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Forums > Prince: Music and More > Is Crucial the most by-the-numbers 80s Prince song ever?
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Thread started 04/03/19 8:47pm

Mikado

Is Crucial the most by-the-numbers 80s Prince song ever?

Don't get me wrong - I love it, but Crucial has always struck me as "checking all the boxes" for an 80s Prince song. You have the wailing guitar (at least in the released version on CB), Clare Fisher orchestral overdubs, and a climbing Prince vocal.

And hey, it works pretty well.

A certain kind of mellow.
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Reply #1 posted 04/03/19 10:07pm

databank

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Mikado said:

Don't get me wrong - I love it, but Crucial has always struck me as "checking all the boxes" for an 80s Prince song. You have the wailing guitar (at least in the released version on CB), Clare Fisher orchestral overdubs, and a climbing Prince vocal.

And hey, it works pretty well.

eek

I didn't know there was such a version.

We don't have this, do we?

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Reply #2 posted 04/03/19 11:17pm

Mikado

databank said:

Mikado said:

Don't get me wrong - I love it, but Crucial has always struck me as "checking all the boxes" for an 80s Prince song. You have the wailing guitar (at least in the released version on CB), Clare Fisher orchestral overdubs, and a climbing Prince vocal.

And hey, it works pretty well.

eek

I didn't know there was such a version.

We don't have this, do we?


Prince Vault mentions it as the last addition to the song, taking place at some point in January 1987.

A certain kind of mellow.
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Reply #3 posted 04/04/19 3:05am

McD

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I love the bootleg versions of it (I think I first got them on a pressed CD called Crucial around 1991). Classic Prince, I’d say. Great tune, fab vocal.

But... I can’t believe what a mess they made of it on Crystal Ball. The mix is truly appalling. I can’t listen to it.

Bootlegs 2 Official 0.
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Reply #4 posted 04/04/19 3:36am

databank

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Mikado said:

databank said:

eek

I didn't know there was such a version.

We don't have this, do we?


Prince Vault mentions it as the last addition to the song, taking place at some point in January 1987.

I know, checking was my first reflex after reading your post. That came as a surprise to me.

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Reply #5 posted 04/04/19 4:05am

TheFman

not really imo, never felt it that way, doesn't have anything 'prefab' on it. It's fabulous. Actually the opposite may be true: it may have been the blueprint for many later songs of his (Scandalous atd).

Mikado said:

Crucial has always struck me as "checking all the boxes" for an 80s Prince song.

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Reply #6 posted 04/04/19 6:37am

coldcoffeeandc
ocacola

Mikado said:

Don't get me wrong - I love it, but Crucial has always struck me as "checking all the boxes" for an 80s Prince song. You have the wailing guitar (at least in the released version on CB), Clare Fisher orchestral overdubs, and a climbing Prince vocal.

And hey, it works pretty well.




No it’s perfection!
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Reply #7 posted 04/04/19 6:46am

databank

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McD said:

I love the bootleg versions of it (I think I first got them on a pressed CD called Crucial around 1991). Classic Prince, I’d say. Great tune, fab vocal. But... I can’t believe what a mess they made of it on Crystal Ball. The mix is truly appalling. I can’t listen to it. Bootlegs 2 Official 0.

Surprising. I'm in the same situation and I remember that in 98 a friend of mine who also was a longtime fan and I agreed that that 5 minutes edit of pristine Crucial was better than 7 minute of shitty sounding bootleg.

I suspect that you may simply be the victim of a bias of status quo.

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Reply #8 posted 04/04/19 7:30am

RodeoSchro

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I love the original version with the sax.

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Reply #9 posted 04/04/19 8:00am

TheFman

databank said:

I agreed that that 5 minutes edit of pristine Crucial was better than 7 minute of shitty sounding bootleg.


Oh no, never ever!

Music quality >>> Sound quality

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Reply #10 posted 04/04/19 8:22am

databank

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TheFman said:

databank said:

I agreed that that 5 minutes edit of pristine Crucial was better than 7 minute of shitty sounding bootleg.


Oh no, never ever!

Music quality >>> Sound quality

Funnily enough I tend to agree because I'm not an audiophile, I can't hear the difference between mp3 @320 and Flac and I survive with a decent but limited sound system due to the fact that I'm living a nomadic life, but on the other hand there comes a point where shitty sounding bootlegs really tend to spoil my listening pleasure, whether live or studio. + that's maybe just me but I LOVE the way CB sounds, the whole album.

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Reply #11 posted 04/04/19 8:34am

sulls

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Would LOVE to have Crucial (guitar version), full-length and in pristine quality! Beautiful song, but I'm glad Adore replaced it on SOTT.

"I like to watch."
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Reply #12 posted 04/04/19 9:52am

GiggityGoo

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I love love love "Crucial". The extended "guitar" version, not the "sax" version. But the lyrics could've used some work. They're kind of clunky.

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Reply #13 posted 04/04/19 10:42am

RJOrion

ive never understood the "music by the numbers Prince song" critique...its so nitpick...the man has RELEASED OVER FIFTY COMMERCIALLY DISTRIBUTED ALBUMS, by himself and others...of course a few of them joints are gonna be similar in construction... ALL artists (especially those as prolific as Prince Nelson) have recurring themes in their work whether stylistic or conceptual...
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Reply #14 posted 04/04/19 12:09pm

BoraBora



Probably my favourite P song with "If I Was Your Girlfriend".

