Prince (1958-2016)

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hearthesilence
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Re: Prince (1958-2016)

#26 Post by hearthesilence » Thu Apr 21, 2016 7:04 pm

Would love to see the concert film for Sign O the Times get an authorized release too - preferably on BD. The OCN should still be around.

Noiradelic
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Re: Prince (1958-2016)

#27 Post by Noiradelic » Thu Apr 21, 2016 7:57 pm

I'm pretty upset. My favorite pop artist of the last 35 years.

The Warner CDs of his 80s output sound like shit.
hearthesilence wrote:Would love to see the concert film for Sign O the Times get an authorized release too - preferably on BD.
Yeah, hopefully the rights holder will exploit his death (not being sarcastic) and get it out on Blu.

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Drucker
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Re: Prince (1958-2016)

#28 Post by Drucker » Thu Apr 21, 2016 8:02 pm

Noiradelic wrote:I'm pretty upset. My favorite pop artist of the last 35 years.

The Warner CDs of his 80s output sound like shit.
This is what I'm referring to, FWIW. The CDs don't sound great. Listening to the records right now and they are loud, punchy, and the bass is clear as day.

And any poor soul that doesn't already own them is screwed, as what should be $5 records are selling for $50 on discogs and ebay.

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Gregory
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Re: Prince (1958-2016)

#29 Post by Gregory » Thu Apr 21, 2016 8:14 pm

That's terrible, I had no idea. I never bought a Prince CD and instead got used vinyl of the whole run of Prince s/t through Sign o' the Times, plus the Love Symbol album, because they were always available inexpensively back then. I even got the Controversy LP with the unnecessarily large poster of our man in the shower for $3.
I was thinking about that poster recently after reading a short piece by Peanut Butter Wolf about saving his allowance in 1981 to buy Controversy and then hiding the poster from his family. But he got in trouble not for the poster or any of the other risqué stuff on the record but because of the title track (in which Prince recites the Our Father in a robotic voice) that his mom deemed the album sacrilegious. And the poster, with its crucifix on the shower wall, became a "secret artefact."

j99
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Re: Prince (1958-2016)

#30 Post by j99 » Thu Apr 21, 2016 9:18 pm

Really shocked at his death. Only last week he did a tribute to David Bowie at what turned out to be his final concert. Of course in true Prince fashion it was removed immediately from youtube, a site he loathed. Saw him live once in 1994, and he was by far the best musician I had ever seen. A truly magical performer. 2016 is turning out to be the worst ever. Bowie followed by Prince, within three months of each other. You couldn't make it up.

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warren oates
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Re: Prince (1958-2016)

#31 Post by warren oates » Thu Apr 21, 2016 9:19 pm

Of all the stars I've ever met, run into or seen in the wild in Los Angeles Prince made one of the biggest impressions. I was in Tower Records on Sunset Blvd. once when he was there shopping for CDs. He had a typically outrageous outfit on and was accessorized with both a gleaming chrome cane and a huge white bodyguard holding his purchases. Everyone in the store was quietly freaking out while politely leaving him alone.

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hearthesilence
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Re: Prince (1958-2016)

#32 Post by hearthesilence » Thu Apr 21, 2016 9:46 pm

It's really sad following the news in Minneapolis. (Know a lot of people there myself.) The Current's been playing Prince non-stop with breaks for remembrances, Paul Westerberg was even interviewed on a show - he described how the neighborhood came to a standstill, just quiet - it really feels like everyone's in shock, just not quite ready to believe it. Prince was even shopping at his favorite Minneapolis record store this past weekend. Hell, I still can't believe it, I can't believe he didn't even make it to sixty. Really sad and shocked.

With regards to the CD's, I would like to see them remastered, but if they're going to remaster them for the current pop market, I'm afraid they're going to compress the hell out of them and give the top and low ends an extreme EQ boost. They're generally not great sounding discs, but they could be a lot worse.

