This is a pretty spectacular package, IMHO. If it is sold at a sensible price (I ordered the new “Songs From the Wood” 5 disc package for about £20 from the dodgers), I’ll be grabbing it.
Tommy made The Who international stars. Critics drooled over it, a full-blown rock opera about a deaf, dumb, and blind boy, performed by a four piece band across four sides of vinyl. Pete Townshend was hailed as a genius. Its plot might have some holes and too many songs are there purely to move the story on but there is much to be thrilled and excited by. I’m Free, Pinball Wizard, Sensation, Christmas, We’re Not Gonna Take It, and the ten-minute instrumental Underture are all excellent, full of solid pop melodies, delivered with power and grace.
Most bands only manage to release one double studio album, if any. A few years later, The Who released a second ambitious rock opera. This time, the story reflects the band’s own struggle to come of age in the sixties, featuring a confused four-way split personality, one for each band member. Hence the title Quadrophrenia. The songs are less tuneful than on Tommy but are much more direct and rock harder. The Real Me, 5:15, The Punk Meets The Godfather, I’m One, Bell Boy and Love, Reign O’er Me are all tours de force. It is the album on which the rock synthesiser comes » Continue Reading.
Prince has a new album out. Well, no, he doesn’t. He has another greatest hits package on the shelves and on Internet retail outfits. It’s his third Best Of and his previous one was in 2006. This isn’t quite as bad as Bowie whose recent Legacy follows on less than two years since Nothing Has Changed.
Prince4Ever is a pretty decent collection of his singles, plus one B side, up to 1993. (I think the world is crying out for a half decent post 1993 Prince collection. If the Purple People want some help, I’m willing to make suggestions.) The thing that upsets me is the inclusion of one, just one, previously unreleased track. It’s called Moonbeam Levels and was originally written in 1982, for 1999, and adjusted in 1989, but never actually issued. Elvis Costello covered it during Prince’s inauguration to the Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame. I have all the other 39 tracks. Let’s hope I can download it separately. It’s rather nice but not worth forking out for the whole ‘album’.
The good news is the the Purple People plan to release a Purple Rain legacy edition next year, followed by a whole collection of » Continue Reading.
I’ve been listening to Love And Hate by Michael Kiwanuka. The shorthand description is a story-telling Bill Withers with music arranged by Isaac Hayes. I’m only on listen three, so too early to tell, but the signs are good.
One track is markedly different, a slave song, in which the phrase, I’m A Black Man In A White Man’s World, is repeated no less than fifty-four times.
As Prince once said, there’s joy in repetition.
After the sad events of this year I would like to propose the following are their decades musically: 1960s – The Beatles 1970s – David Bowie 1980s – Prince
Disclaimer: this is an arbitrary exercise and should not be taken as any final assessment of stature. But…
Their imperial periods are all neatly within these decades. We do cut off just before Scary Monsters…and there is the late rally, but pretty well DB is the seventies. I’ve been thinking who else can rival Prince for the 80s crown? Really only three: Jacko, Madonna and Springsteen. Jacko – two albums – two monsters yes – but hardly an imperial period. And you lose Off the Wall. Madonna – her best work straddles the mid-80s to 2000 – as strong in the 90s as the 80s Prince – you have to lose Diamonds and Pearls, the squiggle album – er that’s about it. Otherwise in the 80s we get 9 albums in 10 years almost all of which are of the highest possible quality. Springsteen – lots of great stuff over four albums (River, Nebraska, USA, Tunnel of Love) but like Madonna he’s as good in other decades.
So two questions:
From Dangerous Minds.
It seems that the makers of the Zooey Deschanel comedy “New Girl” once had a plot where one of the characters went to party at Prince’s house and as part of their research they contacted the man himself and asked what sort of tunes people would hear at his house. Prince obliged and sent them a list of tunes. The article is here, and a Spotify playlist is below…
By now, those of you with any interest will have probably seen Springsteen and the E Streeters doing ‘Purple Rain’ as a tribute to Prince at the start of their show the other night. I wouldn’t go as far as to say he makes it his own (as if!) but it’s a pretty decent effort all the same. There’s a few versions of it online at the moment but this one’s probably the best – mixed, as it is, from various different fans’ recordings.
Even better is the audio version (link below) that his Bossness has made available as a free download on his website. More than makes up for the dodgy sound on the youtube clips. It’s probably only a matter of time before the audio is mixed in too.
Wonder if Bruce is running the band through ‘Me and Mrs Jones’ as I type..
Prince’s sudden death has highlighted falsetto as a vocal technique of debatable artistic merit. Me? I love it. I can’t get enough of it. Prince’s Kiss is a perfect example, probably in the top three falsetto performances of all time.
I suspect Prince was impressed by Eddie Holman’s Hey! There Lonely Girl. I certainly was.
Do Afterworders have other cases for or against.
Prince, as we know, was not a man to allow his music onto you tube or streaming sites. But plenty of the people he helped out, or wrote for, or discovered do. So lets see what kind of Prince related playlist we can come up with…
I shall start with this cracking tune from his former backing singer Rosie Gaines…
No I didn’t go – not at $390 for a ticket, and $110 in the back stalls which would have been way too far away for an “intimate” show. But several friends coughed up and predictably said it was “amazing” etc etc.
He’s just posted a 47 sec clip, audio only of a snippet of one song. No phones or cameras were allowed for the shows, and no other clips have emerged, so far.
My feeling was, and this is alluded to in the Sydney Morning Herald review, that I really lost touch with His Purpleness about 1995, or whenever “Diamonds and Pearls” was released. Since then my observation has been that he’s just recycled the sexyfunk stuff, albeit with kudos for an all-female band. So if he’s doing these songs just at the piano, FFS, I’m really not going to appreciate it as much as if it was someone whose songs I was really familiar with. Having said that, if someone had GIVEN me a ticket I would have gone, and also I’m sure it WAS amazing for all sorts of reasons.
So I suppose what I’ve just done is reviewed a gig I didn’t go to. Hmmm.. These » Continue Reading.
I just came across this and found it both interesting and hilarious. Kevin Smith recounting how he got involved in making a documentary for Prince. I think AWers might be as entertained as me.
You probably know this anyway, but it looks as if Prince will very soon be playing some European dates completely solo – just him and a piano/guitar.
As far as I can see from the two sites I’ve consulted, the information is rather conflicting as to which dates have been confirmed, but it looks as though there will be dates in 3 UK cities, plus another 12 or so dates in other parts of Europe.
I imagine that ticket prices will be on the high side … but I also imagine that he’ll be pretty good!
Prince and 3rdEyeGirl return with a protest song about the situation in Baltimore. Paisley Park era strings, socially conscious lyrics. I like it.