1. Win a Broadcaster or one of 3 Teles! The annual Supporting Member Giveaway is on. To enter Click Here. To see all the prizes and full details Click Here. To view the thread about the giveaway Click Here.

The Artist Formerly Known As 'Prince'

Discussion in 'Telecaster Discussion Forum' started by FenderGuy53, Apr 22, 2020.

  1. mugen74

    mugen74 Tele-Holic

    Age:
    46
    Posts:
    648
    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2019
    Location:
    Ohio
    .
     
  2. blowtorch

    blowtorch Telefied Ad Free Member

    Posts:
    36,976
    Joined:
    May 2, 2003
    Location:
    Wisco


    Yeah some eccentric stuff there, but you'll have that

    A lot of the problems that people have with Prince stem from wrapping their heads around what a profoundly multi-faceted artist he was, with very complex and multi-layered works.
     
    drmordo and Lawdawg like this.
  3. Frodebro

    Frodebro Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

    Age:
    51
    Posts:
    16,351
    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2012
    Location:
    Seattle
    Prince was essentially running his career in parallel with that of the music industry, meaning he was putting out albums that represented where he was personally at musically at that specific moment in time. I don't think he ever set out to write a blockbuster album, he just cranked them out one after the other because it was his passion and his life. Some stuff reverberated with the masses, some didn't.

    I'm not what most would consider a true "fan" as I only have a few of his albums, but those that I do own I like very, very much. Others don't really speak to me at all, but I'm okay with that.
     
  4. Manual Slim

    Manual Slim Friend of Leo's

    Posts:
    3,113
    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2017
    Location:
    Up around the bend
    Wait, what? Didn’t Purple Rain sell eleventy drillion copies? Between that and Sign I’d say he had a couple of clear catalog highlights/ defining albums. Good lord why am I even defending Prince though? I mean, nobody here has to enjoy him but he kind of made a dent.
     
    rocksmoot and Frodebro like this.
  5. Texicaster

    Texicaster Friend of Leo's

    Posts:
    2,026
    Joined:
    May 9, 2018
    Location:
    Arizona

    Haha!

    For a second I thought you were being serious!

    Good one!
     
  6. Lawdawg

    Lawdawg Tele-Afflicted

    Posts:
    1,675
    Joined:
    Mar 13, 2018
    Location:
    Atlanta
    I'm not really sure how you're defining "classic album," it's admittedly quite subjective, but under almost any definition of that term Purple Rain would qualify. Maybe it's generational, but I don't know any GenXers like myself who didn't own a copy or know that album front to back. I'm also a bit confused about the above comment -- whether you like him or not Prince was nothing if not a smasher of genres -- and Purple Rain in particular did so.

    I do think it's more than fair to point out that Prince released a lot of less than stellar material and I would even agree with you that he was not as album focused as other artists I like such as my aforementioned Bowie.
     
    drmordo likes this.
  7. Texicaster

    Texicaster Friend of Leo's

    Posts:
    2,026
    Joined:
    May 9, 2018
    Location:
    Arizona
    .
     
  8. drmordo

    drmordo Tele-Holic

    Age:
    46
    Posts:
    950
    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2019
    Location:
    Miami, FL
    Both Purple Rain and Sign of the Times are absolute classics IMO.

    I just recently fired up my vinyl of SotT and was blown away how well it has aged. That said, as with all double albums, he should have cut a handful of songs and made it a single LP. Then it would easily have been his best album. In any case, SotT has been one of the major influences on my music since it came out, and I try to write songs like the Beatles. The way he uses melody and counter melody, the occasionally very psychedelic lyrics, the use of an overall vibe to underscore the album, the abrupt shifts of tone - it's amazing stuff.

