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Thread started 11/16/18 2:25pm

SoftSkarlettLo
visa

Was Prince aiming to be somewhat mainstream in the early 00s?

Prince's career always seemed underground to me, although he's generally branded as a pop artist. He went particularely quiet in the 90s (aside the name change) but maintained a good reputation among fans and those who knew him.

Then in 2004, with the release of Musicology, Prince became more accessible to the public than any other era in his career. He showed up at music interviews, the Oscars, the Grammies, even international interviews (e.g. Australia).

While it's nice for Prince to be acknowledged from time to time, it just seemed surreal for him to be so seen in the mainstream.

Do you think this was a deliberate plan by P, or coincidence?
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Reply #1 posted 11/16/18 2:57pm

bigd74

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i think it was done purposely, he could write a number 1 hit just like that, but chose to satisfy himself for a few years, then when the time come he thought bam, there you go, have some of that.

all intensional

[Edited 11/16/18 14:57pm]

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Reply #2 posted 11/16/18 3:19pm

rdhull

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SoftSkarlettLovisa said:

Prince's career always seemed underground to me, although he's generally branded as a pop artist. He went particularely quiet in the 90s (aside the name change) but maintained a good reputation among fans and those who knew him. Then in 2004, with the release of Musicology, Prince became more accessible to the public than any other era in his career. He showed up at music interviews, the Oscars, the Grammies, even international interviews (e.g. Australia). While it's nice for Prince to be acknowledged from time to time, it just seemed surreal for him to be so seen in the mainstream. Do you think this was a deliberate plan by P, or coincidence?

He was never underground. He only was called cult with Dirty Mind because that was an underseller naturally due to its content and hard to play with mainstream radio. He had just come off top ten hit self titled album with the hit IWBYL. His next was Controversy, 1999, PR etc. Dez always talked about getting that crossover and bigger audience and that's what he strived for and got. That aint underground and Prince wanted that top spot. Damn near always, no matter what he said in public. He didn't go quiet in the 90's. He was just as active and productive as he always was. Only thing is, he didnt have the WB MACHINE that put him in the general music awareness. In 2004 he made nice with the industry for his RRHOF induction year which is why you think he only then became more accessible. The non WB years sucked to me because he was only known to us die hards and his output as well. No WB, no industry aided hits, access, marketing etc.
.

[Edited 11/27/18 19:47pm]

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Reply #3 posted 11/16/18 4:03pm

purplethunder3
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SoftSkarlettLovisa said:

Prince's career always seemed underground to me, although he's generally branded as a pop artist. He went particularely quiet in the 90s (aside the name change) but maintained a good reputation among fans and those who knew him. Then in 2004, with the release of Musicology, Prince became more accessible to the public than any other era in his career. He showed up at music interviews, the Oscars, the Grammies, even international interviews (e.g. Australia). While it's nice for Prince to be acknowledged from time to time, it just seemed surreal for him to be so seen in the mainstream. Do you think this was a deliberate plan by P, or coincidence?

I think Prince definitely had his eye toward getting back in the mainstream with Musicology...and it worked. And he worked...with promotions, appearances, tours...

"If you're living, you've got nothing left to prove..."
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Reply #4 posted 11/16/18 5:03pm

Seahorsie

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I think he did whatever he felt like at the time. In every decade of my life, my ideas on what I want to pursue changes. Sorta like, I used to really like downhill snow skiing, but now I listen to Prince music and protect my knee joints by staying off the slopes. You see a progression of what he was thinking and feeling in the lyrics of his music as he aged. Yeah, and if he felt like it, he could throw a great big ""all inclusive" hit out there for everyone.

Once you are as successful as he was, you do what you want to do, when you want to.

guitar

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Reply #5 posted 11/16/18 5:40pm

SquirrelMeat

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Prince always sort popularity, but his issues of control often stopped it happening. He clearly 'went for it' but for every success, like Diamonds and Pearls or Musicology, there were also failed attempts, like Gold or Rave.

At the end of the day, I think his attention span never lent itself to long term commercial success.

.
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Reply #6 posted 11/16/18 6:04pm

purplethunder3
121

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SquirrelMeat said:

Prince always sort popularity, but his issues of control often stopped it happening. He clearly 'went for it' but for every success, like Diamonds and Pearls or Musicology, there were also failed attempts, like Gold or Rave.

At the end of the day, I think his attention span never lent itself to long term commercial success.

