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Thread started 08/14/20 12:15am

Lordy

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'Kiss' - Deconstruction and analysis

I originally posted this in the 'art, podcast & fan content' forum, however it seems to be a graveyard where hardly anyone visits and I think people will miss out on what I think is some very interesting Prince analysis. Apologies if people (and the mods) disagree. Anyway, here you go...
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May I recommend an episode from a podcast entitled "Strong Songs". The premise is a musician - Kirk Hamilton - breaks down a song and tries to figure out what makes it work and tries to recreate parts of the song. This episode he goes deep on "Kiss". I think it's an excellent listen, more so if you're an aspiring musician, but not that's certainly not a pre-requisite to enjoy this podcast. If you enjoy your 'Peach and Black' podcast - then this is a doozie.
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Obviously you'll find it via your favourite podcast app - released on 24/6/2020 - or you can find it on Spotify here -
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https://open.spotify.com/...o9clGTuXKw
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I hope y'all enjoy it as much as I did.
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Reply #1 posted 08/14/20 2:44am

mediumdry

thanks... very interesting listen, especially where he builds the drums from just drum/snare/hihat to the gated reverbed groove that's on the album (well, an approximation, talking about the technique).

Indeed, I don't visit the podcast forum much. smile

Paisley Park is in your heart - Love Is Here!
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Reply #2 posted 08/14/20 3:20am

SimonCharles

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Thanks, Lordy. This is a fun listen. This does mean I'm going to have to go and check out the art, podcast and fan content forum more, if gems like this are hidden in there!

Words are like shoes...
Try my shoes on...
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Reply #3 posted 08/14/20 5:03am

fishwillbite

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Thanks for this. Interesting listen. Fairly dry in its analysis, and I was floored when he said that Prince 'was just getting into production' when Kiss was made (!!!) but I like how he places the song in the context of the history of the blues. Other nice comments are that 'not many songs get a sequel' in reference to Janelle's 'Make Me Feel', and how Prince 'trancends English language' on the line 'I wanna be your fantasy'. smile

PIPS! Eurgh...
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Reply #4 posted 08/14/20 8:26am

PURPLEIZED3121

All credit to Ricky Peterson for the production & overall creation of this classic -

full credit to P for stealing it back !

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Reply #5 posted 08/14/20 8:48am

mediumdry

Ricki Peterson?

.

I thought it was David Z. Did I miss something?

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Reply #6 posted 08/14/20 10:34am

PRNelson

I've mentioned it on here before, but i believe kiss is based heavily on Queen's 'i want to break free' - particularly the production and arrangement. The timeline links up too.
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Reply #7 posted 08/14/20 11:55am

OldFriends4Sal
e

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PURPLEIZED3121 said:

All credit to Ricky Peterson for the production & overall creation of this classic -

full credit to P for stealing it back !

Brown Mark and David Z.(Bobby Z's brother)

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Try it while you're being strangled
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Reply #8 posted 08/14/20 12:52pm

BlueShakooo

Cool recommendation!
Thank you Lordy!
[Edited 8/14/20 12:52pm]
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Reply #9 posted 08/14/20 2:18pm

ufoclub

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PRNelson said:

I've mentioned it on here before, but i believe kiss is based heavily on Queen's 'i want to break free' - particularly the production and arrangement. The timeline links up too.

I hear it. But, at the same time, Kiss is a very standard retro structure, but startlingly arranged and performed in a stark electronic yet organically rubbery way.

There's so many Prince songs where I think the grain of the idea came from a hit from some other artist, which he transformed it into a new Prince song. For example, I suspect "My Name is Prince" was his version of the vibe of "Momma Said Knock You Out". But that's "par for course" for how rock/pop music has worked in general.

But then there's things like When Doves Cry or Pheremone which sound unlike anything going on in that time period that I know of.


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Reply #10 posted 08/19/20 7:37am

steakfinger

PRNelson said:

I've mentioned it on here before, but i believe kiss is based heavily on Queen's 'i want to break free' - particularly the production and arrangement. The timeline links up too.

Prince had nothing to do with Kiss other than sing on it and play a little guitar. I wonder if the Mazerati dudes where ripping Queen?

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Reply #11 posted 08/19/20 7:42am

ufoclub

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steakfinger said:

PRNelson said:

I've mentioned it on here before, but i believe kiss is based heavily on Queen's 'i want to break free' - particularly the production and arrangement. The timeline links up too.

Prince had nothing to do with Kiss other than sing on it and play a little guitar. I wonder if the Mazerati dudes where ripping Queen?

I would say Prince had a lot to do with it in the role of a producer. He changed up the sound of all their tracks, edited and remixed it, and then added the most prominent features of the song, the guitar riff anf his vocal delivery.