    "The Ballad of Dorothy Parker" has to be in my top ten songs ever written, as is "Strange Relationship".
     
    superjam144 likes this.
  9. Endless Mike

    Endless Mike Friend of Leo's

    Posts:
    3,306
    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2016
    Location:
    Arlington, Texas
    Prolific and versatile. I prefer his later material, post Diamonds and Pearls where he began to do serious funk and R&B. Also, his side projects such as the Funhouse recordings. I can't recall the name, but he did some fusion instrumental material at one point as well.
     
    drmordo likes this.
  10. Endless Mike

    Endless Mike Friend of Leo's

    Posts:
    3,306
    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2016
    Location:
    Arlington, Texas
    Your estimation is subjective, just as are those that disagree with you. Opinions, fortunately for all of us, are not fact. You are reporting the observations and impressions of your nervous system, which is conditioned by experience, history, genetics and who knows what else. The resulting output is inherently biased and fabricated. Same with all the rest of us. To confuse our opinion with fact is at best, in error, at worst, horrifying.

    At risk of being guilty of an appeal to authority argument, Steve Vai once expressed his admiration and respect for Prince's music. This was well before the man died, so it wasn't said out of sentiment or false emotion. Make of that what you will, but it made me reconsider my position regarding the Purple One (not that I'm much of a Vai fan, either. I'm not). I still do not like his work pre 1992 or so, but appreciate his funkier music that came later.

    Anyway, if the other fellow needs to simmer down, I believe you do as well.
     
    Frodebro likes this.
  11. superjam144

    superjam144 Tele-Afflicted

    Age:
    32
    Posts:
    1,082
    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2020
    Location:
    EMPIRE STATE
    I'm going to look further into Prince to be honest. Perhaps my understanding of his material is just scratching the surface. My argument stems from feeling like a was cheated after buying 4 of his albums and finding that only 1 or 2 songs on each were well written.

    I just watched a video of a concert before he died, after his being born again, and was blown away by the power of his guitar playing.

    I think if you stripped the feminine dancing/screaming, the outlandish clothing, and bravado, you had a super intelligent songwriter, probably at the level of a composer or someone like Burt Bacharach.

    His story is quite similar to other artists like SRV who partied their butts off, sobered up and shortly thereafter died an unlucky death.

    I did not mean to offend... I would never write an artist off, especially one with that many years of hard work behind them. If the music is genuine, I accept it, if it seems like a novelty, or superficial at all, I can be quick to dismiss it...

    I probably shouldn't have posted a negative view of the guy here, but I'm bored, and am learning a lot in the process...
     
    Frodebro and Milspec like this.
  12. Modman68

    Modman68 Tele-Holic

    Posts:
    872
    Joined:
    Mar 27, 2011
    Location:
    La mesa
    Prince was a pretty important artist to me. He certainly impacted me more than Bowie, but that is largely a function of the era I grew up in. I was a metal head at the time too.... go figure

    His writing and his performance were very much centered on the cathartic, and at 16, I saw some of that emotional over romanticized suffering artist vibe in myself. You got the sense that what he recorded was always some kind of personal reflection of what was happening to him. It could get narcissistic and self indulgent (Around the World in a Day)... but again... at my age, that was a feature, not a bug.

    It made him a fantastic frontman and excellent at finding parts that supported the emotion of the song, whether that was the near free jazz piano at the opening of “condition of the heart” or the classic end guitar break of “purple rain”.

    He was not a virtuoso on guitar or any other instrument... it does him a disservice to bring that up. His greatest strength was his versatility in both the instruments he played and, more importantly, the styles he used. There are many people who can play better technical parts on guitar, piano etc.. but very few who could jump instruments and genres and still play to the song the way he could.

    Sign O the Times was the best example of this versatility. Going through that album you get a full gamut of R&B, slow jam soul, straight pop music, gospel, psychedelia, and straight up funk. It’s an excellent way to get a good cross section of what he is capable of and contains little filler. I recommend this, Purple Rain an 1999 as the best introductions.

    He was a great all around artist and a huge influence on me, warts and all.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
    Last edited: Apr 23, 2020
    rocksmoot and Milspec like this.
  13. Milspec

    Milspec Poster Extraordinaire

    Posts:
    5,688
    Joined:
    Feb 15, 2016
    Location:
    Nebraska
    Well said and cuts to the point that we favor artists whose music connects with how we are feeling rather than on their mastery of an instrument. I became a huge Sinatra fan after I lost my wife because he didn't just sing, you felt like he was going through the same feelings as you at the time. I also fell for Springsteen's music while playing baseball around age 12 because I rode to practice with my neighbor and his older brother and all there was were Springsteen cassettes. He would always have them cranked up and it naturally became connected to baseball for the rest of my life. it didn't matter if Bruce had a gravel voice at times or anything else, he made a connection in my life and I became a fan from the exposure.

