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Thread started 02/09/06 3:28pm

GustavoRibas

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Prince´s legacy

Hi folks

Most of us here are Prince fans, and we own most Prince albums, including bootlegs, outtakes, etc. So, we know what Prince is capable of. We know how great he is as a musician, songwriter, producer, multi-instrumentalist, etc.

But, at least here in my town, many people don´t even see him as a genius, legend, whatever. It´s pop star only for them. They talk about the genius of Paul Mc Cartney, Hendrix, Wonder, etc, but when I mention Prince, they open a smile like "hehe, Prince, the pop star? How can you put him in the same sentence of (fill the name of a great 60s/70s artist)". And Prince is guilty of it also. He invested so much in his own persona in the past that it made people not take him seriously as a musician/songwriter. Many people (non fans) still think it´s strange when Prince appears on the cover of Bass Player or Guitar World. It´s ironic because some of their heroes are Prince fans (Steve Vai, Marcus Miller, Wonder, Miles Davis, etc).

When I think of his great recent performances (ONA tour, Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, SNL 2006, NACCP) I am happy because he is less entertainer and more musician. He is showing the world, not only his fans, that he is great.

I think it´s time for Prince to get rid of the ´pop star shit´ and concentrate more on doing great music, more than ever before. Work on strong compositions, without too many gimmicks or overprodution. It seems that he will do an MTV Unplugged in a near future. If he does great arrangements, no dancing, no medleys, it will be a perfect opportunity to show the world how great his songs (yes, the hits this time would be cool) are.

I started this thread because I am really tired of seeing him taken for granted while other 60s/70s cats are heavily praised. What about you?
Peace
Gustavo Ribas
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Reply #1 posted 02/09/06 3:38pm

andyman91

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He's going to have to soon, as he's not going to be able to pull of the young sexy/dance thing for much longer.

People can't see how great he is because he's in his own world. There's almost nobody to compare him to. When he enters a more mainstream world--say RRHOF performance, or when people see him in concert--they are blown away by him almost every time.

One way he's really lacking lately is his songwriting. I realized it watching U2. They can't touch him musically, but they write great songs that anyone could sing. Prince writes songs that pretty much only he can sing at this point.
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Reply #2 posted 02/09/06 3:57pm

GustavoRibas

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andyman91 said:


People can't see how great he is because he's in his own world. There's almost nobody to compare him to. When he enters a more mainstream world--say RRHOF performance, or when people see him in concert--they are blown away by him almost every time.

- Exactly! All people enjoyed his performance of ´While my guitar gently weeps´ and Springsteen fans were raving about his SNL performance.

One way he's really lacking lately is his songwriting. I realized it watching U2. They can't touch him musically, but they write great songs that anyone could sing. Prince writes songs that pretty much only he can sing at this point.


- Sad but true. I can´t imagine many people singing along with ´Black Sweat´. Another problem is...even the ´sing along´ melodies like ´Cinnamon Girl´ are overloaded with so many keyboards and falsettos that people usually don´t like, and the rockers don´t take seriously. sad
Peace
Gustavo Ribas
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Reply #3 posted 02/09/06 4:07pm

andyman91

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GustavoRibas said:

andyman91 said:


People can't see how great he is because he's in his own world. There's almost nobody to compare him to. When he enters a more mainstream world--say RRHOF performance, or when people see him in concert--they are blown away by him almost every time.

- Exactly! All people enjoyed his performance of ´While my guitar gently weeps´ and Springsteen fans were raving about his SNL performance.

One way he's really lacking lately is his songwriting. I realized it watching U2. They can't touch him musically, but they write great songs that anyone could sing. Prince writes songs that pretty much only he can sing at this point.


- Sad but true. I can´t imagine many people singing along with ´Black Sweat´. Another problem is...even the ´sing along´ melodies like ´Cinnamon Girl´ are overloaded with so many keyboards and falsettos that people usually don´t like, and the rockers don´t take seriously. sad


He's certainly capable of melody, but he always arranges his songs to such a degree that the melody is pushed into the background--Fury does this as well. There's an art to writing songs that sound good even when they're sung by drunken people in bars. U2 has mastered this, so did the Beatles.
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Reply #4 posted 02/09/06 4:40pm

GustavoRibas

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andyman91 said:


He's certainly capable of melody, but he always arranges his songs to such a degree that the melody is pushed into the background--Fury does this as well. There's an art to writing songs that sound good even when they're sung by drunken people in bars. U2 has mastered this, so did the Beatles.


