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Thread started 01/12/18 9:19am

radici27

Pop Star

I never liked this term applied to Prince. I found it way too reductive for what he did. I understand it though. For many commentators, critics and casual observers it's a way of identifying.

I remember the day Prince died a co-worker said: "I am sorry about your Pop Star." It just didn't fit.

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Reply #1 posted 01/12/18 9:43am

Seahorsie

Musical genius would be better. His fusion of sounds & genre were difficult for the general public to understand; so they used a short label to put him in "a box." (most apex artists in many fields have not been truly appreciated until later- after they are already gone.)

Good morning children...take a look out your window.
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Reply #2 posted 01/12/18 11:32am

PeteSilas

radici27 said:

I never liked this term applied to Prince. I found it way too reductive for what he did. I understand it though. For many commentators, critics and casual observers it's a way of identifying.

I remember the day Prince died a co-worker said: "I am sorry about your Pop Star." It just didn't fit.

he was a pop star but he was at a level of pop star who had a significance that very few pop stars achieve. culturally and musically. Elvis and frank were pop stars, they've been called genius' too, they were both. If Prince wanted to be a pure creative genius and not care at all about sales he could have, his dad did that from all the sounds of it, Prince did what he wanted and he did it as well as anyone ever.

Prince.org: With fans like these he didn't need haters.
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Reply #3 posted 01/14/18 2:22pm

Wlcm2thdwn3

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Prince could never be catagorized.

How long do you wanna be loved. Is forever enough, is forever enough?
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Reply #4 posted 01/14/18 2:43pm

ShaggyDog

Prince could write a great pop song.

Raspeberry Beret, She's Always In My Hair, I Feel For You, I Wanna Be Your Lover, Pop Life, all those songs have a great pop sensibilty, and are ear friendly productions loaded with hooks, melody, and that certain something. I remember seeing an interview years ago with MC Hammer where he was talking about how his music began to cross over and he was accused of being 'pop' in a disparaging way, but he said something like "pop just means popular, and who doesn't want to make a song that catches on and sells a lot" (it wasn't those exact words but something like it, I can't seem to find the exact quote).

So by any means people could call Prince a pop star, he's wrote a ton of catchy singles especially in the earlier part of his career, and he was definitely popular. But of course as well as being a pop star we all know that he was a funk star, a rock star, a soul star, just an everything star. You know it's not so bad being called a pop star anyway, The Beatles are known to many as the best pop band ever, so if Prince is called a pop star then that's not bad company to keep.

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Reply #5 posted 01/14/18 3:49pm

EmmaMcG

He was popular (in the 80s) and he was a star. Therefore, he was a pop star.
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Reply #6 posted 01/15/18 1:13am

thedance

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^ so true, good definition.. smile


I heart good pop music.. cool

And, Prince wrote the song "Pop Life".

It does not seem he had a problem with the "pop" word,

To most people it's not a negative term... right?

Prince 4Ever. heart
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Reply #7 posted 01/15/18 8:55am

PeteSilas

thedance said:

^ so true, good definition.. smile


I heart good pop music.. cool

And, Prince wrote the song "Pop Life".

It does not seem he had a problem with the "pop" word,

To most people it's not a negative term... right?

ya but my belief is that at it's best, pop/art merge, elvis at his peak, sinatra, beatles, whoever. also, as i've said many times, it's not easy to make a simple song good, three chords and a melody, "pop" but to be able to make it good is a gift from god, not anyone can do it.

Prince.org: With fans like these he didn't need haters.
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Reply #8 posted 01/15/18 10:09am

InThisBedIDrea
m

I don't know why but I associate the term "pop star" with younger artists who obviously make pop music.


For me Prince was a pop star at some point but was then simply just Prince.

Prince, a talented star of many genres.

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Reply #9 posted 01/15/18 10:20am

PeteSilas

InThisBedIDream said:

I don't know why but I associate the term "pop star" with younger artists who obviously make pop music.


For me Prince was a pop star at some point but was then simply just Prince.

Prince, a talented star of many genres.

pop music is pretty basic, song form and structure is simple and prince rarely deviated from it, he did change it up when he felt like it and he did all kinds of works, many of which are probably still locked away but the majority of what we have follows the template of American Popular music. the interesting part is how to fit genius into such a strict format and prince obviously did that as have several others of the elite artists of the rock era. When we think "pop" we always think , fluff, fun, meaningless, empty, catchy music to make you forget day to day life. Our best artists always do more than that but a good pop song is still a good pop song and it's an art in itself to make something that catches on to the common ear.

Prince.org: With fans like these he didn't need haters.
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Reply #10 posted 01/15/18 11:20am

InThisBedIDrea
m

PeteSilas said:

InThisBedIDream said:

I don't know why but I associate the term "pop star" with younger artists who obviously make pop music.


