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Thread started 12/22/21 9:38am

BartVanHemelen

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Stereogum: The Number Ones: Prince & The New Power Generation’s “Cream”

https://www.stereogum.com...mber-ones/

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November 9, 1991

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The Number Ones: Prince & The New Power Generation’s “Cream”

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In The Number Ones, I’m reviewing every single #1 single in the history of the Billboard Hot 100, starting with the chart’s beginning, in 1958, and working my way up into the present.

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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 #1 posted 12/22/21 11:54am

laytonian

Barely mentions "Cream".

Welcome to "the org", laytonian… come bathe with me.
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Reply #2 posted 12/22/21 12:39pm

steakfinger

“Cream,” for instance, definitely sounds like Prince, but you can hear the man pushing himself, trying to come up with something different.

Pushing himself to come up with something different? You mean like the song Get It On (Bang A Gong) by T. Tex - by then 20 years old - that he ripped off for Cream? Jesus...

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Reply #3 posted 12/22/21 2:37pm

nayroo2002

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The bass.

You can always FEEL the bass.

Most songs are also recognised by the bassline.

"Whatever skin Ur in
we all need 2 b friends"
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Reply #4 posted 12/22/21 3:10pm

thebanishedone

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steakfinger said:


“Cream,” for instance, definitely sounds like Prince, but you can hear the man pushing himself, trying to come up with something different.




Pushing himself to come up with something different? You mean like the song Get It On (Bang A Gong) by T. Tex - by then 20 years old - that he ripped off for Cream? Jesus...

i am sorry but the only thing similar is the vibe.if you were Mark Bolan and you sue Prince you would lose the case.and what was new about Cream was production value.Sexy Mf and Cream although removed from Pronces classic sound are indeed classic Prince
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Reply #5 posted 12/22/21 3:41pm

Buttox

thebanishedone said:

steakfinger said:


“Cream,” for instance, definitely sounds like Prince, but you can hear the man pushing himself, trying to come up with something different.




Pushing himself to come up with something different? You mean like the song Get It On (Bang A Gong) by T. Tex - by then 20 years old - that he ripped off for Cream? Jesus...

i am sorry but the only thing similar is the vibe.if you were Mark Bolan and you sue Prince you would lose the case.and what was new about Cream was production value.Sexy Mf and Cream although removed from Pronces classic sound are indeed classic Prince

You've got to be kidding. The background tracks are highly similar as are the vocals styles employed in both. It is the most derivative of Prince's hits by far ...

What the hell do you mean by "production values" and why are you bringing Sexy MF into the conversation?
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Reply #6 posted 12/22/21 4:16pm

thebanishedone

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Buttox said:

thebanishedone said:

i am sorry but the only thing similar is the vibe.if you were Mark Bolan and you sue Prince you would lose the case.and what was new about Cream was production value.Sexy Mf and Cream although removed from Pronces classic sound are indeed classic Prince

You've got to be kidding. The background tracks are highly similar as are the vocals styles employed in both. It is the most derivative of Prince's hits by far ...

What the hell do you mean by "production values" and why are you bringing Sexy MF into the conversation?
are you sure about that cause now i'm going to post a list of songs Prince ripedoff other artists .here u go
Dance 4 Me Wa Wa Nee Giving Everything mixed with Zapp I Can Make U Dance

im surprised Wa Wa Nee didnt sue Prince

Guitar U2 I Will Follow

Redhead Stepchild Guess Who American Woman

The Everlasting Now Michael Jackson Burn This Disco OUt

The Most Beautiful Girl Raynard J Takin Me To Paradise

autors of the song did take Prince to court.