- True....let´s hope he does it with his hits on a kick ass MTV Unplugged. "The truth" isn´t the ultimate unplugged, although it seemed to be his response to the dozens of MTV unplugged out there back then.
Peace
Gustavo Ribas
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Reply #5 posted 02/09/06 4:51pm

andyman91

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GustavoRibas said:

andyman91 said:


He's certainly capable of melody, but he always arranges his songs to such a degree that the melody is pushed into the background--Fury does this as well. There's an art to writing songs that sound good even when they're sung by drunken people in bars. U2 has mastered this, so did the Beatles.


- True....let´s hope he does it with his hits on a kick ass MTV Unplugged. "The truth" isn´t the ultimate unplugged, although it seemed to be his response to the dozens of MTV unplugged out there back then.


He talked about Unplugged way back in 1991, when he said he dreamed he did Willing & Able on it. He said he would do it eventually.

Again, bring him into a context where you can compare him to others, he's going to shine.
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Reply #6 posted 02/09/06 4:59pm

HalluRain

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I dunno, guys. Being able to write a catchy tune that everyone can sing along to doesn't equal musical genius in my book. Beethoven is known for not ever really writing strong melodies, but his orchestration and innovation in harmony and dynmics makes him stand out.

I hate to think that the public at large defines a talented songwriter on his/her ability to write tunes they can reliably embarass themselves with on karaoke night at the local watering hole. But given the general idiocy of the public in musical matters, I'm afraid this is the yardstick used by most.
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Reply #7 posted 02/09/06 5:01pm

GustavoRibas

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andyman91 said:


He talked about Unplugged way back in 1991, when he said he dreamed he did Willing & Able on it. He said he would do it eventually.

Again, bring him into a context where you can compare him to others, he's going to shine.


- I am talking so much about the MTV Unplugged because now it seems for real, it´s part of the Universal promo package. And, so far, they are keeping the plan.
Funny, I am a fan for years, and I never realized that he indeed shines when you put him in a situation that he can be compared to others. He usually is so much locked in his own world...
Peace
Gustavo Ribas
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Reply #8 posted 02/09/06 5:07pm

GustavoRibas

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HalluRain said:

I dunno, guys. Being able to write a catchy tune that everyone can sing along to doesn't equal musical genius in my book. Beethoven is known for not ever really writing strong melodies, but his orchestration and innovation in harmony and dynmics makes him stand out.

I hate to think that the public at large defines a talented songwriter on his/her ability to write tunes they can reliably embarass themselves with on karaoke night at the local watering hole. But given the general idiocy of the public in musical matters, I'm afraid this is the yardstick used by most.


- Well, almost any songwriter can write a catchy tune, and usually a ´genius´ is defined by his innovations and quality. When it comes to popular music, the songs need to be strong to stand the test of time. And usually the melody is the most unforgettable part of a song. Prince got it. Some of his songs like Purple Rain, When doves cry, Kiss and Nothing Compares 2 U still play on radio.


Unfortunately, lots of his 80s stuff sound ´dated´ because of the synths and electronic drums. The Beatles and Hendrix are dated, but in a ´cool´ way. I used to dislike ´Strange Relationship´ because of the arrangement. Today I like it, after hearing it on ONA. The new arrangement made the melody stand out. This is just an example.
[Edited 2/9/06 17:08pm]
Peace
Gustavo Ribas
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Reply #9 posted 02/09/06 5:14pm

HalluRain

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GustavoRibas said:

HalluRain said:

I dunno, guys. Being able to write a catchy tune that everyone can sing along to doesn't equal musical genius in my book. Beethoven is known for not ever really writing strong melodies, but his orchestration and innovation in harmony and dynmics makes him stand out.

I hate to think that the public at large defines a talented songwriter on his/her ability to write tunes they can reliably embarass themselves with on karaoke night at the local watering hole. But given the general idiocy of the public in musical matters, I'm afraid this is the yardstick used by most.


