independent and unofficial
Prince fan community site
Mon 20th May 2019 8:16pm
Welcome! Sign up or enter username and password to remember me
Forum jump
Forums > Prince: Music and More > Is it safe to say a lot of Prince's 80s music had a distinct 70s sound?
« Previous topic  Next topic »
Page 1 of 3 123>
Reply   New topic   Printable     (Log in to 'subscribe' to this topic)
Author

Tweet     Share

Message
Thread started 05/11/19 1:02am

SoftSkarlettLo
visa

Is it safe to say a lot of Prince's 80s music had a distinct 70s sound?

Of course, a lot of his 80s songs were rock-orientated by featuring an electric guitar and heavy drums (the instrumental in "Computer Blue").

I thought back to when Prince said he pays respect to artists like The Beatles, Eric Clapton and ZZ Top. Would make sense that he was very influenced by 70s rock that he would continue on its' sound into the heavy-synth 80s.

Infact, he would blend 70s sounds and 80s together. This is most noticed in his Purple Rain and Around The World In A Day albums.

70s influences can be heard in Prince's 80s work as late as 1989 (Batman album).

What do you think?

 Reply w/quote - E-mail - orgNote - Report post to moderator
Reply #1 posted 05/11/19 2:08am

airth

avatar

As he lived through the 70s during his formative years, it would make sense that his music was somewhat influenced by the period. But I wouldn't say his 80s music had a "distinct" 70s sound. Most of his 80s work sits outside of time for me - it was uniquely "Prince" to my ears.

I certainly disagree that "a lot of his 80s songs were rock-orientated by featuring an electric guitar and heavy drums". That seems like an oversimplification. His output was far more varied and nuanced than that. For me, any overt 70s sound fell away with the release of Dirty Mind in 1980.


 Reply w/quote - E-mail - orgNote - Report post to moderator
Reply #2 posted 05/11/19 6:11am

PURPLEIZED3121

100% yes, he loved the warmth of analogue sounds, real instruments etc. Likewsie note that ALL his bands looked razor sharp on stage in the great traditions of black music groups from the 60's & 70's.

 Reply w/quote - E-mail - orgNote - Report post to moderator
Reply #3 posted 05/11/19 7:14am

databank

avatar

airth said:

As he lived through the 70s during his formative years, it would make sense that his music was somewhat influenced by the period. But I wouldn't say his 80s music had a "distinct" 70s sound. Most of his 80s work sits outside of time for me - it was uniquely "Prince" to my ears.

I certainly disagree that "a lot of his 80s songs were rock-orientated by featuring an electric guitar and heavy drums". That seems like an oversimplification. His output was far more varied and nuanced than that. For me, any overt 70s sound fell away with the release of Dirty Mind in 1980.


Agreed.

Certainly Prince's electronic sound sounded much less robotic than many other things of the sort in the 80's particularly electrofunk. Even on the stuff that relied heavily on the linn drum, Prince managed to maintain a somewhat organic, spontaneous atmosphere if only by playing lots of things live in the studio and adding little touches of all sort of things here and there. Maybe that's why the OP has that 70's feeling? But besides ATWIAD and some retro ballads like Slow Love, most of P's 80's stuff was a s 80's as you can get, and even more since so many 80's artists were influenced by Prince's early 80's works.

A COMPREHENSIVE PRINCE DISCOGRAPHY (work in progress ^^): https://sites.google.com/...iscog/home
 Reply w/quote - E-mail - orgNote - Report post to moderator
Reply #4 posted 05/11/19 7:25am

stillwaiting

Well, yes. But if you think about it, even though styles can change, music is music. At least from 1955-2000 or so. Sometime after 2000, the young people who could not possible deal with being unique or different, slowly took things to where they had to follow basic rules.

Rule 1: I can't possibly sing with my voice. Gonna use Auto Tune to sound like everyone else, even

if I can sing, gotta sound like every other top ten hit.

2: I can't possibly have a hit on my own, I need to collaborate with a ton of people:

Lil John featuring Lil Wayne, Lil Ice Pick, Lil Kim, Lil No Name Just need a Lil in there

3. I need fans only under 30, no possible way I want to be awful like Michael Jackson who people of all ages could relate to.

