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Thread started 03/04/17 9:29am

purplerabbitho
le

gems in the 'muck"...astound me sometimes

I realize it is a common belief that Prince's worst era was between 1996 and 2003. And there are certainly some serious lows. HOwever, some of my absolute favorites are from that era...(but some of my least favorites are as well.) Its about 50/50. Rave and Emancipation are only about 50 percentage effective in my opinion (as albums) but the good 50% is worth it. Some of the outtake/limited realize songs of that period like the original Beautiful Strange and obscure songs like When I lay my hands on u should be considered classics. I love the Truth album and that hot mess of an album known as Crystal Ball contains some career highs... His best songs of that period feel fresh rather than derivative of his 80's work. The worst songs of that era feel trapped in the late nineties, desperate [dueting with stefani] or indeed derivative of his 80's work (in the worst most lazy sense).

My contention is that P didn't lose his ability to create, he lost his ability to editorize. He was at an age (around 40) when reflection and relaxation (of the non-JW kind) would have been helpful.

The song I am sort of obsessed with right now is Strays of the World. I just heard it. Earlier I had only downloaded certain songs I already knew from Crystal Ball (due to its bad rep.). That was a mistake..Granted there are some derivative shitty songs in that album (I don't like acknowledge me, Crucial, 18 and older, and I am tired of squeaky overused Camille voice of Good Love) but the good songs do really stand out. Crystal Ball, Strays of teh World, Calhoun Square, Days of Wild, The Ride, What's My Name, , Rippopgodazippa, Movie Star, and entire Truth album (which I love but I of course realize that accoustic Prince would feel like a waste to many people.)

Back to Strays of the World (written in 1993, I believe)...I didn't think I was going to like the song when the first couple bars of the song started (seemed like it might get corny) but it didn't; the song went in such interesting places and his vocals (especially the lower ones later on in the song), kind of knocked me off my feet. I think it needs a bit more lyrics but it has relevancy today. Even though it is a spiritual song, it seems almost like an acceptance and open embrace of immigrants and outcasts. Love it. It is sentimental but not in a bad way.

[Edited 3/4/17 9:35am]

[Edited 3/4/17 9:39am]

[Edited 3/4/17 9:44am]

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Reply #1 posted 03/04/17 9:43am

muleFunk

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The interesting thing about Prince fans is the diversity of like/dislike among the fans.

I happen to love Crucial. I wish there would have been an Adore single with Crucial as the B-side.

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Reply #2 posted 03/04/17 9:46am

purplerabbitho
le

Crucial is fine, but it just felt like "Been there, done that."

muleFunk said:

The interesting thing about Prince fans is the diversity of like/dislike among the fans.

I happen to love Crucial. I wish there would have been an Adore single with Crucial as the B-side.

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Reply #3 posted 03/04/17 9:50am

thedance

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eek question

wow Crucial is a fantastic song... heart

Prince 4Ever. heart
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Reply #4 posted 03/04/17 9:57am

purplerabbitho
le

I will give it anothe chance. But maybe I am not in the mind set of slow jams right now. I listened to Crucial right after the oddball audio assault of the song Crystal Ball (might have been a mistake.)

And Strays of the World was such a marvel to me. I just listened to it again. I can understand if people don't like that song because it is over the top, simplistic lyrically and sentimental. But it is so unabashedly creative, loving, fearless, and ambitious..(feels like a release of emotion)... kind of overwhelmed.

thedance said:

eek question

wow Crucial is a fantastic song... heart

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Reply #5 posted 03/04/17 10:07am

NorthC

The difference is that we oldtimers have listened to & loved Crucial for years. If you hear it for the first time, I can imagine you'd think, "another slow jam..." which is the feeling I get when I hear Satisfied or On the Couch...
Also, back in 86, the Camille voice wasn't "overused" yet. I think Good Love is absolutely fantastic.
But... Purplerabbit is right about Prince in the 90s: long on talent, short on quality control.
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Reply #6 posted 03/04/17 10:19am

purplerabbitho
le

He used the Camille voice a ton in the 80's though. I don't mind it in the funky kind of freaky songs like "Shockadelica, Erotic City, even the beginning part of If I was your girlfiend--although I prefer IIWYG without Camille--the Sign of the Times Concert film version) but I don't generally like him to use that voice in pop songs or for the entirety of a song. The entire Good Love is in Camille's voice and its just a cute pop song that feels pushed into bubble gum territory due to the vocals. Plus, the first time I head that song was actually in the movie Bright Lights Big City" (Michael j. fox's cocaine addiction movie from 1988) and I wasn't particulary impressed with song. When I listened to it again, I liked it a bit more but the Camille voice turned me off.