Totally agree with this... I also think it's a damned shame he didn't put more behind "The Gold Experience." I bought that and played the hell out of it...and then didn't know anything about what Prince did for 15 years... Didn't know about WB wars, etc. Dropped out of listening to the radio, watching TV, and buying music by the end of the 90s... Too busy with real life, I suppose. The last concert I went to back then was the Rolling Stones in '97... razz lol

"If you're living, you've got nothing left to prove..."
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Reply #7 posted 11/17/18 3:02am

MattyJam

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He definitely wrote Black Sweat looking for some of that Neptunes success.

But to the masses, he'd been off the radar for so long by that point it would've taken a near miracle for Prince to have achieved a big chart hit in the 00s.

It's a trip to think it's nearly been 25 years since Prince last troubled the charts in a serious way.

[Edited 11/17/18 3:03am]

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Reply #8 posted 11/17/18 6:52am

alandail

SquirrelMeat said:

Prince always sort popularity, but his issues of control often stopped it happening. He clearly 'went for it' but for every success, like Diamonds and Pearls or Musicology, there were also failed attempts, like Gold or Rave.

At the end of the day, I think his attention span never lent itself to long term commercial success.

He holds (or at least held if it has been broken) the record for most consecutie years with a top 10 hit than ended when he decided to sabatoge his own career.

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Reply #9 posted 11/17/18 6:54am

ufoclub

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If his behavior of being visible in interviews and as a personable celeb who spoke in a down to earth relatable way was a willful endeavor, the opposite of this would be true in the mid to late 80’s when he was not doing any appearances to talk or hang out in a personable way. His albums like Around the World in a Day (no promotion for it’s release!), Parade, SOTT, Black Album, and Lovesexy reflect him really going his own way sonically too... of course with a healthy competitive influence of genre hits from other artists.

There’s no sit down talk show appearances by Prince in the 80’s! Or 90’s... right?
[Edited 11/17/18 6:54am]
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Reply #10 posted 11/17/18 7:55am

MattyJam

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ufoclub said:

If his behavior of being visible in interviews and as a personable celeb who spoke in a down to earth relatable way was a willful endeavor, the opposite of this would be true in the mid to late 80’s when he was not doing any appearances to talk or hang out in a personable way. His albums like Around the World in a Day (no promotion for it’s release!), Parade, SOTT, Black Album, and Lovesexy reflect him really going his own way sonically too... of course with a healthy competitive influence of genre hits from other artists.

There’s no sit down talk show appearances by Prince in the 80’s! Or 90’s... right?
[Edited 11/17/18 6:54am]

He did quite a few sit down talk show interviews during the Emancipation/NPS/Rave era. Larry King, Tavis Smiley, Oprah...
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Reply #11 posted 11/17/18 8:55am

ufoclub

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MattyJam said:

ufoclub said:
If his behavior of being visible in interviews and as a personable celeb who spoke in a down to earth relatable way was a willful endeavor, the opposite of this would be true in the mid to late 80’s when he was not doing any appearances to talk or hang out in a personable way. His albums like Around the World in a Day (no promotion for it’s release!), Parade, SOTT, Black Album, and Lovesexy reflect him really going his own way sonically too... of course with a healthy competitive influence of genre hits from other artists. There’s no sit down talk show appearances by Prince in the 80’s! Or 90’s... right? [Edited 11/17/18 6:54am]
He did quite a few sit down talk show interviews during the Emancipation/NPS/Rave era. Larry King, Tavis Smiley, Oprah...

Correct, I meant up until the "independent" emancipation. So up until the mid 90's? I remember the Oprah appearance was a big marker of the beginning of the attempted end of his "mystique" persona.

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Reply #12 posted 11/18/18 12:45pm

databank

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I think the 2004-2008 era was all about establishing himself, once and for all, as one of the greatest pop artists of all times, after a decade that had been confusing for the audience and critics, and had given him the image of an eccentric. He did what he had to do: Musicology, the tour, 3121,21 nights in London, Vegas, the Superbowl and When My Guitar Gently Weeps... His strategy worked as hell: in the course of a few years he'd gone from former 80s genius gone underground because he was too weird to a living legend respected and acclaimed by all. The change was quick and impressive!
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Reply #13 posted 11/18/18 12:49pm

databank

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After that, no matter what would happen, he'd go down in history as a peer to Sinatra, Elvis, the Beatles, the Stones, James Brown, Stevie Wonder, MJ, etc
It was impressive to witness it all happen so fast.
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Reply #14 posted 11/23/18 7:35am

funkytriton25

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ufoclub said:



MattyJam said:


ufoclub said:
If his behavior of being visible in interviews and as a personable celeb who spoke in a down to earth relatable way was a willful endeavor, the opposite of this would be true in the mid to late 80’s when he was not doing any appearances to talk or hang out in a personable way. His albums like Around the World in a Day (no promotion for it’s release!), Parade, SOTT, Black Album, and Lovesexy reflect him really going his own way sonically too... of course with a healthy competitive influence of genre hits from other artists. There’s no sit down talk show appearances by Prince in the 80’s! Or 90’s... right? [Edited 11/17/18 6:54am]

He did quite a few sit down talk show interviews during the Emancipation/NPS/Rave era. Larry King, Tavis Smiley, Oprah...


