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Thread started 06/24/17 8:32am

Psychoniff

Prince or David Bowie?

Who was the most complete artist/creator (musicianship, showmanship, etc)

Personally, I think these two are as legitimate a comparison you could get and that very little seperates them beacuse thy both pushed popular music as far they could.

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Reply #1 posted 06/24/17 11:24am

COMPUTERBLUE19
84

Psychoniff said:

Who was the most complete artist/creator (musicianship, showmanship, etc)

Personally, I think these two are as legitimate a comparison you could get and that very little seperates them beacuse thy both pushed popular music as far they could.

In my personal opinion, Bowie edges Prince slightly as an overall artist. Visually and conceptually, Bowie was the first of Rock music's major artist to legitimately toy with gender (in the early glam days, pre Diamond Dogs) to image changes from album to album. Had MTV emerged in the 1970's, what he would have done with the music video and his lyrics from te classic Bowie era would have been mindblowing.

Prince was more of an auteur, who handled almost EVERYTHING with the album, from concept, production, lyrics, etc. As a musician, he legitimately was uber talented and similar moreso to Stevie Wonder with his methodology to music. Visually, Prince never seemed to care about the music video medium too much, but like Bowie, toyed with image changes during his classic era as well.

"Old man's gotta be the old man. Fish has got to be the fish."
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Reply #2 posted 06/24/17 1:01pm

Dasein

I don't think Bowie was the first major pop-rock musician who blurred gender lines as I am
thinking of Little Richard's presentation. And while it may be fucking impossible to quantify

and/or qualify "most complete artist/creator," I do know that I prefer Prince's music and his
overall presentation because I appreciate his expert musicianship, showmanship, and the
musical tradition (Black American musical art forms) from which his work grew out of is a
constitutive piece of my own cultural/ethnic/racial identity.

With all of that being said, David Bowie was no slouch; one is not better or worse than the
other - just different.

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Reply #3 posted 06/24/17 4:54pm

LayzieKiddZ

avatar

Dasein said:

I don't think Bowie was the first major pop-rock musician who blurred gender lines as I am
thinking of Little Richard's presentation. And while it may be fucking impossible to quantify

and/or qualify "most complete artist/creator," I do know that I prefer Prince's music and his
overall presentation because I appreciate his expert musicianship, showmanship, and the
musical tradition (Black American musical art forms) from which his work grew out of is a
constitutive piece of my own cultural/ethnic/racial identity.

With all of that being said, David Bowie was no slouch; one is not better or worse than the
other - just different.

Yeah, Little Richard is pretty much the god of Rock N Roll. Little Richard brought the attitude (The clothing, the screaming, going all out, getting shirtless, etc). He started the whole gender bending/flamboyant/pretty man thing too.

From him is where countless musicians drew influence from. He mentored Rolling Stones, gave advice to the Beatles, Jimmy Hendrix was a guitar player for him and drew from his visual style, James Brown was also in his band and his original look he had the Little Richard pompador, David Bowie said he wanted to be a sax player for Little Richard and was a massive fan. Prince definetly drew from his influence and even copied some of the exact same outfits.

The whole "pretty black man" Michael Jackson and Prince got was essentially Little Richard.

That said in terms of the topic I would have to say Prince. He's more musicially inclined and played more instruments. And he could produce more music. David Bowie was better at an abstract creativity especially for visiuals and sound. And his influence on Art Rock is legendary.

And personally Prince was more daring in a raw way. He performed only in underwear and leggings, wore a floral suit with his ass cheeks out during a major TV performance, his stage perfomances were more elaberate, so on and so forth.

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Reply #4 posted 06/24/17 5:54pm

Shawy89

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Today, it's Prince for me... yesterday it was Bowie lol The two are just mad geniuses, both have delivered a string of formidable albums... but somehow I prefer Bowie, maybe because of his lyrics. Prince can get so cheesy sometimes... plus the only Prince albums I can stand are his 80s output + Love Symbol Album + Musicology, while I like all of Bowie's 70's catalog, plus his latest two, and a three of his 80's LPs...

You will not be punished for your anger, you will be punished by your anger. - Buddha
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Reply #5 posted 06/24/17 7:45pm

Dasein

Shawy89 said:

Today, it's Prince for me... yesterday it was Bowie lol The two are just mad geniuses, both have delivered a string of formidable albums... but somehow I prefer Bowie, maybe because of his lyrics. Prince can get so cheesy sometimes... plus the only Prince albums I can stand are his 80s output + Love Symbol Album + Musicology, while I like all of Bowie's 70's catalog, plus his latest two, and a three of his 80's LPs...