For me Prince was a pop star at some point but was then simply just Prince.

Prince, a talented star of many genres.

pop music is pretty basic, song form and structure is simple and prince rarely deviated from it, he did change it up when he felt like it and he did all kinds of works, many of which are probably still locked away but the majority of what we have follows the template of American Popular music. the interesting part is how to fit genius into such a strict format and prince obviously did that as have several others of the elite artists of the rock era. When we think "pop" we always think , fluff, fun, meaningless, empty, catchy music to make you forget day to day life. Our best artists always do more than that but a good pop song is still a good pop song and it's an art in itself to make something that catches on to the common ear.

This is exactly what I think as pop, a song you can sing along to without giving it a second thought.

So the basic structure of a lot of Prince's songs are pop that just don't sound like pop after he weaved his magic?


You see I wouldn't know the difference 'cause I don't look into it that deeply but you seem to know your stuff, maybe I'll learn a thing or two.

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Reply #11 posted 01/15/18 11:36am

PeteSilas

InThisBedIDream said:

PeteSilas said:

pop music is pretty basic, song form and structure is simple and prince rarely deviated from it, he did change it up when he felt like it and he did all kinds of works, many of which are probably still locked away but the majority of what we have follows the template of American Popular music. the interesting part is how to fit genius into such a strict format and prince obviously did that as have several others of the elite artists of the rock era. When we think "pop" we always think , fluff, fun, meaningless, empty, catchy music to make you forget day to day life. Our best artists always do more than that but a good pop song is still a good pop song and it's an art in itself to make something that catches on to the common ear.

This is exactly what I think as pop, a song you can sing along to without giving it a second thought.

So the basic structure of a lot of Prince's songs are pop that just don't sound like pop after he weaved his magic?


You see I wouldn't know the difference 'cause I don't look into it that deeply but you seem to know your stuff, maybe I'll learn a thing or two.

just look at his peak hits, look at how simple they were, let's go crazy, 1999, nursery rhyme simple, that's a talent, and a business acumen too, you know you can't write something so complex that the audience won't be able to understand it at all.

Prince.org: With fans like these he didn't need haters.
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Reply #12 posted 01/15/18 11:43am

purplerabbitho
le

Pop just means popular. It is in no way an indication of the degree of talent or creativity. Pop music needs to be catchy but beyond that it is more open to creativity than other genres of musics. If one is too tied to a specific genre, they are limited. The best pop star is unlimited. For my money, the BEatles is the best pop ground who ever lived. Ironically, Prince is the most talent pop artist but far from the most popular because sometimes he just wanted to be an artist..

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Reply #13 posted 01/15/18 12:03pm

PeteSilas

purplerabbithole said:

Pop just means popular. It is in no way an indication of the degree of talent or creativity. Pop music needs to be catchy but beyond that it is more open to creativity than other genres of musics. If one is too tied to a specific genre, they are limited. The best pop star is unlimited. For my money, the BEatles is the best pop ground who ever lived. Ironically, Prince is the most talent pop artist but far from the most popular because sometimes he just wanted to be an artist..

as great as the beatles or elvis or Prince were it's still a very simple format and all hell breaks loose when the limits are challenged. the beatles faced resistence when hey jude was released because it was too long. Prince has done longer works but they never made it to radio or television, it's cool though because i used to love the days when that man would release a tune and the single would almost be the teaser because you knew that the full version would be way better, that goes for let's go crazy, purple rain and little red corvette.

Prince.org: With fans like these he didn't need haters.
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Reply #14 posted 01/15/18 12:14pm

radici27

ShaggyDog said:

Prince could write a great pop song.

Raspeberry Beret, She's Always In My Hair, I Feel For You, I Wanna Be Your Lover, Pop Life, all those songs have a great pop sensibilty, and are ear friendly productions loaded with hooks, melody, and that certain something. I remember seeing an interview years ago with MC Hammer where he was talking about how his music began to cross over and he was accused of being 'pop' in a disparaging way, but he said something like "pop just means popular, and who doesn't want to make a song that catches on and sells a lot" (it wasn't those exact words but something like it, I can't seem to find the exact quote).

So by any means people could call Prince a pop star, he's wrote a ton of catchy singles especially in the earlier part of his career, and he was definitely popular. But of course as well as being a pop star we all know that he was a funk star, a rock star, a soul star, just an everything star. You know it's not so bad being called a pop star anyway, The Beatles are known to many as the best pop band ever, so if Prince is called a pop star then that's not bad company to keep.

