Author Topic: Purple Reign: The magnificence of Prince in the 80s  (Read 2662 times)

Nowhere Man

  • Life is just a bowl of life cereal
Purple Reign: The magnificence of Prince in the 80s
« on: September 23, 2020, 05:33:10 PM »
The thing I love about Prince’s music is that it’s like being taken to an everlasting eighties nightclub at 3:45 in the morning. There’s such an ominous presence to so much of his 1980-1989 era work. Listening to songs as multi-faceted as D.M.S.R, Computer Blue, Darling Nikki, The Ballad of Dorothy Parker and She's Always In My Hair gives you a special VIP ticket to a secret underground Minnesota nightclub with the eccentric purple man himself, amidst the end of the civilised world.



Everything is going up in flames all around outside these walls built of sugar, explosions happening all abound. We're all living in manic fear. But the short, skinny man with the high voice and the even higher heels is here to guide you to his everlasting purple after-party, the last one before the bomb blows our existences sky high.  So if you can hack it, let him purify you while he takes you on an erotic guided tour of his dream factory.

What a way to go out, not with fear, but with a big purple bang in the company of one of the most seductive sex obsessed freaks you’ve ever encountered! Prince can be destructive, but you can’t look away from his dirty minded gaze, as he draws you in ever closer into his controversial 1980s world of cassettes, strange vaults, elaborate costumes, and diverse posse’s of pimps and seductresses. Having seen the state of the world, and after being trapped here all night, it’s the only thing that begins to makes sense after a while.



This short motherfucker won’t divert his gaze from you, as he stares you down, telling you all about his revolution, the ways in which we can organise and make a stand to save what’s left of society, and the ways in which we can be closer to God. This man may seem godlike, but he himself is a disciple of the higher beings Sly Stone, George Clinton, Jimi Hendrix and Stevie Wonder, with a sprinkled dash of Beatles eclecticism.

You can see how determined Prince is to make a difference. But at the same time underneath his mascara and purple frock overcoat, there is also that very real fear that he lives with. He’s actually scared. He questions his abilities sometimes, but he’s too stubborn to admit it.



Then again, he’s also strong willed enough to know that it’s up to him to rally his purple army troops together to fight the powers that be in whatever funky ways that can be imagine. When we’re not busy doing it all night under the various substances we’re possessed by, someone has to take charge. That’s why we’re all gathered here together in this underground bunker constructed out of the final scrapped remnants of First Avenue. He knows that ultimately we might not make it out, but hell if we’re not gonna go out in style regardless.

Purple Rain is falling down all around us, and all that’s left is for us to do the dance electric and fuck to funky guitar solos and the sound of an everlasting Linn LM-1 drum machine, with our prophet leader guiding us all on our way out into cosmic eternity.

Puce Moment

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Re: Purple Reign: The magnificence of Prince in the 80s
« Reply #1 on: September 23, 2020, 07:02:32 PM »
I say this as someone with no horse in this race at all - but objectively, surely he's the greatest Pop musician of all time?

I can't think of anyone even close, both in terms of songwriting and musical talent. And that doesn't even touch on his public persona, imagery, marketing, album covers, videos, live shows etc. A true phenomenon.

Nowhere Man

  • Life is just a bowl of life cereal
Re: Purple Reign: The magnificence of Prince in the 80s
« Reply #2 on: September 23, 2020, 07:08:30 PM »
Him and Bowie for me. Well in a lot of ways even more so, what I kind of meant in my opening post is that Prince is just a whole world in itself, a never-ending plethora of riches contained on god knows how many albums, live performances, unreleased tracks, protege stuff ect. His influence and reach on pop culture is just so vastly immeasurable.

Dr Syntax Head

  • Empty alcohol
Re: Purple Reign: The magnificence of Prince in the 80s
« Reply #3 on: September 23, 2020, 08:41:05 PM »
I say this as someone with no horse in this race at all - but objectively, surely he's the greatest Pop musician of all time?

