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Forums > Prince: Music and More > Is there a shared view among P fans that the years 1989-1992 were P's lowest career point?
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Thread started 11/18/19 2:55am

SoftSkarlettLo
visa

Is there a shared view among P fans that the years 1989-1992 were P's lowest career point?

Strangely enough, I was introduced to Prince by hearing tracks from his Diamonds and Pearls album. It was a while before I introduced myself to Purple Rain, although I had heard "Kiss" on radio.

I grew to like the Diamonds and Pearls album, as well as the Batman and LoveSymbol album. To me, they were quirky and like tributes to classic Hollywood in terms of vision and style.

Now fast forward to now, I am aware of Prince's status in the 1990s - that he wasn't as popular as he was in the 1980s, and many of his 1990s albums were considered "underground".

I'm going to be honest - I like a lot of Prince's 1990s music, even the Come and Rave Un2 The Joy Fantastic albums. Heck, I even vote Grafitti Bridge as one of my top fave albums of all time.

But it seems from fans - and even people in my personal life - all agree that the years 1989 - 1992 - which saw the releases of Batman, Grafitti Bridge, Diamonds and Pearls and LoveSymbol - were the lowest point in his career.

My question is: why? Did people find the music too dark, sexual, weird? Or it had something to do with Prince being very experimental and not repeating the same 1999/ Purple Rain formula that made him a star?

I gotta say, in the Prince fam community, I'm a bit embarrased to admit I like Prince's music from 1989-1992, for I may be labelled as a freak or musically uneducated person.

[Edited 11/18/19 5:13am]

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Reply #1 posted 11/18/19 4:28am

OperatingTheta
n

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Prince was at his zenith in popularity in Europe in the early 90s. He even played Wembley Stadium in London in 1993 and had his first UK number one hit with 'TMBGITW' in '94.

Diamonds & Pearls was, as you know, a massive worldwide hit and introduced an entirely new generation (including you and I) to Prince. I think an individual's favourite period may be determined by their age and when they discovered Prince. Nostalgia and the thrill of discovery probably qualifies such an estimation more than the quality of the music, as there is an abundance of Prince's post-80s work that is extremely underrated.

However, though Prince was more popular than ever in Europe during that period, he was not so in the US. Also, some of these opinions are only truly in retrospect and are not genuinely reflective of the mood of the time.

Personally, I only started seeing and hearing negative opinions from some fans from 1996 onwards when Prince's production style changed due to Kirk Johnson. This seemed to peak here from 98-00.

1992-1995 is probably my favourite Prince time period. Come is among my favourite Prince albums. Would love to hear the original configuration,but that's another story...

*
[Edited 11/18/19 4:29am]
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Reply #2 posted 11/18/19 4:38am

donnyenglish

1987-88 and 1994-95 were high points for me. Yes, 89-92 was a low point but the fact that period is sandwiched between two of his greatest periods shows that it was just a blip on the radar.

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Reply #3 posted 11/18/19 5:42am

LoveGalore

I think more people would call his low points 1989-1990, 1997-2000, 2010-2015

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Reply #4 posted 11/18/19 5:55am

RicoN

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no. there's not a shared view amongst Prince fans about anything. Apart form maybe Purple and Gold.

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Reply #5 posted 11/18/19 6:01am

DarkKnight1

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No. That was the era that solidified my Prince fandom. prince was a freakin masterpiece.

(Insert something clever here)
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Reply #6 posted 11/18/19 6:02am

OldFriends4Sal
e

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I don't think so. It was a wobbly point. 1989 BATMAN (even though not a full on lived out Era, it wasn't low) wobbly in that the band was changing up again, which meant the Lovesexy-New Power vibe wasn't followed through. LOW POINT -> Graffiti Bridge YES low. Diamands and Pearls was too polished and clean for me, but I liked Money Don't Matter 2Night. America did not get a lot of Prince in 1990-1992(actually to 1996)

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Reply #7 posted 11/18/19 6:02am

feeluupp

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89-92 was his last commercial peak, he was very popular and in the mainstream, especially in Europe.

89 saw BATMAN which was a worldwide hit selling over 5 million copies and put Prince in the mainstream again, GB was a commercial flop, but The Nude Tour was very sucessfull overseas, many of the venues selling out 40-60,000 seater stadiums.

91 was a huge year for him, D&P was his second biggest selling album of all time with sales over 7 million world wide. 91-92 was a sucessfull tour, if you are talking about lowpoint it def has to be after the name change, 97-98 was probaby his lowest commercial point in his career and 2000-2003.

