Thursday, April 21, 2016

R.I.P. Prince

Prince was going to live forever.  And he always seemed to be here. There were artists whose new music you couldn't wait to here.  That's how it was with Prince.  He was one of the few artists whose non-album B-sides I would devour.  My Prince infatuation began with Purple Rain.  The movie was good, the soundtrack a classic.  One of my most-played albums.  Purple Rain made me go back to his earlier stuff.  Dirty Mind would be my 2nd favorite.  1987's double disc Sign "O" The Times continues to fascinate me.  Sometime in the late 90's, Prince's music no longer clicked.  It's hard to maintain the level of genius he did for so long.  He was still putting out albums up until 2015, and all of those had hints of past glories.

Most of Prince's greatest musical moments occurred on stage.  Once the records no longer sold, he became a concert fixture.  And reviews were always glowing.  I saw Prince in 1993 in San Francisco.  It was during his "slave" period in which he railed against Warner Brothers for what he considered their poor contract with him.

One thing I hope people remember is that Prince had a sly, wicked humor about him.  And the mystery of who he was will continue because Prince rarely did interviews.

Still, my early fascination never waned even when he did stuff that didn't live up to his past work.  He was an innovator.  Mixing up his R&B, Funk, Rock, Pop into a heady mix.  You could also add Jazz and some Folk to that brew.  Usually, all in the same song.

And we can't forget the songs he wrote that were turned into hits by others:  "Manic Monday", "I Feel For You", "Do Me Baby", "Nothing Compares 2 U".  Those Sheila E., Sheena Easton and Time hits as well.

A once in a lifetime talent.

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