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Reply #12 posted 08/19/20 3:27pm

databank

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OldFriends4Sale said:

PURPLEIZED3121 said:

All credit to Ricky Peterson for the production & overall creation of this classic -

full credit to P for stealing it back !

Brown Mark and David Z.(Bobby Z's brother)

Yeah Ricky Peterson had nothing to do with it. He didn't enter the P camp before another 4 or 5 years, I believe his first contribution is when Eric asked Prince to add keys on Times Squared and P told Eric to use Ricky instead.

.

I must admit it's a bit fuzzy to me who did what exactly between David, Mark and the guys from Mazarati because everyone kind of told a variant of the story that gives them more credit, but my uinderstanding is that the lead architect was David. I guess Duane's book next year will get to the bottom of this. Now when you listen to the Mazarati version (circulating on bootlegs), it totally lacks the energy of P's version. P had the instinct to recognize there was something really good there and make something truly mindblowing with it. The Mazarati version would never have become such a classic even with proper promo (which it wouldn't have received from WB anyway).

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Reply #13 posted 08/19/20 7:39pm

masaba

steakfinger said:



PRNelson said:


I've mentioned it on here before, but i believe kiss is based heavily on Queen's 'i want to break free' - particularly the production and arrangement. The timeline links up too.


Prince had nothing to do with Kiss other than sing on it and play a little guitar. I wonder if the Mazerati dudes where ripping Queen?


Didn't he write the song? Then them boys rearranged it and he came back and took it back?
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Reply #14 posted 08/20/20 1:00am

databank

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masaba said:

steakfinger said:

Prince had nothing to do with Kiss other than sing on it and play a little guitar. I wonder if the Mazerati dudes where ripping Queen?

Didn't he write the song? Then them boys rearranged it and he came back and took it back?

Of course. It appears though that the short acoustic demo we have is the real thing and that David wrote the additional lyrics (uncredited). Again, waiting for Duane to clarify all this next year.

A COMPREHENSIVE PRINCE DISCOGRAPHY (work in progress ^^): https://sites.google.com/...iscog/home
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Reply #15 posted 08/20/20 2:21am

Kares

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databank said:

masaba said:

steakfinger said: Didn't he write the song? Then them boys rearranged it and he came back and took it back?

Of course. It appears though that the short acoustic demo we have is the real thing and that David wrote the additional lyrics (uncredited). Again, waiting for Duane to clarify all this next year.

.
I doubt that David wrote any of the lyrics. If the P demo we have is the full (and only) demo recording, then I guess P just handed David the full lyrics on paper, without bothering to sing it all the way through.

Friends don't let friends clap on 1 and 3.

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Reply #16 posted 08/20/20 2:22am

databank

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Kares said:

databank said:

Of course. It appears though that the short acoustic demo we have is the real thing and that David wrote the additional lyrics (uncredited). Again, waiting for Duane to clarify all this next year.

.
I doubt that David wrote any of the lyrics. If the P demo we have is the full (and only) demo recording, then I guess P just handed David the full lyrics on paper, without bothering to sing it all the way through.

Its something David said IIRC. But idk.

A COMPREHENSIVE PRINCE DISCOGRAPHY (work in progress ^^): https://sites.google.com/...iscog/home
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Reply #17 posted 08/20/20 2:27am

Kares

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databank said:

Kares said:

.
I doubt that David wrote any of the lyrics. If the P demo we have is the full (and only) demo recording, then I guess P just handed David the full lyrics on paper, without bothering to sing it all the way through.

Its something David said IIRC. But idk.

.

Wow. I'd be REALLY surprised if that would turn out to be even just partially true.

Friends don't let friends clap on 1 and 3.

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Reply #18 posted 08/20/20 4:17am

JorisE73

Kares said:

databank said:

Of course. It appears though that the short acoustic demo we have is the real thing and that David wrote the additional lyrics (uncredited). Again, waiting for Duane to clarify all this next year.

.
I doubt that David wrote any of the lyrics. If the P demo we have is the full (and only) demo recording, then I guess P just handed David the full lyrics on paper, without bothering to sing it all the way through.


There's and earlier version among some with extra lyrics and synth parts that were cut from the album version.

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Reply #19 posted 08/20/20 4:49am

SimonCharles

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JorisE73 said:

Kares said:

.
I doubt that David wrote any of the lyrics. If the P demo we have is the full (and only) demo recording, then I guess P just handed David the full lyrics on paper, without bothering to sing it all the way through.


There's and earlier version among some with extra lyrics and synth parts that were cut from the album version.