Shawy, I actually think you raise a really good point. Prince was so prolific that his discography
is littered with mediocre and ho-hum albums. Bowie probably has more albums considered by
critics as being "good" or "seminal" than Prince does. But, I will not pretend that I am as inti-
mately familiar with Bowie's ouevre as I am with Prince's.

Outside of music, Bowie was probably the more interesting and well-rounded artist while Prince's
showmanship featured an athleticism matched only by exemplary basketball players. I'd actually
take Macca over both.

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Reply #6 posted 06/24/17 8:02pm

LayzieKiddZ

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Yeah it's a pretty hard choice overall. Prince is obviously the better muscian in a classical sense. But they both have their strong point. I still say Prince today, might change depending on the mood.

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Reply #7 posted 06/24/17 8:06pm

LayzieKiddZ

avatar

Dasein said:

Shawy89 said:

Today, it's Prince for me... yesterday it was Bowie lol The two are just mad geniuses, both have delivered a string of formidable albums... but somehow I prefer Bowie, maybe because of his lyrics. Prince can get so cheesy sometimes... plus the only Prince albums I can stand are his 80s output + Love Symbol Album + Musicology, while I like all of Bowie's 70's catalog, plus his latest two, and a three of his 80's LPs...


Shawy, I actually think you raise a really good point. Prince was so prolific that his discography
is littered with mediocre and ho-hum albums. Bowie probably has more albums considered by
critics as being "good" or "seminal" than Prince does. But, I will not pretend that I am as inti-
mately familiar with Bowie's ouevre as I am with Prince's.

Outside of music, Bowie was probably the more interesting and well-rounded artist while Prince's
showmanship featured an athleticism matched only by exemplary basketball players. I'd actually
take Macca over both.

I think Prince has much more better albums than Bowie in number. Maybe just by volume.

Prince has had at least 20 years of consistantly good album making.

I mean 70's bowie everything was great. Then he dropped his Art Rock tune during the 80's and it was OK overall (I need to give some a relisten though), excluding his last couple albums which were great.

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Reply #8 posted 06/24/17 9:32pm

mjscarousal

David Bowie.

Everything Prince did in the 80's with his image, David Bowie had already done in the 70's and to a greater extent imo. I also think David Bowie tackled more image and gender social issues concepts that were a little more challenging and thought provoking than Prince. Prince did as well (i.e the open buttock pants and the Prince sign) but Prince still mostly evoked masculinity and imo David Bowie teetered that line between masculinity, feminity, not white, not black, not man, not woman etc . He was more quirkier and eccentric than Prince but David was a sweet heart. They both are great artists, I just give David Bowie the edge. I also like that David Bowie spoke up for Black people and advocated for Black artists. Given he was one of the most popular rock acts in the 70s and a white man, he did not have to do that. I think David Bowie is very underrated in the rock world and doesn't get the credit he deserves.

Yes, Little Richard was the OG Black flamboyant, kick ass rocker charismatic rocker that inspired Prince, MJ, etc but Little Richard did not teeter with gender roles with his image like David Bowie did. He didn't wear a dress or red wear lipstick when he performed. Richard did arch his eye brows, perm his hair, sing in a high pitch voice and of course he was gay but visually that is not completely teetering gender roles. He still wore masculine clothes and still looked like a man. When looking at Little Richard, most would say oh that is a man that is probably homosexual. When looking at David Bowie during his classic era, his gender identity was not so clear. He could pass for a man or woman.

[Edited 6/24/17 21:36pm]

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Reply #9 posted 06/25/17 1:25am

LayzieKiddZ

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I suppose comparing David Bowie and Prince is like comparing early and late Corvette models. One has much more meaningful impact, especially for it's time and era. While the later models perform technically better and introduce new things. Though theyre both good in their own ways.

David Bowie also had the benefit of having the immensely talented Mick Ronson during his hayday who contributed a lot to all his early 70's sound by way of arrangement and guitar playing. The other big aspect to Prince's legacy is also heavily rooted in individual freedom, in every aspect of making and owning his music, something all artists of any kind today want or relate to. Bowie probably wins larger influence in imagery and abstract creativity. While Prince has other categories down.

As for Little Richard, you're right, he didn't entirely do the gender bending thing to the extent the Glam Rockers like David Bowie did. But its without a doubt that Little Richards shiny and crazy late 60's suits, make up, and jewelry practically started it off. As well as having long hair in the 50s-60s, which is a trademark Rock N Roll thing by now.

Little Richard is PURE testosterone in his craft. I don't care about anyone after, there is still no one who can SCREAM, get you hyped and CHARGED like Little Richard can. That voice and attitude was unstoppable and still sounds great to this day. One can even say Little Richards antics are what started the sexuality of the Glam Rockers/David/Prince. His songs did have a sexual context, and you can go on youtube and watch him practically climb on top of his piano and start stripping. And also taking off his shirt in the 60's and having women/men practically beg for it while he teases them.