- Well, almost any songwriter can write a catchy tune, and usually a ´genius´ is defined by his innovations and quality. When it comes to popular music, the songs need to be strong to stand the test of time. And usually the melody is the most unforgettable part of a song. Prince got it. Some of his songs like Purple Rain, When doves cry, Kiss and Nothing Compares 2 U still play on radio.


Unfortunately, lots of his 80s stuff sound ´dated´ because of the synths and electronic drums. The Beatles and Hendrix are dated, but in a ´cool´ way. I used to dislike ´Strange Relationship´ because of the arrangement. Today I like it, after hearing it on ONA. The new arrangement made the melody stand out. This is just an example.
[Edited 2/9/06 17:08pm]


Good points. But if a genius is "defined by his innovations and quality", then isn't the fact that Prince doesn't rely solely on catchy melodies proof of his innovation? razz

Part of the problem may be that, because Prince tends to operate in a dimension of his own making, we're forced to evaluate him using a new/different set of standards.
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Reply #10 posted 02/09/06 5:41pm

GustavoRibas

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HalluRain said:


Good points. But if a genius is "defined by his innovations and quality", then isn't the fact that Prince doesn't rely solely on catchy melodies proof of his innovation? razz


- Well, in terms of innovation, nobody can deny that he is proven to be very innovative and unique, specially in the 80s. And I don´t believe he will be innovative in the future smile

I only think that sometimes it´s sad that most of this work became ´dated´ because it was based on synths and Linn drums and some real good songs weren´t even released. And that Prince´s ego is so huge that he doesn´t care about releasing lots of weak songs instead of being more perfectionist.
Peace
Gustavo Ribas
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Reply #11 posted 02/09/06 5:52pm

skywalker

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Here is how I see it:

Prince could have stopped doing anything after 1988 and his legacy would have been as one of the all time great geniuses in music. Everything after is just icing on the cake.

Sure, Prince went to war in the 90's, painted slave on his cheek, and changed his name to a symbol--looking back all that shit (which we at the time seemed to be hurting his popularity/credibilty) really just added to his legend. What was then viewed as "bizarre" is now being viewed as "visionary".

In the last couple years or so, Prince has simply been cementing the foundation of his legacy as an all time great/musical genius- the rest of the world is simply catching up to what we Prince fans have known all along--Prince is one of the greatest ever.


[Edited 2/9/06 17:52pm]
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Reply #12 posted 02/09/06 6:06pm

HalluRain

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GustavoRibas said:

HalluRain said:


Good points. But if a genius is "defined by his innovations and quality", then isn't the fact that Prince doesn't rely solely on catchy melodies proof of his innovation? razz


- Well, in terms of innovation, nobody can deny that he is proven to be very innovative and unique, specially in the 80s. And I don´t believe he will be innovative in the future smile

I only think that sometimes it´s sad that most of this work became ´dated´ because it was based on synths and Linn drums and some real good songs weren´t even released. And that Prince´s ego is so huge that he doesn´t care about releasing lots of weak songs instead of being more perfectionist.


I agree with you. I don't expect him to do anything truly cutting edge again. It would be nice and the "fan" in me even believes that he could if he wanted to, but he doesn't have any reason to be that hungry now.

The "dated" thing doesn't bother me so much. His music from the 80's sounds that way in large part because he helped to define the sound of that time. Everyone jumped on the Minneapolis Sound thing, so a host of acts mimiced his thing. But then again I played Parade the other day and it sounded brand new to me. ('Course that could be because it was the first time I'd played it on a class A single-ended amp that makes EVERYTHING a new experience!)

And the perfectionist thing seems to be a legend he can't overcome. I've often wondered how someone can be rumored to be such a monster about getting everything absolutely right, then release some of the things he's chosen to put out and held back some of the tracks that appear to be far superior.
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Reply #13 posted 02/09/06 6:08pm

pepper7

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I still think he's a genius but I do agree that he's music can sound dated.
[Edited 2/9/06 18:13pm]
Shut up already, damn.
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Reply #14 posted 02/09/06 6:09pm

Brendan

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I run into people all the time who in conversation will tout Hendrix’s greatness. But if you probe further you find out that most of them don’t own a single album, nor can they name more than 1 song. They just know it’s the right stance to take; a politically correct, cultural norm.