Even in the truncated CB version, it is simply gorgeous.


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Reply #15 posted 04/04/19 1:40pm

radicalrojo

I see the logic but I think songs like "Manic Monday" and "Last Heart" are more by-the-numbers. They're fun, bouncey, cute. But not really much beyond that (though I do love both). "Crucial" feels like a song he had to write before he could get to something like "Adore" or "U Got the Look". Both of those last two songs invoke "Crucial" and it just feels like it was a framework for the type of love songs he wanted to write at that point.

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Reply #16 posted 04/04/19 2:24pm

SoulAlive

It's a great song.....should have appeared on one of his late-80s albums.

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Reply #17 posted 04/04/19 2:25pm

Genesia

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radicalrojo said:

I see the logic but I think songs like "Manic Monday" and "Last Heart" are more by-the-numbers. They're fun, bouncey, cute. But not really much beyond that (though I do love both). "Crucial" feels like a song he had to write before he could get to something like "Adore" or "U Got the Look". Both of those last two songs invoke "Crucial" and it just feels like it was a framework for the type of love songs he wanted to write at that point.


Manic Monday is definitely "by the numbers." 1999, to be exact.

We don’t mourn artists because we knew them. We mourn them because they helped us know ourselves.
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Reply #18 posted 04/04/19 2:45pm

Wolfie87

Crucial was best described in The Peach and Black Podcast. I don't remeber if it was Rob Esse or Toejam who said it best. Crucial sounds like a song that if a normal musician tried to compose it, it might have taken a full year to complete, including day long sessions working overtime. This is why Prince has tainted (and spoiled) my look on other artists. I mean, this song has every intstrument and then some, even a sitar! And it sounds so epic. If, say, Whitney Houston released this song back in 1990, this would have charted almost as good "I will always love you" two years prior. To Prince, this is standard two days work and back in the vault. G.O.A.T.

[Edited 4/4/19 14:46pm]

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Reply #19 posted 04/04/19 5:58pm

3rdeyedude

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I will never forget the day I bought this and heard it. It's the only version I still listen to.

https://www.amazon.com/Cr...B004XVT4QS

[Edited 4/4/19 17:58pm]

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Reply #20 posted 04/05/19 2:55am

Krid

Love that song. I think I first heard it on this boot (of course on vinyl back in the days, below the counter ;=) . That was a great boot actually as well

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Reply #21 posted 04/05/19 2:59am

robertgeorge

A classic Prince sound. Lots of connections. Like Eternity, Arms of Orion and Adore had a menage a trois.

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Reply #22 posted 04/05/19 5:32am

TheFman

Krid said:

That was a great boot actually as well

The very best imo, and better than so many of his regular albums even.

It has always been in my top-3 Prince albums.

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Reply #23 posted 04/05/19 8:31am

novabrkr

But...

it's a 70s style soul ballad with 70s rock guitar parts on it.

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Reply #24 posted 04/05/19 8:36am

fms

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Yes, it's lovely and awesome. But also "textbook" Prince. I see what you mean and I've often thought the same.

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Reply #25 posted 04/05/19 5:16pm

herb4

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I've always ALWAYS felt that several if not most of the ballads and slower songs were quite same-ish and interchangeable. The ballads I enjoy are the ones that same drum beat/tempo featured in most of his popular ones. Crucial is fine but I can name 20 other songs that basically sound just like it.

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Reply #26 posted 04/06/19 3:18am

databank

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Genesia said:



radicalrojo said:


I see the logic but I think songs like "Manic Monday" and "Last Heart" are more by-the-numbers. They're fun, bouncey, cute. But not really much beyond that (though I do love both). "Crucial" feels like a song he had to write before he could get to something like "Adore" or "U Got the Look". Both of those last two songs invoke "Crucial" and it just feels like it was a framework for the type of love songs he wanted to write at that point.




Manic Monday is definitely "by the numbers." 1999, to be exact.


lol
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Reply #27 posted 04/06/19 4:11am

MIRvmn

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SoulAlive said:

It's a great song.....should have appeared on one of his late-80s albums.


I agree and it's a shame he didn't release it in the 80s. It's imo one of Prince's best 80s ballads.
[Edited 4/6/19 4:11am]
We are living in Orwell's 1984
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Reply #28 posted 04/06/19 8:55am

NorthC

herb4 said:

I've always ALWAYS felt that several if not most of the ballads and slower songs were quite same-ish and interchangeable. The ballads I enjoy are the ones that same drum beat/tempo featured in most of his popular ones. Crucial is fine but I can name 20 other songs that basically sound just like it.


Yeah, those slow jams always sounded a bit predictable. Even Adore, which I like, is a bit by-the-numbers. A lyric like "from the first moment I saw U, I knew you were the one" is as cliché as you can possibly get.
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Reply #29 posted 04/06/19 7:43pm

robertgeorge

TheFman said:

Krid said:

That was a great boot actually as well

The very best imo, and better than so many of his regular albums even.

It has always been in my top-3 Prince albums.

That was a cool boot. If that is the one I am thinking of it, was the one where I first heart in a large room with no light, and girl of my dreams. I did not buy the bootleg at the time as I was travelling and it was $80, but it was such a cool bootleg.

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Forums > Prince: Music and More > Is Crucial the most by-the-numbers 80s Prince song ever?