[Edited 6/25/17 1:27am]

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Reply #10 posted 06/25/17 5:18am

COMPUTERBLUE19
84

mjscarousal said:

David Bowie.


Everything Prince did in the 80's with his image, David Bowie had already done in the 70's and to a greater extent imo. I also think David Bowie tackled more image and gender social issues concepts that were a little more challenging and thought provoking than Prince. Prince did as well (i.e the open buttock pants and the Prince sign) but Prince still mostly evoked masculinity and imo David Bowie teetered that line between masculinity, feminity, not white, not black, not man, not woman etc . He was more quirkier and eccentric than Prince but David was a sweet heart. They both are great artists, I just give David Bowie the edge. I also like that David Bowie spoke up for Black people and advocated for Black artists. Given he was one of the most popular rock acts in the 70s and a white man, he did not have to do that. I think David Bowie is very underrated in the rock world and doesn't get the credit he deserves.


Yes, Little Richard was the OG Black flamboyant, kick ass rocker charismatic rocker that inspired Prince, MJ, etc but Little Richard did not teeter with gender roles with his image like David Bowie did. He didn't wear a dress or red wear lipstick when he performed. Richard did arch his eye brows, perm his hair, sing in a high pitch voice and of course he was gay but visually that is not completely teetering gender roles. He still wore masculine clothes and still looked like a man. When looking at Little Richard, most would say oh that is a man that is probably homosexual. When looking at David Bowie during his classic era, his gender identity was not so clear. He could pass for a man or woman.


[Edited 6/24/17 21:36pm]





You articulated a lot of what I wanted to say😁 I had forgotten to state that Little Richard was the prototype of gender bending, but as you and another stated, Bowie took it in another direction in the 1970s. Of course the culture was different, but Glam era Bowie was a little more out there than most. From announcing his sexuality to the British press to rumors of other extracurricular things, Glam Bowie didn't seem to give a damn about society norms at that time.

He was ALWAYS a proponent of music by African American artists. In reading his bio, he stated that he wanted (as a boy)to be a sax player in Little Richard's band and even at the advent of MTV, he was an advocate for Black artists. His career pre Ziggy was in an R&B group and post Ziggy, Diamond Dogs/Young Americans were littered with Plastic Soul (his version of R&B). Heck, niles Rogers was the producer to Lets Dance, which allowed him to gain the commercial appeal.

As a musician, he always gambled on his muse, taking risks with his sound. Bowie was almost 20 years into his career before he really had major crossover appeal with Let's Dance, so the 1970's up until Scary Monsters were like a test tube of sounds/images he could play with without being too commercial.
"Old man's gotta be the old man. Fish has got to be the fish."
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Reply #11 posted 06/25/17 5:22am

Dasein

Why and how did this thread turn into "Who blurred gender lines more and who was more eccentric
and who wore more dresses and more lipstick than the other? Oh, my guy did? Then, I will make
him the more complete artist/creator than the other one"? The two responses to the OP only briefly
mention visual presentation before elaborating on everything else it takes to be creative as an artist.

Just because David Bowie may have evoked more femininity than Prince did doesn't mean Bowie is
a more complete artist/creator than Prince, and vice versa. For those who say Bowie was the more
complete artist/creator, can you appeal to something else other than Bowie being more gender-
fluid than Prince?

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Reply #12 posted 06/25/17 5:49am

COMPUTERBLUE19
84

Dasein said:

Why and how did this thread turn into "Who blurred gender lines more and who was more eccentric
and who wore more dresses and more lipstick than the other? Oh, my guy did? Then, I will make
him the more complete artist/creator than the other one"? The two responses to the OP only briefly
mention visual presentation before elaborating on everything else it takes to be creative as an artist.

Just because David Bowie may have evoked more femininity than Prince did doesn't mean Bowie is
a more complete artist/creator than Prince, and vice versa. For those who say Bowie was the more
complete artist/creator, can you appeal to something else other than Bowie being more gender-
fluid than Prince?



Fair enough point.

If anything, I was just wanting to emphasize a point I didn't elaborate clearly in my first post. I didn't want to leave a point out there without some follow through.

Musically, Bowie's Berlin Trilogy rewrote pop music for its era. Largely experimental, Low, Heroes, and Lodger were very different from anything on the radio and laid the groundwork for the New Romantics movement of the late 1970s'early 1980's. As punk music and disco were dominating the charts, he went completely left. At that point he didn't care for commercial success, partly due to his really bad Main Man contract which allowed for his former manager to earn a percentage of royalties.

He threw away continued success in one genre to introduce/tweak another genre:

post Hunky Dory, post Ziggy Stardust, post Young Americans and to a lesser extent post Station to Station. Different sounds, different concepts, and different characters.

