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Thread started 11/21/14 9:19pm

10000Degrees

We Can Funk: For the Newer Fans

I've been around for a pretty long time now and remain as I will always keep checking for Prince's newest material - I'll always be curious to hear what he's up to and just where he's at musically. While my tastes have gone in a different direction, I'll always take a peek and listen to whatever he's cooking up in the now. Unfortunately, I've come to realize that all of the things I really loved about his music as I grew up and heard through my older brother's boombox are no longer components of his more recent material. While there are elements, the strangeness of his sound, cleverness of his lyrics, and maybe the naivity of it all just doesn't come through for me these days.

That said, I put on We Can Funk from 1986 or so today and it got me thinking about Prince the artist then vs. now. This particular song really summarizes who and what Prince's older material is to me. It was unique, his vocals were unique, the instrumentation was strange and cold but so cool, that guitar line is too awesome, and the bass and drums kinda just hammer through the song. He had such a unique sound at the time - a sound that was clearly influenced by Sly Stone and George Clinton but Santana and technology. The airy keyboard in the background added that extra layer of creepy, distant and cold but then he brings in the sharp and slinky keyboard lead line that he sings overtop of with his signature falsetto scream. Has Prince recorded anything this clever and cool in forever? Songs like Life O' The Party, The Gold Standard or Sexy MF don't stand anywhere near in the massive Prince musical catalogue. He was really onto something clever and unique back then - so much of that material stands up so high in comparison to what he's doing these days.

Anyway, hopefully one day all that stellar material from between 80 and 88 comes out in cleaner quality than my bootlegs. Thanks for the music Prince - if you're reading this. But to the new fans, I'm happy you're enjoying the newer material if you are. There will always be something very special about his 80s released and unreleased body of work to me.

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Reply #1 posted 11/21/14 11:16pm

paisleypark4

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Correct. He is only in competition with himself. Music like The Future, Wonderful Day, Shockadelica, Extraloveable are tunes only from the purple one.

He seemed really tame on this album....his strangeness replaced by normalcy. Its been this way..since 1995 id say. Its why alot of people tuned him out since then. He left his purple mystery behind and conformed.

The Voice Inside, Rave, Grind..timeless music like that made him special. Hints of that is left...Breakfast, Gold Standard...but ...ya know
Download all the shit hop that you can for your kids, neices, nephews, and their friends also. That will prevent them from going out and buying it and will prevent some shit hop sales. Every little bit helps - Andy
http://www.soundclick.com/bands/pagemus
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Reply #2 posted 11/22/14 4:08am

TheEnglishGent

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Well, it was nearly 30 years ago. I don't think there are any 56 year olds who think, create or act as they did when they were 26. I'm 12 years off of Prince's age and I can't imagine being or doing what I was back then so can understand that Prince has changed. It's ridiculous to hope or expect him to be creative or adventurous in the manner he was 30 years ago.

RIP sad
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Reply #3 posted 11/22/14 7:05am

1725topp

10000Degrees said:

I've been around for a pretty long time now and remain as I will always keep checking for Prince's newest material - I'll always be curious to hear what he's up to and just where he's at musically. While my tastes have gone in a different direction, I'll always take a peek and listen to whatever he's cooking up in the now. Unfortunately, I've come to realize that all of the things I really loved about his music as I grew up and heard through my older brother's boombox are no longer components of his more recent material. While there are elements, the strangeness of his sound, cleverness of his lyrics, and maybe the naivity of it all just doesn't come through for me these days.

That said, I put on We Can Funk from 1986 or so today and it got me thinking about Prince the artist then vs. now. This particular song really summarizes who and what Prince's older material is to me. It was unique, his vocals were unique, the instrumentation was strange and cold but so cool, that guitar line is too awesome, and the bass and drums kinda just hammer through the song. He had such a unique sound at the time - a sound that was clearly influenced by Sly Stone and George Clinton but Santana and technology. The airy keyboard in the background added that extra layer of creepy, distant and cold but then he brings in the sharp and slinky keyboard lead line that he sings overtop of with his signature falsetto scream. Has Prince recorded anything this clever and cool in forever? Songs like Life O' The Party, The Gold Standard or Sexy MF don't stand anywhere near in the massive Prince musical catalogue. He was really onto something clever and unique back then - so much of that material stands up so high in comparison to what he's doing these days.

Anyway, hopefully one day all that stellar material from between 80 and 88 comes out in cleaner quality than my bootlegs. Thanks for the music Prince - if you're reading this. But to the new fans, I'm happy you're enjoying the newer material if you are. There will always be something very special about his 80s released and unreleased body of work to me.