Correct, I meant up until the "independent" emancipation. So up until the mid 90's? I remember the Oprah appearance was a big marker of the beginning of the attempted end of his "mystique" persona.



The only sit down interview I can remember from the 80's was the promotional spot he did for "Under the Cherry Moon" on MTV, but it was hardly relevatory about his personal life. It was interesting to see him in that context back then!
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Reply #15 posted 11/23/18 8:11am

PURPLEIZED3121

100% agree. He showed his

street smarts & commercial smarts with D&P by adapting his sound - yes he followed trends BUT he was moving with the times to ensure he kept in touch with the market.

In the '00's I think it varied hugely. In the last few years he again moved with the times with IMHO the real starting point being his twitter feed. From there he did TV a lot more & likewise his appearance in New Girl as well as other planned TV showed he was firmly moving with the times.

I know that he was developing his new MPLS sound which was big & orchestrated + Black is the New Black project which showed his return to his jazz/funk leanings...this for me showed that musically he was just as creative & restless as ever.....perhaps not as mainstream?

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Reply #16 posted 11/23/18 9:50am

PliablyPurple

Without question he was pushing to be mainstream during Musicology. Heavy talk about it being the last time he would play a lot of his hits (which, as usual, is always a bullshit public relations move), playing the LA show from that tour on the big screen across the country (I went), are not things an artist who is trying to avoid the mainstream does. Why the push? Money and relevance could both be possible answers to that question.

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Reply #17 posted 11/24/18 3:43pm

42Kristen

Yes. Prince was veryu quiet in the '90's for many reasons. Some of his fan base from the '70's and '80's had died down quite a bit. Due to the fact that some of us fans was loss on what direction Prince was headed; in music wise. Taking a qoute from the movie: Purple Rain. Nobody undrstands your music. But yourself. This is what some of US felt back in the '90's. In the 2000's; Prince was trying to gain back what he EARNED in the '80's. That fan base. Which he greatly had lost in the early '90's. Til the late '90's.

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Reply #18 posted 11/24/18 5:49pm

callimnate

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Pre Emancipation, Prince always aimed for mainstream when he needed to.
Purple Rain, Batman, D&P, TMBGIW etc
And when he did it, he did it well.
Post Emancipation he tried mainstream via R&B and ..... failed.
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Reply #19 posted 11/24/18 6:01pm

Spanky

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MattyJam said:

He definitely wrote Black Sweat looking for some of that Neptunes success.

But to the masses, he'd been off the radar for so long by that point it would've taken a near miracle for Prince to have achieved a big chart hit in the 00s.

It's a trip to think it's nearly been 25 years since Prince last troubled the charts in a serious way.

[Edited 11/17/18 3:03am]


Listen to "Jukebox with a Heartbeat". I think Prince was telling us he knew how to get a hit-- it wasn't just the music because he wrote pop all the way to the end. He was trying to tell us, his fans, that he knew there was a game to play in order get a hit on radio and he was NOT willing to play it.
I wish u heaven
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Reply #20 posted 11/25/18 6:06am

herb4

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In addition to what others have said, I think he was mostly dealing with the rapidly changing dynamic of revenue earning for musicians. More and more, artists could only make rel money by touring and performing live. 2004 probably would have been around when this pendulum was really swinging hard in the other direction; no money on music sales basically.

So I don't think it's a coincidence that Prince set up more residencies later on in addition to promoting his live act through a lot more media appearances. He had to pack stadiums (and he could).

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Reply #21 posted 11/25/18 7:16am

NorthC

purplethunder3121 said:



SquirrelMeat said:


Prince always sort popularity, but his issues of control often stopped it happening. He clearly 'went for it' but for every success, like Diamonds and Pearls or Musicology, there were also failed attempts, like Gold or Rave.

At the end of the day, I think his attention span never lent itself to long term commercial success.



Totally agree with this... I also think it's a damned shame he didn't put more behind "The Gold Experience." I bought that and played the hell out of it...and then didn't know anything about what Prince did for 15 years... Didn't know about WB wars, etc. Dropped out of listening to the radio, watching TV, and buying music by the end of the 90s... Too busy with real life, I suppose. The last concert I went to back then was the Rolling Stones in '97... razz lol


He did everything he could to promote TGE: putting songs on the radio, releasing videos, touring, giving interviews... He spent more time promoting TGE than most of his other albums. Problem was: he did it all before the album was out.
I may disagree with everything you say, but I will defend your right to say it.
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Reply #22 posted 11/27/18 4:56am

james

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The early 90's was the last time he really had worldwide pop success... with Diamonds and Pearls.