Truth be told, Dasein, they are both equal in many ways, but Bowie gambled far more with the sound and vision of his art. Just my opinion.
"Old man's gotta be the old man. Fish has got to be the fish."
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Reply #13 posted 06/25/17 6:46am

Dasein

COMPUTERBLUE1984 said:

Dasein said:

Why and how did this thread turn into "Who blurred gender lines more and who was more eccentric
and who wore more dresses and more lipstick than the other? Oh, my guy did? Then, I will make
him the more complete artist/creator than the other one"? The two responses to the OP only briefly
mention visual presentation before elaborating on everything else it takes to be creative as an artist.

Just because David Bowie may have evoked more femininity than Prince did doesn't mean Bowie is
a more complete artist/creator than Prince, and vice versa. For those who say Bowie was the more
complete artist/creator, can you appeal to something else other than Bowie being more gender-
fluid than Prince?

Fair enough point. If anything, I was just wanting to emphasize a point I didn't elaborate clearly in my first post. I didn't want to leave a point out there without some follow through. Musically, Bowie's Berlin Trilogy rewrote pop music for its era. Largely experimental, Low, Heroes, and Lodger were very different from anything on the radio and laid the groundwork for the New Romantics movement of the late 1970s'early 1980's. As punk music and disco were dominating the charts, he went completely left. At that point he didn't care for commercial success, partly due to his really bad Main Man contract which allowed for his former manager to earn a percentage of royalties. He threw away continued success in one genre to introduce/tweak another genre: post Hunky Dory, post Ziggy Stardust, post Young Americans and to a lesser extent post Station to Station. Different sounds, different concepts, and different characters. Truth be told, Dasein, they are both equal in many ways, but Bowie gambled far more with the sound and vision of his art. Just my opinion.


Yes, I think this is a good post. Yet, many of the things you admire in Bowie are found in Prince's
work as well, as the radio hadn't heard the Minneapolis Sound before Prince popularized it and ex-
tended the genre's sonic boundaries as well; so, Prince was just as innovative as Bowie was. And,
Prince could be just as experimental too (ATWIAD, the Camille stuff, Parade). And, let's not for-
get that Prince was at the forefront of incorporating online technology as a storefront while arguing
for increasing the rights of recording artists. I mean, Prince was not only capable of conceiving of
an art by himself, producing, arranging, playing, writing all the pieces (and quite expertly) himself,
but he also reached a point in his career where he was no longer satisfied with letting some suit
sell his wares - he was going to sell them himself. In my opinion, this makes him more of a complete
artist than most as he was able to make art and then sell it.

But yeah, I'm glad that you are able to recognize that we cannot determine who was the more com-
plete artist/creator by using standards related to "who was more eccentric?" and "who wore more
eyeliner?" and "who was more gender fluid?" Besides, one could make two arguments against using
gender fluidity as a criterion for presenting the case as to who is the more complete artist:

1) there is a claim that can be made, I think, that white people/fans are more accepting of white
androgynous artists than Black people/fans are of androgynous Black artists, which means it may
have taken more balls (pun intended) for Prince to present himself androgynously to his Black
audience than it took for Bowie to do the same for his white audience. At work here is the US' per-
ception of Black Male sexuality and our own (I'm Black) perception of the same.

2) everybody in pop music back in the 70s and 80s was androgynous: Elton John, Marc Bolan, Annie
Lennox, Boy George, Michael Jackson, Prince, every single goddamn English new-wave New Romantic
band, so if everybody is doing something, why make it a point to highlight it or cast it as a special fea-
ture?

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Reply #14 posted 06/25/17 7:04am

COMPUTERBLUE19
84

Dasein said:



COMPUTERBLUE1984 said:


Dasein said:

Why and how did this thread turn into "Who blurred gender lines more and who was more eccentric
and who wore more dresses and more lipstick than the other? Oh, my guy did? Then, I will make
him the more complete artist/creator than the other one"? The two responses to the OP only briefly
mention visual presentation before elaborating on everything else it takes to be creative as an artist.

Just because David Bowie may have evoked more femininity than Prince did doesn't mean Bowie is
a more complete artist/creator than Prince, and vice versa. For those who say Bowie was the more
complete artist/creator, can you appeal to something else other than Bowie being more gender-
fluid than Prince?



Fair enough point. If anything, I was just wanting to emphasize a point I didn't elaborate clearly in my first post. I didn't want to leave a point out there without some follow through. Musically, Bowie's Berlin Trilogy rewrote pop music for its era. Largely experimental, Low, Heroes, and Lodger were very different from anything on the radio and laid the groundwork for the New Romantics movement of the late 1970s'early 1980's. As punk music and disco were dominating the charts, he went completely left. At that point he didn't care for commercial success, partly due to his really bad Main Man contract which allowed for his former manager to earn a percentage of royalties. He threw away continued success in one genre to introduce/tweak another genre: post Hunky Dory, post Ziggy Stardust, post Young Americans and to a lesser extent post Station to Station. Different sounds, different concepts, and different characters. Truth be told, Dasein, they are both equal in many ways, but Bowie gambled far more with the sound and vision of his art. Just my opinion.


