Musical palate cleanser, U 2? edition

Man, the first four months of 2016 have been a total bummer.

Prince, the songwriter, singer, producer, one-man studio band and consummate showman, died on Thursday at his home, Paisley Park, in Chanhassen, Minn. He was 57.

You know you’re somebody when the New York Times refers to you by one name.

The obituary is astounding to read – “prolific” and “virtuoso” are words that we see tossed out all the time undeservedly, but in this case barely do the man justice.

Then, there’s this.

Prince was responsible for so much great music, I hardly know where to begin, but even if I did, there’s not exactly a lot of material on YouTube to reference, given his largely successful effort to control his work product (and good for him in that regard).

Start with this, though, for an indication of how underrated he was as a guitarist.

The first 3:25 is a slow buildup to what comes, and when it does, wow.

For more of the same, here’s his “press conference” before his appearance at the Superbowl.  So, yeah, he could rock a little.

I’ve about worn my copy of 1999 out.  It’s the album – and the video image – I’ll always remember him by.

Parties weren’t meant to last, indeed.  Shit.

There’s a bunch more here.  (In particular, make sure to play the remarkable “I Could Never Take The Place Of Your Man”.)

I can’t really do this justice.  Just go listen, okay?

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UPDATE:

 

29 Comments

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29 responses to “Musical palate cleanser, U 2? edition

  1. ASEF

    When I was 14, we talked my friend’s mother into taking us to see Billy Idol at the local U’s gymnasium. The opening act was Prince, not that we knew anything about him at the time. Weirdest part: the mom, a Celtic folk music devotee, only agreed because she’d heard some things about the opening act.

    You could tell after one song he was going places. Phenomenal. Didn’t appreciate how lucky I was at the time.

  2. MLB2

    Absolutely right, Bluto. One of, if not THE most gifted musicians of our time.

  3. Man, Controversy, 1999, and Purple Rain were the soundtrack of my youth. I loved Prince’s music. I remember I left my 1999 cassette in my car’s tape player, and my dad drove the car without me that day. He heard “Let’s Pretend We’re Married.” He didn’t say anything until the next time just the two of us were in the car and then let me know he was none too pleased. Purple Rain was the first R rated movie I got into while I was underage without an adult … Scandalous, I say. People throw around the phrase “musical genius,” but the man in purple from Paisley Park was that.

    • The Dawg abides

      1999 came out when I was in the eight grade. ” Let’s pretend we’re Married” was the first ‘dirty’ song me and my friends had ever heard. It was little secret that only we knew about and we could never let the adults hear it. My school took the gifted class to see a touring production of Twelfth Night at the Fox, and I played the song on my boombox on the bus ride home. A young teacher recognized the song and sent a note home to my parents and they confiscated my cassette tape. Lucky for me they didn’t know I had made the copy from my albumn. Song lyrics and the shock they bring have changed a little bit since then.

      • Great story right there. My dad didn’t take the cassette away, but I made sure I didn’t keep it lying around. That song along with a number of others are nothing compared to the lyrics you hear today.

  4. RocketDawg

    Every song on the Sirius/XM tribute channel brought back a vivid memory. Prince was the soundtrack of my youth/HS/college years.

    Why oh why 2016 couldn’t you take Kanye, any of the Kardashians, or Jim Delany/Mark Emmert???

    • The Dawg abides

      Didn’t you know? Kanye is the definitive musical genius of our time. When we lose a true virtuoso like Prince, it makes me realize what a delusional tool someone like Kanye is. He isn’t even worthy of washing Prince’s tour bus.

  5. Jeff Sanchez

    I think this is truly a generational thing – I’m crushed, like all the Gen Xers are today. Had to remind my students who he was.

    The best part about that Hall of Fame solo? He chucks his guitar up in the air at the end as he struts off stage….and it never comes down. It ascended into heaven

  6. SSB Charley

    Good call on I Could Never Take the Place of Your Man, probably my all-time favorite Prince song. What he did musically blows 99% of other pop/rock musicians out of the water, and then you add what he could do on stage during a live performance, and pretty much no one comes close to him. A terrible loss, to say the least. Saw him 12 years ago, and it was just a big, funky dance party.

    • BMan

      Agreed on “I Could Never Take the Place of Your Man” as my personal favorite. Saw him twice, including that particular tour. Unbelievable talent.

      • Mister Neutron

        +1 on “Never Take The Place Of Your Man.” My Morning Jacket did a great cover, too.

  7. Noonan

    His guitar playing was on the level of Jimi Hendrix and Eddie Van Halen. When you add in the songwriting and multi-instrumental virtuosity, you get the most talented musician of our era. The guitar intro on “When Doves Cry” is one of the most awesome things I have ever heard. RIP.

    • paul

      When asked what it’s like to be the greatest guitarist in the world, Eric Clapton responded, I don’t know. Ask Prince.

  8. DawgPhan

    Really happy that I saw him in atlanta last week.

    Sad to see him go.

  9. DC Weez

    What an incredible talent! And what a loss! There are so many great Prince songs. His skills as a musician were over the top but that was matched by his great talent as a songwriter. As evidence of that, listen to Herbie Hancock’s recording of “Thieves in the Temple.” Just spectacular music.

  10. Comin' Down The Track

    Sometimes it snows in April.

  11. simpl_matter

    Early/mid 80’s trips in the family van across the country were a steady 8-track rotation of Purple Rain, Eddie Murphy’s Raw, Bill Cosby’s Himself, and The Oak Ridge Boys. I could sing every song on PR by heart, but Darling Nikki was the one my teenage brain liked the best. Let’s Go Crazy will always get me moving.

    • The Dawg abides

      Man, if you’ve got Purple Rain and Raw on 8-track, then you’ve got unicorns. I didn’t know they were putting stuff on 8- track in the mid-80’s.

  12. Nate Dawg

    He wrote one of the biggest hits in the world – for another artist(!!) – in “Nothing Compares to U” – nuff said. And he could ball on the courts too, has always been the rumor – haha…
    RIP good sir…and y’all check out Chris Cornell’s version of Nothing Compares to U if you get a chance.

  13. No One Knows You're a Dawg

    Up right now on Youtube is a incredible video of the 13 minute debut performance of Purple Rain (and The Revolution) at a benefit concert in Minneapolis in 1983. The music from this performance was later edited and overdubbed onto the concert footage used in the movie. In the past, this video has gotten yanked down quickly, although it may stay up a bit longer this time. You can Google “Prince Purple Rain 1983” to find it.

  14. James Stephenson

    I saw him in early 1985, 2nd or 3rd show at the omni. Still one of the best shows I have ever seen.

  15. I think my entire childhood/teen years of music is gone. The good thing is that it makes me realize how diverse my tastes in music were, even at a young age. It’s also given me reason to give another listen to good music that I may have “forgotten” about.

    This honestly makes me want to try to fix my old record player or buy one of the USB units and go through my collection of 150 or so vinyl albums this weekend.

  16. Napoleon BonerFart

    I read an interview of Paul McCartney in the 80s where he said that Prince was his favorite guitarist. It’s a shame.

  17. Saw him twice in concert. Fantastic shows that went on for a damn long time. Wrote one of my favorites manic monday.

  18. wilcodawg

    Very late to this dance/conversation – but just found this and had to share. Turn it up to 11.