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Thread started 08/18/18 4:18pm

Tokyo

Album review: 1995 - 2010 Anthology

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Reply #1 posted 08/18/18 4:30pm

Strive

Not an album review. It barely touches on Anthology 👎
no yesterday or tomorrow, no better remedy for sorrow
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Reply #2 posted 08/18/18 5:20pm

TrivialPursuit

And there is a sticky.

This experience will cover courtship, sex, commitment, fetishes, loneliness, vindication, love, and hate.
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Reply #3 posted 08/19/18 6:54pm

thisisreece

Not much of a review, but it's nice to see props given to The Rainbow Children and Lotusflower. Does albums deserve it!

Hundalasiliah!
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Reply #4 posted 08/20/18 1:58am

databank

avatar

I'm glad they agree that the compilation is a mess. On the other hand this whole rerelease campaign may begin help shedding Prince's later period under a new light. I've been saying it for years and, mark my words, it's going to happen: Prince's post-WB years will be rediscovered over time, and public perception of their quality and importance is going to change. They will never be the classic years, but there's so much quality music there to be rediscovered nod

A COMPREHENSIVE PRINCE DISCOGRAPHY (work in progress ^^): https://sites.google.com/...iscog/home
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Reply #5 posted 08/20/18 6:08am

Silvertongue7

databank said:

I'm glad they agree that the compilation is a mess. On the other hand this whole rerelease campaign may begin help shedding Prince's later period under a new light. I've been saying it for years and, mark my words, it's going to happen: Prince's post-WB years will be rediscovered over time, and public perception of their quality and importance is going to change. They will never be the classic years, but there's so much quality music there to be rediscovered nod


I agree 100%.
If after 93 prince had continued releasing one album every one-two years instead of flooding the market the way he did we’d be talking about classic albums in the 90s and after too. Imagine what an album with the best of Come, TGE and Exodus would sound like... Do the same with every two year period, up to Phase 2 (merge the best of HTNP1 with the best of AOA and you get an amazing album, and if you do the same with Plectrum and HNRP2 it’s the same...). He just needed an editor and someone to tell him don’t release this. But damn, he made good music!
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Reply #6 posted 08/20/18 11:39am

databank

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Silvertongue7 said:

databank said:

I'm glad they agree that the compilation is a mess. On the other hand this whole rerelease campaign may begin help shedding Prince's later period under a new light. I've been saying it for years and, mark my words, it's going to happen: Prince's post-WB years will be rediscovered over time, and public perception of their quality and importance is going to change. They will never be the classic years, but there's so much quality music there to be rediscovered nod

I agree 100%. If after 93 prince had continued releasing one album every one-two years instead of flooding the market the way he did we’d be talking about classic albums in the 90s and after too. Imagine what an album with the best of Come, TGE and Exodus would sound like... Do the same with every two year period, up to Phase 2 (merge the best of HTNP1 with the best of AOA and you get an amazing album, and if you do the same with Plectrum and HNRP2 it’s the same...). He just needed an editor and someone to tell him don’t release this. But damn, he made good music!

He didn't flood the market any more than in the 80's, he kept releasing an average of an album a year, really. He actually released even a little less music if you consider there weren't many side projects anymore.

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I totally disagree with the need of an editor. I believe artists are to make their own choices and should only seek counsel if they feel they need it, which Prince obviously didn't. Besides, your "best songs out of 2 or three albums" aren't mine, or any other fan's, as many "make one CD out of Emancipation" and similar threads have proven in the past. It doesn't work like that.

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The problem was never a problem of quantity, let alone quality. The problem is very simply explained by 2 factors:

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The first is that all artists know a critical/hype peak and, after that, each new record is a hit or miss with both their fanbase and professional critics. There isn't a single musical artist who lived old enough to have a long career that hasn't faced this problem, not one, except maybe in the fields of contemporary and experimental music, where audiences and critics value artistic growth over instant gratification.

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The second is that Prince was in a very specific position in the sense that he had known a nearly unprecedented critical acclaim in the first decade years of his career, he had literally mesmerized both critics and fans. That made the above point even more of a problem for him. No matter what he would have done after his 1980-88 run, no matter what, he would never have managed to beat his past self in the eyes of the audience, as he himself said in a 1996 song. Prince's music would never be compared to whatever else was being released at the time, it was systematically put to the "PR/SOTT test", with most reviews literally countaining sentences such as "this isn't PR but it's good" or "his best record since SOTT". This is, of course, the worst way to evaluate an artist's work. It's ignoring the artist's path by putting his work in a situation where each record would be the direct sequel to SOTT, as opposed to the sequel of the record that came before it. By doing so, one cannot but misunderstand the artist's growth.