Yes, I think this is a good post. Yet, many of the things you admire in Bowie are found in Prince's
work as well, as the radio hadn't heard the Minneapolis Sound before Prince popularized it and ex-
tended the genre's sonic boundaries as well; so, Prince was just as innovative as Bowie was. And,
Prince could be just as experimental too (ATWIAD, the Camille stuff, Parade). And, let's not for-
get that Prince was at the forefront of incorporating online technology as a storefront while arguing
for increasing the rights of recording artists. I mean, Prince was not only capable of conceiving of
an art by himself, producing, arranging, playing, writing all the pieces (and quite expertly) himself,
but he also reached a point in his career where he was no longer satisfied with letting some suit
sell his wares - he was going to sell them himself. In my opinion, this makes him more of a complete
artist than most as he was able to make art and then sell it.

But yeah, I'm glad that you are able to recognize that we cannot determine who was the more com-
plete artist/creator by using standards related to "who was more eccentric?" and "who wore more
eyeliner?" and "who was more gender fluid?" Besides, one could make two arguments against using
gender fluidity as a criterion for presenting the case as to who is the more complete artist:

1) there is a claim that can be made, I think, that white people/fans are more accepting of white
androgynous artists than Black people/fans are of androgynous Black artists, which means it may
have taken more balls (pun intended) for Prince to present himself androgynously to his Black
audience than it took for Bowie to do the same for his white audience. At work here is the US' per-
ception of Black Male sexuality and our own (I'm Black) perception of the same.

2) everybody in pop music back in the 70s and 80s was androgynous: Elton John, Marc Bolan, Annie
Lennox, Boy George, Michael Jackson, Prince, every single goddamn English new-wave New Romantic
band, so if everybody is doing something, why make it a point to highlight it or cast it as a special fea-
ture?



Good points. I respect the level of detail you put into your argument. Different constructs affect how both men were perceived by the masses.
"Old man's gotta be the old man. Fish has got to be the fish."
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Reply #15 posted 06/25/17 12:03pm

LayzieKiddZ

avatar

Bowie's success did depend largely on collaboration with others. Though, that absolutely doesn't take away from his own input. Since all of his albums have Bowie's sophistication only he can provide, no matter who he works with.

I mentioned Mick Ronson earlier, who is associated with all of Bowies best albums (Alladin Sane, Ziggy Stardust, Hunky Dorey). But when you think of his later 70's albums, some great producers were on them too. The fantastic expirimentalist Brian Eno for his Berlin albums which are masterpieces (Low, Heroes, Lodger).

And let's not forget the huge Let's Dance which had Nile Rodgers.

His own return to his classical Art Rock form later on did him great. Bowie did help out in producing Iggy Pop, and practically saved him by producing his solo albums.

Prince on the other hand not only produces and manages his own work. Prince has produced and written numerous songs for numerous other people who have had hits with them. But let's not forget the B-Sides and singles, which are massively succesfull in their own way. Some which might as well be mini EP's.

The Most Beautiful Girl Maxi Disk for example was just a riff off of one song which sold nearly a million, which is great for just a single pretty much. All the song variations on the Maxi done by Prince himself, which says something about the man and all he can do with just one song.

Along with that Prince was relevant in every decade and never went out of style.

80's (his hayday)

90's (the nameless symbol era and running wild)

00's (3121 commerical success and "comeback")

10's (Stirring shit up by claiming "The internet is dead", Welcome 2 America tour, and giving away free albums with papers)

And all the mythical "Prince stories" in between.


I haven no doubt if Prince was still alive it would be another prominent event. And he was doing very great recently doing hard rock once again with his group of sexy bandmates 3rd Eye Girl, landing gigs on TV and finally ditching the suits.

Add to that his timeless fight for rights, and being the first to do groundbreaking things like use the internet for music.

As for the whole black and white racial thing concerning this topic. Rock N Roll has been largely something that appealed to white people historically ("Those white people are crazy!"). Little Richard was a huge star and always complained that black people do not come to his shows at all. So I don't think this is a racial issue in terms of one artist being more succesfull or accepted than the other.

Though because of Princes musical inclination, even to more traditional black people he earned their respect simply off the talant of the music alone.

The reason Little Richard is also relevant because that whole androgynous-gay-make-up-flashy vibe dominated in Rock N Roll in the 70's/80's was largely started by Little Richard in the 50's/60's. Many of the top Rock N Roll artists (white or otherwise) early on all acknowledge Little Richard or idolize him.

