independent and unofficial
Prince fan community site
Sun 15th Sep 2019 7:28pm
Welcome! Sign up or enter username and password to remember me
Forum jump
Forums > Prince: Music and More > What is your N.E.W.S. experience?
« Previous topic  Next topic »
Page 1 of 2 12>
Reply   New topic   Printable     (Log in to 'subscribe' to this topic)
Author

Tweet     Share

Message
Thread started 08/15/19 4:41am

CherryMoon57

avatar

What is your N.E.W.S. experience?


N.E.W.S. has always been of these less talked about albums, mostly because it is just an instrumental. But that doesn't mean it is not worthy of any musical recognition. In fact, it really is.

I love the whole album, but my current favourite track on it is * North *. North is the kind of music that invokes so many things from our inner selves to the whole universe that surrounds us. So yeah you could describe it as a 'cosmic' track. On a more down to earth level it also makes for a perfect "first-thing-in-the-morning or last-thing-at-night" soundtrack or a good background music to create any form of art... or just reflect.

It starts off on a solid bassline, leading into the stunning saxophone followed by Prince's jazzy etheral guitars. Around 5:10, the saxophone grows in confidence for an amazing solo. The musical accompaniment that follows (and is interspaced throughout) is very reminicent of the Crystal Ball orchestration. After a roaring santana-esque guitar storm, the piano and saxophone at the end slowly take the track back to its initial calm and beauty, finishing on a new serenity level.


* North *

  • Prince - guitar, fender rhodes, digital keyboards and percussion
  • John Blackwell - drums
  • Renato Neto - piano and synthesizers
  • Rhonda Smith - acoustic and electric bass
  • Eric Leeds - tenor and baritone saxophone (written as "saxaphone" on first printing)


What is your experience of this album, and what are your favourite tracks?


414W45KAY1L.jpg

[Edited 8/15/19 5:48am]

Open your heart open your mind
A train is leaving all day
 Reply w/quote - E-mail - orgNote - Report post to moderator
Reply #1 posted 08/15/19 5:19am

luv4u

Moderator

avatar

moderator

I was listening to it last week. I like it

Edmonton, AB - canada
Mod Goddess of the SNIP & BAN Making Moves - OF4S
Ohh purple joy oh purple bliss oh purple rapture!
REAL MUSIC by REAL MUSICIANS - Prince
"I kind of wish there was a reason for Prince to make the site crash more" ~~ Ben
 Reply w/quote - E-mail - orgNote - Report post to moderator
Reply #2 posted 08/15/19 5:53am

TheEnglishGent

avatar

I've listened to it 2 or 3 times.

RIP sad
 Reply w/quote - E-mail - orgNote - Report post to moderator
Reply #3 posted 08/15/19 5:58am

TheFman

In an ideal world, this would have been Prince's 4 Seasons.
What we got however was an ejoyable, but 15 in a dozen Jazzy instrumentals. There's nothing wrong with it, but there's nothing outstanding on it either. It's just 'there'.
Played it quiet a few times, but not enough to memorize them. Still better than different other P's albums of around that period.

And it was our good Greek friend from HQ that sent me the album by post, just because he had a good heart yes

 Reply w/quote - E-mail - orgNote - Report post to moderator
Reply #4 posted 08/15/19 7:58am

andrewm7

That album always brings back some very fond memories. It was 24th of October 2003, and we had just been let into the sound check. I had no idea what to expect, there were a couple of dozen of us seated up the front of the Entertainment Centre which seemed to be this awesomely large space when it was pretty much empty(The Vault tells me it was a little over 13000 seats)
We waited, because Prince was running a little late, and they played “North” over the PA and we chilled out.
That sense of peace from the music , and I just soaked up the atmos and looked all the way around 360 degrees at this concrete cavern full of empty seats. Prince arrived on the stage and said hello,and,I like to think he caught us checking out the size of this place and he did the same and just stared up at them all and smiled and said “yeah, that’s a lot of seats.”
He had played umpteen bigger arenas no doubt, but it was just a moment where he seemed very present and human, and it was nice to think that he was kind of thinking the same thing.
smile
 Reply w/quote - E-mail - orgNote - Report post to moderator
Reply #5 posted 08/15/19 8:05am

jfenster

it seems to be the better of his instrumental albums

 Reply w/quote - E-mail - orgNote - Report post to moderator
Reply #6 posted 08/15/19 8:23am

Genesia

avatar

I listen to N.E.W.S all the time. And I mean ... all.the.time. It is my absolute favorite album if I have a lot of writing to do at work because a) I like it, b) it drowns out co-worker noise and c) does it wordlessly. (I can't have words coming into my brain if I need words to be coming out of it.)

