"Now we clarify 4 ever, in other words as long as it takes, that we ain't got no use 4 ice cream without the cake!"
This is my personal opinion and is intended solely to share my experience!
I wanted to have a page dedicated to The Artist(formerly known as Prince), because of the years of music he has provided listeners world wide, and the inspiration I received from his genius. Mind you, this is NOT a page filled with links to discography information nor does it have detailed lyric to every song he's ever done. It is merely my attempt to tip my hat, send a resounding "Bravo!", and pay homage to one of the greatest artists to ever set foot in the arena. I do intend to include a list of tracks which have either deeply moved me, or have something about them worth mentioning in detail.
Where can I begin but at the beginning? I was 9 years old in 1978, when a bold young man came out of Minneapolis with a voice and a sound that would take him to the top. That man was Prince! The album was titled "For You" and included the singles "Soft and Wet" & "My Love is Forever". I didn't know about those songs then, but would learn of them in due time. The first song to get my attention, like it did for so many others was off of his second album the next year, simply titled "Prince". That song was "I Wanna be Your Lover", and it re-introduced us to a long haired, high-pitched singer already becoming a musical master at the age of 20.
"Dirty Mind"1980 and "Controversy"1981 were the next two albums to come out. They each had songs that displayed Prince's early mastery of guitar and lyrics. However, a large part of the listening world would not take notice of his powerful music until about a year and a half later. Early 1983, saw the release of his next album titled "1999",and future reference to the year 1999 itself would never be the same. Also from that album, came "Delirious", "D.M.S.R." and the ever popular "Little Red Corvette". To this day it is one of his early songs to which even friends who don't particularly like his music, still sing along with!
The next year would find Prince and his band The Revolution, in the midst of a great trip down musical recognition lane. Releasing his chart topping soundtrack "Purple Rain", and starring in the movie with the same title gave the rest of the world a wake up call. (I went to the movie theatre and saw "Purple Rain" seven times) Though there is still a bit of controversy, the movie was not completely autobiographical. Touring the nation that year, we got a chance to see Prince's dance moves and hear his vocal wonder Live! From that moment on he was dubbed a few memorable titles such as "His Royal Badness", "His Purple Highness", and the "Minneapolis Genius".
Because this was his most memorable year, it is not surprising that he received three Grammys that year and an Oscar for Best Original Song From a Soundtrack - "Purple Rain"
Most everyone knows of the biggest hits from that year, the title track "Purple Rain", "Let's Go Crazy", and "When Doves Cry". That was also the year he released "17 Days" as a B-side to "When Doves Cry". "17 Days" is my most favorite song ever from Prince but I missed its original release and I would not get my hands on it again until 1993.
The year 1985 brought us "Around The World in a Day", and the jumpy tunes "Raspberry Beret" and "Pop Life". A song which deeply moved me was "Condition of the Heart", one of the best things about this song is the long piano/flute intro,excellent!! There was also some flack from Prince bashers because he did not participate in Live Aid (A project to feed the needy in Africa - 7/13/1985). Though he could not be there in person, he recorded a song that was released on the "Live Aid: We are the world" soundtrack titled "Tears in your eyes".
In 1986 Prince went back to the silver screen with "Under the Cherry Moon" filmed in Black and White, but this time he experienced much more success from the soundtrack titled "Parade" than from the movie itself.The soundtrack featured songs like "Boys and Girls,"Mountains," and the popularly imitated "Kiss". One song in the movie that I wish was on the soundtrack is "Love or Money," a nice little tune unavailable on CD to the best of my knowledge. It was also in this year that "Kiss" made it to the number one slot on the music charts followed by "Manic Monday" which was performed by The Bangles but written for them by Prince.
The next album was Sign 'O' The Times. He filmed a concert movie for this album which was released in theatres, but did better on video sales probably due to the failure of "Under..." at the boxoffice. This was Prince's first double cassette/two CD release, and included 16 songs, the most memorable being, "I Could Never Take the Place of Your Man" and "U Got the Look" with background vocals by Sheena Easton.The latter part of 1987 found a brief and limited release of "The Black Album", which would later be re-released.
Next was 1988, and that was year that I first had the opportunity to see the Prince in concert. I had waited 9 years to see this! His new album was Lovesexy, his newest single at that time was "Alphabet Street" , and his "Lovesexy" tour stopped in Houston and thrilled me for two hours. This was also the first mention of New Power Soul for his fans, and by this time his former band-mates which made up "the Revolution" had started to drift apart.
In 1989, the artist surprised a lot of people (including me) when it was announced that he had done the soundtrack to the blockbuster movie "Batman". It included the extremely popular "Partyman" and the energetic "Trust". There is also the wonderfully sensuous ballad entitled, "Scandalous!" This was also the time he was preparing for a tour in Japan where he was not only well received but show-cased a song titled "The Question of U," which was a small prelude to the next album and movie endevour.