Edit: Oh, I didn't read properly the race issue. Still, breaking that wall is not something I would attirbute to Prince or give him bonus points for.

Bowie's real contribution to music are essentially art house-esque. Bowie was one of the first people to introduce theatrics to concerts. As he would mime, wear costumes which were more for perfomance, and so on. And his association, I think of being a "strange" is only because he's creative in that sense. And that's more of a vision, which has it's own contribution by creaitivity, rather than strictly sound. It's that unique vibe he has in his music.

[Edited 6/25/17 13:34pm]

[Edited 6/25/17 13:35pm]

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Reply #16 posted 06/25/17 2:25pm

bigd74

avatar

the only thing between them really is Prince can play all the instruments and Bowie couldn't but still both legends in their own right.

She Believed in Fairytales and Princes, He Believed the voices coming from his stereo

If I Said You Had A Beautiful Body Would You Hold It Against Me?
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Reply #17 posted 06/25/17 2:33pm

mjscarousal

COMPUTERBLUE1984 said:

mjscarousal said:

David Bowie.

Everything Prince did in the 80's with his image, David Bowie had already done in the 70's and to a greater extent imo. I also think David Bowie tackled more image and gender social issues concepts that were a little more challenging and thought provoking than Prince. Prince did as well (i.e the open buttock pants and the Prince sign) but Prince still mostly evoked masculinity and imo David Bowie teetered that line between masculinity, feminity, not white, not black, not man, not woman etc . He was more quirkier and eccentric than Prince but David was a sweet heart. They both are great artists, I just give David Bowie the edge. I also like that David Bowie spoke up for Black people and advocated for Black artists. Given he was one of the most popular rock acts in the 70s and a white man, he did not have to do that. I think David Bowie is very underrated in the rock world and doesn't get the credit he deserves.

Yes, Little Richard was the OG Black flamboyant, kick ass rocker charismatic rocker that inspired Prince, MJ, etc but Little Richard did not teeter with gender roles with his image like David Bowie did. He didn't wear a dress or red wear lipstick when he performed. Richard did arch his eye brows, perm his hair, sing in a high pitch voice and of course he was gay but visually that is not completely teetering gender roles. He still wore masculine clothes and still looked like a man. When looking at Little Richard, most would say oh that is a man that is probably homosexual. When looking at David Bowie during his classic era, his gender identity was not so clear. He could pass for a man or woman.

[Edited 6/24/17 21:36pm]

You articulated a lot of what I wanted to say😁 I had forgotten to state that Little Richard was the prototype of gender bending, but as you and another stated, Bowie took it in another direction in the 1970s. Of course the culture was different, but Glam era Bowie was a little more out there than most. From announcing his sexuality to the British press to rumors of other extracurricular things, Glam Bowie didn't seem to give a damn about society norms at that time. He was ALWAYS a proponent of music by African American artists. In reading his bio, he stated that he wanted (as a boy)to be a sax player in Little Richard's band and even at the advent of MTV, he was an advocate for Black artists. His career pre Ziggy was in an R&B group and post Ziggy, Diamond Dogs/Young Americans were littered with Plastic Soul (his version of R&B). Heck, niles Rogers was the producer to Lets Dance, which allowed him to gain the commercial appeal. As a musician, he always gambled on his muse, taking risks with his sound. Bowie was almost 20 years into his career before he really had major crossover appeal with Let's Dance, so the 1970's up until Scary Monsters were like a test tube of sounds/images he could play with without being too commercial.

nod thumbs up! Excellent post

I really respect the fact that DAVID BOWIE advocated for BLACK artists and used his platform to speak out against racism. He rocked the boat and didn't give a fuq what people thought about him. As a white man, he didn't have to do that and he did it DURING the Civil Rights Movement and into the 70s. There was no white artists speaking out for Black musicians the way David Bowie was...but then you have some delusional people constantly giving so much credit to the Great White hope Elvis when he didn't do nothing for Black people. Its such a pitty. David Bowie deserves WAY more props for being a freedom fighter.

[Edited 6/25/17 14:34pm]

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Reply #18 posted 06/25/17 5:13pm

Dasein

COMPUTERBLUE1984 said:

Dasein said:


Yes, I think this is a good post. Yet, many of the things you admire in Bowie are found in Prince's
work as well, as the radio hadn't heard the Minneapolis Sound before Prince popularized it and ex-
tended the genre's sonic boundaries as well; so, Prince was just as innovative as Bowie was. And,
Prince could be just as experimental too (ATWIAD, the Camille stuff, Parade). And, let's not for-
get that Prince was at the forefront of incorporating online technology as a storefront while arguing
for increasing the rights of recording artists. I mean, Prince was not only capable of conceiving of
an art by himself, producing, arranging, playing, writing all the pieces (and quite expertly) himself,
but he also reached a point in his career where he was no longer satisfied with letting some suit
sell his wares - he was going to sell them himself. In my opinion, this makes him more of a complete
artist than most as he was able to make art and then sell it.