1999 ,Manic Monday Mamas and Papas Monday Morning

Raspberry Berret The Buzzcocks Are Everything

Erotic City Laid Back White Horse

7 Heathwave Gangsters Of The Groove

1000X and Kisses Denis Edwards Dont Look Any Further
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Reply #7 posted 12/22/21 4:19pm

thebanishedone

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What i mean by production values is that Diamonds And Pearls in terms of sound sound nothing like any other album Prince did in the past.yet it sounds so Prince. Sexy Mf while far removed from his original sound still manages to capture the essence of Prince.
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Reply #8 posted 12/22/21 7:23pm

TrivialPursuit

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thebanishedone said:

steakfinger said:

Pushing himself to come up with something different? You mean like the song "Get It On (Bang A Gong)" by T. Tex - by then 20 years old - that he ripped off for "Cream?"


I am sorry but the only thing similar is the vibe. If you were Mark Bolan and you sue Prince you would lose the case. And what was new about "Cream" was production value. "Sexy MF" and "Cream" although removed from Princes classic sound are indeed classic Prince.


And even that is barely there. It's a passing fancy, at best. To say he ripped off some old ass track, on purpose - to have a hit, like "Get It On" feels obtuse. A lot of songs have that driving bass line. The same way a lot of songs basically stick in one chord 99% of the time (aka "Mountains").

Did anyone try to sue his ass over "The Ride" for being a basic blues riff? Did he "rip someone off" there? Of course not.

"eye don’t really care so much what people say about me because it is a reflection of who they r."
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Reply #9 posted 12/22/21 8:43pm

TrivialPursuit

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nayroo2002 said:

The bass.

You can always FEEL the bass.

Most songs are also recognised by the bassline.


Well... except that one song. lol

"eye don’t really care so much what people say about me because it is a reflection of who they r."
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Reply #10 posted 12/22/21 11:44pm

Sydney

I've grown to appreciate Cream over the years - I now think it is a superb pop song. I love it's minimalism, innuendo and guitar playing. Prince at his most brilliant. I like the nod to Marc Bolan - just a great song and performance.
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Reply #11 posted 12/23/21 11:15am

bozojones

This is by far my least favorite of Prince's hit songs. Sure, it's a competently-written and competently-recorded piece of pop fluff, but it's utterly forgettable and toothless compared to most of his work up to that point. I'm not a fan of the T-Rex song this borrows from, either.

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Reply #12 posted 12/23/21 11:29am

LoveGalore

It is kind of amusing to see people stretch and reach to deny that Prince ever was influenced by things they may not rate. To me, it feels pretty clear that he was inspired to do his own version of something like Bang A Gong with Cream but I guess to each one's ears their own.
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Reply #13 posted 12/23/21 11:45am

TrivialPursuit

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LoveGalore said:

It is kind of amusing to see people stretch and reach to deny that Prince ever was influenced by things they may not rate. To me, it feels pretty clear that he was inspired to do his own version of something like Bang A Gong with Cream but I guess to each one's ears their own.


I believe he was influenced by many things. But the reference here is too obscure - in that it was so so so long ago - that it's unreasonable or illogical to think he was using it specifically for "Cream." As I noted, there are plenty of songs with the same driving beat and methodology in "Cream" and "Get It On."

There was a similar claim against George Michael and Wham! for "Last Christmas." The writer's of Barry Manilow's "Can't Smile with You" claimed copyright infringement. They lost because a musicologist, brought into the case, presented 60-odd songs from the past century that had a comparable chord sequence and melody.

And to me, those don't sound nearly as alike as "Cream" and "Get It On" could, so if that's the case with "Last Christmas," then "Get It On" and "Cream" probably have three times as many examples.

"eye don’t really care so much what people say about me because it is a reflection of who they r."
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Reply #14 posted 12/23/21 1:08pm

renfield

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TrivialPursuit said:

LoveGalore said:

It is kind of amusing to see people stretch and reach to deny that Prince ever was influenced by things they may not rate. To me, it feels pretty clear that he was inspired to do his own version of something like Bang A Gong with Cream but I guess to each one's ears their own.


I believe he was influenced by many things. But the reference here is too obscure - in that it was so so so long ago - that it's unreasonable or illogical to think he was using it specifically for "Cream." As I noted, there are plenty of songs with the same driving beat and methodology in "Cream" and "Get It On."