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Reply #8 posted 11/18/19 6:07am

iamafan

Diamonds and Pearls is my all time favorite song... I loved his music during that time period. Saw some great concerts then as well.

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Reply #9 posted 11/18/19 6:39am

Empress

DarkKnight1 said:

No. That was the era that solidified my Prince fandom. prince was a freakin masterpiece.

Agreed! I loved this time in his career. The music was awesome!

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Reply #10 posted 11/18/19 7:27am

itsjustaroundt
hecorner

i think for people around in the 80's... like me..

This period marked a change that you almost felt coming after Lovesexy.

Lovesexy was such a dud in the US (it is one of my favorites but in the US, it was a bust)

Until that point, Prince was the leader in pop music... maybe not in sales but most certainly in 'INFLUENCE'.. people were chasing his sound in both Pop and RnB..

Whether it was the more synth sounds from the early 80s or that chicken scratch guitar sound from Kiss / U Got The Look long look etc (examples of that are Notorious by Duran Duran, Need You Tonight by Inxs - both bands have said this.. or maybe it was Nile Rodgers who did Notorious.....)

ANYWAY

By 1988, things were changing fast and Prince's sound was kind of left in the dust.

Pop music was moving towards Hair Bands (Warrant, Bon Jovi, Skid Row) and Adult Contemporary Music (Don Henley, Michael Bolton)

The culture also became a lot more conservative ... not sure if the AIDS crisis had anything to do with it.....but Prince was never seen as a 'macho'.. he was a little ambiguous and bordering on femme... and he played that card until he wore it out.

And by 1988, it had worn out.

RnB music was moving towards HipHop on one side of the spectrum and the BabyFace vibe on the other end.

Glam Slam and I Wish U Heaven didn't even make the Hot 100...

It was clear that it was time for a reboot.

The smartest thing (maybe at that time) would have been to lay low after the success of SOTT and feel things out a little more. MADONNA did this... she was a hit machine and then 1988 was the year she took a break... SMART move... Pop Music was changing and if she had come out with another True Blue.. it just would have sounded like the past.

She waits until 1989 and creates Like A Prayer which had a much different sound that fit in with where music was... yes she still used controversy to her advantage but the music sounded right for that period.

Anyway...

Batman is viewed as a 'money grab' in some respects - smart move, he needed it, it got his name out there, got MTV airplay unlike the lovesexy singles... but this album was not setting new trends...

Then the disaster that was Graffiti Bridge (i love some songs but my god that movie was really 'out of touch'... what on earth was he thinking!!!!!)

Then with D&P / Love Symbol and it felt like he started to follow trends that started 3 years before!... more macho image (more suits and ties and much less androgynous then before), and incorporating the dancers and rap into his sound. He no longer came off as an 'innovator' ...

Even as iconic as it was, it seemed the best way for him to get attention was to show his ass on MTV, thats what it had come to.

Im by no means judging, just saying my own interpretation of this period from someone who devoured every little nuance of this artist for the entire 80's.

I went to Paisley Park this past weekend and did the Ultimate VIP tour (WELL WORTH IT) and I was reminded of how completely ORIGINAL he was during the period 1980 - 1988... it was all so inventive and different...and then things became a little too safe and more 'expected' after that... until maybe Gold Experience which kicks major *ss.

Anyway, thats my 3 cents!

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Reply #11 posted 11/18/19 7:52am

renfield

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For my personal tastes 2000-2003 was the low point. The JW proselytizing in his lyrics and the languid instrumental jazz stuff just didn't really click for me. Renato's playing came off like elevator jazz and I found NEWS and Xpectation very dull. Also his music was difficult to get a hold of. It was often unavailable in record stores and even if you were a member of the NPGMC there was never a 100% guarantee you were going to get what was promised. The public had completely lost interest and even amongst hardcores (unless you got to go to a soundcheck or the Celebration) it was a tough time.

[Edited 11/18/19 7:54am]

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Reply #12 posted 11/18/19 8:32am

djThunderfunk

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RicoN said:

no. there's not a shared view amongst Prince fans about anything. Apart form maybe Purple and Gold.


yeahthat

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Reply #13 posted 11/18/19 8:39am

Genesia

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RicoN said:

no. there's not a shared view amongst Prince fans about anything. Apart form maybe Purple and Gold.


lol and yeahthat

We don’t mourn artists because we knew them. We mourn them because they helped us know ourselves.
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Reply #14 posted 11/18/19 9:45am

NouveauDance

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Maybe in 1992 that was a prevelant opinion, but there's been a lot of mediocre albums since then that make anything from 89-92 look like 82-87.