But yeah, I'm glad that you are able to recognize that we cannot determine who was the more com-
plete artist/creator by using standards related to "who was more eccentric?" and "who wore more
eyeliner?" and "who was more gender fluid?" Besides, one could make two arguments against using
gender fluidity as a criterion for presenting the case as to who is the more complete artist:

1) there is a claim that can be made, I think, that white people/fans are more accepting of white
androgynous artists than Black people/fans are of androgynous Black artists, which means it may
have taken more balls (pun intended) for Prince to present himself androgynously to his Black
audience than it took for Bowie to do the same for his white audience. At work here is the US' per-
ception of Black Male sexuality and our own (I'm Black) perception of the same.

2) everybody in pop music back in the 70s and 80s was androgynous: Elton John, Marc Bolan, Annie
Lennox, Boy George, Michael Jackson, Prince, every single goddamn English new-wave New Romantic
band, so if everybody is doing something, why make it a point to highlight it or cast it as a special fea-
ture?

Good points. I respect the level of detail you put into your argument. Different constructs affect how both men were perceived by the masses.


Absolutely!

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Reply #19 posted 06/26/17 3:31am

Chancellor

avatar

I'll take Rod Stewart's vocals over David Bowie any day of the week...

side-note..David RUINED Wild is the Wind...It's an Acoustic guitar MESS...

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Reply #20 posted 06/26/17 10:43am

khill95

Totally not being PC right now, but I'm starting to think of David Bowie as the avant garde, white Prince. Prince was definetely very eccentric, but his eccentricities seemed like they were an easier pill to swallow. Yes he was raunchy, but David to me definetely seemed more shocking, especially at the time in which he came out. Not only that, but his style also teetered on the edge of pure performance art.

That being said, I prefer Prince for his music and live performances, and David for his artisitc image and persona, and also music. I can take away the image of Prince and still LOVE the music, but with David, the image and the music are so heavily intertwined, that to take one away, the end result would definetely be lesser.

Both geniuses, and two of my favorite artists though.

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Reply #21 posted 06/26/17 11:28am

namepeace

CB '84 and Daesin have already made great points, so I won't repeat or quote them.

Both artists had a defining influence on the style and sound of their respective musical "generations".

I prefer Prince, but solid arguments can be made for Bowie.

Good night, sweet Prince | 7 June 1958 - 21 April 2016

Props will be withheld until the showing and proving has commenced. -- Aaron McGruder
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Reply #22 posted 06/26/17 11:55am

Germanegro

I was working on a response to the OP's challenge to choose "the most complete artist" between the two late last night, until an unstable internet connection dashed it into the ether. I still wished to contribute after having observed and admired both artists careers, listening to the 70s through 90s output of Bowie and all of Prince, heard associates' interviews, read several liner notes, and viewed documentaries on both, so I will try again.

>

Outright I will claim that Prince was the greater musician with his profiency on greater number of instruments among keyboards, guitar, bass, drums and percussion. In his instrumental work Prince clearly was able to work in improvisational mode as illustrated in stage performances;he would pick musicians for their ability to solo, let them run and take turns with them all, at times exchanging instruments. He varied his song arrangments as well, exibiting creative flexibility that gave him a musical edge.

>

Vocally, Prince had a greater vocal range than Bowie and definitely had a bigger "rock & roll" scream than the Thin White Duke! Another vote for Prince.

>

Prince wrote songs not only for himself in several personas, but for other pop artists as well and also instrumental contributions. While Bowie also did so I'm not sure if he acheived this to the same degree--if sheer volume of variety has a place in identifying "completeness."

>

They both exhibited a social consciousness to stand up for social ideals, to identify and combat isolationism, underrepresentation, spriituality, and life's loves and tragedies; both wrote of the gamut of life's experiences. Prince, regularly cited as the "cornier" of the two artists, also deeply mined humor in his material delivery to a rather entertaining degree I'd say. Bowie was usually quite serious--brooding or mainc in his presentations while not crooning ballads. I'd give Prince the edge here with his little extra bit of diversity.

>

In case this has any place toward the consideration of artistic performance, Bowie experimented with stimulants to enhance his emotional sensitivities and work stamina, while Prince reputedly dabbled in hypnosis for the same, and we all know now about his painkiller use to maintain his level of "normal" and aid his stamina. They both did what they needed to do to keep going!

