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Thread started 10/04/03 5:41am

mrdespues

WHY is Prince a bit of a cheap-arse, etc?

.
For all his vast musical talent, WHY the hell does he spend so little on projects which could have been GREAT...not just "good".

Here's an example. I was just listening to the mostly crap Kamasutra album and thinking, why didn't he put some real money into this project? He HAS the money. WHY didn't he buy a synclavier and do it right? For those that don't know, a synclavier is a multi-million dollar sampling synthesizer which can accurately play ANY instrument you want it to and have the sound be virtually indistinguishable from say, a real orchestra. Anyway, my point is, he uses CHEAP sounds on that album for much of it. Does he just like things to sound cheap?

It seems like, being Prince, he would like things to sound perfect...but Kamasutra for the most part sounds half-arsed, cheap, thin, repetetive and basically like elevator music; Prince-lite in other words. There are some vaguely interesting ideas but it isn't executed very well.

Why does he do this? Does anyone have any answers? Does he actually own some good keyboards or are they all 200 dollar casio jobs? Does it have anything to do with him being abused as a child? I just think, for a musician of his talent, his legacy could be better represented and it seems often be the man himself who lets his art down.

Now don't get me wrong...I hear, feel, WHATEVER...BRILLIANCE in most of Prince's music...but I really want to know why it doesn't always hit the mark of quality. Why is that? Is it because he is so prolific that the quality sometimes suffers?

I think some solutions might be as follows to ensure future success and long-lasting respect as a musician and artist (not to mention a little bit of a broader appeal):

1) Sing OCCASIONALLY in falsetto.
2) Continue with the neat appearance and NON-arseless pants. It was fun at the time, sure...but he's 45 now. He's on the right track style wise these days.
3) Drop the makeup.
4) Drop the cheesy synth sounds. That was then. He's on the right track there, too.
5) Stay funky/rocky/jazzy, whatever...but keep growing WITHIN THE POP FIELD. Those are his roots; POPULAR MUSIC. His other stuff is interesting, but it is not what he is best at.
6) The Rainbow Children and NEWS are great album-art wise and packaging wise. Stay on that track with that, too.
7) Thinking about writing for an orchestra or small string section or something instead of using a casio to approximate such things because it is CHEAPER and quicker. Or as mentioned, get a synclavier.
8) listen to your fans, but mostly importantly, listen to your music...i think prince plays more than he listens sometimes...i think this is the result of tossed-off numbers like much of the "high" project for example.

Of course, these are just my opinions...by no means definitive of what i feel about prince's music all the time...but I'm sure many orgers have similar views about some of his output...care to add any to that list?

Cheers,
mrdespues.
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Reply #1 posted 10/04/03 6:51am

CynthiasSocks

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Drop the make-up, Prince will Never!
Socks still got butt like a leather seat...
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Reply #2 posted 10/04/03 7:36am

squirrelgrease

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CynthiasSocks said:

Drop the make-up, Prince will Never!


Make-Up-On-A-Rope
If prince.org were to be made idiot proof, someone would just invent a better idiot.
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Reply #3 posted 10/04/03 8:04am

danielboon

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i'll have 2 take your word on synclavier !

i was so dissapointed at the vegas dvd "talk about cheap " i was at the gigs last year p was awsome ! the dvd is so poor and cheap ! i just dont understand why he doesnt do things properly .how can anyone shoot a dvd and it ends up worse than a bootleg vid ! now thats cheap !!!

U2 and STING'S last 2 live dvd's are what p's should be like...


PROFESSIONAL !!!
"the best pictures are those one dreams about while smoking a pipe in bed. but which never get done" Vincent van Gogh .

no one left a self-portrait in words the way vincent did......
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Reply #4 posted 10/04/03 8:41am

Romance1600

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Drop the make-up??

Sorry I like my popstars to go against the grain.

I say he doesn't wear enough panstick these days.

As for being cheap, I think maybe he just likes to get things done quickly.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
I'm a sucker for a major chord
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Reply #5 posted 10/04/03 9:33am

Supernova

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mrdespues said:

Now don't get me wrong...I hear, feel, WHATEVER...BRILLIANCE in most of Prince's music...but I really want to know why it doesn't always hit the mark of quality. Why is that?

