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Thread started 06/03/19 6:37am

lurker316

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Prince complains music is over-produced, then adds cheesy sound effects to his songs

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I see some older threads on Prince's use of sound effects and it looks like the Org is somewhat split.

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I don't mind their occassional use (e.g. I have no problem with the traffic sounds in Lady Cab Driver), but in the 1990s I think he over-used them. Not only were there too many, but there was nothing subtle about them. If he mentioned an object in the lyrics, he'd simply play a sound effect of that object. There's nothing orginal or clever about that.

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The Gold Album (which I generally love) is particularly aggregious. In 319 you have the knocking on the hotel door and the camer shutter when he takes photos. And don't get me started on TMBGITW...

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What I've always found particularly ironic about that this is also around the time when he started complaining that most pop music was over-produced. Kind of hypocritical for him to then add all this unnecesasary junk on top of his songs.

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Reply #1 posted 06/03/19 6:52am

RodeoSchro

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Agree 100% on "The Gold Album" songs, but that was what was (kind of) popular back then.

The 90's were weird decade to me. Nirvana killed rock and roll; no-talent rappers took center stage; and Prince actually chased trends instead of creating them.

And yet, he put out some absolutely incredible music in the 90's.

Second Funkiest White Man in America

P&R's Palladin
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Reply #2 posted 06/03/19 1:12pm

ian

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Yeah totally agree OP, the over-use of effects-library samples in his songs REALLY dates his 90s-era material so badly, even more than the loudness and sterile production.


His use of samples durng that time was just so literal and "on the nose at times - TMBGITW is probably the funniest of the lot, everything from ticking clocks to raindrops!

Generally with his studio albums, I've little interest in re-masters - the WB era music is just the way he wanted it (I assume) and personally I wouldn't change a thing. However, I do feel his 90s catalogue would be greatly improved by remastering and stripping out of the sound effects.

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Reply #3 posted 06/03/19 2:45pm

jfenster

ruined The Truth album with all those noises

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Reply #4 posted 06/03/19 6:27pm

AnnaSantana

RodeoSchro said:

Agree 100% on "The Gold Album" songs, but that was what was (kind of) popular back then.

The 90's were weird decade to me. Nirvana killed rock and roll; no-talent rappers took center stage; and Prince actually chased trends instead of creating them.

And yet, he put out some absolutely incredible music in the 90's.

The only "trend" he chased back then was rap. There were no "trendS".

finger DONALD TRUMP
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Reply #5 posted 06/03/19 7:13pm

callimnate

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AnnaSantana said:

RodeoSchro said:

Agree 100% on "The Gold Album" songs, but that was what was (kind of) popular back then.

The 90's were weird decade to me. Nirvana killed rock and roll; no-talent rappers took center stage; and Prince actually chased trends instead of creating them.

And yet, he put out some absolutely incredible music in the 90's.

The only "trend" he chased back then was rap. There were no "trendS".


Uhmmmmm.... Emancipation is nothing but Prince trying to sound like trending 90's R&B.

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Reply #6 posted 06/03/19 7:53pm

WhisperingDand
elions

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Was new wave and "shred"-style rock not an 80s "trend" ?

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Reply #7 posted 06/04/19 7:15am

lurker316

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My point isn't simply that the sound effects were too literal and over-used.

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My point is that they were also hypocritical because he ramped up their use at roughly the same time he started complaining about music being over-produced.

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Reply #8 posted 06/04/19 7:25am

savagedreams

somehow i doubt any comment he made about music being over produced was about sound effects. more so about about hack singers and musicians thatcould fake it in the studio with tricks and couldnt perform live worth a damn.

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Reply #9 posted 06/04/19 7:46am

Se7en

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The only really blatant sound effects to me are The Most Beautiful Girl In The World (drops, clocks) and Pussy Control (convertible car top), maybe Chaos & Disorder (horns honking).

I'm more upset by the addition of cowbell into Endorphinemachine, or the dulling-down of the guitar work on Fury. Stuff like that.


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Reply #10 posted 06/04/19 10:21am

stillwaiting

He couldn't help himself. The sound effects before 1985 were generally awesome. The Darth Vader voice on 1999 was perfect. On Rainbow Children, he was like the five year old who won't give up the fire truck he is playing with, and just over does it. The sound effect thing was always with him. The plane effect in Supercute, the horn on the jeep in High, and of course, the Star Wars Stormtroopers laser gun battle in The Breakdown may have been the worst of all.

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Reply #11 posted 06/04/19 11:25am

PliablyPurple

I love that P used sound effects in his songs. I don't always like them, but mostly I do and I'm glad he used them. The opening to 319 makes for a great intro, imo, and it's thematic to the song. The album version of TMBGITW is not my favorite version, and it IS because of that damn added clock sfx, lols. But, even that I'm cool with, because he released The Beautiful Experience, so, pick your poison. So, yea, I also don't look at the use of sfx to mean he was guilty of overproducing. When it's at its best, the added sounds work as another element of storytelling that sets a mood not otherwise acheived sans sfx.