*

I've been a Prince fan since 1979, and, while I don't want to troll, I can only disagree with what I've placed in bold. In fact, songs like "Musicology" and "Colonized Mind" are in my top ten favorite Prince songs. In fact, "We Can Funk" has always been just a mid-level Prince song to me, and I've rarely been moved by unreleased studio songs. As I've said before, eighty-five percent of the time whenever I hear an unreleased studio song, even those from the Eighties, my usual response is "I see why it didn't make the album." So, I'm only responding to say that I'm a long-time fan who loves much of his later work to the same level as his early work. I actually like The Rainbow Children more than Graffiti Bridge and Parade. Now, to be clear, there is no song on TRC that I like more than "Kiss," "Boys and Girls," and "Anotherloverholenyohead," but the remainder of TRC moves me so much more than the remainder of Parade. So, while I can respect your love for the Eighties era, I'm just glad that Prince is still making art that moves me and makes me think, which includes AOA and PlecElec.

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Reply #4 posted 11/22/14 7:53am

nigel1013

To the OP:

Prince takes you on a musical journey. The only journey that he took me where I became lost was the Rainbow Children. Music would be boring iif it all sounded like the 80s. Music SHOULD evolve. I enjoy the jazz direction with Madhouse, C-Notes and The N.E.W.S. The funk of The Slaughterhouse and Musicology (songs like Call My Name and Illision, Coma, Pimp and Circumstance). I love Dreamer on Lotus Flower and all of MPLS except "No Candy for You" AOA is the most complete Prince album since Purple Rain. I listen from beginning to end. I don't care about sales or his popular relative to other artists. I just want more great music from Prince until he decides to retire.

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Reply #5 posted 11/22/14 9:11am

paisleypark4

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Oh yeah, his 2000s output i like m ore than the 90s albums for sure. They are not overblown,or trying to please crowds so much. Plus his live shows are better.

Aoa is nice, just safe.
Download all the shit hop that you can for your kids, neices, nephews, and their friends also. That will prevent them from going out and buying it and will prevent some shit hop sales. Every little bit helps - Andy
http://www.soundclick.com/bands/pagemus
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Reply #6 posted 11/23/14 1:51pm

ufoclub

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Keep in mind that this particular sound, was and still is bootleg. He's dried up all leaks of his recent studio bootleg stuff, and we are not hearing his new studio material deemed too uncommercial to fit whatever album or Internet release he has going now.
[Edited 11/23/14 18:55pm]
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Reply #7 posted 11/23/14 2:51pm

3rdeyedude

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Love 'We Can Funk' and always have. The unreleased versions are even better. He offered it to The Three O'clock but they picked Neon Telephone instead. They shortly broke up after that album bombed.

I will take half the songs from the GB soundtrack over much of his material since then.

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Reply #8 posted 11/23/14 3:20pm

datdude

paisleypark4 said:

Correct. He is only in competition with himself. Music like The Future, Wonderful Day, Shockadelica, Extraloveable are tunes only from the purple one. He seemed really tame on this album....his strangeness replaced by normalcy. Its been this way..since 1995 id say. Its why alot of people tuned him out since then. He left his purple mystery behind and conformed. The Voice Inside, Rave, Grind..timeless music like that made him special. Hints of that is left...Breakfast, Gold Standard...but ...ya know

Are you referring to mainstream fans or those who are not chart watchers, or what. I find it hard to agree that ppl would tune him out based on largely unreleased material. I've said before, the more I hear stuff from the Vault the more I appreciate him as an "editor". I haven't heard the 1986 version of We Can Funk, only what made it onto GB, and its still superfunky to me. Preferences and nostalgia are fine, but projecting and presuming what's "missing" beyond a certain song, or certain album is a slippery slope. I think if he sold the way he did then, ppl would be singing a different tune.

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Reply #9 posted 11/23/14 5:57pm

purplethunder3
121

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3rdeyedude said:

Love 'We Can Funk' and always have. The unreleased versions are even better. He offered it to The Three O'clock but they picked Neon Telephone instead. They shortly broke up after that album bombed.

I will take half the songs from the GB soundtrack over much of his material since then.

For me, nothing will top what I believe is the 1986 version of this song--I never get tired of hearing it.

"Music gives a soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination and life to everything." --Plato
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Reply #10 posted 11/23/14 7:45pm

Shockedelicus

I don't get why he continually watered down the tracks that would one day be Graffiti Bridge. That album would have been so much stronger had he just used older versions of Can't Stop', Tick Tick Bang, We Can Funk, etc. The album we have now is just so flaccid. I do think We Can Funk is a good indicator of where he was vs. where he is.

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