That’s a type of respect people get only with the passage of a great deal of time and, more often that not, only in death.

And Prince has a lot more to overcome than most, given that he’s comfortable with his feminine side in a world, particularly the rock world, which is still very much filled with testosterone-filled homophobia.

I was reading some very long thread on a guitar forum someone posted a link to at Housequake regarding Prince’s “Fury” performance. The praise there for Prince and his playing ability were unbelievably high, better than it ever was here. But it seems several didn’t feel comfortable complimenting him in a public forum without mentioning that he boned Carmen Electra and hundreds of other beautiful women.

Just pure insecurity and that’s where we’re at.

As Prince becomes more “normal” in the eyes of the mainstream over the next decade, both from a changing world culture standpoint and as a result of Prince focusing more on just the music, I think the odds are good that he’ll move closer and closer to achieving this unquestioned, living legend status.

--
[Edited 2/9/06 18:17pm]
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Reply #15 posted 02/09/06 6:30pm

GustavoRibas

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Brendan said:



As Prince becomes more “normal” in the eyes of the mainstream over the next decade, both from a changing world culture standpoint and as a result of Prince focusing more on just the music, I think the odds are good that he’ll move closer and closer to achieving this unquestioned, living legend status.


- I hope so. I am really tired of being people talking so much about Led Zep, Beatles, Hendrix, Rolling Stones, The Who, Bob Marley, etc and NOT Prince...

I have a little story about it. A friend of mine was in an used Cd store, and he was staring at a JB´s vinyl. He commented that Maceo Parker was currently playing with Prince, and the store owner said something like: "look at how people get in the end of their careers". It was very nasty! He treated Prince like he was a pop singer only (like a Britney Spears). The most ironic thing is that Maceo said that Prince was the closest thing to a genius he ever seen! The artists give him props, but most people dont know he is so talented.
Peace
Gustavo Ribas
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Reply #16 posted 02/09/06 6:33pm

pepper7

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HalluRain said:

GustavoRibas said:



- Well, almost any songwriter can write a catchy tune, and usually a ´genius´ is defined by his innovations and quality. When it comes to popular music, the songs need to be strong to stand the test of time. And usually the melody is the most unforgettable part of a song. Prince got it. Some of his songs like Purple Rain, When doves cry, Kiss and Nothing Compares 2 U still play on radio.


Unfortunately, lots of his 80s stuff sound ´dated´ because of the synths and electronic drums. The Beatles and Hendrix are dated, but in a ´cool´ way. I used to dislike ´Strange Relationship´ because of the arrangement. Today I like it, after hearing it on ONA. The new arrangement made the melody stand out. This is just an example.
[Edited 2/9/06 17:08pm]


Good points. But if a genius is "defined by his innovations and quality", then isn't the fact that Prince doesn't rely solely on catchy melodies proof of his innovation? razz

Part of the problem may be that, because Prince tends to operate in a dimension of his own making, we're forced to evaluate him using a new/different set of standards.


HalluRain said:

GustavoRibas said:



- Well, almost any songwriter can write a catchy tune, and usually a ´genius´ is defined by his innovations and quality. When it comes to popular music, the songs need to be strong to stand the test of time. And usually the melody is the most unforgettable part of a song. Prince got it. Some of his songs like Purple Rain, When doves cry, Kiss and Nothing Compares 2 U still play on radio.


Unfortunately, lots of his 80s stuff sound ´dated´ because of the synths and electronic drums. The Beatles and Hendrix are dated, but in a ´cool´ way. I used to dislike ´Strange Relationship´ because of the arrangement. Today I like it, after hearing it on ONA. The new arrangement made the melody stand out. This is just an example.
[Edited 2/9/06 17:08pm]


Good points. But if a genius is "defined by his innovations and quality", then isn't the fact that Prince doesn't rely solely on catchy melodies proof of his innovation? razz

Part of the problem may be that, because Prince tends to operate in a dimension of his own making, we're forced to evaluate him using a new/different set of standards.


I do totally agree with this comparison. There is something very uncool about Prince. His music seems to deliberately be unharmonic at times and then other times it can be really catchy etc.

It's a really difficult thing to define and sometimes I feel like on a subconscious level he does it deliberately.