But back on topic, the day 1980 hit, nothing changed drastically. Slowly funk and disco went to the background, Prince still had some 70's in him, but so did Elton John, Stevie Wonder, Kook & The Gang, even the Police had echos of 70's styles. What Prince did so well, was use bits and bites of old styles while creating new sounds at the same time. Almost like a new house designed with bits of Victorian style and New Age designs. He was the master at that. Of course, New Power Soul showed in a bit of a rut trying to hard to party like it was 1979...but some cool tracks there.

Kook & The Gang? oh well, maybe I can't type no mo.

"If U ever lose some1 dear 2 U, Never say the words they're gone....They'll come back."
 Reply w/quote - E-mail - orgNote - Report post to moderator
Reply #5 posted 05/12/19 1:41pm

steakfinger

Someone said real instruments, but the 80s for Prince more than any decade were ruled by drum machines and synths. Man of his basslines were doubled by synth bass to fatten up the sound. Compositionally there were things influenced by the 70s, but let's leave instruments out because that would be neither safe nor accurate to say.

 Reply w/quote - E-mail - orgNote - Report post to moderator
Reply #6 posted 05/14/19 9:59am

rdhull

avatar

The title/question of this is the antithesis of his whole get down in the 80's lol.

lol it aint the estates fault you all devoured bootlegs and heard everything
 Reply w/quote - E-mail - orgNote - Report post to moderator
Reply #7 posted 05/14/19 10:04am

Genesia

avatar

You weren't alive in the 70s, were you?

We don’t mourn artists because we knew them. We mourn them because they helped us know ourselves.
 Reply w/quote - E-mail - orgNote - Report post to moderator
Reply #8 posted 05/14/19 2:42pm

poppys

Just because decade deliniations are an industry thing doesn't mean we all stopped and changed over to something new on the stroke of midnight of any decade. For instance, a lot of the 60s stuff really happened in the 70s for the mainstream, when it was more acceptable to be a dirty hippie for example. And people weren't getting the shit beat out of them for wearing long hair and afros.

The counterculture was anti-establishment and therefore anti-money in many ways. The worship of money and those who have it was not firmly in place the way it is now. The money industry did not exploit the '60s music counterculture until later which is how we got the decade breaks in the first place, to make any music that gets created neat, tidy and sellable in a titled package. Can you imagine a band like the Rolling Stones hiring the Hell's Angels for concert security in today's world?

[Edited 5/15/19 10:30am]

 Reply w/quote - E-mail - orgNote - Report post to moderator
Reply #9 posted 05/15/19 5:04am

MotownSubdivis
ion

avatar

There was nothing "distinctly" 70's about any of P's music from the 80's.
 Reply w/quote - E-mail - orgNote - Report post to moderator
Reply #10 posted 05/15/19 5:27am

OldFriends4Sal
e

avatar

moderator

steakfinger said:

Someone said real instruments, but the 80s for Prince more than any decade were ruled by drum machines and synths. Man of his basslines were doubled by synth bass to fatten up the sound. Compositionally there were things influenced by the 70s, but let's leave instruments out because that would be neither safe nor accurate to say.

Yes, but real instruments were still used on a large percentage of the music, especially 1983 onward

#IDEFINEME #ALBUMSSTILLMATTER

A Liar Shall Not Tarry In My Presence

What's the matter with your life
Is poverty bringing U down?
Is the mailman jerking U 'round?
Did he put your million dollar check
In someone else's box?
Tell me, what's the m
 Reply w/quote - E-mail - orgNote - Report post to moderator
Reply #11 posted 05/15/19 5:27am

OldFriends4Sal
e

avatar

moderator

SoftSkarlettLovisa said:

Of course, a lot of his 80s songs were rock-orientated by featuring an electric guitar and heavy drums (the instrumental in "Computer Blue").

I thought back to when Prince said he pays respect to artists like The Beatles, Eric Clapton and ZZ Top. Would make sense that he was very influenced by 70s rock that he would continue on its' sound into the heavy-synth 80s.

