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Check out Prince's solo - who da thunk?


02R96

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It's never to late to "start at the start" as Lennon used to say...but the truth is Prince has been ripping great gtr parts from the get go.

He's not given respect, I think, b/c so many "sincere" rockers are opposed to "fake" showbiz (even though they embrace it from their heroes) & an antipathy to R&B except in its "museum" forms, such as blues & `960s soul.

 

Check him out live---he does a bit where he plays the same lines on sustained gtr & kboards simultaneously, one hand on each instrument !

Top that, rock guitarist of yer choice.

d=halfnote
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+1

 

Prince's first two albums have some ripping guitar parts, IIRC, he played most or all of the instruments on them.

 

I wasn't much into Prince until I had a roommate who had all of his recordings. After a few listenings, I realized that Prince's best stuff wasn't what was played on the radio.

"Call me what instrument you will, though you can fret me, yet you cannot play upon me.'-Hamlet

 

Guitar solos last 30 seconds, the bass line lasts for the whole song.

 

 

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This has actually been posted here before. It was the first time I had heard Prince "solo". A far better player than I originally gave him credit for.

 

If you were able to sit through "Purple Rain" (I went with a couple friends, one of whom walked out after about 10 minutes,) there was a lot of fine Princely guitaring going on there.

Scott Fraser
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It's never to late to "start at the start" as Lennon used to say...but the truth is Prince has been ripping great gtr parts from the get go.

He's not given respect, I think, b/c so many "sincere" rockers are opposed to "fake" showbiz (even though they embrace it from their heroes) & an antipathy to R&B except in its "museum" forms, such as blues & `960s soul.

 

I think he doesn't get counted as a guitarist because he has concentrated on his own celebrity persona far more than pursuing the guitarist journeyman route. He's a very capable player, but I find it very hard to watch him because there are so many odd tics & affected mannerisms in his presentation.

Scott Fraser
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Prince is just a great musician.

 

He also played the superstar game, which was shrewd of him, but he's a player.

 

You can find clips of him covering early 70s Santana songs in concert. I remember him mentioning at the height of his stardom in Rolling Stone that the Hendrix comparisons were off base and just because they're both black, when he was more jazzy and melodic in his approach and more influenced by Carlos Santana rather than bluesy in a Hendrix way.

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Sorry to disagree about Prince`s playing with...well, Prince. I don`t think there`s much comparison to Hendrix at all in his songs, they are more jazzy and big band oriented. I do find Hendrix influence in Prince`s guitar playing, maybe more of a funk element is there and not as much spacy noise stuff but plenty of string bendy minor pentatonic blues goodness.

Same old surprises, brand new cliches-

 

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For the record: he plays most or all of the instruments on the bulk of his albums. Most of the musicians you see him working with are hired for touring purposes. Notable exceptions include Sheila E, Wendy & Lisa, and, as I recall, the NPG, as well as the female vocal parts.

 

But odds are, if you hear someone shredding up a guitar solo in a Prince tune, it's the Purple Smurf himself.

Sturgeon's 2nd Law, a.k.a. Sturgeon's Revelation: âNinety percent of everything is crapâ

 

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It's never to late to "start at the start" as Lennon used to say...but the truth is Prince has been ripping great gtr parts from the get go.

He's not given respect, I think, b/c so many "sincere" rockers are opposed to "fake" showbiz (even though they embrace it from their heroes) & an antipathy to R&B except in its "museum" forms, such as blues & `960s soul.

 

I think he doesn't get counted as a guitarist because he has concentrated on his own celebrity persona far more than pursuing the guitarist journeyman route. He's a very capable player, but I find it very hard to watch him because there are so many odd tics & affected mannerisms in his presentation.

 

Yer correct, SF, but it's also true that most pop musicians create an image that has some quirks (metaliers, for ex; Hendrix for another...& there are many others that could be listed).

It's undeniable, though, that a certain segment of rock audience has an antipathy for modern R&B.

d=halfnote
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It's undeniable, though, that a certain segment of rock audience has an antipathy for modern R&B.

 

I don't consider myself a rock audient, but I share that general antipathy, on account of the widespread adherence to a preset & narrow range of conventions in the genre. That reliance on formula tells me "Artistically Bankrupt". I think Prince has stood out in that field precisely because his is an original voice in a genre currently largely bereft or originality.