"Get It On" was a top ten hit in the US when Prince was 12. He definitely would have known it, it wasn't that obscure. And it was only 20 years before "Cream". Sade's "Sweetest Taboo" was 20 years old when Prince released "SST", so he had no problem being directly influenced by songs from decades earlier.


I don't think it's a big deal if he wanted to do his own version of T. Rex; I don't see it as a ripoff. "Cream" is a jam in its own right. And the "filthy cute" line seems like a very obvious nod to the "dirty sweet" line in "Get It On". T. Rex was great, I think it's cool Prince wanted to play with that vibe.

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Reply #15 posted 12/23/21 1:14pm

thebanishedone

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Melody of the song have nothing to do with Bang A Gong .only the vibe but it could have been acidental.
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Reply #16 posted 12/23/21 1:18pm

renfield

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thebanishedone said:

Melody of the song have nothing to do with Bang A Gong .only the vibe but it could have been acidental.

I don't think anyone's ever accused him of stealing the melody. It's just the feel of the song, and the one lyrical nod. The same way his James Brown tracks like "The Work" had the feel of James without directly lifting any melodies.

It's no big deal either way.

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Reply #17 posted 12/23/21 3:55pm

LoveGalore

TrivialPursuit said:



LoveGalore said:


It is kind of amusing to see people stretch and reach to deny that Prince ever was influenced by things they may not rate. To me, it feels pretty clear that he was inspired to do his own version of something like Bang A Gong with Cream but I guess to each one's ears their own.


I believe he was influenced by many things. But the reference here is too obscure - in that it was so so so long ago - that it's unreasonable or illogical to think he was using it specifically for "Cream." As I noted, there are plenty of songs with the same driving beat and methodology in "Cream" and "Get It On."

There was a similar claim against George Michael and Wham! for "Last Christmas." The writer's of Barry Manilow's "Can't Smile with You" claimed copyright infringement. They lost because a musicologist, brought into the case, presented 60-odd songs from the past century that had a comparable chord sequence and melody.

And to me, those don't sound nearly as alike as "Cream" and "Get It On" could, so if that's the case with "Last Christmas," then "Get It On" and "Cream" probably have three times as many examples.



All that said, it still seems like an obvious reference.

As far as it being too old of a song... We're talking about the same Prince, right? The one whose lead single for an album just 5 short years later was a cover of a 30 year old song by then? The same one who lifted another 30 year old song for "Colonized Mind"? Prince was all about references new and old.
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Reply #18 posted 12/23/21 4:03pm

TrivialPursuit

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LoveGalore said:

All that said, it still seems like an obvious reference. As far as it being too old of a song... We're talking about the same Prince, right? The one whose lead single for an album just 5 short years later was a cover of a 30 year old song by then? The same one who lifted another 30 year old song for "Colonized Mind"? Prince was all about references new and old.


You could be right. I could be right. We may never know, and that's fine by me. While I know "Get It On" was a hit in its day, all these years later... eeehhhh. It's a stretch. But I do fully agree Prince referenced a lot of things in his music, sometimes I think just to "make it better" or try to one-up someone, in his own way. Maybe sometimes to pay homage.

Sometimes he just stole shit! hahaha

"eye don’t really care so much what people say about me because it is a reflection of who they r."
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Reply #19 posted 12/25/21 10:09pm

EddieC

The connections between the two songs seem blatantly obvious to me, and did so at the time, even though I had never heard T. Rex's version back then. I had, however, heard the Power Station version of Get It On, just like everyone else listening to American radio in 1985 had. Yeah, Prince might very well have remembered the song from 20 years before, but he couldn't help but remember the equally big hit from only 6 years before. And I think that version of Get It On is definitely part of why we have Cream.