Infact, he would blend 70s sounds and 80s together. This is most noticed in his Purple Rain and Around The World In A Day albums.

70s influences can be heard in Prince's 80s work as late as 1989 (Batman album).

What do you think?

Do you have examples of songs that sound 70ish?

#IDEFINEME #ALBUMSSTILLMATTER

A Liar Shall Not Tarry In My Presence

What's the matter with your life
Is poverty bringing U down?
Is the mailman jerking U 'round?
Did he put your million dollar check
In someone else's box?
Tell me, what's the m
 Reply w/quote - E-mail - orgNote - Report post to moderator
Reply #12 posted 05/15/19 7:21am

lurker316

OldFriends4Sale said:

steakfinger said:

Someone said real instruments, but the 80s for Prince more than any decade were ruled by drum machines and synths. Man of his basslines were doubled by synth bass to fatten up the sound. Compositionally there were things influenced by the 70s, but let's leave instruments out because that would be neither safe nor accurate to say.

Yes, but real instruments were still used on a large percentage of the music, especially 1983 onward

.

All of his albums through Graffiit Bridge relied heavily (though maybe not exclusively) on drum machines, right?

.

Diamonds and Pearls is when he really started integrating live drums. But through out the remainder of his career he'd still go back to drum machines for some of his albums (Emancipation, Rave, Musicology, MPLSound, AoA, HNR Phase I).

.

As for using real horns instead of synths, I think that stared in earnest with Lovesexy. There were some examples prior to Lovesexy (Girls and Boys, Slow Love, It's Gonna Be a Beautiful Night), but Lovesexy is the first album with real horns use consistently throughout. (I hate the fake horns in the extended version of Kiss.)

.

 Reply w/quote - E-mail - orgNote - Report post to moderator
Reply #13 posted 05/15/19 7:52am

OldFriends4Sal
e

avatar

moderator

lurker316 said:

OldFriends4Sale said:

Yes, but real instruments were still used on a large percentage of the music, especially 1983 onward

.

All of his albums through Graffiit Bridge relied heavily (though maybe not exclusively) on drum machines, right?

.

Diamonds and Pearls is when he really started integrating live drums. But through out the remainder of his career he'd still go back to drum machines for some of his albums (Emancipation, Rave, Musicology, MPLSound, AoA, HNR Phase I).

.

As for using real horns instead of synths, I think that stared in earnest with Lovesexy. There were some examples prior to Lovesexy (Girls and Boys, Slow Love, It's Gonna Be a Beautiful Night), but Lovesexy is the first album with real horns use consistently throughout. (I hate the fake horns in the extended version of Kiss.)

.

I don't think so. I believe Bobby Z said it was during the Controvery era that electric drums and linn became prominent. And was heavily used for 1999. But after that electric and organic drums started picking up again. Parade was a very organically instrumental album and it was actually the 1985-1986 period that started using real horns almost exclusively. The early 80s minneapolis

sound was only integrated slightely in his 1985-1987 music.

Yes his sound totally changed and he started integrating the live drums more in the 90s. But it was used heavily in the 1983-1988 period. I love the mix.

Prince used Clare Fischer heavily in 1985-1986 albums ie the Family/Parade music and that include used of wind instruments. Those two albums heavily and using Eddie M Eric Leeds and Atalanta Bliss.

Was he actually going for a 'horns' on Kiss, or just synth-keyboard?

#IDEFINEME #ALBUMSSTILLMATTER

A Liar Shall Not Tarry In My Presence

What's the matter with your life
Is poverty bringing U down?
Is the mailman jerking U 'round?
Did he put your million dollar check
In someone else's box?
Tell me, what's the m
 Reply w/quote - E-mail - orgNote - Report post to moderator
Reply #14 posted 05/15/19 7:55am