As for later songs with Camille, the voice is used in good and bad ways. I like it in the song 3121 because his deeper voice is heard concurrently mixed with it. I think he used Camille too much for the end of Breakfast Can Wait (an otherwise brilliant and funny pop song.)

To me, Satisfied feels fresh (at least amongst his slow jams) because the background vocals remind me of a Ray Charles song and because of its metaphysical phone sex vibe and On the Couch to me was just funny in a regular dude kind of way. They don't feel as "been there done that" for those reasons.

NorthC said:

The difference is that we oldtimers have listened to & loved Crucial for years. If you hear it for the first time, I can imagine you'd think, "another slow jam..." which is the feeling I get when I hear Satisfied or On the Couch... Also, back in 86, the Camille voice wasn't "overused" yet. I think Good Love is absolutely fantastic. But... Purplerabbit is right about Prince in the 90s: long on talent, short on quality control.

[Edited 3/4/17 10:22am]

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Reply #7 posted 03/04/17 10:43am

NorthC

Don't forget that Good Love was supposed to be on the Camille album, so he had a good reason for using that voice.
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Reply #8 posted 03/04/17 10:51am

purplerabbitho
le

I am not sure I honestly would have enjoyed a whole Camille album. I would have respected it because it would have been obvious to myself and the whole world that he was going for an alter ego concept album but it might have been a bit too much squeaky singing for me. I love his use of camille in his freakiest songs (like Rockhard in a Funky place) but any song that lyrically or musically sounds even remotely earnest, sounds off and wrong (to me anyhow) in sung entirely in Camille's voice.

NorthC said:

Don't forget that Good Love was supposed to be on the Camille album, so he had a good reason for using that voice.

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Reply #9 posted 03/04/17 11:28am

NorthC

Really? I'm pretty sure I would have loved an album that had Rebirth of the Flesh, Housequake, If I Was Your Girlfriend, Good Love, Feel U Up and Rock Hard In a Funky Place on it! I think it's one of the great lost albums of his carreer.
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Reply #10 posted 03/04/17 12:43pm

purplerabbitho
le

Rebirth of the Flesh doesn't do anything for me unfortunately. I will give it another chance. I like Housequake but I don't love it and it is not one of my favorite songs from Sign of the Times (I prefer Hot Thing), I told you what I feel about Good Love, IIWYG, Good Love and RockHard. Feel U up I like but I would like it probably even more in his lower register or even regular falsetto.

NorthC said:

Really? I'm pretty sure I would have loved an album that had Rebirth of the Flesh, Housequake, If I Was Your Girlfriend, Good Love, Feel U Up and Rock Hard In a Funky Place on it! I think it's one of the great lost albums of his carreer.

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Reply #11 posted 03/04/17 5:10pm

PeteSilas

purplerabbithole said:

Rebirth of the Flesh doesn't do anything for me unfortunately. I will give it another chance. I like Housequake but I don't love it and it is not one of my favorite songs from Sign of the Times (I prefer Hot Thing), I told you what I feel about Good Love, IIWYG, Good Love and RockHard. Feel U up I like but I would like it probably even more in his lower register or even regular falsetto.

NorthC said:

Really? I'm pretty sure I would have loved an album that had Rebirth of the Flesh, Housequake, If I Was Your Girlfriend, Good Love, Feel U Up and Rock Hard In a Funky Place on it! I think it's one of the great lost albums of his carreer.

thread is the perfect example of how Prince was so prolific and how people's tastes are so purely subjective. Hot Thing is the second weakest track on sott in my mind, forever in my life being the worst. I can't see how anyone would place that above adore, u got the look, if i was your girlfriend, or i could never take the place of your man, all prince classics if not hits.

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Reply #12 posted 03/04/17 6:50pm

purplerabbitho
le

I didn't say that Hot Thing was above Adore, Sign of the TImes, U Got the Look or Forever in my life (and especially not "I could Never take the place of my man"--my favorite Prince song. I rank Hot Thing above Housequake (along with Walk in the Sunshine--my least favorite song on SoTT). Its funkier.