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flyonthewall2983
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Re: Prince (1958-2016)

#33 Post by flyonthewall2983 » Fri Apr 22, 2016 12:32 am

It may be apocryphal but I heard a story once that my uncle may or may not have sat next to him on a plane, the mental image of which always make me smile because of the disparity in personalities.

Have to admit that I've never really dug deeper into his work than the couple of singles from Purple Rain which I liked. But I always respected the talent he had, and the degree of professionalism he always seemed to have.

I've got to think the floodgates will now open as far as unreleased work, and likely new remixing of his old work as well. I read an interview once the news broke that he was working on a new mix of Purple Rain that he was never interested in looking back but only going forward. Which I can dig, but there is something to be said about the importance of updating the material with the newer technologies.


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tenia
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Re: Prince (1958-2016)

#35 Post by tenia » Fri Apr 22, 2016 8:12 am


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hearthesilence
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Re: Prince (1958-2016)

#36 Post by hearthesilence » Fri Apr 22, 2016 8:55 am

If you had to pick one artist to define each decade (The Beatles for the '60s, Bowie for the '70s, maybe Beck for the '90s, Kanye West for the '00s), Prince would be the hands down pick for the '80s. He has a lot of work to go through, but I would focus more or less on his Warner Bros. records. I would break it down like this:

Masterpieces/Great Albums
Dirty Mind
1999
Purple Rain
Parade
Sign 'O' the Times (his greatest work, also my favorite album from the '80s period - and astoundingly had it been kept to its original triple LP length, it would've still been a masterpiece from start-to-finish)
The Gold Experience

Excellent Albums
The B-Sides (comes in the very fine three disc compilation Hits/B-Sides)
The Black Album
The Symbol Album (1992)
Chaos and Disorder
Emancipation
The Truth (comes with the outtakes collection The Crystal Ball)
Musicology
3121

Good to mixed albums from his prime years
(all have great tracks, typically released as singles though the LP versions are better as the singles on the ones below are just edited versions.)
For You
Prince (eponymous second album)
Controversy
Around the World in a Day
Lovesexy
Batman
Graffiti Bridge
Diamonds and Pearls

And from there there's a lot of less than fine collections, as if he was releasing nearly everything with less editorial care, but gems are scattered across all of them. "Loose," "Letitgo," "Wasted Kisses," "The Greatest Romance Ever Sold," a great cover of "A Case of U" (done in the studio in the '00s, but he's done it live long before that too), "Chelsea Rodgers," etc. not to mention great outtakes and rarities that could easily make another great double album. (The selections on Crystal Ball didn't really do the job.)

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dustybooks
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Re: Prince (1958-2016)

#37 Post by dustybooks » Fri Apr 22, 2016 10:17 am

The various bootleg sets under the umbrella title The Work are full of gems as well. I only ever managed to acquire some of them but there are heaps of under-heard classics buried in there.

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ando
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Re: Prince (1958-2016)

#38 Post by ando » Fri Apr 22, 2016 1:30 pm

hearthesilence wrote:(The selections on Crystal Ball didn't really do the job.)
Funny, I love most selections on Crystal Ball. When I bought the 4 disc set I thought it was Prince's biggest dud. But of all the albums he's released I listen to more tracks from this arrangement than any other. But he's recorded so much material (I must have a couple thousand tracks) that the commercial releases are really just a glimmer of his creative output.
Image

That said, no one was more protective of their music than Mr. Nelson.

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hearthesilence
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Re: Prince (1958-2016)

#39 Post by hearthesilence » Fri Apr 22, 2016 2:59 pm

It's not a bad set, but I think it falls very short of what could've been. To be fair, I'm not counting that fourth disc - titled The Truth, it's really a standalone album and a solid bonus. (I think it was added to the collection to make up for the delays in putting it out.)