I said to a friend of mine once that there are certain songs that sometimes sound half finished or he slightly changes the melody and it's almost like he doesn't want to be too good.

I sometimes think that with Prince. Like when I watch the Lovesexy tour and and he completely bastardises "Kiss" and sometimes I feel it's because he's worried that it sounds too poppy.

It's almost like he deliberately doesn't want things to rhyme and be too perfect or melodious.

You can see it in his music for example "I Wanna Be Your Lover" which is great, poppy, catchy and melodic all the way through. But then you compare it to "When You Were Mine" or "With You" and neither song sounds like it's properly finished.

Or Ana Stesia which starts off beautifully and then you get this weird screeching noise at the end of every line.

I think Prince has this amazing great timing which he just sort of feels the music. You hear a song like Adore and you feel it's spontaneity with the lyrics as well as the music. He has such a good ear for lyrics and for melody.

I think that writing music is so difficult. If it was easy anyone could do it. You think of a song like Manic Monday and it reads like a really good poem AND then he actually gives it a really good melody too. I mean who else could think of the line "6'o'clock already I was just in the middle of a dream?" - You instantly know what he is talking about. It's like WOW !

And yet Manic Monday is a real throw-away Prince song. I mean it's pure pop. But it's great. It does exactly what it's supposed to do -- captures a moment in time. You can hear that song years later and it doesn't ever lose it's freshness.

But then look at a song like Nothing Compares 2 U. Why didn't he sing the original version himself? What was it about that song that he thought he's give it to someone else to sing? it's such a great and perfect song. Every verse is great, the chorus. It builds up and up. I couldn't imagine what he thought of that song. I'd love to know.

Maybe it's the fact that it's very hard to be an impartial judge of your own work. Sometimes I think that's part of the reasons that he covers so many different genres and styles. It's like he is trying to measure himself.

I mean what do you think he thinks when he completes a song? Completes an album? What songs does he think "Yeah I got it just right with that - that's a classic"
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Reply #17 posted 02/09/06 6:36pm

Brendan

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Just because music can be dated, doesn’t make it “dated”. “Dated” music to me is pedestrian music, largely constructed of parts that were stereotypical of its time. Only a very small amount of Prince's music falls into this category in my opinion; especially in the 80s.

But great music is just that, and it will stand the test of time. Has nothing to do with popularity or melody.

Some of the greatest records ever made will never be played on the radio and will never be heard by more than a few hundred thousand people.

It stands the test of time simply by being passed down from one music lover to the next.
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Reply #18 posted 02/09/06 6:38pm

GustavoRibas

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Real nice comment, Pepper...
I would only add my 2 cents about Nothing Compares.....I think Sinead did a beautiful job. The song sounds very sad, melancholic. I love the NPG version on The Hits, but I feel Sinead´s version is less conventional and more sad.
Peace
Gustavo Ribas
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Reply #19 posted 02/09/06 6:39pm

GustavoRibas

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Brendan said:

Just because music can be dated, doesn’t make it “dated”. “Dated” music to me is pedestrian music, largely constructed of parts that were stereotypical of its time. Only a very small amount of Prince's music falls into this category in my opinion; especially in the 80s.

But great music is just that, and it will stand the test of time. Has nothing to do with popularity or melody.

Some of the greatest records ever made will never be played on the radio and will never be heard by more than a few hundred thousand people.

It stands the test of time simply by being passed down from one music lover to the next.


- Amen smile
Peace
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Reply #20 posted 02/09/06 6:40pm

pepper7

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Brendan said:

Just because music can be dated, doesn’t make it “dated”. “Dated” music to me is pedestrian music, largely constructed of parts that were stereotypical of its time. Only a very small amount of Prince's music falls into this category in my opinion; especially in the 80s.

But great music is just that, and it will stand the test of time. Has nothing to do with popularity or melody.

Some of the greatest records ever made will never be played on the radio and will never be heard by more than a few hundred thousand people.

It stands the test of time simply by being passed down from one music lover to the next.


I do agree but the fact that he can and has done both is definatley interesting.

With other musicians I think they maybe don't have a sense of melody or others write very catchy tunes but rarely do you have someone who seems as inconsistent as Prince.