It is also my favorite album to listen to on an airplane. I have a little flight anxiety (nothing to do with the actual flying, it's all about feeling claustrophobic and hating to be trapped with all those people), so if I settle in and get N.E.W.S playing before we even take off, I do a lot better. Sometimes I just leave it on loop and listen to it two or three times, then segue to C-Note. That and a double Jack Daniels and Diet Coke will keep me calm from Minneapolis or Atlanta to Tucson. lol

We don’t mourn artists because we knew them. We mourn them because they helped us know ourselves.
 Reply w/quote - E-mail - orgNote - Report post to moderator
Reply #7 posted 08/15/19 10:18am

TrivialPursuit

avatar

Not trying to be negative Nancy (aka Bart) here, but I really dislike N.E.W.S. It's one Prince album I don't own (I don't own One Nite Alone or its Live sibling either, mostly because of availability). I really hated Prince's jazzy phase in the early aughts. It's likely (partly) the influence of Renato Neto in his band, possibly Rhonda Smith as well. Not that there's anything wrong with them as musicians. But you didn't see Larry Graham around doing that shit. I sometimes listen to Xpectation, but rarely. But things like N.E.W.S, C-NOTE, etc just have no place in my rotation or wallet. (And while The Rainbow Children relies heavily on that influence, I like most of that production. It'st he lyrical content that puts me off.)

When I saw that Musicology Tour video from theaters, and they got to "Baby I'm A Star", and it suddenly turned into some jazzy improv, I was done.

This experience will cover courtship, sex, commitment, fetishes, loneliness, vindication, love, and hate.
http://bit.ly/1D3FG2U
 Reply w/quote - E-mail - orgNote - Report post to moderator
Reply #8 posted 08/15/19 12:10pm

RJOrion

i love N.E.W.S...its one of my favorite Prince lps and holds great sentimental value..when i first learned to play guitar in 2016, i would always try to play along with "North" (still do)... the constant repitition annoyed the hell out of my wife and sons, but in my mind i was killin' it...
 Reply w/quote - E-mail - orgNote - Report post to moderator
Reply #9 posted 08/15/19 2:03pm

CherryMoon57

avatar

andrewm7 said:

That album always brings back some very fond memories. It was 24th of October 2003, and we had just been let into the sound check. I had no idea what to expect, there were a couple of dozen of us seated up the front of the Entertainment Centre which seemed to be this awesomely large space when it was pretty much empty(The Vault tells me it was a little over 13000 seats) We waited, because Prince was running a little late, and they played “North” over the PA and we chilled out. That sense of peace from the music , and I just soaked up the atmos and looked all the way around 360 degrees at this concrete cavern full of empty seats. Prince arrived on the stage and said hello,and,I like to think he caught us checking out the size of this place and he did the same and just stared up at them all and smiled and said “yeah, that’s a lot of seats.” He had played umpteen bigger arenas no doubt, but it was just a moment where he seemed very present and human, and it was nice to think that he was kind of thinking the same thing. smile


That's a really nice story, thank you for sharing it. I was listening to North whilst reading it and could imagine the scene very well...
Each time I saw Prince, I too thought that he was very present and human. cool

Open your heart open your mind
A train is leaving all day
 Reply w/quote - E-mail - orgNote - Report post to moderator
Reply #10 posted 08/15/19 2:17pm

CherryMoon57

avatar

Genesia said:

I listen to N.E.W.S all the time. And I mean ... all.the.time. It is my absolute favorite album if I have a lot of writing to do at work because a) I like it, b) it drowns out co-worker noise and c) does it wordlessly. (I can't have words coming into my brain if I need words to be coming out of it.)

It is also my favorite album to listen to on an airplane. I have a little flight anxiety (nothing to do with the actual flying, it's all about feeling claustrophobic and hating to be trapped with all those people), so if I settle in and get N.E.W.S playing before we even take off, I do a lot better. Sometimes I just leave it on loop and listen to it two or three times, then segue to C-Note. That and a double Jack Daniels and Diet Coke will keep me calm from Minneapolis or Atlanta to Tucson. lol


Yes, N.E.W.S. is great for pretty much anything to do with concentration, inspiration or relaxation (especially before a flight). In fact, I can listen to N.E.W.S. endlessly if I am doing something creative. And I am exactely the same as you for writing lol.

