Thursday, April 21, 2016

Prince Rogers Nelson, RIP

I was actually planning to write a blog post today, my first in a couple of months, talking the passage of time and how it's leaving me with feelings both good and bittersweet. I was literally opening Blogger to get writing, when I saw this. Oh man. Years ago, I had a conversation with a friend about which of the great rock, pop, folk, and soul artists of the second half of the 20th century would have a songwriting legacy that would last into the 21st, or beyond. Not groups, my friend insisted: no Beatles, no Led Zeppelin, just singular artists. In the end, I came up with three: Bob Dylan, David Bowie, and Prince. The Thin White Duke left us in January, and now 2016 has taken Prince has well. (Stay healthy and safe, Bob. Don't emerge from wherever you're hiding.)

What to say? Like Bowie, Prince was an enormously talented musician, whose stupendous skills were often lost in the dizzying way he would change his style, his look, and his sound. Unlike Bowie, he vainly insisted on fighting the contemporary pop music machine, rather than just outlasting it, and so lost years of effective communication with his audience during the whole TAFKAP nonsense. But oh well. He wrote, he produced, he sang, and he played--man, could he play! So here's my offering, to be tossed on the funeral pyre along with hundreds of more which are bound to come:

From 1985,"Raspberry Beret," my single favorite song of his:

Prince - Raspberry Beret

From 1987, "Sign o' The Times," showing his socially conscious side:

From 1991, during his New Power Generation phase, "Cream":

From 2006, with years of fights with the record companies behind him, "Black Sweat":

From 2013, "Breakfast Can Wait." He never stopped being kinky, that's for certain:

1 comment:

Doug said...

And here is the counterpoint to "Breakfast Can Wait," from much earlier.