But I DO NOT mean this in a anyway as a CRITICISM it's just that I am fascinated by his music.
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Reply #21 posted 02/09/06 6:43pm

Brendan

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GustavoRibas said:

Brendan said:



As Prince becomes more “normal” in the eyes of the mainstream over the next decade, both from a changing world culture standpoint and as a result of Prince focusing more on just the music, I think the odds are good that he’ll move closer and closer to achieving this unquestioned, living legend status.


- I hope so. I am really tired of being people talking so much about Led Zep, Beatles, Hendrix, Rolling Stones, The Who, Bob Marley, etc and NOT Prince...

I have a little story about it. A friend of mine was in an used Cd store, and he was staring at a JB´s vinyl. He commented that Maceo Parker was currently playing with Prince, and the store owner said something like: "look at how people get in the end of their careers". It was very nasty! He treated Prince like he was a pop singer only (like a Britney Spears). The most ironic thing is that Maceo said that Prince was the closest thing to a genius he ever seen! The artists give him props, but most people dont know he is so talented.


I encounter things like this all the time. But I put no stock in it, because it's coming from people who have no idea what they're talking about.

I respect, respond to and learn from opinions that are founded in wisdom, knowledge and intelligence, not insecurity and ignorance.
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Reply #22 posted 02/09/06 6:45pm

pepper7

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GustavoRibas said:

Real nice comment, Pepper...
I would only add my 2 cents about Nothing Compares.....I think Sinead did a beautiful job. The song sounds very sad, melancholic. I love the NPG version on The Hits, but I feel Sinead´s version is less conventional and more sad.


Yes I totally agree with this.

A while back there was a countdown on Channel 4 in England about the 10 greatest love songs. I think Nothing Compares 2 U was about 6 or something.

BUT what was interesting was the that they gave with it. When asked, apparently, Prince had said he's written it for his friend who had split up from his girlfriend.

And I just started laughing cus it just sounded like that scene in Spiderman where Peter Parker's "friend" has a dream that he's Spiderman . And you wonder.....
[Edited 2/9/06 18:45pm]
Shut up already, damn.
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Reply #23 posted 02/09/06 6:54pm

GustavoRibas

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Brendan said:

GustavoRibas said:



- I hope so. I am really tired of being people talking so much about Led Zep, Beatles, Hendrix, Rolling Stones, The Who, Bob Marley, etc and NOT Prince...

I have a little story about it. A friend of mine was in an used Cd store, and he was staring at a JB´s vinyl. He commented that Maceo Parker was currently playing with Prince, and the store owner said something like: "look at how people get in the end of their careers". It was very nasty! He treated Prince like he was a pop singer only (like a Britney Spears). The most ironic thing is that Maceo said that Prince was the closest thing to a genius he ever seen! The artists give him props, but most people dont know he is so talented.


I encounter things like this all the time. But I put no stock in it, because it's coming from people who have no idea what they're talking about.

I respect, respond to and learn from opinions that are founded in wisdom, knowledge and intelligence, not insecurity and ignorance.


- I agree with you...I just don´t get it why people rarely say nasty things about Hendrix or Beatles...that´s exactly the subject of my thread...that maybe it was time to show people how great he is. ´Fury´ and ´While my guitar gently weeps´ were good showcases of his talent on guitar.
Peace
Gustavo Ribas
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Reply #24 posted 02/09/06 6:55pm

pepper7

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GustavoRibas said:

Real nice comment, Pepper...
I would only add my 2 cents about Nothing Compares.....I think Sinead did a beautiful job. The song sounds very sad, melancholic. I love the NPG version on The Hits, but I feel Sinead´s version is less conventional and more sad.


Also if you listen to his version his vocal sounds really forced and not as say beutiful as Adore or If I Was Your Girlfriend. SO we know that he is capable of the sadness and the melancholy of the song. But it's like he somehow knows he has been outdone by Sinead so instead he gives us a completely OVER the top jazzed up version. Almost killing ANY of the sentiment and loneliness of the songs.

Blimey he records it as a duet with Rosie Gaines. Not very romantic !

And what ALWAYS makes me smile is how he changes 15 to 13.... SO making it HIS song....but subtly. And he changes "tears" to "rain"...