What in the art world always hits the mark of quality, especially after 25 years of constant output?

1) Sing OCCASIONALLY in falsetto.

Last I checked all of his songs were not sung in falsetto. And if singing in falsetto in general bugs you, it's most likely because it's not part of your culture.

3) Drop the makeup.

You must mean drop the heavy makeup, because performers in general wear makeup - especially if they're in front of cameras. But I haven't seen him in any heavy makeup lately.

7) Thinking about writing for an orchestra or small string section or something instead of using a casio to approximate such things because it is CHEAPER and quicker. Or as mentioned, get a synclavier.

BUT, "Stay funky/rocky/jazzy, whatever...but keep growing WITHIN THE POP FIELD", right? wacky

8) listen to your fans, but mostly importantly, listen to your music...i think prince plays more than he listens sometimes...i think this is the result of tossed-off numbers like much of the "high" project for example.

I believe the fact that he still gets his fans to shell out exorbitant amounts of money to see his gigs all over the world, to constantly fiend for the next musical crumb that he drops, and to constantly fiend for when he's going to play "my city" next makes it easy for him to "play more", to experiment and keep sharp, rather than to listen to his all-knowing fans who don't share the musical resume that he's built up over the years.

Of course, these are just my opinions...by no means definitive of what i feel about prince's music all the time...but I'm sure many orgers have similar views about some of his output...care to add any to that list?

Cheers,
mrdespues.

I'm sure we've all got ideas that we think would be "better" for Prince's career. I certainly do. But he's human, just like every single one of us. His mistakes are highlighted because his career requires him to be more of a public person than most. And just like all of us as human beings, some of his decisions are maddening, some of his actions leave others scratching their heads, or pissed off etc. But after 25 years his career is still thriving, even if you don't see him on the All-Validating eMpTV, or hear his new music on Top 40 radio, etc...no matter the premature exaggerations of that career being dead year after year for about a decade now. And we're still here.

horns
[This message was edited Sat Oct 4 9:35:31 PDT 2003 by Supernova]
This post not for the wimp contingent. All whiny wusses avert your eyes.
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Reply #6 posted 10/04/03 9:48am

FlyingCloudPas
senger

As long as he doesn't drop the heels, THE HEELS! Everthings cool.

But really, I think he suffers from not having a great art department. When he went independent, I think he lost the group that made an effort to really do something good.

And that's in film, album artwork and photography.

If you've got really good music, but the cover sucks, or if you've got the performance and maybe even the video aftwards, if it's not done right, with bad artwork/packaging and video/film post production, then it deminishes YOUR work.

It's all part of the art process thing.
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Reply #7 posted 10/04/03 9:57am

HerRoyalBadnes
s

Now U're talking bout instruments and Prince buying this synthezator: ain't it better if he plays the REAL instruments in stead of some one billion dollar worth machine to do the work for him. That's what makes him PRINCE!!! he goddamnit plays everything himself!
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Reply #8 posted 10/04/03 12:16pm

CynthiasSocks

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You can say what you want about performers wearing make up, Prince sexy LOVES sexy his make up!
[This message was edited Sat Oct 4 12:17:24 PDT 2003 by CynthiasSocks]
Socks still got butt like a leather seat...
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Reply #9 posted 10/04/03 6:28pm

mrdespues

Ok, I've changed my mind about the make-up - scratch that one!

And the falsetto, is fine too, I just mean to say that a LOT of people don't like him because he sounds so feminine sometimes. Something I personally have NO problem with, but I think it's hard for some people to get past.

But I've changed my mind about those two...or I should say, it's not what I personally want to see changed, it's just what I think might give him a broader appeal.

But like Supernova has sad, the all validating EmpTV...who needs that anyway?

I just wanted to see what some of your opinions were...I'm not trying to push the buttons of people who obviously like Prince the way he is, or they wouldn't be trumpeting his talents on this site.

.
But the synclavier, I think WOULD be a good idea for him. Zappa used it to great effect towards the end of his career...it is an amazing instrument and it does everything you want and quickly.
[This message was edited Sat Oct 4 18:29:12 PDT 2003 by mrdespues]
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Reply #10 posted 10/04/03 6:30pm

mrdespues

FlyingCloudPassenger said:

As long as he doesn't drop the heels, THE HEELS! Everthings cool.

