Story. I confess to not being his biggest fan, but I did find some of his music enjoyable.  He wasn't that old at all, either.

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..." They say two thousand , ten , six , time to leave and pick up sticks seen/so tonight I'm gonna to party like it's 2016 "?? .

  He sure liked producing records/(attempted) hits for petite  dark-haired light-skinned women !!!!!!!!!!! Vanity , Sheena , Deborah...........

I wasn't a huge fan, either--but that's mainly because I don't pay much attention to pop lately. I thought he was tremendously gifted. Miles Davis called him a genius, which is good enough for me.

Well, I'm a fan, and I've been one since his debut album, For You. It was one of those albums you play all the time, every day, until you wear it out.

In his early days, Prince didn't have a band, and on For You, he did it all himself -- he wrote the songs, did the arrangements, and played all the instruments. As noted on the For You page in Wikipedia, that's "all vocals, electric guitar, acoustic guitar, Orr bass, bass synth, singing bass, fuzz bass, Fender Rhodes electric piano, acoustic piano, Minimoog, Polymoog, ARP String Ensemble, ARP Pro Soloist, Oberheim 4-voice, clavinet, drums, syndrums, water drums, slapsticks, bongos, congas, finger cymbals, wind chimes, orchestral bells, wood blocks, brush trap, tree bell, hand claps, finger snaps."

The big hit from that album was "Soft and Wet," but my favorite track is "Just as Long as We're Together." It's a lovely song, but it's more amazing knowing that it's all him.

He was the real deal. I like the earlier stuff the best with Dirty Mind being among my all time favorite albums.

Prince was born the same year I was. He did more with his life, but it ended earlier. I guess I got the better end of the deal.

My wife's a big fan, and regrets never seeing him in concert. I saw him on TV a couple of times and in Purple Rain and wasn't real impressed -- he seemed to be a collection of tics and gimmicks lifted from other performers (Chuck Barry, James Brown, David Bowie and Michael Jackson in particular). I did enjoy some of his songs on the radio (the usual list of hits) but didn't feel the need to search out any more.

I have to say I'm much more impressed now that the non-stop cable coverage has given me the back story, especially his being a musical polymath. His talent, versatility and work ethic -- which I never heard about when he was a star in the '80s -- are stunning. Add to that his under-the-radar generosity to familes in need and mentorship of young talent elevates him further in my eyes, and I wish I'd paid more attention at the time.

I've always liked what Prince music I heard -- high school was full of 1999 and Purple Rain -- but never really sought out more. Really sad to see him go, though -- he was a hell of a talented man, and one that brought more mystery and amazement into the world. Plus, he was the only performer who ever really made the Superbowl halftime show worth watching. (Faint praise, I know.)

I'll probably learn more about him in the coming days, and get a deeper appreciation for him. 

Oh, and another thing: When he switched his name to the unpronounceable symbol, all I ever heard was jeering. Turns out he did it to stick his thumb in his record label's eye, because they were controlling his output. Changing his name was a legal workaround to controlling his own career, which is pretty awesome. I'm sure Prince fans knew all that, but at the time, all the media coverage I heard was just snickering at the crazy pop star.

I've always been a fan of Prince. I got tired of the hits quite some time ago, and if I never hear "Purple Rain" again I'll be happy. (I worked with a guy who would put that song on repeat at the end of every day).

I regret never having seen him in concert, because I heard he always brought his A game. He could play anything and he could make music in damn near any style. He was greatness for sure.

Captain Comics said:

Oh, and another thing: When he switched his name to the unpronounceable symbol, all I ever heard was jeering. Turns out he did it to stick his thumb in his record label's eye, because they were controlling his output. Changing his name was a legal workaround to controlling his own career, which is pretty awesome. I'm sure Prince fans knew all that, but at the time, all the media coverage I heard was just snickering at the crazy pop star.

Prince was crazy like a fox. He was an incredibly prolific songwriter -- he made 39 studio albums and four live albums, and also wrote dozens upon dozens of tunes for other singers and bands. The record labels wanted him to limit his output to a new album every year or two, or even cut it back to Michael Jackson levels. Jackson averaged a new album once every four or five years, but churned out a bunch of compliation/greatest hits albums and updated versions of his biggest albums with added tracks and remixes. Prince wasn't for that; he was fully capable of producing a new album every month. He is said to have a vault full of a thousand unrelased tracks. 

And part of the battle he had with the record label was over control of his music. There's a scene in Ray, the Ray Charles biopic, where he left his longtime home, Atlantic Records, for ABC/Dunhill Records, in part because ABC's deal gave Charles ownership of the master recordings. The heads of Atlantic, Ahmet Ertegun and Jerry Wexler, yelled and screamed at him, Wexler in particular going "How can you do this?! I thought we were friends! I thought we were family!"

Charles asked them, simply, "Can you match it?"

They would not. Ertegun later told Charles, "You got a better deal than Sinatra got."

Prince was fighting that same battle over ownership 20 years later.

You might have noticed there are recent CDs of songs from any number of groups from back in the day, but they are newly recorded versions of the old hits? You know why? It's because those are owned by the singers, in an attempt to get a bigger chunk of the proceeds that what they might get from the official versions put out by the record label. I once read an article where Prince described plans to remake all of his albums, note for note, for just that reason.

And Prince brilliantly gamed the system where, on one tour, he gave copies of his latest CD, Musicology, to each concert-goer; the cost of the CD was built into the price of the concert ticket. This gave a huge boost to the sales numbers for that CD. 

 

Prince was also the author of the Bangles hit Manic Monday.

I just ran across this collection of stories about Prince from Billboard magazine. There are tales about his perfectionism, his ego, his rivalries, and more.

"'Does Your Pubic Hair Go Up to Your Navel?': 31 of Prince's Quirki...

What I hate about learning things about Prince that I didn't know is realizing he will never do it again.

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