Once again to the silver screen, in 1990, he released Grafitti Bridge, a sequel, in plot line, to Purple Rain. The movie left a little to be desired, but how could we expect him top the Purple Rain Classic? Movies may not the best expression of his genius, but his music scores big every time. The soundtrack indeed was for a new generation, a new Power Generation to be exact. "Theives in the Temple," and "The New Power Generation" got plenty of air time while songs like "Joy in Repitition," "The Question of U," and "Tick,Tick,Bang!" kept fans spinnin' the CD all night long. This was also the year he landed an "Award of Achievement" from the American Music Awards. You should have seen my smile!
1991 brought Diamonds and Pearls to the waiting ears of Prince fans everywhere. Unsure of how he would progress in style I was most pleased when I turned on the CD and the first thing I heard was the powerful, "Thunder". Other songs included "Cream", "Diamonds and Pearls," "Insatiable," and "Daddy Pop". I believe that he came brought back some of his original style with a new power generation twist, it worked really well.
The next waves of artist genius came in 1992 with the release of the CD titled which would become his new name in a couple of years. This "Love Symbol" as it was dubbed, offered great airplay hits like "Sexy M.F.", "Gett Off", and "7" as well as much anticipated slow jams (by me that is) that include "Blue Light," "Damn U," "And God Created Woman," and "Sweet Baby." The New Power Generation really stepped in on this one and helped create a lot of funk!
In 1993, a lot of Prince fans were blessed with his next release. It was not a brand new CD but something better. Prince: The Hits/The B-Sides hit the racks in the Spring of 1993, by December the 3-CD collection had gone gold. What was so great about having songs re-released in a compilation set? Let me tell you, the songs on the Hits 1 and Hits 2 were the greatest Prince songs from each album released to this point. It also included his version of "Nothing Compares 2 U" which he wrote for Sinead O'Conner, and two new songs "Pope" and "Peach". That in itself was a treat for collectors who hadn't been able to get the good songs they wanted in one place. But, it was the B-Sides that really drove Prince fans to the record stores in masses. For me, I finally had "17 Days" in crystal clarity, for everyone else a collection of hard to finds. We were finally given access to bootleged songs that had floated around and B-sides that we searched endlessly for such as "Irresistable Bitch", "She's Always In My Hair", "How Come You Don't Call Me Anymore?" and "Another Lonely Christmas".
1994 brought the official re-release of The Black Album. Placed on the wrecka-stow racks in a completely black cassettte and CD cover, this saucy little venture gave us the non-bootlegged versions of "Le Grind", "Cindy C.", and "Superfunkycalifragisexy"! But that wasn't all we were in for, we also saw the death of his name in this year with the release of Come. Blazing across the top of the under-rated CD was his name 'Prince' and the years 1958 - 1993, signifying that change was on the horizon. Before Prince left, he gave us a few more good tunes including "Papa", "Dark", and "Letitgo" with Eric Leeds on flute. The new man with the same excellent musical talent gave us a sample of that coming horizon before the year was out. In late Fall of 1994, we were treated to The Beautiful Experience. The song "The Most Beautiful Girl in the World" hit radio stations along with the confusion of what Prince was to be called from here on. The term most agreed upon was actually a statement rather than a name, The Artist Formerly Known As Prince. Later in an interview, he stated clearly that the reason his chose the glyph was to seperate his name for everyone else and to break stereotypes associated with the name Prince. All I know is that I really loved the "Staxowax" version of the song on that sample maxi-CD.
Though the representing the Artist's name was displayed before, 1995 brought us the Gold experience with his new name getting full credit. This CD absolutely jams! I love the entire thing for jamming with the hard sounds of Michael B., Sonny T., and the rest of the NGP crew. My favorites are "p control","endorphinmachine","Now","319" and "I hate u". (Not many huh?)The guitar rifs and lyrics on this CD were completely satisfting seeing as how we had waited from 1992 to get a good full CD dose of new sounds from his royal badness!
1996 gave us two projects from the purple side of life, the sountrack to Girl 6 and the last original material recorded for Warner Bros.Chaos and Disorder. The Girl 6 soundtrack gave us a varied flavor of the man known as Prince. We got old hits such as "Erotic City" and "Girls & Boys", new songs like "Pink Cashmere" and "She Spoke 2 Me", and two prince influenced songs, "The Screams of Passion" by the Family and "Nasty Girl" by Vanity 6.
As for Chaos and Disorder, it seemed like a rush job. Though the CD has merit in a few really good songs such as "Dinner with Delores" and "Same December", it's overall rating was ranked low by artist fans everywhere. It was no secret that his contract with Warner Bros. was almost over and since this was the last CD he had to release under their label he didn't want to waste anytime getting it over with and some of the musical quality suffered. It is, however, not a throw away as suggested by some fans, I happen to like it.
This page is most definitely not finished, as of 2/18/00. Please enjoy the following collected gallery of images showing several diffent looks of . Scroll all the way down to see pictures ranging from his debut in 1978 to his marriage to Princess Mayte in 1998:
If you've made it this far, you deserve a sneak peek at the next part of my tribute.(Updated 2/18/00) Follow this link to Purple Inspiration!!
Please check back soon when this page is shown as updated!