OldFriends4Sal
e

avatar

moderator

I think Prince has always had a 50s rockabilly vibe to his music,

#IDEFINEME #ALBUMSSTILLMATTER

A Liar Shall Not Tarry In My Presence

What's the matter with your life
Is poverty bringing U down?
Is the mailman jerking U 'round?
Did he put your million dollar check
In someone else's box?
Tell me, what's the m
 Reply w/quote - E-mail - orgNote - Report post to moderator
Reply #15 posted 05/15/19 9:10am

violetcrush

In my opinion, Prince’s first two albums in 78-80, which were very much rooted in the R&B/funk genre, sound very different than Dirty Mind, Controversy, and forward. His music in the 80’s contained elements of punk, rock, jazz and funk, but he created his own sound. I don’t think songs like, for example, Little Red Corvette and 1999, sound anything like 70’s rock or disco. His sound was completely different by then which is why it had such mass appeal. His mix of the synths, drum machine, funky bass, and electric guitar was very new at that time. Then he expanded it with the live horns and Clare Fischer’s orchestra.
 Reply w/quote - E-mail - orgNote - Report post to moderator
Reply #16 posted 05/15/19 10:42am

emesem

No. You are either too young to remember or time has mushed the 70s and 80s in your mind. While sonically I feel music has been somewhat stuck in rut since at least the early 2000's (if not late 90s), there are significant diferences in musical styles between the 70s and 80s compounded by dramatic changes in the technology used to make music. Just within the 80s are there's almost 2 decades of difference between 89 and 81 and they are a long way from 70s easy listening or disco or even classic rock.

This not only showed itself in Prince's music, he played a huge part in pushing the entire industry with him.

 Reply w/quote - E-mail - orgNote - Report post to moderator
Reply #17 posted 05/15/19 10:45am

OldFriends4Sal
e

avatar

moderator

violetcrush said:

In my opinion, Prince’s first two albums in 78-80, which were very much rooted in the R&B/funk genre, sound very different than Dirty Mind, Controversy, and forward. His music in the 80’s contained elements of punk, rock, jazz and funk, but he created his own sound. I don’t think songs like, for example, Little Red Corvette and 1999, sound anything like 70’s rock or disco. His sound was completely different by then which is why it had such mass appeal. His mix of the synths, drum machine, funky bass, and electric guitar was very new at that time. Then he expanded it with the live horns and Clare Fischer’s orchestra.

actually very R&B/Folk/Disco with a touch of rock

#IDEFINEME #ALBUMSSTILLMATTER

A Liar Shall Not Tarry In My Presence

What's the matter with your life
Is poverty bringing U down?
Is the mailman jerking U 'round?
Did he put your million dollar check
In someone else's box?
Tell me, what's the m
 Reply w/quote - E-mail - orgNote - Report post to moderator
Reply #18 posted 05/15/19 11:58am

violetcrush

OldFriends4Sale said:



violetcrush said:


In my opinion, Prince’s first two albums in 78-80, which were very much rooted in the R&B/funk genre, sound very different than Dirty Mind, Controversy, and forward. His music in the 80’s contained elements of punk, rock, jazz and funk, but he created his own sound. I don’t think songs like, for example, Little Red Corvette and 1999, sound anything like 70’s rock or disco. His sound was completely different by then which is why it had such mass appeal. His mix of the synths, drum machine, funky bass, and electric guitar was very new at that time. Then he expanded it with the live horns and Clare Fischer’s orchestra.


actually very R&B/Folk/Disco with a touch of rock


Folk and rock on his first two records, or later records? I Wanna Be Your Lover was definitely his nod to disco, and Why You Wanna Treat Me So Bad seems to be the start of his “synth” sound. He was definitely ready to branch out after the second album.
 Reply w/quote - E-mail - orgNote - Report post to moderator
Reply #19 posted 05/15/19 12:04pm

OldFriends4Sal
e

avatar

moderator

violetcrush said:

OldFriends4Sale said:

actually very R&B/Folk/Disco with a touch of rock

Folk and rock on his first two records, or later records? I Wanna Be Your Lover was definitely his nod to disco, and Why You Wanna Treat Me So Bad seems to be the start of his “synth” sound. He was definitely ready to branch out after the second album.