PeteSilas said:

purplerabbithole said:

Rebirth of the Flesh doesn't do anything for me unfortunately. I will give it another chance. I like Housequake but I don't love it and it is not one of my favorite songs from Sign of the Times (I prefer Hot Thing), I told you what I feel about Good Love, IIWYG, Good Love and RockHard. Feel U up I like but I would like it probably even more in his lower register or even regular falsetto.

thread is the perfect example of how Prince was so prolific and how people's tastes are so purely subjective. Hot Thing is the second weakest track on sott in my mind, forever in my life being the worst. I can't see how anyone would place that above adore, u got the look, if i was your girlfriend, or i could never take the place of your man, all prince classics if not hits.

[Edited 3/4/17 18:54pm]

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Reply #13 posted 03/04/17 9:54pm

AnonymousFan

I agree, Crucial and most of the rest of the Crystal Ball albums are amazing. Crucial is actually one of my top 3 released favorites. Some of Emancipation is okay, however a lot of that time period is just really hard to get through.

[Edited 3/4/17 21:55pm]

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Reply #14 posted 03/05/17 5:57am

EddieC

PeteSilas said:

purplerabbithole said:

Rebirth of the Flesh doesn't do anything for me unfortunately. I will give it another chance. I like Housequake but I don't love it and it is not one of my favorite songs from Sign of the Times (I prefer Hot Thing), I told you what I feel about Good Love, IIWYG, Good Love and RockHard. Feel U up I like but I would like it probably even more in his lower register or even regular falsetto.

thread is the perfect example of how Prince was so prolific and how people's tastes are so purely subjective. Hot Thing is the second weakest track on sott in my mind, forever in my life being the worst. I can't see how anyone would place that above adore, u got the look, if i was your girlfriend, or i could never take the place of your man, all prince classics if not hits.

Wow. Yep, that's what it shows alright. I can't pick out favorites/least favorites anymore on Sign O the Times (well, not true--Slow Love is still my least favorite--but my general love and famiiiarity with the album as a whole makes it hard to choose from all the good stuff), but Hot Thing was always near the top and Forever in My Life was my favorite (back when I had a favorite). If I were the sort who made snap judgments about people based on a single opinion, I'd have to write you off at this point. BUT!!!--you have that wonderful picture of Prince and Ali next to your name, so you could say a lot crazier stuff and I'd still have to give you a pass.

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Reply #15 posted 03/05/17 6:00am

PacManPlus

.

.

I always loved 'Crucial', miles better than 'Adore', IMHO.

Although, the 'Saxaphone' version MAKES that song, for me. It blows the 'Guitar' version out of the water.

.

To me: Crucial (Sax - full 7:15 version) >>>> Adore > Crucial (Guitar)

.

.

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Reply #16 posted 03/05/17 3:19pm

PeteSilas

EddieC said:

PeteSilas said:

thread is the perfect example of how Prince was so prolific and how people's tastes are so purely subjective. Hot Thing is the second weakest track on sott in my mind, forever in my life being the worst. I can't see how anyone would place that above adore, u got the look, if i was your girlfriend, or i could never take the place of your man, all prince classics if not hits.

Wow. Yep, that's what it shows alright. I can't pick out favorites/least favorites anymore on Sign O the Times (well, not true--Slow Love is still my least favorite--but my general love and famiiiarity with the album as a whole makes it hard to choose from all the good stuff), but Hot Thing was always near the top and Forever in My Life was my favorite (back when I had a favorite). If I were the sort who made snap judgments about people based on a single opinion, I'd have to write you off at this point. BUT!!!--you have that wonderful picture of Prince and Ali next to your name, so you could say a lot crazier stuff and I'd still have to give you a pass.

yes indeed, those two men shaped me 50/50. Prince had a lot of Ali in him too.

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Reply #17 posted 03/05/17 6:02pm

jaawwnn

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PeteSilas said:

purplerabbithole said:

Rebirth of the Flesh doesn't do anything for me unfortunately. I will give it another chance. I like Housequake but I don't love it and it is not one of my favorite songs from Sign of the Times (I prefer Hot Thing), I told you what I feel about Good Love, IIWYG, Good Love and RockHard. Feel U up I like but I would like it probably even more in his lower register or even regular falsetto.

thread is the perfect example of how Prince was so prolific and how people's tastes are so purely subjective. Hot Thing is the second weakest track on sott in my mind, forever in my life being the worst. I can't see how anyone would place that above adore, u got the look, if i was your girlfriend, or i could never take the place of your man, all prince classics if not hits.

Exactly. Crucial and Good Love are possibly my fav track on the entire of Crystal Ball. and Forever in my Life would be amongst my top off Sign O the Times!


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