Scott Fraser
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Scott, we gotta get you some George Clinton/Bootsy Collins/PFunk recordings.

Just in case y'don't know, imagine a mix of Beatles, Hendrix, Zappa & Sun Ra.

 

That whole thing of "artistic bankruptcy", for the same reasons, applies to most pop music...rock, not excepted.

It's odd how that escapes most rock fans.

d=halfnote
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That's a complex topic...

 

R&B is a "dated" type of music at this point... like 70s rock, and rap/hiphop is the equivalent of the punk/grunge that took over the mainstream of rock as far as younger listeners go. R&B's audience are conservative/traditionalist people, just as classic mainstream rock's audience is conservative/traditionalist.

 

Prince helped spearhead "punk funk" in the late 70s/early 80s, and I remember that causing some disturbances at the time, which I didn't really get because the psychedelic funksters that preceded him were outrageous... I guess he somehow nudged himself into the mainstream a little more. I mean, The Stones did have him open a tour in 1979, and their fans did react violently... but their fans react violently to whoever they have open the show, because most older Rolling Stones fans are the most conservative, narrow-minded and repressed people I've ever seen... as far as people I know personally who make the trek to see them a couple of times every time they tour... people who are intolerant of anything they weren't into 40 years ago.

 

Somebody here said something a little while ago about "rock audiences being very conservative, even while the rock musicians themselves are open-minded and curious people (which is how they melded cool styles). I think that applies to almost every genre.

 

R&B is like Nashville pop country, or major label mainstream rock: it is built on conventions, market research, preconceived notions of what will sell... and then the "instincts" of people whose jobs depend on deciding who gets a shot, and in that last scenario sameness always wins out because you're not sticking your neck out if you give 'em what's always worked in the past.

 

It should be noted that Prince's major label debut (not the one we remember as being the first, there was another one a few years earlier) was very conventional for the time, as was his appearance...

 

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/thumb/1/1d/Prince_ForYou.jpg/220px-Prince_ForYou.jpg

 

A reason for his success is that in addition to musical talent he has a certain gift for... marketplace manipulation? The record didn't make a splash, and he saw that he didn't stand out, so he reinvented himself, image-wise and self-mythology-wise, and upped the outrageousness. He was a very ambitious dude, and he had his ear in anything new to appeal to as many people as possible.

 

His drummer told a story once about being on the 1999 tour, and they'd played a mid-sized arena in the heartland, but after the show the tourbus drove past a stadium and the sign outside said "Tomorrow night: Bob Seger." Prince turned to his drummer, who you'll remember was one of the white guys in the band, and asked "why is he in that place and not me?" and the drummer, Bobby Z, answered "well... he plays 'classic' rock music... he appeals to 2 or 3 generations of people... you appeal to the younger generation, what you do is new and on the edge..." and he said Prince said "classic... 2 or 3 generations..." and just kind of sat there stewing on it for a bit... then a couple of days later he played the song Purple Rain for the band, which was a departure in that it was so... classic.

 

We were talking about Grace Potter on another board, whose being pushed big time now... and a young guy asked "who needs this? Sure, she's hot, her band's good, she's talented, she's cool, I guess... but it's classic rock retreads... this is a baby boomer's idea of what a 'good' young band should be, there's nothing new about it, it's conventional late 60s and 70s rock."

 

Anyway, the iconic artists like Prince are such multi-layered personalities as people... they're playing more than instruments, they're playing with the machinery of myth making and they have a talent for pushing people's buttons in certain ways... and to find people in any genre that have that combination of gifts is rare, which is why there are so few true superstars in music.

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Scott, we gotta get you some George Clinton/Bootsy Collins/PFunk recordings.

Just in case y'don't know, imagine a mix of Beatles, Hendrix, Zappa & Sun Ra.

 

That whole thing of "artistic bankruptcy", for the same reasons, applies to most pop music...rock, not excepted.

It's odd how that escapes most rock fans.

 

Yep, most rock fans aren't very open minded...

 

the thing is, rock is a composite music of tons of different things made for an audience that isn't interested in those sources.

 

Wayne Kramer from the MC5 talked about playing with younger guys who'd say "yeah, I grew up on the MC5," and he'd say "great, but there was no MC5 for the MC5 to grow up on... we all were into different things and that's why it had that swing... if you want to play that stuff right you need to learn Chuck Berry, Motown, blues, british invasion, jazz, folk, James Brown, gospel... this whole world of music, man..."