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Part of an explaination for all this is that... people grow old. Most fans and most critics were people who were themselves teenagers or in their 20's when his classic period took place, and as such they were at the same time more easily impressed and at an age when the music would literally shape their personality and resonate with the extreme emotions they were experiencing. Then they got old and bored and bitter and they blamed Prince for not making them feel excited as when they were 20, except Prince wasn't 20 anymore either and he was addressing a grown audience, not the teenagers neither he nor his audience wasn't anymore. A very interesting thing I experienced in the late 90's and the whole 2000's decade was that when I had people at home who weren't Prince fans and who only vaguely knew his hits, if I'd play them whatever was Prince's last record at the time, they would usually love it, and be surprised that Prince would still be doing cool music like that. At the same time, fans were bitching on the Org about the same records not being SOTT.

.

Another explaination is... people are afraid to go against the hype. I've read statements by people who wrote things such as "I really used to love the Star Wars prequels, but I've heard and read so many bad things about them that I don't like them so much anymore". What sense does it make? The SW prequels are only as bad as people say they were, hell, you have people who haven't even watched them that will mention how bad they are to sound smart in articles! In the mid to late 90's, many critics felt obliged to bash Prince because it was fashionable. It was cool, even: "Ha ha it's so cool how you killed Prince in your review bro!" 'Yeah, well, I hardly listened to the record at all but yeah, it was fun to write that piece!". Then, after TRC, it slowly became socially acceptable again to give his records good reviews again.

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Now if Emancipation had been released, as such, by D'Angelo or Maxwell, it would have been deemed a masterpiece, the best R&B record of the decade. Most post-WB albums would have been well received. Only they were released by Prince, an artist past his prime, not some new hot cat. Prince was cornered, really, there wasn't a thing he could have done. On the other hand, to be fair, contemporary reviews weren't all that bad, and the average audience's reaction wasn't either. It became something very much inside the community to be so critical. We established our own myth of Prince's post-WB music to be weak when, it fact, it was not. On a similar note, someone once realized that if you'd take only contemporary reviews, the SW prequels had better reviews than the OT. But then the internet changed this and people were led to believe that the prequels were universally hated from the beginning. Mostly, the new generation of viewes, who hadn't grown up with the OT, loved them, critics liked them alright and a minority of very vocal old, bitter fans of the OT made the whole world believe they were hated. I make the parallel because Lucas was in an impossible place comparable to Prince's: when you've made something that had such a huge impact of people as the original SW trilogy, no matter what you'll do next, you'll be doomed to hit a wall.

.

The problem here wasn't the music (or, in the case of SW, the movies) as much as the audience.

[Edited 8/20/18 12:15pm]

A COMPREHENSIVE PRINCE DISCOGRAPHY (work in progress ^^): https://sites.google.com/...iscog/home
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Reply #7 posted 08/20/18 12:19pm

alandail

Music is the only field I can think of, entertainment or otherwise, where longevity and versatility get spun into negatives.

Imagine movie theaters not playing the latest Spielberg movie because, hey, he had his day with Jaws. Or people not watching Schindler’s List because it’s too different from Raiders.

That’s what happened with Prince. Anthology shows just how strong his post hits music was. And the thing about Anthology didnt have to be these specific tracks. You could replace many, most or even all of them with other tracks and still have a very strong album.
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Reply #8 posted 08/20/18 12:20pm

alandail

Silvertongue7 said:

databank said:

I'm glad they agree that the compilation is a mess. On the other hand this whole rerelease campaign may begin help shedding Prince's later period under a new light. I've been saying it for years and, mark my words, it's going to happen: Prince's post-WB years will be rediscovered over time, and public perception of their quality and importance is going to change. They will never be the classic years, but there's so much quality music there to be rediscovered nod


I agree 100%.
If after 93 prince had continued releasing one album every one-two years instead of flooding the market the way he did we’d be talking about classic albums in the 90s and after too. Imagine what an album with the best of Come, TGE and Exodus would sound like... Do the same with every two year period, up to Phase 2 (merge the best of HTNP1 with the best of AOA and you get an amazing album, and if you do the same with Plectrum and HNRP2 it’s the same...). He just needed an editor and someone to tell him don’t release this. But damn, he made good music!


