes', which is just beautiful.

For an artist of his popurality his videos are, for the most part, pretty poor. But I kind of like that. It often suggests a punkish, I don't give a fuck, it's about the music, sort of attitude. Or at least it did in the 80s, with videos for songs such as Raspberry Beret and Alphabet Street. There's something coy and fun about them. It goes hand in hand with what Duane writes in the Purple Era studio sessions book about Prince messing with all the dials and deliberately not having clean mixes because he didn't want his music to sound like 'all those fucking LA records' (paraphrasing).

In the 90s, however, that excuse doesn't really work. With the videos for songs like Thieves in the Temple, The Holy River, and Betcha by Golly Wow, it's obvious that he really does give a fuck. There's no winking into the camera, he's totally sincere, and the videos are just really, really bad.

Hundalasiliah!
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Reply #29 posted 04/03/18 11:13pm

214

bonatoc said:

feeluupp said:

PAISLEY PARK

DINNER WITH DELORES

THE HOLY RIVER

THE DAISY CHAIN

U MAKE MY SUNSHINE

CHOCOLATE BOX

... are some of the most cringeworthy corny videos I've ever seen from a musical genius... lol


What can I say, I agree.
But "Kiss" stands, I think a good dozen are great.
"Automatic" certainly is, and what about the Purple Rain tour videos?
A live video was still the official clip.

But yeah, what about
THE ONE SONG

if we go that way?
Yeech.

Kiss is wonderful as it is, does not need anything else. Automatic is great as well.

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