And as far as whether Prince would lose in a challenge... well, if whoever owns Bolan's publishing tried with today's copyright climate, who knows if they could swing a jury. It shouldn't be a valid claim, but there have been roughly equivalent cases that have gone in surprising directions for me--the general public seems to have a tough time distinguisihng between common tropes and stock patterns and the more distinctive elements that copyright traditionally protected. Credits are retroactively given all the time for things I think are completely unjustified, but rather than have a bad legal decision take everything from the writer, I guess people decide to just give up a portion.

[Edited 12/25/21 22:10pm]

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Reply #20 posted 12/26/21 7:41am

dustoff

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thebanishedone said:

Buttox said:
You've got to be kidding. The background tracks are highly similar as are the vocals styles employed in both. It is the most derivative of Prince's hits by far ... What the hell do you mean by "production values" and why are you bringing Sexy MF into the conversation?
are you sure about that cause now i'm going to post a list of songs Prince ripedoff other artists .here u go Dance 4 Me Wa Wa Nee Giving Everything mixed with Zapp I Can Make U Dance im surprised Wa Wa Nee didnt sue Prince Guitar U2 I Will Follow Redhead Stepchild Guess Who American Woman The Everlasting Now Michael Jackson Burn This Disco OUt The Most Beautiful Girl Raynard J Takin Me To Paradise autors of the song did take Prince to court. 1999 ,Manic Monday Mamas and Papas Monday Morning Raspberry Berret The Buzzcocks Are Everything Erotic City Laid Back White Horse 7 Heathwave Gangsters Of The Groove 1000X and Kisses Denis Edwards Dont Look Any Further

Never liked Cream' enough to dwell on the T. Rex connection, but now I've spent the last half hour wondering if Prince ever listened to the Buzzcocks...

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Reply #21 posted 12/26/21 9:42am

thebanishedone

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dustoff said:



thebanishedone said:


Buttox said:
You've got to be kidding. The background tracks are highly similar as are the vocals styles employed in both. It is the most derivative of Prince's hits by far ... What the hell do you mean by "production values" and why are you bringing Sexy MF into the conversation?

are you sure about that cause now i'm going to post a list of songs Prince ripedoff other artists .here u go Dance 4 Me Wa Wa Nee Giving Everything mixed with Zapp I Can Make U Dance im surprised Wa Wa Nee didnt sue Prince Guitar U2 I Will Follow Redhead Stepchild Guess Who American Woman The Everlasting Now Michael Jackson Burn This Disco OUt The Most Beautiful Girl Raynard J Takin Me To Paradise autors of the song did take Prince to court. 1999 ,Manic Monday Mamas and Papas Monday Morning Raspberry Berret The Buzzcocks Are Everything Erotic City Laid Back White Horse 7 Heathwave Gangsters Of The Groove 1000X and Kisses Denis Edwards Dont Look Any Further


Never liked Cream' enough to dwell on the T. Rex connection, but now I've spent the last half hour wondering if Prince ever listened to the Buzzcocks...


I think Lisa stole that melody from Buzzcoks,remember Raspberry Berret was based on melody Lisa "came up with "
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Reply #22 posted 12/26/21 12:05pm

iveivan

Cream is clearly influenced by the sound of T Rex but I'm not sure it's a rip off.

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Reply #23 posted 12/26/21 12:15pm

LoveGalore

thebanishedone said:

dustoff said:



thebanishedone said:


Buttox said:
You've got to be kidding. The background tracks are highly similar as are the vocals styles employed in both. It is the most derivative of Prince's hits by far ... What the hell do you mean by "production values" and why are you bringing Sexy MF into the conversation?

are you sure about that cause now i'm going to post a list of songs Prince ripedoff other artists .here u go Dance 4 Me Wa Wa Nee Giving Everything mixed with Zapp I Can Make U Dance im surprised Wa Wa Nee didnt sue Prince Guitar U2 I Will Follow Redhead Stepchild Guess Who American Woman The Everlasting Now Michael Jackson Burn This Disco OUt The Most Beautiful Girl Raynard J Takin Me To Paradise autors of the song did take Prince to court. 1999 ,Manic Monday Mamas and Papas Monday Morning Raspberry Berret The Buzzcocks Are Everything Erotic City Laid Back White Horse 7 Heathwave Gangsters Of The Groove 1000X and Kisses Denis Edwards Dont Look Any Further


Never liked Cream' enough to dwell on the T. Rex connection, but now I've spent the last half hour wondering if Prince ever listened to the Buzzcocks...