But really, I think he suffers from not having a great art department. When he went independent, I think he lost the group that made an effort to really do something good.

And that's in film, album artwork and photography.

If you've got really good music, but the cover sucks, or if you've got the performance and maybe even the video aftwards, if it's not done right, with bad artwork/packaging and video/film post production, then it deminishes YOUR work.

It's all part of the art process thing.


I agree totally.
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Reply #11 posted 10/04/03 10:50pm

mrdespues

Supernova said:[quote]And if singing in falsetto in general bugs you, it's most likely because it's not part of your culture.

That is quite an assumption you've got there about "my culture"!

I never said I didn't like the falsetto - I love it. My point is, I think a lot of people can't get past a guy singing like a girl most of the time. Me, I have no problem with it...he uses that kind of vocal to a great musical effect in my opinion...but it's not something that doesn't always go over well with everyone, is my point. I think a lot of people my like the rest of his music if it weren't for his feminine/masculine camp androgynous image(which again, I have no problem with.

As an example, it seems that Prince's most well-known and well-liked music seems to be when he is doing the pop-rock stuff and not doing the girly thing (which doesn't bother me in the slightest, but I know it turns a lot of people off).

Examples of songs that have been hits where he has not sung entirely girly or in falsetto:

Cream
When Doves Cry
Peach
Raspberry Beret

...and the list goes on.

My point is that a lot more people like his shit when the "weirdness" and androgyny is in smaller doses....

Again, these are things I myself don't think need changing...in fact I often think Prince is about as close to the ideal of what I think a perfect artist should be. I am just putting forward some suggestions for what has given him success in the past and what might help now that he is older, in the future.

Peace.

.
[This message was edited Sat Oct 4 22:59:58 PDT 2003 by mrdespues]
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Reply #12 posted 10/05/03 12:07am

MRDREAMFACTORY

oh hell your from australia...you dont know jack shit about prince...sorry but stike to kylie minogue..ty...smile
Prince Fan~Natic 32 Years & Counting
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Reply #13 posted 10/05/03 1:16am

mrdespues

MRDREAMFACTORY said:

oh hell your from australia...you dont know jack shit about prince...sorry but stike to kylie minogue..ty...smile


are you for real? sometimes it's hard to tell with the lameness that sometimes goes on on here.
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Reply #14 posted 10/05/03 1:51am

monte

stick to your guns
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Reply #15 posted 10/05/03 2:46am

danielboon

avatar

mrdespues said:

MRDREAMFACTORY said:

oh hell your from australia...you dont know jack shit about prince...sorry but stike to kylie minogue..ty...smile


are you for real? sometimes it's hard to tell with the lameness that sometimes goes on on here.


u can never tell if someones joking or not on the org.

if u check out mrdreamfactory's org profile u'll c his head is so far up his own ass , he probably doesnt know where oz is.
"the best pictures are those one dreams about while smoking a pipe in bed. but which never get done" Vincent van Gogh .

no one left a self-portrait in words the way vincent did......
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Reply #16 posted 10/05/03 2:48am

pianoman

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Just a few comments on the synclavier thing.

A fair few of Prince's orchestral sounds seem to be Roland Orchestral Expansion Board presets, and they're not at all bad (some odd choices though, occasionally, and Kamasutra especially exposes the synthetic qualities as it's mainly keyboards).

The Synclavier was a fair price when it came out in the 80s (though not millions), but as it's 20 years old, I don't think it's capable of the sounds mr despues is talking about.It's a contemporary of the Fairlight which produced very obviously sampled sounds.

As for nowadays, Kurzweil arguably have the reputation for the best orchestral synthesised/ sampled sounds. However, I reckon the issue with Prince is partly the way he doesn't 'treat' his orchestral sounds with effects - he certainly doesn't use a lot of echo on them to disguise the fact that they're really a keyboard.

Who really knows ?! Hope this info is of interest !
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Reply #17 posted 10/05/03 2:53am

MrBliss

Supernova said:

And if singing in falsetto in general bugs you, it's most likely because it's not part of your culture.




or you just don't like the sound of it
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Reply #18 posted 10/05/03 3:25am

mrdespues

pianoman said:

Just a few comments on the synclavier thing.