    I think we get into trouble trying to rank any of them...artistry doesn't work like that.
     
    maxvintage, Modman68 and Frodebro like this.
  14. drmordo

    drmordo Tele-Holic

    Age:
    46
    Posts:
    950
    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2019
    Location:
    Miami, FL
    Something to remember is Prince made himself into a very deliberate synthesis of different elements of key black musicians - Little Richard, James Brown, Jimi Hendrix, and George Clinton for a start. He was a sponge for musical ideas and styles.

    If you are familiar with those guys, you can easily see the strong influence of each on Prince - the clothes and glamour from Little Richard, the dancing and "screaming" from Brown (and Richard and Clinton), the lead guitar playing is Hendrix and I'm sure his funk rhythm stuff ties back to Catfish Collins or some other guitarist I'm not hip to. Many of his funk arrangements make almost direct reference to Clinton arrangements. Prince took all the guys who he loved and learned to do what they do. I'm quite certain there are other influences, both black and white, who figure prominently in Prince's work. It's clear that he loves Joni Mitchell (he performed her songs and sang about her in a song) as well as psychedelia, but I've never been able to put together his psychedelic influences besides Hendrix and the Beatles.

    That's one of the things that blows my mind about him. He melds all these things together. That's also what killed him - hip pain from 30 years of James Brown's inhuman dance moves drove him to heavy drugs.

    I want to state that Prince certainly wrote material I do not like at all and I have not heard all of his albums. The Batman and Graffitti Bridge albums stand out as memorably bad, though I have not heard them since they came out. I agree with you that Prince, like almost every artist, could be uneven, but for me there are only one to two songs per album that I just can't enjoy. The rest of it ranges from good to utterly brilliant. I'll add that there's one Prince song that crushes me so badly I simply cannot listen to it. It's just too damn sad.

    Also, the Dave Chappelle episode about Prince adds a whole 'nother aspect to his legend - "Game, blouses."
     
    Milspec and Modman68 like this.
  15. Modman68

    Modman68 Tele-Holic

    Posts:
    872
    Joined:
    Mar 27, 2011
    Location:
    La mesa
    It is silly, but it’s also normal “locker room” talk for musicians. I think the problem is when we start responding to a post instead of a person.... it makes it easier to criticize or evangelize in disrespectful ways and that’s when things get silly.

    No one has to agree with my read on Prince and I don’t need to try and talk anyone out of liking Nickleback.

    I mean they are horrible, of course (grin).... but their fans aren’t.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
    Milspec likes this.
  16. Modman68

    Modman68 Tele-Holic

    Posts:
    872
    Joined:
    Mar 27, 2011
    Location:
    La mesa
    And this is just his guitar playing... he displays similar depth of influence on his piano playing and synth work.

    Nice catch with the Joni Mitchell. I never thought of that but I think you are right.. he does name check her in “the ballad of Dorothy Parker”

    Gotta know... what song?


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
  17. ChickenKiller

    ChickenKiller Tele-Holic

    Posts:
    528
    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2010
    Location:
    Oklahoma
    Never liked anything about Prince until this video!

    I like his Telecaster, that’s all.
     
  18. blowtorch

    blowtorch Telefied Ad Free Member

    Posts:
    36,976
    Joined:
    May 2, 2003
    Location:
    Wisco
    I'd also like to know
     
  19. blowtorch

    blowtorch Telefied Ad Free Member

    Posts:
    36,976
    Joined:
    May 2, 2003
    Location:
    Wisco
     
  20. blowtorch

    blowtorch Telefied Ad Free Member

    Posts:
    36,976
    Joined:
    May 2, 2003
    Location:
    Wisco
     
IMPORTANT: Treat everyone here with respect, no matter how difficult!
No sex, drug, political, religion or hate discussion permitted here.