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RicoN said:

no. there's not a shared view amongst Prince fans about anything. Apart form maybe Purple and Gold.

:lol:Now that's something we can all get behind!

.

.

[Edited 11/18/19 9:46am]

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Reply #15 posted 11/18/19 9:56am

BalladofPeterP
arker

I'm suprised Prince fans agree on how to spell his name.

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Reply #16 posted 11/18/19 10:26am

skywalker

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What barometrics are we using for "lowest point?" Commercially speaking, 1989-1992 were more successfu yearsl for Prince than 1986-1988.

"New Power slide...."
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Reply #17 posted 11/18/19 12:35pm

rogifan

RicoN said:

no. there's not a shared view amongst Prince fans about anything. Apart form maybe Purple and Gold.


What about chocolate box?

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Reply #18 posted 11/18/19 12:43pm

SoulAlive

1989-1992? hmmm For the most part,I enjoyed Prince's music during this period.'Batman' is alot of fun.....'Graffiti Bridge' isn't a spectacular album but it does have its moments.....'Diamonds And Pearls' is a superb album and the next album,'Love Symbol' is even better......a big,bold,powerful "rock soap opera" with so many highlights!

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Reply #19 posted 11/18/19 3:32pm

PliablyPurple

No, that would probably be 2016.

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Reply #20 posted 11/18/19 4:12pm

sambluedolphin

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I dont see that, i think this period was some of his best work, and that he had massive hits all over Europe at the time. Many top 5 singles, also number one in America and hits.

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Reply #21 posted 11/18/19 5:25pm

macaylasdad

Lowest career point DEFINITELY 1997-2003 absolutely dreadful. So many turds, a toliet wouldn't flush... Rave, NPS, any NPGMC....

2nd lowest... 2010 to 2016... 3rd Eye Girl project was painful HNR albums were not very good....at all.

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Reply #22 posted 11/18/19 10:24pm

Nightcrawler

For me, the years between Emancipation and The Rainbow Children were the low point
Just like the sun, the rainbow children rise...
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Reply #23 posted 11/18/19 10:37pm

Strive

1998 to 2001

While Rave wasn't bad and there was the occasional glimpse of something interesting regarding his work, it felt like he was lost.

The Rainbow Children and following tour marked him finding himself.

[Edited 11/18/19 22:40pm]

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Reply #24 posted 11/18/19 11:54pm

coldasice

Diamonds and Symbol were cool to me, but that Come/Gold era was the epic shit to me. Still is.
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Reply #25 posted 11/19/19 12:15am

JorisE73

No way. 1990 was ok, in 1991 and 1992 he was huge in Europe.
The prince album was awesome.
Teh Diamonds and Pearls/Act I/ActII tours were awesome compared to the Nude Tour.
I love this period. 1996 in my opinoin is when it all went sour.

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Reply #26 posted 11/19/19 12:25am

WhisperingDand
elions

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rogifan said:

RicoN said:

no. there's not a shared view amongst Prince fans about anything. Apart form maybe Purple and Gold.


What about chocolate box?

But I like that one.

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Reply #27 posted 11/19/19 12:45am

JorisE73

WhisperingDandelions said:

rogifan said:


What about chocolate box?

But I like that one.


lol me too! I like almost everything after 2002.
To me the period between 1996 and 2001 wasn't that interesting, with the ONA tour everything fell into place again for me.

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Reply #28 posted 11/19/19 12:50am

PurpleHigh

RicoN said:

no. there's not a shared view amongst Prince fans about anything. Apart form maybe Purple and Gold.

I happen to like Purple and Gold.

"Raise every voice and let it be known, in the name of the Purple and Gold!"

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Reply #29 posted 11/19/19 9:33am

AvocadosMax

I don’t get you fools who say that “2010-2016 was a low point”
No the fuck it was not! If anything that last decade was his highest point in his entire fucking career!! Super bowl, 2009 and 2013 Montreux shows were legendary. Most of the albums were killer or decent. Live shows were fantastic as ever in general. Best interviews and tv appearances of his career. Piano shows and memoirs. Plus regaining his masters and then teaming up with TIDAL. Those last years were legendary and brought some of his greatest music since the 90s. Don’t tell me those years were a low point. Y’all can fuck the hell off with that bs
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