A fair few of Prince's orchestral sounds seem to be Roland Orchestral Expansion Board presets, and they're not at all bad (some odd choices though, occasionally, and Kamasutra especially exposes the synthetic qualities as it's mainly keyboards).

The Synclavier was a fair price when it came out in the 80s (though not millions), but as it's 20 years old, I don't think it's capable of the sounds mr despues is talking about.It's a contemporary of the Fairlight which produced very obviously sampled sounds.

As for nowadays, Kurzweil arguably have the reputation for the best orchestral synthesised/ sampled sounds. However, I reckon the issue with Prince is partly the way he doesn't 'treat' his orchestral sounds with effects - he certainly doesn't use a lot of echo on them to disguise the fact that they're really a keyboard.

Who really knows ?! Hope this info is of interest !


thanks for the info, pianoman...i just got the info about the synclavier from my audio engineering teacher last week...but i guess he doesn't know what he's talking about! i did raise an eyebrow when he said it cost millions and could reproduce ANYTHING perfectly as I thought it was only an 80s machine, too. looks like i was right! thanks for the update and other info!
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Reply #19 posted 10/05/03 3:26am

mrdespues

MrBliss said:

Supernova said:

And if singing in falsetto in general bugs you, it's most likely because it's not part of your culture.




or you just don't like the sound of it


smile
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Reply #20 posted 10/05/03 5:00am

bohemia

.



You've hit the nail on the head here, mrdespues. For my part, I also think that Prince uses the falsetto to fine effect, however almost everyone I know who says that they don't like Prince... well, it's the number 1 reason why.

My flatmate: "It's too screechy... it annoys the crap out of me. I mean one song is okay, but does he have to sing like that ALL the time?". I then played There Is Lonely, Sometimes It Snows In April and Poorgoo. Her response: "So why doesn't he do that more???" (I must admit to thinking the same thing sometimes... the bottom of Prince's vocal range is awesome and he should explore it a little more IMHO. That acrobatic bit in Avalanche that starts : "Who's that lurking in the shadows, who is it? Mr John Hammond, with his pen in hand, pen in hand, saying sign your kingdom over to me..."... oh cool!).

My colleague: "He's obviously still waiting for his balls to drop". You will all be pleased to know that I took umbrage at that one.

Before anyone says it, yes, I'm also Australian... but my mother is west indian, and I come from a long and traditional line of musicians... all my relatives and immediate family make their living that way... so please no one talk to me about not getting the "falsetto culture". I've kinda had my share.

Mrdespues was just stating something that I've generally found to be true amongst Non-Prince fans. By and large, they don't like the falsetto.

Also got to agree about the TRC / NEWS packaging... finally something a little innovative! (However, I have always liked the fonts that Prince has used over the years).
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Reply #21 posted 10/05/03 8:31am

lovebird

I don't think it has to do with Prince being cheap, I just think when he joined the JWs he lost some of his marbles.He's not as smart as he used to be. It doesn't really have anything to do with money.
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Reply #22 posted 10/05/03 8:37am

Supernova

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mrdespues said:[quote]

Supernova said:

And if singing in falsetto in general bugs you, it's most likely because it's not part of your culture.

That is quite an assumption you've got there about "my culture"!

I never said I didn't like the falsetto - I love it. My point is, I think a lot of people can't get past a guy singing like a girl most of the time.

"Singing like a girl" is the equivalent of singing falsetto? I stand by my post.

Me, I have no problem with it...he uses that kind of vocal to a great musical effect in my opinion...but it's not something that doesn't always go over well with everyone, is my point.

Quite obviously.

I think a lot of people my like the rest of his music if it weren't for his feminine/masculine camp androgynous image(which again, I have no problem with.