I disagree. As soon as you cut two albums down to 1, the songs you take out to do that will be someone else’s favorite songs from those two albums.
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Reply #9 posted 08/20/18 12:23pm

NorthC

Hmmmm... You say a lot of sensible things, data, but still... Prince himself has to share part of the blame. Anyone who holds back or gives away stunning songs like Open Book or Love Thy Will Be Done and releases something like Jughead instead is someone who is more interested in catching up with hiphop just to have a hit album than someone who wants to be known as a great songwriter. That's something you overlooked in your post: times change, a new audience grows up and the older artist realizes he's... well, getting old and tries to keep up with the times. That's one big reason why Diamonds & Pearls was not as impressive as his previous albums. Lots of acts from the 60s/70s experienced a low period in the 80s. Prince did in the 90s and I think that's one reason why he made such a big deal of the "slave" thing: so that he didn't have to admit that it wasn't WB's fault that his records didn't sell, he was just losing the general audience who were looking for the next big thing at the expense of an artist who had been around for more than a decade. Only when those older acts give up trying to be hip and go back to doing what they're good at, they'll make good music again. I like a lot of Prince's 2000s work (except when he tries to go back to the sound of the 80s like on MPLSound.) And of course, after so many years of making music (and so much music!) it will sound predictable every once in a while. Satisfied is a good ballad, but it doesn't excite me like Do Me, Baby, because we've heard it all before.
I may disagree with everything you say, but I will defend your right to say it.
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Reply #10 posted 08/20/18 12:23pm

alandail

Is this the official thread for the album now? I’ve been listening to it and think it’ll make a great introduction to the albums from that period. Why does it stop at 2010 though?
[Edited 8/20/18 12:24pm]
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Reply #11 posted 08/20/18 1:10pm

databank

avatar

NorthC said:

Hmmmm... You say a lot of sensible things, data, but still... Prince himself has to share part of the blame. Anyone who holds back or gives away stunning songs like Open Book or Love Thy Will Be Done and releases something like Jughead instead is someone who is more interested in catching up with hiphop just to have a hit album than someone who wants to be known as a great songwriter. That's something you overlooked in your post: times change, a new audience grows up and the older artist realizes he's... well, getting old and tries to keep up with the times. That's one big reason why Diamonds & Pearls was not as impressive as his previous albums. Lots of acts from the 60s/70s experienced a low period in the 80s. Prince did in the 90s and I think that's one reason why he made such a big deal of the "slave" thing: so that he didn't have to admit that it wasn't WB's fault that his records didn't sell, he was just losing the general audience who were looking for the next big thing at the expense of an artist who had been around for more than a decade. Only when those older acts give up trying to be hip and go back to doing what they're good at, they'll make good music again. I like a lot of Prince's 2000s work (except when he tries to go back to the sound of the 80s like on MPLSound.) And of course, after so many years of making music (and so much music!) it will sound predictable every once in a while. Satisfied is a good ballad, but it doesn't excite me like Do Me, Baby, because we've heard it all before.

There is some truth in what you say about artists sometimes missing the train of novelty. All those great 70's bands going electronic in the 80's, some to great results, many to sound like lame Prince wannabies... Hell, even Joni Mitchell of all people did release a few records full of synthesizers and drum machines in the 80's lol

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This being said Jughead happened to be on one of Prince's biggest selling record of all times, so it certainly didn't harm Prince's success, and honestly Jughead is typically one example of an anecdotic thing having been turned into something huge by the fans, because outside of the Org no one's ever really cared about that song: it didn't shock anyone but the most hardcore fans.