I seem to recall the three discs actually running a bit short, to the point where it could've fit on two discs, or at least very close to it. So that's a bit disappointing because there was a good deal of prime material he could've included that we know exists (see The Work mentioned by dustybooks - I think there's at least a dozen great tracks on there that are still unreleased) and so much of it actually dates from the '80s - God knows what speculative material does indeed lie in the vaults. I don't like the mastering either - compression with sharp EQ - or the edits and changes on tracks like "Crystal Ball" and especially "Good Love" (which you can find on the original soundtrack CD complete and in better sound).

FWIW, if you really wanted to include a few extended mixes, the 12" versions of "Mountains" and "Love Or $" (which the B-Sides neglected to include, even though it's one of his best) would've been great. "A Case of U" too - at least one soundboard recording circulated at the time.

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FrauBlucher
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Re: Prince (1958-2016)

#40 Post by FrauBlucher » Fri Apr 22, 2016 2:59 pm

hearthesilence wrote:Sign 'O' the Times (his greatest work, also my favorite album from the '80s period - and astoundingly had it been kept to its original triple LP length, it would've still been a masterpiece from start-to-finish)
I'm in total agreement on this.

I'm a big fan of Around the World in a Day.

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ando
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Re: Prince (1958-2016)

#41 Post by ando » Fri Apr 22, 2016 3:05 pm

I just read a piece in today's NY Times recalling his biggest commercial fare that more or less echoes some of heartofthesilence's assessments. My thing is this: people don't experience a musician's output today the way we did in the 80s. There are too many ways to get access to much more of an artist's recordings than before. Albums aren't the definitive statements they used to be. So why go back to what amounts to an outmoded manner of receiving their work?

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hearthesilence
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Re: Prince (1958-2016)

#42 Post by hearthesilence » Fri Apr 22, 2016 4:09 pm

Because many of these were crafted as albums, not just a collection of songs, and in a lot of cases, it's much better to hear them in that context - they feel like a cohesive statement, gaining something by the way the tracks play off of each, and together the album adds up to something far more than the individual tracks. I might even make this argument for albums that aren't my favorite - take Around the World in a Day. I strongly prefer hearing just three of the tracks, but I can understand how fans make the case for that one as a cohesive statement. It's hard imagining those tracks going anywhere else.

There's no wrong way to go about it though. Take the Beatles, definitive album artists, but it can be pretty awesome to hear their hits back to back to back and how different they became from one set of recording sessions to the next.

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ando
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Re: Prince (1958-2016)

#43 Post by ando » Fri Apr 22, 2016 5:26 pm

hearthesilence wrote:Because many of these were crafted as albums, not just a collection of songs, and in a lot of cases, it's much better to hear them in that context - they feel like a cohesive statement, gaining something by the way the tracks play off of each, and together the album adds up to something far more than the individual tracks. I might even make this argument for albums that aren't my favorite - take Around the World in a Day. I strongly prefer hearing just three of the tracks, but I can understand how fans make the case for that one as a cohesive statement. It's hard imagining those tracks going anywhere else.
Why? Here's Prince on it:
Prince, from a Rolling Stone interview wrote:I think the smartest thing I did was record Around the World in a Day right after I finished Purple Rain. I didn't wait to see what would happen with Purple Rain. That's why the two albums sound completely different. People think, "Oh, the new album isn't half as powerful as Purple Rain or 1999." You know how easy it would have been to open Around the World in a Day with the guitar solo that's on the end of "Let's Go Crazy"? You know how easy it would have been to just put it in a different key? That would have shut everybody up who said the album wasn't half as powerful. I don't want to make an album like the earlier ones. Wouldn't it be cool to be able to put your albums back to back and not get bored, you dig? I don't know how many people can play all their albums back to back with each one going to different cities.

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hearthesilence
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Re: Prince (1958-2016)

#44 Post by hearthesilence » Fri Apr 22, 2016 5:36 pm

There must be some miscommunication going on, because this seems to go hand in hand with what I said before, with each album having its own identity.

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ando
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Re: Prince (1958-2016)

#45 Post by ando » Fri Apr 22, 2016 6:14 pm

Prince, from a Rolling Stone interview wrote:You know how easy it would have been to open Around the World in a Day with the guitar solo that's on the end of "Let's Go Crazy"? You know how easy it would have been to just put it in a different key?

