Another one of my childhood heroes is gone. 2016 has already had some bad surprises for music lovers and Prince‘s death earlier today because of a bad case of the flu is terrible news. Singer, songwriter, performer, multi instrumentalist and actor. He believed a lot in the visual part of music and had a unique androgynous style and addictive music videos and was a true music connaisseur, mixing many different styles in his music, from rock to funk, from dance to pop.
Prince Rogers Nelson was born on June 7th 1958 in Minneapolis. He composed his first song at the age of 7, during his teenage years he made music with his cousin’s band 94 East and at the age of 20 he released his first album “For You” on Warner Bros that he produced and arranged having full artistic control, something that wasn’t common at the time for a newcomer on a big label. A year later his album Prince went platinum because of the success of the singles “Why You Wanna Treat Me So Bad?” and “I Wanna Be Your Lover“. What was obvious from the start was his groove and his eroticism and sexuality that became a prominent feature of his future work and made him different to other artists of the time.
With his three next records “Dirty Mind” (1980), “Controversy” (1981), and “1999” (1982) Prince moved away from the “new Stevie Wonder” or the “new James Brown” image by incorporating rock and dance to his first sound.
In 1984 with “Purple Rain“, which was the soundtrack to his film debut of the same name, Prince and his backup band The Revolution gained the press’s respect and proved that he was a unique songwriter.
“Around the World in a Day” came out the year after. In this album he tried to do something different to “Purple Rain”. In this album he tried to show his admiration for Joni Mitchell and The Beatles.
The following year Prince’s film “Under The Cherry Moon“, which he also directed hit the silver screen. The album “Parade” that includes megahit “Kiss” was the soundtrack of the movie. Warner Bros didn’t like the track at first, said it sounded like a demo and didn’t want to put it out, but Prince insisted and the rest is history; every each one of us has danced countless times to this masterpiece.
Prince used to dream about songs and Manic Monday that he gave to The Bangles was one of them. Many of his songs became hits by other artists like Chaka Kan’s cover of “I Feel For You” and Sinead O Connor’s “Nothing Compared to You”.
In 1987 double album “Sign “O” The Times” was released. Later a duet with Sheena Easton, “U Got the Look“, “Love Sexy” that included “Alphabet Street“, in 1989 he was asked to make a song for Batman and instead he delivered an album “Batman” with “Batdance” and in 1991 “Diamond & Pearls“, that included apart from the title song, “Cream” and “Get Off“. I remember at the time my sister and I would stay put in front of the TV waiting for the fantastic videos for these 3 amazing tracks to come on, although we were way too young to totally get them.. After that he changed his name to The Symbol, The Artist (Formally known as Prince) to only change it back to Prince some years later, he released a number of albums and stayed creative and active till the end of his life, making music, touring and trying to put across some messages.
Here are my personally favorite Prince songs:
U Got the Look
When Doves Cry
Diamonds And Pearls
Sign “O” The Times
Watch this amazing documentary about Prince in the 80’s
Prince you will always live in our hearts.
Listen to Sissi Rada’s wonderful Prince tribute mix: