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Thread started 07/30/12 4:44pm

thebanishedone

1988-1989 where's the melodies?

Starting with his second album Prince showcased a strong sense for creating catchy and interesting melodies.he supplied the funk but strong hooks were always there. Starting with 1988 Prince had a phase of writting songs with no melodic hooks.Batman and LOVESexy are the examples.So my question is : Do you think lack of melodies were part of his evolution or his first creative block.
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Reply #1 posted 07/30/12 4:57pm

WetDream

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"Ya thought that you could put me down with a song that got no hook!"

I prefer music with less melody. Too much can become a bit of a mind numb depending on what it is. I like a more Jazz approach to music, it sparks a lot more creative thinking.

The great thing about Prince is that he can write a song that features the best of both worlds like no other.

In his releases today, i find there can be a bit too much melody, i'd like a return to TRC territory.

[Edited 7/30/12 16:58pm]

This Post is produced, arranged, composed and performed by WetDream
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Reply #2 posted 07/30/12 5:13pm

Harlepolis

I think the melodies are there, they were just clamored with overproduction. Not to mention, they were more abstract whereas his earlier songs were simpler and sparser - which brings me back again to the production aspect that developed later.

That being said - and I've stated this before - he really compensated with his use of harmonies and vocal multi-tracking. I never paid attention to this until I heard Patti's "Love 89", right then I noticed that he really showed out as a vocal arranger during the 88-89 period.

[Edited 7/30/12 17:14pm]

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Reply #3 posted 07/31/12 9:33am

jayARDAHB

thebanishedone said:

Starting with his second album Prince showcased a strong sense for creating catchy and interesting melodies.he supplied the funk but strong hooks were always there. Starting with 1988 Prince had a phase of writting songs with no melodic hooks.Batman and LOVESexy are the examples.So my question is : Do you think lack of melodies were part of his evolution or his first creative block.


Which songs are you referring to?

I get the disappointment in Prince's recent work but to say that his songs aren't melodic is pushing it!!

However, please share just exactly which songs you are referring to in his post... I am very curious!
[Edited 7/31/12 9:34am]
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Reply #4 posted 07/31/12 9:41am

eyewishuheaven

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I see what you're getting at, but there are certainly strong exceptions - I Wish U Heaven is almost the definition of melody, and Glam Slam ain't too far behind.

But I'm glad you brought this up - it's made me have another look at Batman, and, wow... The Future, Electric Chair, Partyman, and Lemon Crush are pretty much all one-note melodies! Crazy.

PRINCE: the only man who could wear high heels and makeup and STILL steal your woman!
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Reply #5 posted 07/31/12 10:18am

novabrkr

He's a funk musician, so his vocal lines are often more about the phrasing and the way his voice interacts with the other elements in the music. Especially during the verses. But it's hardly like it started with Lovesexy, because some of his biggest hits had already been like that (say, "Kiss").

I get the feeling that he deliberately wanted to narrow the range of the notes that he was using. The melodies themselves could have been easily expanded to contain a larger set of notes and greater intervals. I think most songwriters would have gone that route if given the basic motives of his to work on. His way of handling melody has usually been just, well, very tasteful. When he starts emphasizing the melody and making it less challenging it's sometimes just resulted in schlocks like "Arms Of Orion" or "Graffiti Bridge". But think of "Anna Stesia" - the range of notes he's using on it seems fairly limited on many parts, but he achieves incredible things with them.

[Edited 7/31/12 10:34am]

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Reply #6 posted 07/31/12 12:12pm

thebanishedone

jayARDAHB said:

thebanishedone said:

Starting with his second album Prince showcased a strong sense for creating catchy and interesting melodies.he supplied the funk but strong hooks were always there. Starting with 1988 Prince had a phase of writting songs with no melodic hooks.Batman and LOVESexy are the examples.So my question is : Do you think lack of melodies were part of his evolution or his first creative block.


Which songs are you referring to?

I get the disappointment in Prince's recent work but to say that his songs aren't melodic is pushing it!!

However, please share just exactly which songs you are referring to in his post... I am very curious!
[Edited 7/31/12 9:34am]

man Prince is amazing.he could make great melodies anytime he wants.But during 88-89 period he produced songs with one note melodies.examples are God is Alive,the Max,whole BATMAN album,a big part of Lovesexy,almost everything he did at that time period.my question is was he tired of classic aprouch to pop songwriting or his melodies had become more complex for an average ear .i don't think he couldn't write melodies at the time,i think he did it on purpose.
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Reply #7 posted 07/31/12 12:18pm

thebanishedone

Hey Novabrkr i enjoyed and agree with everything you said except Kiss.while Kiss feautures a simple melody it still is recognisable because of the melodic hook.you can sing kiss acapella and still people can recognise it ,but can we say the same about God is alive or the Future?
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Reply #8 posted 07/31/12 12:40pm

Spinlight

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thebanishedone said:

Hey Novabrkr i enjoyed and agree with everything you said except Kiss.while Kiss feautures a simple melody it still is recognisable because of the melodic hook.you can sing kiss acapella and still people can recognise it ,but can we say the same about God is alive or the Future?

Sure, it's true for those songs, too. You just need to know who to sing it to.

I agree, for the most part, with what you are saying. It's my opinion that Prince didn't get back into the groove of writing strong melodies until 1990 after taking a considerable break. Some tracks which had been kicking around for a while still have a melody, but sometimes the melodies are just less than upfront.

Take a track like "Lust U Always" which has a distinctive melody and compare it to "The Future", or "Dance On", or "Batdance", or "Trust" (which has a lead line but not a strong melody). I think "New Power Generation" was the first new song that had a strong melody. And then, of course, "Thieves In the Temple" is also pretty strong.

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Reply #9 posted 07/31/12 12:42pm

Spinlight

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But to answer your question, I think he just focused on building songs by using all of the resources at his disposal. This meant that the real basis for the song, the melody, suffered.

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Reply #10 posted 07/31/12 3:55pm

eyewishuheaven

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Hmm... you know, could this have been a case of Prince reluctantly dipping his toes in the 'rap pool'? We know he was opposed to the whole genre in the beginning. Perhaps this was a case of him thinking, 'maybe I'd better scale back those melodies', and ultimately resulting in Diamonds and Pearls?

PRINCE: the only man who could wear high heels and makeup and STILL steal your woman!
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Reply #11 posted 07/31/12 4:38pm

KingSausage

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Perhaps Melody wasn't so Cool after all?!?
"Drop that stereo before I blow your Goddamn nuts off, asshole!"
-Eugene Tackleberry
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Reply #12 posted 07/31/12 4:45pm

thebanishedone

eyewishuheaven said:

Hmm... you know, could this have been a case of Prince reluctantly dipping his toes in the 'rap pool'? We know he was opposed to the whole genre in the beginning. Perhaps this was a case of him thinking, 'maybe I'd better scale back those melodies', and ultimately resulting in Diamonds and Pearls?


interesting observation,but D&P album is full of strong melodies,at least the hit singles
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Reply #13 posted 07/31/12 5:28pm

SchlomoThaHomo

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I think I'm going to have to disagree here because I feel like melody can be overrated. Especially, with an artist who has as much going for him musically as Prince.

However, I do think Lovesexy had some great melodies on it. Glam Slam, I Wish U Heaven, Alphabet St., Eye No and When 2 R In Love all had great and memorable melodies (Sidenote: can you imagine if he busted into Glam Slam at a recent gig? I'd seriously lose my shit.)

Songs like Dance On and Lovesexy didn't really need stronger melodies because they had other fantastic things going for them like insane arrangents and performances, as well as a musical intensity that was/is unmatched by anyone (even by him today).

Anna Stesia and Positivity were more about vibe, strong builds and interesting lyrics with a positive and uplifting message. I just can't bring myself to call them less than great because their melodies don't cover a lot of ground on the scale. I'll "wave (my) hand for Positivity y'all," and "hold on 2 (my) soul...til my day is done," because you just don't argue with a fervor like that, no matter what your beliefs are. wink

I'd say the Batman album was more about grooves than melody for the most part, but I think Scandalous and Arms Of Orion had very strong melodies to them. Does Electric Chair really need a stronger melody when it has a groove that's sharper than a butcher's knife and a build that is right up there with his all time best?

And nobody but Prince could throw something like a Batdance together. The grooves, the crazy samples, the melding of different "movements" and song snippets. This definitely does not qualify as a creative "block."

Voice Inside gets an honorable mention here, too. Maybe the best opening track that never was and also an extremely catchy melody, especially during the chorus.

The defense rests. lol

"That's when stars collide. When there's space for what u want, and ur heart is open wide."
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Reply #14 posted 07/31/12 5:35pm

eyewishuheaven

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thebanishedone said:

eyewishuheaven said:

Hmm... you know, could this have been a case of Prince reluctantly dipping his toes in the 'rap pool'? We know he was opposed to the whole genre in the beginning. Perhaps this was a case of him thinking, 'maybe I'd better scale back those melodies', and ultimately resulting in Diamonds and Pearls?

interesting observation,but D&P album is full of strong melodies,at least the hit singles

Absolutely correct, but D&P is where he introduced rap most strongly (on the prior album, he could have said, 'it's not me, it's TC!'). There is much evidence to contradict this idea (Thunder, D&P, Damn U, 7), but I think there's just as much evidence to support it (Jughead, Push, Sexy MF, My Name is Prince).

Interesting!

PRINCE: the only man who could wear high heels and makeup and STILL steal your woman!
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Reply #15 posted 07/31/12 7:37pm

KingSausage

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SchlomoThaHomo said:

I think I'm going to have to disagree here because I feel like melody can be overrated. Especially, with an artist who has as much going for him musically as Prince.

However, I do think Lovesexy had some great melodies on it. Glam Slam, I Wish U Heaven, Alphabet St., Eye No and When 2 R In Love all had great and memorable melodies (Sidenote: can you imagine if he busted into Glam Slam at a recent gig? I'd seriously lose my shit.)

Songs like Dance On and Lovesexy didn't really need stronger melodies because they had other fantastic things going for them like insane arrangents and performances, as well as a musical intensity that was/is unmatched by anyone (even by him today).

Anna Stesia and Positivity were more about vibe, strong builds and interesting lyrics with a positive and uplifting message. I just can't bring myself to call them less than great because their melodies don't cover a lot of ground on the scale. I'll "wave (my) hand for Positivity y'all," and "hold on 2 (my) soul...til my day is done," because you just don't argue with a fervor like that, no matter what your beliefs are. wink

I'd say the Batman album was more about grooves than melody for the most part, but I think Scandalous and Arms Of Orion had very strong melodies to them. Does Electric Chair really need a stronger melody when it has a groove that's sharper than a butcher's knife and a build that is right up there with his all time best?

And nobody but Prince could throw something like a Batdance together. The grooves, the crazy samples, the melding of different "movements" and song snippets. This definitely does not qualify as a creative "block."

Voice Inside gets an honorable mention here, too. Maybe the best opening track that never was and also an extremely catchy melody, especially during the chorus.

The defense rests. lol

Everything he said. ^^^

"Drop that stereo before I blow your Goddamn nuts off, asshole!"
-Eugene Tackleberry
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Reply #16 posted 07/31/12 9:52pm

blueautumn

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thebanishedone said:

Starting with his second album Prince showcased a strong sense for creating catchy and interesting melodies.he supplied the funk but strong hooks were always there. Starting with 1988 Prince had a phase of writting songs with no melodic hooks.Batman and LOVESexy are the examples.So my question is : Do you think lack of melodies were part of his evolution or his first creative block.

I disagree as well. Lovesexy is made of melodies, not just the album bot each part to every song is a melody and a strong one at that. Everypart, bass guitar lines, key lines and vocals, all are almost too melodic, counter melodies all day long, it's crazy.

SchlomoThaHomo covered the rest in his post.

..."holding someone is truly believing"
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Reply #17 posted 07/31/12 10:41pm

thebanishedone

blueautumn said:



thebanishedone said:


Starting with his second album Prince showcased a strong sense for creating catchy and interesting melodies.he supplied the funk but strong hooks were always there. Starting with 1988 Prince had a phase of writting songs with no melodic hooks.Batman and LOVESexy are the examples.So my question is : Do you think lack of melodies were part of his evolution or his first creative block.


I disagree as well. Lovesexy is made of melodies, not just the album bot each part to every song is a melody and a strong one at that. Everypart, bass guitar lines, key lines and vocals, all are almost too melodic, counter melodies all day long, it's crazy.



SchlomoThaHomo covered the rest in his post.


don't mix melodies with riffs .yes there are tons of riffs but with the exception of Glam Slam and WHEN 2 Are in Love all other song had been sang in 1 note with very little variation. I'm not saying it sucks ,i think it was part of his evolution,but the fact is songs are less memorable if there isn't a melody you can humm.
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Reply #18 posted 08/01/12 2:14am

thedance

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SchlomoThaHomo said:

I think I'm going to have to disagree here because I feel like melody can be overrated. Especially, with an artist who has as much going for him musically as Prince.

However, I do think Lovesexy had some great melodies on it. Glam Slam, I Wish U Heaven, Alphabet St., Eye No and When 2 R In Love all had great and memorable melodies (Sidenote: can you imagine if he busted into Glam Slam at a recent gig? I'd seriously lose my shit.)

^

yeahthat

I agree with Schlomo.. now BanishedOne, please take a listen once again to Lovesexy - in case you did not hear these fantastic "melodies".

I love Lovesexy, this fine pop-funk album.. worship

ps I am singing the Alphabet Street melody in the shower - once in a while! lol

Prince 4Ever. heart
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Reply #19 posted 08/01/12 7:58am

jayARDAHB

thebanishedone said:

jayARDAHB said:
Which songs are you referring to? I get the disappointment in Prince's recent work but to say that his songs aren't melodic is pushing it!! However, please share just exactly which songs you are referring to in his post... I am very curious! [Edited 7/31/12 9:34am]
man Prince is amazing.he could make great melodies anytime he wants.But during 88-89 period he produced songs with one note melodies.examples are God is Alive,the Max,whole BATMAN album,a big part of Lovesexy,almost everything he did at that time period.my question is was he tired of classic aprouch to pop songwriting or his melodies had become more complex for an average ear .i don't think he couldn't write melodies at the time,i think he did it on purpose.

God Is Alive has a very clear melody - if you don't hear it, try humming it.

I can't believe this is being posted - I gather you really don't understand what melody is.

This is nuts!!!

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Reply #20 posted 08/01/12 8:40am

thebanishedone

Yeah Jay i play guitar keyboards and bass and don't know what melody is .why don't you teach me?
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Reply #21 posted 08/01/12 8:52am

Spinlight

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blueautumn said:

thebanishedone said:

Starting with his second album Prince showcased a strong sense for creating catchy and interesting melodies.he supplied the funk but strong hooks were always there. Starting with 1988 Prince had a phase of writting songs with no melodic hooks.Batman and LOVESexy are the examples.So my question is : Do you think lack of melodies were part of his evolution or his first creative block.

I disagree as well. Lovesexy is made of melodies, not just the album bot each part to every song is a melody and a strong one at that. Everypart, bass guitar lines, key lines and vocals, all are almost too melodic, counter melodies all day long, it's crazy.

SchlomoThaHomo covered the rest in his post.

"Memorable" is in the eye of the beholder, I suppose. I don't think the majority of Lovesexy has a memorable melody.

Eye No has no melody at all, Lovesexy, Dance On, Positivity don't have strong melodies. Anna Stesia's melody, while a seemingly a signature song in his repertoire, is not nearly as catchy as the melody behind, say, Raspberry Beret.

He began experimenting with this lack of real melody on Sign o the Times. Check the title track.