Yes, his brand of folk was throught his albums beginning to end

He was thinking Joni on his first album too

A mix of disco and RnB for sure:

I'm Yours (rock) he brought up just a few years later when the shows started having a heavier rock edge, "I told you on the first album where I was going" something like that

The first album was definately a mellower album

#IDEFINEME #ALBUMSSTILLMATTER

A Liar Shall Not Tarry In My Presence

What's the matter with your life
Is poverty bringing U down?
Is the mailman jerking U 'round?
Did he put your million dollar check
In someone else's box?
Tell me, what's the m
 Reply w/quote - E-mail - orgNote - Report post to moderator
Reply #20 posted 05/15/19 12:06pm

rdhull

avatar

OldFriends4Sale said:

violetcrush said:

OldFriends4Sale said: Folk and rock on his first two records, or later records? I Wanna Be Your Lover was definitely his nod to disco, and Why You Wanna Treat Me So Bad seems to be the start of his “synth” sound. He was definitely ready to branch out after the second album.

Yes, his brand of folk was throught his albums beginning to end

He was thinking Joni on his first album too

For You album is damn near a Joni tribute.

lol it aint the estates fault you all devoured bootlegs and heard everything
 Reply w/quote - E-mail - orgNote - Report post to moderator
Reply #21 posted 05/15/19 12:16pm

OldFriends4Sal
e

avatar

moderator

rdhull said:

OldFriends4Sale said:

Yes, his brand of folk was throught his albums beginning to end

He was thinking Joni on his first album too

For You album is damn near a Joni tribute.

Yes! Those 'pieces' the weaving of a story, the quiet etc
I could have sworn he thanked Joni on the first one but it was Dirty Mind lol

"Special thanks to God, Jamie and Steve, Fink, Bobby Z., Andre, Dez, Lisa, Gayle, Russ Thyret, Mo Ostin, Tom Draper, Cortez T. and the "baddest promotion staff around"; Fred Moultrie, Lee Phillips, Bob and Joe, Cynthia Horner, Kim, Nick, Debbie Dominico, Rob Marcher, Fred Lapin, Dave, Chip, Paul and Steve M., Mena, Joni and U."

#IDEFINEME #ALBUMSSTILLMATTER

A Liar Shall Not Tarry In My Presence

What's the matter with your life
Is poverty bringing U down?
Is the mailman jerking U 'round?
Did he put your million dollar check
In someone else's box?
Tell me, what's the m
 Reply w/quote - E-mail - orgNote - Report post to moderator
Reply #22 posted 05/15/19 12:19pm

violetcrush

OldFriends4Sale said:



violetcrush said:


OldFriends4Sale said:



actually very R&B/Folk/Disco with a touch of rock



Folk and rock on his first two records, or later records? I Wanna Be Your Lover was definitely his nod to disco, and Why You Wanna Treat Me So Bad seems to be the start of his “synth” sound. He was definitely ready to branch out after the second album.


Yes, his brand of folk was throught his albums beginning to end



He was thinking Joni on his first album too



I'm Yours (rock) he brought up just a few years later when the shows started having a heavier rock edge, "I told you on the first album where I was going" something like that



The first album was definately a mellower album


I never got a “folk” vibe from his songs. I know he always loved Joni and covered A Case of You many times, but his sound to me is mainly funk, rock, pop and later jazz.
*
Give me some songs with the folk sound so I can listen again smile
 Reply w/quote - E-mail - orgNote - Report post to moderator
Reply #23 posted 05/15/19 12:20pm

rdhull

avatar

violetcrush said:

OldFriends4Sale said:

Yes, his brand of folk was throught his albums beginning to end

He was thinking Joni on his first album too

I'm Yours (rock) he brought up just a few years later when the shows started having a heavier rock edge, "I told you on the first album where I was going" something like that

The first album was definately a mellower album

I never got a “folk” vibe from his songs.

You probably wouldn't.

lol it aint the estates fault you all devoured bootlegs and heard everything
 Reply w/quote - E-mail - orgNote - Report post to moderator
Reply #24 posted 05/15/19 12:30pm

violetcrush

rdhull said:



violetcrush said:


OldFriends4Sale said:



Yes, his brand of folk was throught his albums beginning to end



He was thinking Joni on his first album too



I'm Yours (rock) he brought up just a few years later when the shows started having a heavier rock edge, "I told you on the first album where I was going" something like that



The first album was definately a mellower album



I never got a “folk” vibe from his songs.