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ando
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Re: Prince (1958-2016)

#46 Post by ando » Fri Apr 22, 2016 6:22 pm

I picked up a copy of Purple Rain off a used bookstore shelf just for the hell of it - and because it was $3. :)
Also picked up I Would Die 4 U, a book by Tourè. The positive blurb by Questlove made me buy it. Q spun at an event last night in Brooklyn in honor of Prince's passing. Wanted to go but had other plans. Course there were the usual digs about profiting off of tragedy but it seemed like a genuine expression of grattitude and respect. Plus, tickets were only $10. You can't get in anywhere for $10 in New York.

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Re: Prince (1958-2016)

#47 Post by Ogre Kovacs » Fri Apr 22, 2016 6:30 pm

I'll concur with the other sentiments here that Prince was truly a unique and amazing artist. I'd like to add praise though for the often overlooked later years album The Rainbow Children (although its 15 years old at this point). I think this album is absolutely brilliant and one of Prince's best right there with Dirty Mind, Controversy, Purple Rain, Sign O' The Times. Lotusflow3r was also a pretty damn good later years album.

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Re: Prince (1958-2016)

#48 Post by calculus entrophy » Fri Apr 22, 2016 7:03 pm

ando wrote:
Prince, from a Rolling Stone interview wrote:You know how easy it would have been to open Around the World in a Day with the guitar solo that's on the end of "Let's Go Crazy"? You know how easy it would have been to just put it in a different key?
He is not disparaging the album format in that statement. What he is saying is that he could have made his albums sound the same, but he wants them to sound different, but still albums.

That said, Prince worked pretty much non-stop any time 24/7 to record whatever he felt when the mood hit him. He didn't create in the album format, but he sure understood it.

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hearthesilence
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Re: Prince (1958-2016)

#49 Post by hearthesilence » Fri Apr 22, 2016 9:43 pm

ando wrote:
Prince, from a Rolling Stone interview wrote:You know how easy it would have been to open Around the World in a Day with the guitar solo that's on the end of "Let's Go Crazy"? You know how easy it would have been to just put it in a different key?
calculus entrophy wrote: He is not disparaging the album format in that statement. What he is saying is that he could have made his albums sound the same, but he wants them to sound different, but still albums.
What calculus said.
That said, Prince worked pretty much non-stop any time 24/7 to record whatever he felt when the mood hit him. He didn't create in the album format, but he sure understood it.
Oh yeah.

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Re: Prince (1958-2016)

#50 Post by Rayon Vert » Sat Apr 23, 2016 12:13 am

Noiradelic wrote:I'm pretty upset. My favorite pop artist of the last 35 years.
This is so incredibly sad, for me as I gather for many, many people out there. When I think of all of the crazy, intense fanhood and admiration-devotion I've indulged in over musical artists throughout the years, Prince was definitely in among my top 4 of all time (the others being the Stones, the Beatles and Springsteen). I knew his discography inside out. When he was coming out with that series of albums from 1999 to Lovesexy, which was roughly my adolescence, I remember thinking that this was probably what it must have been like to be living in the Sixties when the Beatles were putting out one mind-blowing album after another. Purple Rain, Day, Parade, Sign of the Times - each album was not only a marvel of songwriting and performance, but each one had a completely different sound, out-"peaking" the last one, and it felt like there was no one near his level during those years. It was inevitable that he wasn't able to sustain that brilliance forever, but there's stuff that kept impressing me and make me get back into lengthy exclusive-to-Prince time periods over at least another decade after that.

He was truly unique, and I can't believe it when I think of all of the pleasure he gave me through the years. Beyond his musical genius, there was also that truly original spirituality-through-sinless sexuality thing going on with him that was refreshing and liberating. Thanks so much, Prince. I think of you as finally now being in that "world of never-ending happiness".

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