BUT really it's something about his voice on this version. It's like very masculine and deep.
Shut up already, damn.
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Reply #25 posted 02/09/06 7:00pm

GustavoRibas

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I think the heavy keyboards on Sinead version and maybe the reverb on her voice made the difference....I always think of rain and a very dark grey day when I listen to it.
Peace
Gustavo Ribas
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Reply #26 posted 02/09/06 7:49pm

HalluRain

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GustavoRibas said:

Brendan said:



I encounter things like this all the time. But I put no stock in it, because it's coming from people who have no idea what they're talking about.

I respect, respond to and learn from opinions that are founded in wisdom, knowledge and intelligence, not insecurity and ignorance.


- I agree with you...I just don´t get it why people rarely say nasty things about Hendrix or Beatles...that´s exactly the subject of my thread...that maybe it was time to show people how great he is. ´Fury´ and ´While my guitar gently weeps´ were good showcases of his talent on guitar.


As I was reading this it got me to wondering what really causes this difference in the way Prince is viewed as compared to others both before him (James Brown, Beatles, Rolling Stones, Hendrix, Sly...) and his contemporaries (Madonna, MJ, U2, Springsteen).

Those that came before him made their mark when the music world was a different place. Stuff happening in the 50's and especially the 60's was organic -- a "new" sound taking over the baby boomer generation. These artists became irrevocably tied to a philosophy and a huge shift in social norms. And they were, in some cases, pioneers. They defined the rock persona. Critics won't diss them too hard because that would almost be tantamount to blackening the eye of so many underlying concepts tied to the times.

Prince comes along in the 80's and his message/image fit right in to those excesses of the time. But now the focus is success, power, popularity and music has become more of a commodity to be marketed. Two things sell the story -- either immense success, power and glory or the spectacle of the fall from grace on a public stage. The media revels in pumping you up and then cutting you down.

Prince got cut down in the media. He handed them a sharpened blade AND he had his own agenda that really wasn't ever again going to coincide with the tastes of the masses. Sales were respectable, but not at the level of Purple Rain, so he could be considered a failure. On his way down. Old news. The masses didn't follow so they never saw/heard the things he did next. It wasn't shoved down their throats through every media outlet. What did get their attention, if anything, were tales of a narcistic (sp?!?) brat who changed his name to a squiggle, spoke in a whisper and wore funny clothes.

But to musicians and music lovers who bothered to listen he stands as one of the most talented, charismatic, original and dependably fantasic performers out there. There's a gap between the "knows" and the "know nots". If Prince continues to use showcases like RRHOF, SNL '06, etc. to help catch up the public to where he's at, there's a slim chance that the perception of the masses could shift and it becomes popular to say that he's cool again.
I've gone to find myself. If I should return before I get back, keep me here.
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Reply #27 posted 02/10/06 3:35am

GustavoRibas

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HalluRain said:


Those that came before him made their mark when the music world was a different place. Stuff happening in the 50's and especially the 60's was organic -- a "new" sound taking over the baby boomer generation. These artists became irrevocably tied to a philosophy and a huge shift in social norms. And they were, in some cases, pioneers. They defined the rock persona. Critics won't diss them too hard because that would almost be tantamount to blackening the eye of so many underlying concepts tied to the times.

Prince comes along in the 80's and his message/image fit right in to those excesses of the time. But now the focus is success, power, popularity and music has become more of a commodity to be marketed. Two things sell the story -- either immense success, power and glory or the spectacle of the fall from grace on a public stage. The media revels in pumping you up and then cutting you down.

Prince got cut down in the media. He handed them a sharpened blade AND he had his own agenda that really wasn't ever again going to coincide with the tastes of the masses. Sales were respectable, but not at the level of Purple Rain, so he could be considered a failure. On his way down. Old news. The masses didn't follow so they never saw/heard the things he did next. It wasn't shoved down their throats through every media outlet. What did get their attention, if anything, were tales of a narcistic (sp?!?) brat who changed his name to a squiggle, spoke in a whisper and wore funny clothes.

But to musicians and music lovers who bothered to listen he stands as one of the most talented, charismatic, original and dependably fantasic performers out there. There's a gap between the "knows" and the "know nots". If Prince continues to use showcases like RRHOF, SNL '06, etc. to help catch up the public to where he's at, there's a slim chance that the perception of the masses could shift and it becomes popular to say that he's cool again.