Open your heart open your mind
A train is leaving all day
 Reply w/quote - E-mail - orgNote - Report post to moderator
Reply #11 posted 08/15/19 2:27pm

steakfinger

I don't want to be the only Debbie Downer, but I bought N.E.W.S. right when it came out even though I didn't know it was coming out. I just happened to be looking in the Prince section when they were putting it out. I was excited - per usual - and I listened to it right away. I thought it was the most boring, un-ceative thing I'd ever heard. It was the first thing Prince had done that I knew I could do better. I thought it sounded like his band playing some vamps and then Prince overdubbed some stuff on it later. I saw and interview somewhere more recently that confirms this is exactly what happened. Prince was concerned more with having each track be a certain length than the music on it. He was smart because he knew MOST of his fans would eat it up and knowing nothing about jazz would declare it some kind of bold instrumental masterpiece. If you gave me John Blackwell, Rhonda, Renato, and a studio I guarantee I could produce someting about 2000x more interesting than N.E.W.S. with EASE. I know that's going to seem silly or boastful to some, but it's not. The fact is N.E.W.S. is audio wallpaper. People like what they like and if they like N.E.W.S. then they're not going to be interested in something musically deeper. It's all subjective and I didn't say BETTER. I said more interesting.

 Reply w/quote - E-mail - orgNote - Report post to moderator
Reply #12 posted 08/15/19 2:59pm

onlyforaminute

I gravitated to West immediately maybe it was the rain and cars. North is now my favorite with West, the biting chill of the wind. East perplexed me but I think Im getting it. South is nice too, I get its vibe.
Year of Return 2019
 Reply w/quote - E-mail - orgNote - Report post to moderator
Reply #13 posted 08/15/19 3:00pm

Cindy

West is my favourite track. Unlike countless other P songs I wouldn’t say that I love it. However, I definitely like it a lot.
 Reply w/quote - E-mail - orgNote - Report post to moderator
Reply #14 posted 08/15/19 3:11pm

CherryMoon57

avatar

TrivialPursuit said:

Not trying to be negative Nancy (aka Bart) here, but I really dislike N.E.W.S. It's one Prince album I don't own (I don't own One Nite Alone or its Live sibling either, mostly because of availability). I really hated Prince's jazzy phase in the early aughts. It's likely (partly) the influence of Renato Neto in his band, possibly Rhonda Smith as well. Not that there's anything wrong with them as musicians. But you didn't see Larry Graham around doing that shit. I sometimes listen to Xpectation, but rarely. But things like N.E.W.S, C-NOTE, etc just have no place in my rotation or wallet. (And while The Rainbow Children relies heavily on that influence, I like most of that production. It'st he lyrical content that puts me off.)

When I saw that Musicology Tour video from theaters, and they got to "Baby I'm A Star", and it suddenly turned into some jazzy improv, I was done.


It's ok Nancy lol. As they say different strokes for different folks... The reason I love this album and all his jazzy output is first because I love jazz, but also because it reminds me of the music he used to play at the aftershows. There was a lot of jamming sessions there, the music seemed to flow freely, especially with Renato, Maceo, Greb Boyer Mike Philips etc. Prince looked happy and was having so much fun... I guess you had to be there lol. Have you ever been to any of his aftershows?

Open your heart open your mind
A train is leaving all day
 Reply w/quote - E-mail - orgNote - Report post to moderator
Reply #15 posted 08/15/19 3:37pm

CherryMoon57

avatar

RJOrion said:

i love N.E.W.S...its one of my favorite Prince lps and holds great sentimental value..when i first learned to play guitar in 2016, i would always try to play along with "North" (still do)... the constant repitition annoyed the hell out of my wife and sons, but in my mind i was killin' it...

lol Practice makes perfect!

Open your heart open your mind
A train is leaving all day
 Reply w/quote - E-mail - orgNote - Report post to moderator
Reply #16 posted 08/15/19 4:24pm

WhisperingDand
elions

avatar

People don't like the barely two years of jazzy influences but are okay with pop-rock or funk retread #756,645,777,931? All righty then. Greatest musician of all time, and his fans want maybe three genres out of him... And please, no attempts at post-1980 styles of said genres, plz. Makes sense.