I think Lisa stole that melody from Buzzcoks,remember Raspberry Berret was based on melody Lisa "came up with "


Okay but they're only sooooort of similar in the beginning. The melody for RB keeps going beyond the part that sounds like The Buzzcocks Are Everything.
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Reply #24 posted 12/26/21 4:39pm

fen

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thebanishedone said:

Buttox said:
You've got to be kidding. The background tracks are highly similar as are the vocals styles employed in both. It is the most derivative of Prince's hits by far ... What the hell do you mean by "production values" and why are you bringing Sexy MF into the conversation?
are you sure about that cause now i'm going to post a list of songs Prince ripedoff other artists .here u go Dance 4 Me Wa Wa Nee Giving Everything mixed with Zapp I Can Make U Dance im surprised Wa Wa Nee didnt sue Prince Guitar U2 I Will Follow Redhead Stepchild Guess Who American Woman The Everlasting Now Michael Jackson Burn This Disco OUt The Most Beautiful Girl Raynard J Takin Me To Paradise autors of the song did take Prince to court. 1999 ,Manic Monday Mamas and Papas Monday Morning Raspberry Berret The Buzzcocks Are Everything Erotic City Laid Back White Horse 7 Heathwave Gangsters Of The Groove 1000X and Kisses Denis Edwards Dont Look Any Further

The thing is, sometimes things can resemble each other without being deliberate, conscious rip-offs. I remember making a track once that I was really happy with, but I had this nagging feeling that I’d heard something very similar before. It turned out that the melody was almost identical to Autechre’s "VLetrmx21", but I’d come to it essentially independently (I knew the track, but it wasn’t a direct, conscious reference during the composition) … sometimes you just hit the same “vein” and there’s an internal logic and “feel” to it. I was pretty mortified because it was too close to be usable, and completely unintentional.

[Edited 12/26/21 16:40pm]

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Reply #25 posted 01/02/22 11:14am

Dalia11

iveivan said:

Cream is clearly influenced by the sound of T Rex but I'm not sure it's a rip off.



The video for "Cream" is available on:

"Prince And The N.P.G's "Diamonds And Pearls" Video Collection".
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Reply #26 posted 01/02/22 11:28am

2freaky4church
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Diffrent would be a song like 7.

All you others say Hell Yea!! woot!
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Reply #27 posted 01/02/22 12:35pm

TrivialPursuit

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Dalia11 said:

iveivan said:

Cream is clearly influenced by the sound of T Rex but I'm not sure it's a rip off.

The video for "Cream" is available on: "Prince And The N.P.G's "Diamonds And Pearls" Video Collection".


Off topic.

"eye don’t really care so much what people say about me because it is a reflection of who they r."
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Reply #28 posted 01/02/22 1:31pm

nayroo2002

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TrivialPursuit said:

Dalia11 said:

iveivan said: The video for "Cream" is available on: "Prince And The N.P.G's "Diamonds And Pearls" Video Collection".


Off topic.

She's really nice, c'mon!

"Whatever skin Ur in
we all need 2 b friends"
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Reply #29 posted 01/02/22 4:30pm

lurker316

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thebanishedone said:

dustoff said:

Never liked Cream' enough to dwell on the T. Rex connection, but now I've spent the last half hour wondering if Prince ever listened to the Buzzcocks...

I think Lisa stole that melody from Buzzcoks,remember Raspberry Berret was based on melody Lisa "came up with "



I don't hear Raspberry Berret at all in this song.


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