I can't think of anyone even close, both in terms of songwriting and musical talent. And that doesn't even touch on his public persona, imagery, marketing, album covers, videos, live shows etc. A true phenomenon.

Agreed. His talent was truly beyond human.

Re: Purple Reign: The magnificence of Prince in the 80s
« Reply #4 on: September 23, 2020, 08:45:59 PM »
He knew it as well. One of my favourite of his vault tracks from the early 80's Extraloveable includes the sneered aside "hey Dez how'd you like my band" aimed at Dez Dickerson who'd just left. On this track, as on many others, the band was composed solely of him.

Re: Purple Reign: The magnificence of Prince in the 80s
« Reply #5 on: September 23, 2020, 11:41:30 PM »
The last two minutes of The Beautiful Ones. Every single time. Unreal.

magval

  • Magnum Valentino
Re: Purple Reign: The magnificence of Prince in the 80s
« Reply #6 on: September 24, 2020, 07:34:56 AM »
Can someone recommend me a great Prince album to listen to all of on a big long walk? What's the best one for an attentive music listener and fan of detail and arrangement and wank like that but who DOESN'T listen to Prince?

Better Midlands

  • I'm not internationally known
Re: Purple Reign: The magnificence of Prince in the 80s
« Reply #7 on: September 24, 2020, 08:04:31 AM »
Can someone recommend me a great Prince album to listen to all of on a big long walk? What's the best one for an attentive music listener and fan of detail and arrangement and wank like that but who DOESN'T listen to Prince?

Has to be Sign 'O' the Times, maybe Parade as an alternate for a shorter walk.

Re: Purple Reign: The magnificence of Prince in the 80s
« Reply #8 on: September 24, 2020, 08:09:55 AM »
Can someone recommend me a great Prince album to listen to all of on a big long walk? What's the best one for an attentive music listener and fan of detail and arrangement and wank like that but who DOESN'T listen to Prince?

Any of the (non-superhero related) 80s stuff is a great starting point.
I'd probably go for Parade, then Sign O The Times as a nice introductory one-two.

EDIT: What Better Midlands said...

Puce Moment

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Re: Purple Reign: The magnificence of Prince in the 80s
« Reply #9 on: September 24, 2020, 08:45:26 AM »
Did anyone hear Conan's Prince story in his recent interview with Maya Rudolph where he talks about some show where Stevie Wonder was performing? It's not mind-blowing, but just very sweet, funny and quintessentially Prince.

Aha - he also tells the story slightly more briefly here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TsbvWKuWQ3w&index=53&list=PLVdOLMu0NWJzyfD8gMaXRnXb5i_BLq_Cd&ab_channel=TeamCoco

Also, Conann tells the story because Rudolph used to be in an all-girl Prince cover band!

Also, also - Conan wrote an entire Prince themed episode of The Simpsons but it was rejected.

SpiderChrist

  • "the law of averages says you'll survive"
Re: Purple Reign: The magnificence of Prince in the 80s
« Reply #10 on: September 24, 2020, 10:26:32 AM »
Can someone recommend me a great Prince album to listen to all of on a big long walk? What's the best one for an attentive music listener and fan of detail and arrangement and wank like that but who DOESN'T listen to Prince?

Sign O The Times, definitely

Golden E. Pump

  • Basically Morris Day.
Re: Purple Reign: The magnificence of Prince in the 80s
« Reply #11 on: September 24, 2020, 10:24:22 PM »
I'll just leave you with my avatar.

magval

  • Magnum Valentino
Re: Purple Reign: The magnificence of Prince in the 80s
« Reply #12 on: September 24, 2020, 10:38:11 PM »
I've looked at that before and inserted it mentally into a story where Prince turns up, solves an impossible problem, acknowledges the audience and his success with that final smirk, then vanishes forever.