>

Prince was a dancer and dabbled in choreographing his band, while Bowie didn't have that talent in great capacity. Bowie's constumes were actually admitted by him to be a distraction from that deficiency, as static as he was for most of his stage time. I give Prince a nudge ahead in this area of performance.

>

They were both heavily involved in stage design (set and lighting), wardrobe and makeup; Bowie's attention to the video media appears to have been a bit more honed that Prince in video singles production, however we must remember how diligently Prince worked on his many video projects that have not yet been observed while they are locked in his vault. I'm not sure how I'd balance the two in this realm.

>

Bowie aslo practiced a critically-acclaimed non-musical artistic career with his painting and film acting. I'll give Bowie the edge in terms of these non-musical artistic pursuits.

>

This is a messy little analysis, and I could be missing other considerations. From my exposure to both people's work its actually difficult for me to tell which one was the more complete artist, but through my crude effort I'll place Prince ahead by a nudge.

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Reply #23 posted 06/26/17 12:34pm

Dasein

^

A compelling argument, and I enjoyed reading your post.

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Reply #24 posted 06/26/17 12:52pm

Phishanga

avatar

I'm suprised at how civilised this thread is so far. lol I couldn't choose between either. Prince is more for the brain, Prince for the body. But I find Bowie endlessly fascinating and interesting and he doesn't drive me crazy like Prince did so often. And all considered, Bowie's lyrics and themes are more my thing than much of Prince's.

Hey loudmouth, shut the fuck up, right?
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Reply #25 posted 06/26/17 12:57pm

mjscarousal

Prince was not a dancer and just because you do a little improv moves and splits doesn't mean you are a dancer. I think he was moved by his music when he performed at times but I woud not call him a dancer.

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Reply #26 posted 06/26/17 1:35pm

Dasein

mjscarousal said:

Prince was not a dancer and just because you do a little improv moves and splits doesn't mean you are a dancer. I think he was moved by his music when he performed at times but I woud not call him a dancer.


Are you suggesting that Prince wasn't a dancer because he didn't study dancing formally? That
would be like saying David Bowie wasn't an actor because he didn't study acting formally with the
(erroneous) implication being one has to have studied something formally or even informally in
order to be considered that which they perform vocationally. Or, your argument could be used a-
gainst David Bowie again: because he didn't know how to read music, then he was not a musician,
for being able to read music comes after formal training. But, formal training is not necessary for
living vocationally as a musician. So, I'm not quite sure what your intentions are here other than
to purposefully minimize Prince's abilities so as to cast him as not being as complete an artist and/or
entertainer as we say he was for the sake of supporting your opinion, which is a defensible one, that
David Bowie was a more complete artist/creator instead.

Anyways, if you look up the word "dancer" in Merriam-Webster, there was many a night I saw Prince
live where he moved his body rhythmically while performing - dude was a dancer in the guise of a
James Brown (are you gonna say JB wasn't a dancer either?) and a pretty good one as he was a really
good athlete too: one does not just bust out "splits" and jump off of risers (in high heels!) the way
Prince did without it being called "dancing."

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Reply #27 posted 06/26/17 4:13pm

LayzieKiddZ

avatar

mjscarousal said:

Prince was not a dancer and just because you do a little improv moves and splits doesn't mean you are a dancer. I think he was moved by his music when he performed at times but I woud not call him a dancer.

Of course Prince is a dancer. He has choreographed moves. Just watch any of his live performances. How can you not know this? He has good foot work, spins, the whole 9's. The man has a number of aburd choreographed moves like practically getting dry humped by his back up dancers.

I mean, I guess you're using Michael Jackson as a judging factor, but this seems more ignorance than anything. I've shown Prince's Arsenio Hall 1991 performance to people including MJ fans and they absolutely love it because of the originality and creativity of his choreographed dances.

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Reply #28 posted 06/26/17 4:30pm

Dasein

LayzieKiddZ said:

mjscarousal said:

Prince was not a dancer and just because you do a little improv moves and splits doesn't mean you are a dancer. I think he was moved by his music when he performed at times but I woud not call him a dancer.

I've shown Prince's Arsenio Hall 1991 performance to people including MJ fans and they absolutely love it because of the originality and creativity of his choreographed dances.


Ha!

To counter Carousal's claim, I looked for that specific video on Youtube but only came across a
defective one which features no sound. I'm so glad that I converted a working copy of that entire
performance into an MP4 file last year as it is proof that Prince was a helluva dancer!


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Reply #29 posted 06/26/17 4:41pm

rdhull

avatar

khill95 said:

Totally not being PC right now, but I'm starting to think of David Bowie as the avant garde, white Prince.

Bowie was before Prince and avante garde waaay before Prince even had a career so if anything Prince was the black Bowie.

c'mon baby, where's ya guts?
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