You've already pointed out his current image, which doesn't exactly jibe with how you're describing him in this post. In fact, the more you post about it, the more you're contradicting yourself.
This post not for the wimp contingent. All whiny wusses avert your eyes.
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Reply #23 posted 10/05/03 8:40am

Supernova

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MrBliss said:

Supernova said:

And if singing in falsetto in general bugs you, it's most likely because it's not part of your culture.




or you just don't like the sound of it

Yes, and those that don't, ON THIS SITE, tend not to come from the same culture that falsetto singing is common in.
This post not for the wimp contingent. All whiny wusses avert your eyes.
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Reply #24 posted 10/05/03 9:06am

Handclapsfinga
snapz

lovebird said:

I don't think it has to do with Prince being cheap, I just think when he joined the JWs he lost some of his marbles.He's not as smart as he used to be. It doesn't really have anything to do with money.

you gots to chill pill.
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Reply #25 posted 10/05/03 10:26am

FlyingCloudPas
senger

Handclapsfingasnapz said:

lovebird said:

I don't think it has to do with Prince being cheap, I just think when he joined the JWs he lost some of his marbles.He's not as smart as he used to be. It doesn't really have anything to do with money.

you gots to chill pill.


hah! chill pill
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Reply #26 posted 10/05/03 1:08pm

MrBliss

Supernova said:

MrBliss said:

Supernova said:

And if singing in falsetto in general bugs you, it's most likely because it's not part of your culture.




or you just don't like the sound of it

Yes, and those that don't, ON THIS SITE, tend not to come from the same culture that falsetto singing is common in.



you mean they're not irish, so they're not used to hearing bono do "lemon"?
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Reply #27 posted 10/05/03 2:04pm

garnis

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He is self producing everything he does these days, and most of it doesn't sell all that well. Thus, he doesn't have as much money as people might like to believe.
All the gals say hoe if your man's giving up the gold. All the fellas say ruff if you're only giving up the bone.
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Reply #28 posted 10/05/03 2:23pm

Supernova

avatar

MrBliss said:

Supernova said:

MrBliss said:

Supernova said:

And if singing in falsetto in general bugs you, it's most likely because it's not part of your culture.




or you just don't like the sound of it

Yes, and those that don't, ON THIS SITE, tend not to come from the same culture that falsetto singing is common in.



you mean they're not irish, so they're not used to hearing bono do "lemon"?

Oh, Bliss. You're such a card. biggrin As if to point out an Irish guy singing falsetto proves some point. Don't forget to add Jeff Buckley and John Lennon to that list. Actually what it does prove is that Bono obviously has a much more varied taste in music than those who complain about falsetto singing. As did the others.


`
[This message was edited Sun Oct 5 14:33:42 PDT 2003 by Supernova]
This post not for the wimp contingent. All whiny wusses avert your eyes.
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Reply #29 posted 10/05/03 5:35pm

mrdespues

Supernova said:[quote]

mrdespues said:

Supernova said:

And if singing in falsetto in general bugs you, it's most likely because it's not part of your culture.

That is quite an assumption you've got there about "my culture"!

I never said I didn't like the falsetto - I love it. My point is, I think a lot of people can't get past a guy singing like a girl most of the time.

"Singing like a girl" is the equivalent of singing falsetto? I stand by my post.

Me, I have no problem with it...he uses that kind of vocal to a great musical effect in my opinion...but it's not something that doesn't always go over well with everyone, is my point.

Quite obviously.

I think a lot of people my like the rest of his music if it weren't for his feminine/masculine camp androgynous image(which again, I have no problem with.

You've already pointed out his current image, which doesn't exactly jibe with how you're describing him in this post. In fact, the more you post about it, the more you're contradicting yourself.


You're still missing my point. I have no problem with the way he sings...I have heard others describe his voice as "girly"...it is definitely a more feminine falsetto than say, Bono or Thom Yorke. Some people can't get past the fact that a guy can sound a lot like a woman sometimes and to great effect. That is my sole point regarding that.

On top of your point about "falsetto culture", Supernova - I am a singer myself (and I sing falsetto frequently), I have a band and I have been emersed in such culture since I was very young. I have sung and played a number of different instruments since I was 8 years old. I attended the Conservatorium of Music here in Sydney for 3 years....singing falsetto was not something I personally had a problem with. The "falsetto culture" argument is weak.

have another read of bohemia's post...he seems to understand what i'm talking about.

.
[This message was edited Sun Oct 5 17:48:06 PDT 2003 by mrdespues]
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