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Reply #12 posted 06/04/19 12:06pm

lurker316

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Se7en said:

The only really blatant sound effects to me are The Most Beautiful Girl In The World (drops, clocks) and Pussy Control (convertible car top), maybe Chaos & Disorder (horns honking).

I'm more upset by the addition of cowbell into Endorphinemachine, or the dulling-down of the guitar work on Fury. Stuff like that.


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What about 319? Knocking on the door, the camera shutter, etc.? He starts Supercute with the sound of a plane landing because the opening line says something about a 747.
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The honking horn in Chaos and Disorder doesn't bother me as much as the army guy yelling "forward, march". The line proceding it is "gay use to many happy, now happy aint' allowed". Prince didn't trust his audience to understand that he was making reference to the fact that some people would like to outlaw homosexuality, so he figured if he played a clip from the army (this was aruond the time of the "Don't ask, Don't tell" controversy) his audience would get it. I have the same complaint when authors and film makers who spell things out for their audiences. It's like they assume we're idiots and can't pick up on their meaning.

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And I do think that sounds effects qualify as "over producing".

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Reply #13 posted 06/04/19 12:14pm

RodeoSchro

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lurker316 said:

Se7en said:

The only really blatant sound effects to me are The Most Beautiful Girl In The World (drops, clocks) and Pussy Control (convertible car top), maybe Chaos & Disorder (horns honking).

I'm more upset by the addition of cowbell into Endorphinemachine, or the dulling-down of the guitar work on Fury. Stuff like that.


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What about 319? Knocking on the door, the camera shutter, etc.? He starts Supercute with the sound of a plane landing because the opening line says something about a 747.
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The honking horn in Chaos and Disorder doesn't bother me as much as the army guy yelling "forward, march". The line proceding it is "gay use to many happy, now happy aint' allowed". Prince didn't trust his audience to understand that he was making reference to the fact that some people would like to outlaw homosexuality, so he figured if he played a clip from the army (this was aruond the time of the "Don't ask, Don't tell" controversy) his audience would get it. I have the same complaint when authors and film makers who spell things out for their audiences. It's like they assume we're idiots and can't pick up on their meaning.

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And I do think that sounds effects qualify as "over producing".

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I think the line is actually:

"He's gay", used to mean "He's happy". Nowadays, happy ain't allowed.

But you're spot-on with the Don't Ask/Don't Tell reference. That is exactly what Prince was referring to with the army sound.

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[Edited 6/4/19 12:15pm]

Second Funkiest White Man in America

P&R's Palladin
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Reply #14 posted 06/05/19 5:43am

lurker316

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RodeoSchro said:

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I think the line is actually:

"He's gay", used to mean "He's happy". Nowadays, happy ain't allowed.



Yes, you are correct. I typed it too fast and got it all messed up. Thanks for the correction.



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Reply #15 posted 06/05/19 8:19am

RJOrion

WhisperingDandelions said:

Was new wave and "shred"-style rock not an 80s "trend" ?




of course it was... but alot of white fans disliking Prince's forays into hiphop, is indicative of their disdain for hiphop as cultural art form, and sometimes indicative of their racial prejudice...some will admire the black entertainer, as long as he doesnt "act too black"
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Reply #16 posted 06/05/19 12:46pm

stillwaiting

RJOrion said:

WhisperingDandelions said:

Was new wave and "shred"-style rock not an 80s "trend" ?

of course it was... but alot of white fans disliking Prince's forays into hiphop, is indicative of their disdain for hiphop as cultural art form, and sometimes indicative of their racial prejudice...some will admire the black entertainer, as long as he doesnt "act too black"

"White fans?" I can tell you for a fact, I have discussed this with tons of musicians, white and black, and with tons of music fans of all races with no musical talent. Sure, there is the oddball who raves about Prince's rap songs, but most, are not so kind to Prince when it comes to rap. The dislike for Prince's hip hop movement was based on several factors:

1. Lyrics so cringe worthy or lame they devalued the music. The Latest Fashion "Coming harder than a heart attack" really? Would Rakim had said that? Even LL Cool J? No.

2. Tony M. If I have to explain why, then you are simply one of the few who really think he was a hip hop legend. In fact, he was a clown dressed in a Star Trek Next Generation Uniform, making all kinds of great raps like being the first rapper ever to rap about "Manure." As he did so well in My Name Is Prince.

3. TC Ellis. Listen to his remake of "Bambi," and tell me you can serously get through more than 40 seconds without laughing like Richard Pryor and George Carlin put the best of their talent into one joke and brought you to the floor

Sure there were a few songs most like...P Control, Days Of Wild, and even some liked My Medallion.

But to suggest that some white fans don't like Prince's rap because they did not like rap? I guess there may be some, but most of the disdain is due to it not being any good.

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Reply #17 posted 06/06/19 1:50pm

ian

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lurker316 said:

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My point isn't simply that the sound effects were too literal and over-used.

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My point is that they were also hypocritical because he ramped up their use at roughly the same time he started complaining about music being over-produced.

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That's a little harsh isn't it? I mean, the guy was just trying to make his music as good as it could be. I honestly just think he was just too close to the work sometimes to have a clear perspective, and there was no one who could suggest just letting the musicianship speak for itself.


Out of interest, when did he complain about over-produced music?

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