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Reply #22 posted 08/01/12 9:08am

thebanishedone

Hey Spin i agree about everything you said above,except one thing.song Sign o the Times is packed with melody.you can humm it.the song arangment is sparse but you could sing it with acoustic guitar or better yet checkBilly Cobham's version of the song.vocal melody is played with trumpet
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Reply #23 posted 08/01/12 9:09am

thebanishedone

Hey Spin i agree about everything you said above,except one thing.song Sign o the Times is packed with melody.you can humm it.the song arangment is sparse but you could sing it with acoustic guitar or better yet checkBilly Cobham's version of the song.vocal melody is played with trumpet
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Reply #24 posted 08/01/12 9:11am

Spinlight

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It has a melody because basically every pop song is going to have one. Hum along to the words on Sign o the Times and you will not be doing much variation. It's not even interesting. What makes that song interesting is his dry vocal take against those sparse electronic sounds and the lyrical content.

But unless you are humming the lead keyboard line/riff, its not very memorable to just hum SOTT. In my opinion, of course.

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Reply #25 posted 08/01/12 2:06pm

jayARDAHB

Spinlight said:

blueautumn said:

I disagree as well. Lovesexy is made of melodies, not just the album bot each part to every song is a melody and a strong one at that. Everypart, bass guitar lines, key lines and vocals, all are almost too melodic, counter melodies all day long, it's crazy.

SchlomoThaHomo covered the rest in his post.

"Memorable" is in the eye of the beholder, I suppose. I don't think the majority of Lovesexy has a memorable melody.

Eye No has no melody at all, Lovesexy, Dance On, Positivity don't have strong melodies. Anna Stesia's melody, while a seemingly a signature song in his repertoire, is not nearly as catchy as the melody behind, say, Raspberry Beret.

He began experimenting with this lack of real melody on Sign o the Times. Check the title track.

Eye No certainly has a melody but like you said, a melody that you enjoy is completely subjective.

Sign Of The Times is probably a better example of a song that has a melody that is not very diverse as far as the verses are concerned.

This post is awesomely nuts!

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Reply #26 posted 08/02/12 6:27pm

eyewishuheaven

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The definition of melody seems to be in dispute here.

But I don't think anyone can deny that I Wish U Heaven and Glam Slam have it.

PRINCE: the only man who could wear high heels and makeup and STILL steal your woman!
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Reply #27 posted 08/02/12 10:52pm

jayARDAHB

thebanishedone said:

Yeah Jay i play guitar keyboards and bass and don't know what melody is .why don't you teach me?

If this is the case, and I certainly believe you, how are you coming to this conclusion?

J

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Reply #28 posted 08/04/12 11:50am

fms

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Very interesting thread. One could say that on Lovesexy forward Prince became more interested in the sounds and textures he could create than writing simple, catchy melodies. Perhaps his attention and focus shifted to sounds at the expense of songs. This trend peaked with Gold/Chaos where Prince seemed eaher to pile on as many sounds as he could, even sound effects. Around 1999 or so, through year 1 NPGMC and Rainbow Children, he re-discovered the beauty and efefct of minimalism.

Having said that, I do believe his post-Lovesexy material is strong and demands more attention to appreciate.

Good example is the recently freed track, The Max. At first it sounds so aimless, but after repeated listenings the melody line comes to the fore.

Stand at the crossroads, and look, and ask for the ancient paths...(Jeremiah 6:16) www.ancientfaithradio.com

dezinonac eb lliw noitulove ehT
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Reply #29 posted 08/04/12 1:17pm

Analyst

thebanishedone said:

Starting with his second album Prince showcased a strong sense for creating catchy and interesting melodies.he supplied the funk but strong hooks were always there. Starting with 1988 Prince had a phase of writting songs with no melodic hooks.Batman and LOVESexy are the examples.So my question is : Do you think lack of melodies were part of his evolution or his first creative block.

I'm one of those people who doesn't believe in rules where music is concerned. I don't think a song HAS to have a melody to be good.

No music expert in terms of the technical aspects, but to me, whether or not the songs have melodies is irrelevant because a lot of the shit Prince put out during that time period still sounds good, so...who cares?

Sometimes I think Prince fans are way too anal.

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