I kinda hesitated in starting this thread because the whole idea of these fan threads is you know, post a classic hit or high quality deep cut and nerd out about these artists/acts we love. The problem for Prince fans is that he is notoriously pissy about YouTube, a control freak that ensures nobody can listen to any of his endless amounts of good songs (mostly unfortunately unknown outside his fanbase) or rewatch his music videos. (His video for "My Name is Prince" is so awesomely silly.) He's especially denying himeslf newer audiences who aren't aware of His Royal Badness and really, he surely would benefit from people discovering for themselves "Raspberry Beret" and The Black Album or priceless pop gems tossed away as mere B-sides like "Erotic City" or "She's Always in my Hair." Nevermind his great legendary bootlegs that are worth exploring, like the original unreleased takes of "Old Friends 4 Sale" and "Extralovable."
But then last week, by a 3rd party YouTube account (3rdEyeGirl) he's started leaking "bootlegz" and for a fan like me, I appreciated them all. A new decent song ("Same Page Different Book"), an extended funkier version of "Laydown," a rehearsal of "Bambi" (one of my all-time favorites of his), and a disco-hook remix of his recent single "Rock & Roll Love Affair" that's better than the released version. All unfortunately taken down, but I'm sure you can still find them out there online.
And on friday, he posted this recent tour rendition of one of his many 80s classic hits "I Could Never Take the Place of Your Man."
I like how he vacates that track's Bruce Springsteen small town melodrama pop rock for a more slowed down, bluesy rendition. I'm very fond of the original, but still this is very damn good. Hopefully he continues to release more bootlegs and songs and whatever, allegedly to hype up for a new upcoming album out later this year which would be his first in 3 years. (or 4 if you don't count 20TEN, which he released only as a giveaway in European newspapers.)
Then again I guess such gross contradictions define Prince, and his eccentricities are part of what makes him amusingly fascinating. Before Paisley Park went to war against YouTube, he was the first major recording artist to release an album online all the way back in 1997 with CRYSTAL BALL. In fact when the labels were suing Napster into oblivion, he released a single ("The Work, Pt. 1") through them. In lyrics he bitched about rappers, before producing several rap tracks himself (and some are actually quite good). He's gone Jehovah's Witness, even though he famously once wrote about "Fucking the Taste/Out of Your Mouth." In recent times he bitches about modern gimmicky pop stars, which is rich coming from somebody who infamously posed nude for the LOVESEXY album cover and once upon a time wore on stage nothing except a thong and trenchcoat.
And yet I guess it must be said, sometimes it takes one to be nuts like him to actually innovate. Not just talking about his music, his 80s work was undoubtedly groundbreaking. But in retrospect, he was onto something about going independent. Sure the way he handled it publicly was quite frankly stupid and worthy of mockery (remember when he wrote "SLAVE" on his cheek? ), but really why keep giving up most of the money made from your songs to a label, especially in these times when they're desperately fighting for their lives? Why should a well-established pop music name/legend like Madonna or Jay-Z or Paul McCartney or whoever have to do that shit? It's stupid, especially the "360 Deals." I'm also reminded of his "comeback" album MUSICOLOGY. He hit upon the idea of giving that CD away with tickets for his tour, and thus scored himself a Platinum record. The charts subsequently changed the rules so this won't ever happen again, and that's kinda become a trick many other pop idols (Madonna recently comes to mind) have followed.
Mr. Nelson, you're crazy. But a crazy genius at times as well. Bravo mother fucker.
Anyway I guess we'll try to post YT videos and enjoy them while they last. Oh I wish more people knew of "Dinner With Delores" and "Act of God" and "Endorphinmachine" and so forth...