 Reply w/quote - E-mail - orgNote - Report post to moderator
Reply #17 posted 08/15/19 10:13pm

deanm

LOL, I was at that Soundcheck, Great memories.

andrewm7 said:

That album always brings back some very fond memories. It was 24th of October 2003, and we had just been let into the sound check. I had no idea what to expect, there were a couple of dozen of us seated up the front of the Entertainment Centre which seemed to be this awesomely large space when it was pretty much empty(The Vault tells me it was a little over 13000 seats) We waited, because Prince was running a little late, and they played “North” over the PA and we chilled out. That sense of peace from the music , and I just soaked up the atmos and looked all the way around 360 degrees at this concrete cavern full of empty seats. Prince arrived on the stage and said hello,and,I like to think he caught us checking out the size of this place and he did the same and just stared up at them all and smiled and said “yeah, that’s a lot of seats.” He had played umpteen bigger arenas no doubt, but it was just a moment where he seemed very present and human, and it was nice to think that he was kind of thinking the same thing. smile

 Reply w/quote - E-mail - orgNote - Report post to moderator
Reply #18 posted 08/16/19 12:22am

Lovejunky

avatar

CherryMoon57 said:

What is your experience of this album, and what are your favourite tracks?


414W45KAY1L.jpg

[Edited 8/15/19 5:48am]

Im a fan of Princes instrumentals...but it took me a while..

East had to grow on me.the drums and horns just grab my attention whereas the other tracks can play in the background and not need me ..if you know what I mean...

West is the favorite,

I have the Album on a Playlist along with The Plan..which I Adore, Xpectation,all of it Gamillah, Alex de paris and S P A C E instrumental version..and 94 east along with

June and Osaka from one night alone, all ripped from this guy on youtube who makes extended versions..

Ive thrown June into the playlist, just because

When Im creating this is my shuffle and off I go...

He was something else....

still suffering some kind of wierd separation pain...even though I never met him...

was it a dream ?...........................

“LOVE IS THE MASTERPLAN”
 Reply w/quote - E-mail - orgNote - Report post to moderator
Reply #19 posted 08/16/19 2:25am

CherryMoon57

avatar

^Thanks LoveJunky smile
If you haven't already, you should check out his Loring Park Sessions 1977. It's just under an hour of fusion bliss.

Open your heart open your mind
A train is leaving all day
 Reply w/quote - E-mail - orgNote - Report post to moderator
Reply #20 posted 08/16/19 3:44am

Lovejunky

avatar

CherryMoon57 said:

^Thanks LoveJunky smile
If you haven't already, you should check out his Loring Park Sessions 1977. It's just under an hour of fusion bliss.

thanks Cherry....

Yes..thats also on the playlist...

NOW...smile

“LOVE IS THE MASTERPLAN”
 Reply w/quote - E-mail - orgNote - Report post to moderator
Reply #21 posted 08/16/19 4:10am

CherryMoon57

avatar

^thumbs up!

Open your heart open your mind
A train is leaving all day
 Reply w/quote - E-mail - orgNote - Report post to moderator
Reply #22 posted 08/16/19 4:16am

CherryMoon57

avatar

steakfinger said:

I don't want to be the only Debbie Downer, but I bought N.E.W.S. right when it came out even though I didn't know it was coming out. I just happened to be looking in the Prince section when they were putting it out. I was excited - per usual - and I listened to it right away. I thought it was the most boring, un-ceative thing I'd ever heard. It was the first thing Prince had done that I knew I could do better. I thought it sounded like his band playing some vamps and then Prince overdubbed some stuff on it later. I saw and interview somewhere more recently that confirms this is exactly what happened. Prince was concerned more with having each track be a certain length than the music on it. He was smart because he knew MOST of his fans would eat it up and knowing nothing about jazz would declare it some kind of bold instrumental masterpiece. If you gave me John Blackwell, Rhonda, Renato, and a studio I guarantee I could produce someting about 2000x more interesting than N.E.W.S. with EASE. I know that's going to seem silly or boastful to some, but it's not. The fact is N.E.W.S. is audio wallpaper. People like what they like and if they like N.E.W.S. then they're not going to be interested in something musically deeper. It's all subjective and I didn't say BETTER. I said more interesting.


Thanks for your comments. Do you have any links for that interview? And do you remember who was being interviewed?