- Good point! Unfortunately the 80s will always be underrated compared to 60s/70s. Some very strong bands like The Police and Living Colour will never be as respected as The Who or The Doors.

I think things got worse for Prince after the 90s, because he struggled so hard to be ´mainstream´ again. In the 80s, he used to be considered a ´freak´ and was as respected as Bowie. But after things like Gameboyz, Tony M, very expensive clips and sugary ballads, it was harder for him to be so respected. I think the Musicology retro concept was very smart. Let´s see what comes next.
Peace
Gustavo Ribas
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Reply #28 posted 02/10/06 3:36am

Brendan

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pepper7 said:

Brendan said:

Just because music can be dated, doesn’t make it “dated”. “Dated” music to me is pedestrian music, largely constructed of parts that were stereotypical of its time. Only a very small amount of Prince's music falls into this category in my opinion; especially in the 80s.

But great music is just that, and it will stand the test of time. Has nothing to do with popularity or melody.

Some of the greatest records ever made will never be played on the radio and will never be heard by more than a few hundred thousand people.

It stands the test of time simply by being passed down from one music lover to the next.


I do agree but the fact that he can and has done both is definatley interesting.

With other musicians I think they maybe don't have a sense of melody or others write very catchy tunes but rarely do you have someone who seems as inconsistent as Prince.

But I DO NOT mean this in a anyway as a CRITICISM it's just that I am fascinated by his music.


It is very interesting to me as well, because I’ve truly over the years gotten to a point where I don’t see these artificial genre lines anymore. I really and truly could care less whether it catchy or complex, country or punk, soft or hard. I just want to know, given a fair chance, can it continually move me.

It comes down to what Duke Ellington said: “There are only two types of music; good and bad”.

On the surface that sounds ridiculously simplified, but what I think he meant by that was that music is either of the quality that it can inspire the listener or not given a fair chance from an audience with an open mind and ear.

That’s why I’m a Prince fan. As a composer and music lover himself, he seems to clearly understand this.

Besides, Prince came along after so much of the game had already been defined that it became about refinement and fusion of the past in unique ways that were wholly original. There’s still nothing out there quite like “Dorothy Parker” or “If I was Your Girlfriend”.

Of course he’d be much more accepted in the now if he’d just concentrate on appealing to one of these various musical snob groups (top 40 crowd, rock crowd, funk crowd, jazz crowd, experimental crowd, R&B/Soul crowd, indie crowd), but in the long haul he’ll be far better off being who he is rather than drastically limiting himself for the sake of short-term praise.
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Reply #29 posted 02/10/06 3:39am

Brendan

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GustavoRibas said:

Brendan said:



I encounter things like this all the time. But I put no stock in it, because it's coming from people who have no idea what they're talking about.

I respect, respond to and learn from opinions that are founded in wisdom, knowledge and intelligence, not insecurity and ignorance.


- I agree with you...I just don´t get it why people rarely say nasty things about Hendrix or Beatles...that´s exactly the subject of my thread...that maybe it was time to show people how great he is. ´Fury´ and ´While my guitar gently weeps´ were good showcases of his talent on guitar.


When Hendrix was alive he certainly wasn’t feeling the love from anyone except fellow musicians and music lovers.

He was getting heat and hate from almost every direction. Now with his death and the passage of many decades people make it seem as though it was always just an obvious fact that he was one of the greatest.

Yes I think “Fury” and “While My Guitar Gently Weeps” are just the start of a whole new era of openness to performances based more in substance than style. And he finally seems to be getting brave enough that he might actually be creeping towards doing something like “Unplugged”. The first step was that small acoustic set he did live on MTV just awhile back. Perhaps he’s ready to go all the way now.

But I think it wise that we let him take a few more stabs at mainstream success while he still has his somewhat youthful spirit and physical appearance.

Maybe mainstream success has already passed him by. But I think with the strong material I’m hearing right now from him we should once and for all find out the answer to that question.

And besides, pop music, despite being made up of mostly dreadful junk, is, when done well, every bit as great as any other type of music. And mainstream music is in desperate need of not only Prince, but dozens of other talented artists that are being shutout because they won’t pander to that unbelievably narrow format (rap, R&B that features rap and whiny white boys who think they’re punk.)
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