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Also, let us not forget that Prince didn't blame WB because his records didn't sell, he blamed them because TWO records didn't sell. One was prince and, by the way, it did sell, considerably well for a record that was so ambitious and hard to grasp. Only it didn't sell 5M, which was the figure Prince needed to reach to get the maximum advance allowed by his contract. The blame was Prince's but I don't think it was a matter of new audiences at this stage: that record was too arty-farty, to complicated for the masses, and the poor choice of lead singles certainly didn't help. Then there was Carmen Electra, and that's another matter entirely, the project was doomed to fail for so many reasons... it never made sense in the first place... and yeah, there Prince was definitely, shamefully selling out. This project (Carmen) did more harm to his reputation than anything else he ever did, even though most people weren't even aware of its existence. After that Prince didn't blame WB for sales: he didn't even seem to care about his WB records sales up until he got free of the label. Releasing Come was commercial suicide, he knew it and yet he did it. TGE could have sold but it was released too late and neither WB nor Prince didn't really care anymore at this stage.

.

Regardless, you are correct in that it's likely that Prince incorporating hip-hop and modern R&B sounds in his music in the 90's wasn't very popular with critics. Then again like you say this "dark decade" is something most artists go through before experiencing some sort of a "renaissance". Ask Bowie or Clinton lol There are very few 80's stars who remained big after 1993 beyond MJ, Madonna and Janet: a new generation took over. I don't know what Prince could have done. If he'd kept sounding like the 80's he would have sounded outdated. If he'd gone to a more traditional, legacy songwriter sound like he did later he would have sounded old. And if he'd tried to sound contemporary like he did then he'd sound like selling out. On the other hand what does "doing what thjey're good at" mean? You say you dislike Mplsound or 20ten but wasn't it Prince doing exactly what he was being good at? I for one was totally thrilled that he'd revisit his classic sound. Prince was good at being Prince and, honestly, I don't think he ever ceased to be Prince. Whatever he did, he still sounded like Prince. Actually, the worst problem with Carmen Electra is that it sounds too much like Prince to be efficient as the kind of europop/comemrcial hip-hop crap it was trying to be. As such, it's too much trash to be good Prince music but too much Prince to be good trash music lol

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Now IDK, age could be a factor. I was born in 1976. I bought my first Prince record in 1989. I missed Prince's classic years, I have no nostalgia of what it was to be a fan in 1982-1987 because I wasn't: I was a child. And more importantly maybe, as much as I love the 80's, they're not my decade, they're my childhood's decade. My decade, my generation's coming of age decade was the 90's. As such, I was more than cool with Prince embracing some of that decade's esthetics. I didn't mind a bit of hip-hop here, a bit of R&B there, some grunge with I Like It There or some techno with The Human Body, it felt very organic to me to find those sounds in P's music, as long as it remained P's music (and it did), because I was listening to all those other things that were going on in the 90's. It took me more effort, for example, to accept 2010's sounds in his music with AOA and HnR1. I took the step, I was cool with it in the end, but it didn't feel organic to me at all because I'm not listening to today's commercial music. Maybe that's what older fans experienced in the 90's, I could relate to that.

A COMPREHENSIVE PRINCE DISCOGRAPHY (work in progress ^^): https://sites.google.com/...iscog/home
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Reply #12 posted 08/20/18 1:44pm

NorthC

Actually, I do like 20Ten, maybe songs about the vineyards of Lavaux just appeal to me more than songs about a box of chocolates even though I like both wine and chocolate! biggrin There really is no logic when you're judging music, but that's the fun part! I think we mostly agree. sad
[Edited 8/20/18 13:45pm]
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Reply #13 posted 08/20/18 1:57pm

databank

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NorthC said:

Actually, I do like 20Ten, maybe songs about the vineyards of Lavaux just appeal to me more than songs about a box of chocolates even though I like both wine and chocolate! biggrin There really is no logic when you're judging music, but that's the fun part! I think we mostly agree. sad [Edited 8/20/18 13:45pm]

I love wine and chocolate too but I can't mix them because for some reason I can't eat anything sweet while drinking alcohol, I just don't like the mix neutral

It's interesting that you'd like 20ten but not Mplsound. I actually loved Mplsound and tripped less on 20ten (I still like it a lot though), precisely because (to me) the songwriting was much better on Mplsound, and it was funkier. Interesting to compare our perspectives I think biggrin

This being said, Lavaux is my jam: one of my favorite Prince songs of the last decade, I just couldn't stop listening to it back then!!! I just wish we could get this long version that "never ends" Prince had promised to put on 20ten Deluxe. If it exists and if it's really much longer than the album cut, it's one of the things in the vault I wanna hear the most.

A COMPREHENSIVE PRINCE DISCOGRAPHY (work in progress ^^): https://sites.google.com/...iscog/home
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