He carried on making heavy TV appearances in Europe until around '95, with the name change and Gold Experience, then '99 with Rave... then pretty much vanished, really, as far as the public were concerned!!

.

Musicology was maybe successful in the US, but not anywhere else in the world.

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Reply #23 posted 11/27/18 5:10am

jaawwnn

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Oh I dunno, I saw Musicology the track get a lot of play on tv in UK/Ireland, the most i'd seen since maybe The Most Beautiful Girl. It didn't translate into album sales broadly but then he didn't tour that album over here, it ended up being part of a long lead up to 21 nights in London.

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Reply #24 posted 11/27/18 6:28am

NouveauDance

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Musicology was just as calculated as say Diamonds & Pearls or Purple Rain. He clearly set out for a hit and to make a splash again. Whether the music was up to par or not was not really the thing - he was touring, selling tickets and that was the main purpose of the album. It worked.

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Reply #25 posted 11/27/18 6:49am

james

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jaawwnn said:

Oh I dunno, I saw Musicology the track get a lot of play on tv in UK/Ireland, the most i'd seen since maybe The Most Beautiful Girl.

I remember hearing it played too... although not sure it was ever a single.

The Official Chart website has no mention of it.

.

In fact I'm surprised to see Gold reached Number 10... His last real "Hit" in the UK !!

.

https://www.officialcharts.com/artist/17019/prince/

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Reply #26 posted 11/27/18 7:16am

Genesia

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rdhull said:

SoftSkarlettLovisa said:

Prince's career always seemed underground to me, although he's generally branded as a pop artist. He went particularely quiet in the 90s (aside the name change) but maintained a good reputation among fans and those who knew him. Then in 2004, with the release of Musicology, Prince became more accessible to the public than any other era in his career. He showed up at music interviews, the Oscars, the Grammies, even international interviews (e.g. Australia). While it's nice for Prince to be acknowledged from time to time, it just seemed surreal for him to be so seen in the mainstream. Do you think this was a deliberate plan by P, or coincidence?

He was never underground. He only was called cult with Dirty Mind because that was an underseller naturally due to its content and hard to play with mainstream radio. He had just come off top ten hit self titled album with the hit IWBYL. His next was Controversy, 1999, PR etc. Dez alwys talked about getting that crossover and bigger audience and thts what he strived for and got. That aint underground and Prince wanted that top spot. Damn near always, no matter what he said in public. He didn't go quiet in the 90's. He was just as active and productive as he always was. Only thing is, he didnt have the WB MACINE that put him in the general music awareness. In 2004 he made nice with the industry for his RRHOF induction year which is why you think he only then became more accessible. The non WB years sucked to me becasue he was only known to us die hards and his out put as well. No WB, no industry aided hits, access, marketing etc.


Every word of this.

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Reply #27 posted 11/27/18 9:07am

jaawwnn

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james said:

jaawwnn said:

Oh I dunno, I saw Musicology the track get a lot of play on tv in UK/Ireland, the most i'd seen since maybe The Most Beautiful Girl.

I remember hearing it played too... although not sure it was ever a single.

The Official Chart website has no mention of it.

.

In fact I'm surprised to see Gold reached Number 10... His last real "Hit" in the UK !!

.

https://www.officialcharts.com/artist/17019/prince/

It was a single but it failed to chart, I don't remember seeing it in shops at the time though. I feel like the video got a lot of play but less so on the radio. I do remember a lot of people commenting that they had heard a new Prince track and it was great, sure I wasn't even a fan myself yet and I liked it.

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Reply #28 posted 11/28/18 5:20am

BartVanHemelen

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bigd74 said:

he could write a number 1 hit just like that

.

Oh please, don't be ridiculous. Post-TMBGITW he never had anything even resembling a hit. And not by choice.

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Reply #29 posted 11/28/18 5:26am

BartVanHemelen

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42Kristen said:

Yes. Prince was veryu quiet in the '90's

.

Utter nonsense. He went big for D&P. He did multiple interviews in 1994. He did more interviews for Emancipation in two days than in the entirety of his career. He did email/fax interviews with local papers while on tour in 1998. He did Rave with the intent to have the same kind of chart success as Santana previously.

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This posting is provided AS IS with no warranties, and confers no rights.
It is not authorized by Prince or the NPG Music Club. You assume all risk for
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