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Scott, we gotta get you some George Clinton/Bootsy Collins/PFunk recordings.

Just in case y'don't know, imagine a mix of Beatles, Hendrix, Zappa & Sun Ra.

 

EXTREMELY hip innovative, genre-bending stuff. I never thought of this branch of funk as R & B, though. Plus Parliament et al are now 30 some years in the past. It's really the contemporary R & B stuff I find so lacking in merit.

 

That whole thing of "artistic bankruptcy", for the same reasons, applies to most pop music...rock, not excepted.

It's odd how that escapes most rock fans.

 

Agreed. And that's why I have next to no interest in rock anymore. The monumentally great work in rock happened 35 to 50 years ago. Since then it's largely been about eating its young & subsequent regurgitation. It's time to put rock out to pasture & invent the successor to rock.

Scott Fraser
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Great job, but he's not playing the only solo in that vid. IMHO, the late Norman J. Healey owns the definitive remake of that song, and George himself accompanied him in the studio.

 

Yes - who is the first guy??

 

Saw Healey in the early 90's...his version is great ,too.

 

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"Wayne Kramer from the MC5 talked about playing with younger guys who'd say "yeah, I grew up on the MC5," and he'd say "great, but there was no MC5 for the MC5 to grow up on... we all were into different things and that's why it had that swing... if you want to play that stuff right you need to learn Chuck Berry, Motown, blues, british invasion, jazz, folk, James Brown, gospel... this whole world of music, man."

 

I knew, if I waited long enough, Wayne would finally grow a brain"

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Re: Scott's comments above, there's always somebody pushing the envelope but they usually have to be searched out, like digital underground or BooYaa Tribe.

Their seldom in the commercial forefront but even taking that into consideration most of the innovative styles & uses of recording tech in the last couple decades have come from modern R&B...& techno.

 

On another tangent, BluesApe & other may wanna check out this clip of a different version of "While My Gtr Frets Over Nothing" [ :D ]:

 

An old song a "new-old" way

Eric & George approved blues version

Joe Louis Walker

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CdOe_RMmyYA

 

More on Walker can be found in this recent thread:

https://forums.musicplayer.com/ubbthreads.php/topics/2335254/A_new_old_hero_Joe_Louis_Walke#Post2335254

d=halfnote
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Great slowed down version! :thu: I think an epic piece like this one gets to "breathe" with more elegance when done a bit slower.

 

We were not exercising the appropriate restraint with this tossed together version we did to commemorate Jeff's passing just after his death. We weren't a band either - just some jammers who gave it I think one run through before Jam Night, hosted at the time by Rob Rose - astute viewers can see his Carr Vincent(now renamed Viceroy by Carr) on the right.

 

 

Forgive the sound: POS digital cam in a boomy room. I guess I was trying to salute Jeff's aggressive style...didn't really work here...

 

Never a DUH! moment! Well, almost never. OK, OK! Sometimes never!
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Prince is just a great musician.

 

He also played the superstar game, which was shrewd of him, but he's a player.

 

You can find clips of him covering early 70s Santana songs in concert. I remember him mentioning at the height of his stardom in Rolling Stone that the Hendrix comparisons were off base and just because they're both black, when he was more jazzy and melodic in his approach and more influenced by Carlos Santana rather than bluesy in a Hendrix way.

 

I'm glad someone else noticed this! I don't hear nearly as much Hendrix in Prince's playing as Carlos Santana. The Santana influence is pretty apparent IMHO, especially on his early albums.

 

Prince is just a straight up virtuoso musician. He can play anything and play it well. He can also sing and dance phenomenally. I used to be a huge fan until he started going in more of a straight ahead R&B/funk direction. I think his songs were better when they mixed genres more. I also think he benefitted from someone else (i.e. A&R people at the record company) editing his output. He's extremely prolific and not everything he creates is of the same quality.

 

I saw him on the "Crystal Ball" tour and was a little dissapointed. It was a fantastic show but not a great concert. He did a lot of jamming and very rarely played a song all the way through. He's one of the more talented all-round musicians on the planet though.

"You never can vouch for your own consciousness." - Norman Mailer
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