Nobody Soup

  • ephedrine and orange juice... and also ket
Re: Purple Reign: The magnificence of Prince in the 80s
« Reply #13 on: September 25, 2020, 12:25:54 AM »
I say this as someone with no horse in this race at all - but objectively, surely he's the greatest Pop musician of all time?

I can't think of anyone even close, both in terms of songwriting and musical talent. And that doesn't even touch on his public persona, imagery, marketing, album covers, videos, live shows etc. A true phenomenon.

I wouldn't argue with this at all. The image is in some ways just a testament to how well he understood to sell himself and that pop was more about creating music, it was a whole mystical package. the man basically copyrighted a colour.

I will say though it's become rather tiring hearing about a billion people describe him as an under-rated guitarist.

SpiderChrist

  • "the law of averages says you'll survive"
Re: Purple Reign: The magnificence of Prince in the 80s
« Reply #14 on: September 25, 2020, 07:24:36 AM »


I will say though it's become rather tiring hearing about a billion people describe him as an under-rated guitarist.

People don’t rate his drumming highly enough, if anything. He had a lovely style, tight but loose at the same time. It’s blindingly obvious what an incredible guitarist he was.


Re: Purple Reign: The magnificence of Prince in the 80s
« Reply #15 on: September 25, 2020, 09:03:03 AM »
Can we talk about the new sign o the times remaster thing which is available for streaming from today?

Absolutely amazing, the unreleased tracks are astonishing in their variety, it's incredible how many different sounds he was experimenting with at the time. The album itself sounds very much cleaned up as well. There are 3 or 4 songs amongst the unreleased stuff that would have surely been massive singles had they come out at the time.

SpiderChrist

  • "the law of averages says you'll survive"
Re: Purple Reign: The magnificence of Prince in the 80s
« Reply #16 on: September 25, 2020, 09:13:00 AM »
Oh, I'd forgotten that was out today. Might have to buy it on the never-never, having just checked the price...

Re: Purple Reign: The magnificence of Prince in the 80s
« Reply #17 on: September 25, 2020, 09:19:40 AM »
The track with miles is pretty odd, i quite like it. Witness to the prosecution is an amazing track with all the horns, i guess didn't quite fit the sparse sound he had on sott

Puce Moment

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Re: Purple Reign: The magnificence of Prince in the 80s
« Reply #18 on: September 25, 2020, 09:32:42 AM »
I will say though it's become rather tiring hearing about a billion people describe him as an under-rated guitarist.

In fairness it might just be because he IS a pop performer, despite the fact that he calls on a myriad of styles. But if you think of something like Kiss or When Doves Cry or Sign o' the Times I don't think the guitar is as present as it is with other performers like Hendrix, Pink Floyd, Zeppelin etc. But if you listen to the albums and watch his live shows he is doing insane things with his guitar all the way through (practically). He has some of the most elaborate guitar solo moments of any artist. Minute for minute, I would say that he has more complex guitar parts during live shows than Hendrix.

But yeah, he's not fucking underrated at many things in my view. Oh yeah, apparently he was a brilliant and highly supportive producer. That's a talent that doesn't get spoken about very often.

Re: Purple Reign: The magnificence of Prince in the 80s
« Reply #19 on: September 25, 2020, 09:51:48 AM »
I will say though it's become rather tiring hearing about a billion people describe him as an under-rated guitarist.

AKA "I didn't know what a brilliant guitarist he was, so everyone else must be the same or I'll have to come to terms with being ignorant."

Re: Purple Reign: The magnificence of Prince in the 80s
« Reply #20 on: September 25, 2020, 10:02:52 AM »
Tell you what i think he was overrated at. His production has been all over the place and often a little sloppy. Probably could have done with more of collaboration with a great producer at times, and he's just not going to allow that for a second. Admittedly this would probably have just slowed him down. Really loving hearing these fuller sounding versions of tracks where stuff was difficult to hear properly  on the originals.