Can we all stop hedging around the subject and acknowledge that Wendy and Lisa wrote the music and lyrics, and just move on? cool biggrin

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Try my shoes on...
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Reply #20 posted 08/20/20 6:14am

JoeyCococo

steakfinger said:

PRNelson said:

I've mentioned it on here before, but i believe kiss is based heavily on Queen's 'i want to break free' - particularly the production and arrangement. The timeline links up too.

Prince had nothing to do with Kiss other than sing on it and play a little guitar. I wonder if the Mazerati dudes where ripping Queen?

To me this comment reveals how amazing Prince was. True, he wrote a little acoustic ditty which mazarati and David Z developed into something that sounds like the finished product. However, if it were not for Prince's UNIQUE vocals...the screaming and shouting no one else (I can think of) could do, that song would be good...but not great. The man could do anything and this is another example. His touch takes it up a 1000 notches ...always. I remember thinking this when I heard his take on Come Home in 2017. I barely listened to Mavis Staples' version but when I heard him sing it, I was floored. So much feeling...so much yearning.

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Reply #21 posted 08/20/20 8:04am

BartVanHemelen

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© Bart Van Hemelen
This posting is provided AS IS with no warranties, and confers no rights.
It is not authorized by Prince or the NPG Music Club. You assume all risk for
your use. All rights reserved.
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Reply #22 posted 08/20/20 8:24am

jaawwnn

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Musically, the piano part was lifted from Bo Diddley’s 'Say Man,' and the backup vocals from Brenda Lee's 'Sweet Nothings.'

Did someone tell Duane this or is it just something he hears himself?



Anyway, the smartest thing i've ever heard someone say about this song is while it's basically a rip-off of Helene Smith's You Got To Be a Man, he very cleverly removes all the musical bits that make her song distinctive and then, just as a musical injoke, adds back the bit she had removed herself when writing her James Brown rip off (i.e. the guitar riff). And he did it all while also writing one of the biggest songs of the decade.

I mean, none of that is based on documented fact but it's a fun way of looking at it.

[Edited 8/20/20 8:27am]

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Reply #23 posted 08/20/20 9:10am

databank

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jaawwnn said:

Musically, the piano part was lifted from Bo Diddley’s 'Say Man,' and the backup vocals from Brenda Lee's 'Sweet Nothings.'

Did someone tell Duane this or is it just something he hears himself?


IIRC it was also something David Z admitted himself in an interview, probably the same one where he said he wrote additionnal lyrics. It was some online article some years back.

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Reply #24 posted 08/20/20 9:12am

databank

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^Ha I just saw Bart posted many links. It's very likely the article/interview where it says David wrote extra lyrics and where he admits borrowing from Didley and Lee is among these links.

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Reply #25 posted 08/20/20 9:32am

Giovanni777

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The Spotify link doesn't work. Maybe they removed it?

"He's a musician's musician..."
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Reply #26 posted 08/20/20 10:34am

jaawwnn

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databank said:

^Ha I just saw Bart posted many links. It's very likely the article/interview where it says David wrote extra lyrics and where he admits borrowing from Didley and Lee is among these links.

It is and all, the Sound on Sound interview! (not the lyrics but the Diddley/Lee bit)

[Edited 8/20/20 10:37am]

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Reply #27 posted 08/20/20 12:32pm

BlueShakooo

Giovanni777 said:

The Spotify link doesn't work. Maybe they removed it?



Just typed "Strong songs kiss" in Spotify's search box and voilà there it is. wink
https://open.spotify.com/...qBFfLFqIjA
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Reply #28 posted 08/21/20 11:51pm

Lordy

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jaawwnn said:

Musically, the piano part was lifted from Bo Diddley’s 'Say Man,' and the backup vocals from Brenda Lee's 'Sweet Nothings.'

Did someone tell Duane this or is it just something he hears himself?



Anyway, the smartest thing i've ever heard someone say about this song is while it's basically a rip-off of Helene Smith's You Got To Be a Man, he very cleverly removes all the musical bits that make her song distinctive and then, just as a musical injoke, adds back the bit she had removed herself when writing her James Brown rip off (i.e. the guitar riff). And he did it all while also writing one of the biggest songs of the decade.

I mean, none of that is based on documented fact but it's a fun way of looking at it.


[Edited 8/20/20 8:27am]


.
Ha! So you listen to the "Chart Music" podcast too, eh? I believe that was Taylor Parkes who said that. Excellent podcast. Where a bunch of ex-Melody Maker writers discuss and dissect a past edition of Top of the Pops which make for very insightful, interesting and funny copy. Very British and very good.
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Reply #29 posted 08/22/20 7:19am

GirlBrother

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The Switched On Pop podcast sometimes spend the whole show discussing / analysing just one song. I'd recommend that too!
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