Open your heart open your mind
A train is leaving all day
 Reply w/quote - E-mail - orgNote - Report post to moderator
Reply #23 posted 08/16/19 7:48am

Genesia

avatar

steakfinger said:

I don't want to be the only Debbie Downer, but I bought N.E.W.S. right when it came out even though I didn't know it was coming out. I just happened to be looking in the Prince section when they were putting it out. I was excited - per usual - and I listened to it right away. I thought it was the most boring, un-ceative thing I'd ever heard. It was the first thing Prince had done that I knew I could do better. I thought it sounded like his band playing some vamps and then Prince overdubbed some stuff on it later. I saw and interview somewhere more recently that confirms this is exactly what happened. Prince was concerned more with having each track be a certain length than the music on it. He was smart because he knew MOST of his fans would eat it up and knowing nothing about jazz would declare it some kind of bold instrumental masterpiece. If you gave me John Blackwell, Rhonda, Renato, and a studio I guarantee I could produce someting about 2000x more interesting than N.E.W.S. with EASE. I know that's going to seem silly or boastful to some, but it's not. The fact is N.E.W.S. is audio wallpaper. People like what they like and if they like N.E.W.S. then they're not going to be interested in something musically deeper. It's all subjective and I didn't say BETTER. I said more interesting.


How does that follow? Because people can't like all kinds of music? Ridiculous.

We don’t mourn artists because we knew them. We mourn them because they helped us know ourselves.
 Reply w/quote - E-mail - orgNote - Report post to moderator
Reply #24 posted 08/16/19 11:16am

Germanegro

I consider the album as a four-part, hyper-extended, spaced-out jam. I didn't bother with it when if first came out but grabbed a copy near-exactly one year later. At the time I was into some spaced-out feelings that were coming from a personal experience.

bheart fallinluv

I won't forget it, that's for sure! It is definitely not an inconsequential instrumental recording for me. I consider the work to be meditative and generally elicits some emotions. I can't be sure, for me, if this comes from the music so much, or from my state of mind during my first hearing. I am definitely on the retreat when I'm listening to this music, tho'.

peace

 Reply w/quote - E-mail - orgNote - Report post to moderator
Reply #25 posted 08/18/19 11:11am

CherryMoon57

avatar

'The album is reportedly the lowest-selling Prince album released to date, with just 30,000 copies sold, but it did become a top ten hit on the Billboard Internet sales chart, and garnered a Grammy nomination for Best Pop Instrumental Album.'

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/N%C2%B7E%C2%B7W%C2%B7S_(Prince_album)

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_awards_and_nominations_received_by_Prince

Pop? confuse

The second link says contemporary... Mmmh ok, whatever. lol


[Edited 8/18/19 11:15am]

Open your heart open your mind
A train is leaving all day
 Reply w/quote - E-mail - orgNote - Report post to moderator
Reply #26 posted 08/18/19 12:59pm

MIRvmn

avatar

I like N.E.W.S. it's Prince's best instrumental album smile
We are living in Orwell's 1984
 Reply w/quote - E-mail - orgNote - Report post to moderator
Reply #27 posted 08/18/19 10:55pm

PeteSilas

it's one of his albums i sort of don't get around to very much, heard it once or twice, it left me cold and I don't listen to it anymore. Sometimes, you wonder what the purpose of him releasing stuff like that.

 Reply w/quote - E-mail - orgNote - Report post to moderator
Reply #28 posted 08/18/19 11:38pm

RODSERLING

This album is a joke, especially with the packaging, the title tracks, the clocking time, the constant fading in the end, etc.
.
I guess he needed an instrumental album to pass for a serious artist. Remember it was just before Musicology and its worldwide recognition.
 Reply w/quote - E-mail - orgNote - Report post to moderator
Reply #29 posted 08/19/19 2:09am

Rimshottbob

RODSERLING said:

This album is a joke, especially with the packaging, the title tracks, the clocking time, the constant fading in the end, etc. . I guess he needed an instrumental album to pass for a serious artist. Remember it was just before Musicology and its worldwide recognition.

The album wasn't a joke. I love it. It's very 'lite' on teh jazz front, and doesn't match up to 'proper' fusion albums from the masters of the genre, but it's extremely good on its own terms.

I enjoy it every time I play it which is with an occasional regularity....

It just wasn't a commercial album. And it wasn't supposed to be.

It's not like Prince was watching the charts going 'damn - why isn't NEWS a hit like Little Red Corvette?'

God forbid someone should doing something artistic/creative without caring about/keeping an eye on the commercial aspect of it....

Personally, though I like Musicology, I find NEWS far more rewrding.

 Reply w/quote - E-mail - orgNote - Report post to moderator
Page 1 of 2 12>
Reply   New topic   Printable     (Log in to 'subscribe' to this topic)
« Previous topic  Next topic »
Forums > Prince: Music and More > What is your N.E.W.S. experience?