I understand this thinking and I am familiar with the origin of the pop star term. What I'll say is that in this context the term pop star denotes more than just a technical definition. When we hear the term pop star it suggests a certain type of artist, whose music may be catchy and yes popular, but not someone who operates on those other levels. Another issue I have is in the way language works. So if Justin Bieber is referred to as a pop star and so is Prince, the lazy thing to do, at least for casual obervers, is to regard them as operating in the same sphere. That's bull$&*t! When Prince played long jam sessions into the wee hours, when he covered Jimi, when he played jazz improvisation, there was nothing pop about it. Now I understand it, and understand why. I just didn't like it. Music journalists, records companies, advertisers,etc. had to describe him somehow.

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Reply #15 posted 01/15/18 12:16pm

radici27

EmmaMcG said:

He was popular (in the 80s) and he was a star. Therefore, he was a pop star.

So was Jimi Hendrix. You'll never hear him described as such. What I am getting at is beyond the technical definition of the term.

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Reply #16 posted 01/15/18 12:17pm

lemoncrush19

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"pop" is nothing but a category like any other musical genre is.
prince didn't like categories and wether his music nor anything else about him did ever fit into any.

"the only category I can think of is inspirational. and that's what all music can be as long as it comes from the heart." (1999, @larry king)

he didn't just want to be an artist he actually was an artist.
who gave a s**t about charts and sales and awards and all that stuff stars (pick whatever category) and their manager and labels are worried about ... that's the only reason he wasn't a so called star anymore after his wb-split but "just" an artist (some say THE artist but this would be a label again wink )

the only love there is is the love we make heart
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Reply #17 posted 01/15/18 12:21pm

radici27

Thanks everyone for the responses.

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Reply #18 posted 01/15/18 12:24pm

PeteSilas

lemoncrush19 said:

"pop" is nothing but a category like any other musical genre is.
prince didn't like categories and wether his music nor anything else about him did ever fit into any.

"the only category I can think of is inspirational. and that's what all music can be as long as it comes from the heart." (1999, @larry king)

he didn't just want to be an artist he actually was an artist.
who gave a s**t about charts and sales and awards and all that stuff stars (pick whatever category) and their manager and labels are worried about ... that's the only reason he wasn't a so called star anymore after his wb-split but "just" an artist (some say THE artist but this would be a label again wink )

i'm sure he wouldn't have minded a few good old fashioned hits in his last couple decades, the most beautiful girl in the world was his last major one.

Prince.org: With fans like these he didn't need haters.
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Reply #19 posted 01/15/18 12:48pm

lemoncrush19

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PeteSilas said:

lemoncrush19 said:

"pop" is nothing but a category like any other musical genre is.
prince didn't like categories and wether his music nor anything else about him did ever fit into any.

"the only category I can think of is inspirational. and that's what all music can be as long as it comes from the heart." (1999, @larry king)

he didn't just want to be an artist he actually was an artist.
who gave a s**t about charts and sales and awards and all that stuff stars (pick whatever category) and their manager and labels are worried about ... that's the only reason he wasn't a so called star anymore after his wb-split but "just" an artist (some say THE artist but this would be a label again wink )

i'm sure he wouldn't have minded a few good old fashioned hits in his last couple decades, the most beautiful girl in the world was his last major one.


sure not. but I guess u got what I meant wink

the only love there is is the love we make heart
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Reply #20 posted 01/15/18 2:17pm

EmmaMcG

radici27 said:



EmmaMcG said:


He was popular (in the 80s) and he was a star. Therefore, he was a pop star.

So was Jimi Hendrix. You'll never hear him described as such. What I am getting at is beyond the technical definition of the term.



He wasn't popular, at least not in the singles charts.
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Reply #21 posted 01/15/18 3:15pm

PeteSilas

EmmaMcG said:

radici27 said:

So was Jimi Hendrix. You'll never hear him described as such. What I am getting at is beyond the technical definition of the term.

He wasn't popular, at least not in the singles charts.

that's the crazy thing, a lot of people who are regarded as legends didn't even have a top ten hit, I don't think Jimi did and i think dylan didn't have a number one either and look at his influence, amazing.

Prince.org: With fans like these he didn't need haters.
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Reply #22 posted 01/16/18 1:36pm

jaawwnn

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Some good talk on what pop music is and isn't


https://www.popjustice.com/about/

I think Prince was definitely a pop star who wrote a lot of pop music and aimed for pop hits throughout his entire career, he also did other stuff though. He wasn't constrained by only being a pop artist, certainly his jazz albums were not aimed at the pop market.
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Reply #23 posted 01/16/18 1:44pm

000000

I think his birth name said it all "Prince." His parents named him appropriately.

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Reply #24 posted 01/16/18 4:15pm

214

He was a pop star, and the bigger He got was in 1984. Yet in the first place He was an artist, and what and artist He was!

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