You probably wouldn't.


Uhhh, okay confused neutral
 Reply w/quote - E-mail - orgNote - Report post to moderator
Reply #25 posted 05/15/19 12:33pm

OldFriends4Sal
e

avatar

moderator

violetcrush said:

OldFriends4Sale said:

Yes, his brand of folk was throught his albums beginning to end

He was thinking Joni on his first album too

I'm Yours (rock) he brought up just a few years later when the shows started having a heavier rock edge, "I told you on the first album where I was going" something like that

The first album was definately a mellower album

I never got a “folk” vibe from his songs. I know he always loved Joni and covered A Case of You many times, but his sound to me is mainly funk, rock, pop and later jazz. * Give me some songs with the folk sound so I can listen again smile

Crazy You

Baby

Blue

those 3 sound like they came right off of a 1970s Joni album

and of course she wasn't straight folk either

Listen to Down To You, by Joni, it sounds like the Parade album

Prince did a natural job of mixing genre, some of my favorite songs throught his career give me the folk underneath R&B Funk or Rock, or the folkish ballads.

#IDEFINEME #ALBUMSSTILLMATTER

A Liar Shall Not Tarry In My Presence

What's the matter with your life
Is poverty bringing U down?
Is the mailman jerking U 'round?
Did he put your million dollar check
In someone else's box?
Tell me, what's the m
 Reply w/quote - E-mail - orgNote - Report post to moderator
Reply #26 posted 05/15/19 4:08pm

EnDoRpHn

SNIP -(flame bait/off topic etc all of that) -Of4$

 Reply w/quote - E-mail - orgNote - Report post to moderator
Reply #27 posted 05/15/19 5:40pm

violetcrush

OldFriends4Sale said:



violetcrush said:


OldFriends4Sale said:



Yes, his brand of folk was throught his albums beginning to end



He was thinking Joni on his first album too



I'm Yours (rock) he brought up just a few years later when the shows started having a heavier rock edge, "I told you on the first album where I was going" something like that



The first album was definately a mellower album



I never got a “folk” vibe from his songs. I know he always loved Joni and covered A Case of You many times, but his sound to me is mainly funk, rock, pop and later jazz. * Give me some songs with the folk sound so I can listen again smile



Crazy You


Baby


Blue



those 3 sound like they came right off of a 1970s Joni album


and of course she wasn't straight folk either


Listen to Down To You, by Joni, it sounds like the Parade album



Prince did a natural job of mixing genre, some of my favorite songs throught his career give me the folk underneath R&B Funk or Rock, or the folkish ballads.




Crazy You - I guess the guitar strumming connects with the Joni sound, but I still hear mainly R&B style with the lyric and falsetto.
*
Baby - I hear only an R&B ballad with this one.
*
So Blue - again it has the “singer-songwriter” guitar strumming mixed in, but the lyric and falsetto is more R&B to me.
*
I see Joni’s influence - in terms of deeper/clever lyrics and instrumental in songs like Condition of the Heart and Sometimes It Snows In April. I think that period is where he was channeling Joni the most.
 Reply w/quote - E-mail - orgNote - Report post to moderator
Reply #28 posted 05/15/19 6:01pm

leecaldon

rdhull said:

The title/question of this is the antithesis of his whole get down in the 80's lol.

This.

 Reply w/quote - E-mail - orgNote - Report post to moderator
Reply #29 posted 05/16/19 1:27pm

violetcrush

leecaldon said:



rdhull said:


The title/question of this is the antithesis of his whole get down in the 80's lol.




This.


Right. He created a whole new vibe/sound with his 80’s music.
 Reply w/quote - E-mail - orgNote - Report post to moderator
Page 1 of 3 123>
Reply   New topic   Printable     (Log in to 'subscribe' to this topic)
« Previous topic  Next topic »
Forums > Prince: Music and More > Is it safe to say a lot of Prince's 80s music had a distinct 70s sound?