Re: Purple Reign: The magnificence of Prince in the 80s
« Reply #21 on: September 25, 2020, 10:19:07 AM »
AKA "I didn't know what a brilliant guitarist he was, so everyone else must be the same or I'll have to come to terms with being ignorant."

To be fair it is not unreasonable for people to not know how good a musician a pop star is. The default is for them to just be a voice/face. I think for a long time he WAS an under-rated guitarist but that wrong has been made right and now he is merely "rated". Some people are just a bit behind the curve on that

Re: Purple Reign: The magnificence of Prince in the 80s
« Reply #22 on: September 25, 2020, 10:39:29 AM »
Just my way of moaning about of those miniscule things that bug me.

Re: Purple Reign: The magnificence of Prince in the 80s
« Reply #23 on: September 25, 2020, 10:49:05 AM »
Don't talk about him like that

Re: Purple Reign: The magnificence of Prince in the 80s
« Reply #24 on: September 25, 2020, 11:21:47 AM »
If you were of a certain age you'd perhaps even be forgiven for hardly noticing Prince was an actual guitarist - beyond a few late 80s hits, whenever I'd see him on TV in the 90s with a guitar, I don't remember having any more need to realise he was particularly skilled at it, it could have even been a bit of a Bryan Adams/George Michael/Elvis/Darius Danesh-esque prop, due to the lack of solos he tended to be playing by then.  I think when I did finally see him bust out a solo, I naively assumed he was miming.  Might have conflated that with seeing Meat Loaf play a guitar solo, actually.  Either way, I think that if you weren't paying too much attention it might not be too hard to notice he was an amazing guitarist, due to specialising in all-round pop superstardom, which could be why many consider him underrated in that field.

SpiderChrist

  • "the law of averages says you'll survive"
Re: Purple Reign: The magnificence of Prince in the 80s
« Reply #25 on: September 25, 2020, 12:26:37 PM »
Listening to the remastered album now. First revelation is Slow Love - just fucking WOW. Hearing all sorts I'd not picked out before, and I've been listening to this album since it came out. What an arrangement. Wow.

Golden E. Pump

  • Basically Morris Day.
Re: Purple Reign: The magnificence of Prince in the 80s
« Reply #26 on: September 25, 2020, 03:48:13 PM »
I'm on disc five of a full playthrough and this is everything I ever hoped it could be and more. I'll be posting a full review soon somewhere but right now I just want to bathe in its glory.

Egyptian Feast

  • Nice girls don't wear cha-cha heels
Re: Purple Reign: The magnificence of Prince in the 80s
« Reply #27 on: September 25, 2020, 04:46:12 PM »
I still haven't taken it out of the box it arrived in (thought the scrawled peace symbol was a nice touch) as I'm off for a week once work ends today and I can't think of a better way to kick off the holiday than unboxing this fucker and diving in. It's so big I thought they'd sent me the vinyl version by mistake.

Re: Purple Reign: The magnificence of Prince in the 80s
« Reply #28 on: September 25, 2020, 07:50:57 PM »
Love that version of strange relationship.. Always thought there were lots of interesting things going on in the background and now that weird and wonderful extended version. Even the tracks that aren't anything amazing are usually interesting sketches of ideas and paths he could've taken. Ballad of Dorothy Parker with horn arrangement with horns, doesn't quite fit for me, but the horn parts are really nice.

Re: Purple Reign: The magnificence of Prince in the 80s
« Reply #29 on: September 25, 2020, 08:10:06 PM »
Just watched the dvd; good but the lack of atmosphere (I think it's a soundboard recording) doesn't help. However once you get to the last track, Beautiful Night Medley - F@cking Hell! Lasts nearly as long as the rest of the concert and is sooooo good (despite the poor sound). Never thought I'd see Miles Davis as as a slight distraction. So happy with this box set (I am airguitaring as I write this)

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