Prince: the 100 most inspiring musicians of all time
Prince (born Prince Rogers Nelson, (b. June 7, 1958, Minneapolis, Minn., U.S.) is a singer, guitarist, songwriter, producer, dancer, and performer on
keyboards, drums, and bass who was among the most talented American musicians of his generation. A considerable number of his recordings feature him in all the performing roles.
Prince’s recording career began with funk and soul marketed to a black audience; his early music also reflected the contemporary musical impact of disco. Later records incorporated a vast array of influences, including jazz, punk, heavy metal, the Beatles, and hip-hop, usually within an overall approach most informed by funky up-tempo styles and soulful ballads; the latter often featured his expressive falsetto singing.
Taking an early interest in music, Prince began playing the piano at age 7 and mastered the guitar and drums by the time he joined his first band at age 14. With very few African American residents, his hometown, Minneapolis, Minnesota, was an unlikely site for the development of a
major black star, but Prince even managed to lead other local musicians, most notably Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis, to major success.
Mirrored by correspondingly intense music, Prince’s lyrics often address sexuality and desire with frankness and imagination. Much of his work, in its lyrics and imagery, struggles with the constriction of social conventions and categories. As one of his biographers put it, “The whole thrust of Prince’s art can be understood in terms of a desire to escape the social identities thrust upon him by simple virtue of his being small, black, and male.”
Prince explored typographical oddities in his song titles and lyrics as another way of evading convention. In 1993, he announced that he had changed his name to a combination of the male and female gender signs. There is also a strong religious impulse in some of his music, sometimes
fused into a kind of sacred erotic experience that has roots in African American churches.
“Little Red Corvette” (1983) was Prince’s first big crossover hit, gaining airplay on MTV at a time when virtually no black artists appeared on the influential new medium. Purple Rain (1984) made him one of the major stars of the 1980s and remains his biggest-selling album. Three of its
singles were hits: the frenetic “Let’s Go Crazy,” the androgynous but vulnerable “When Doves Cry,” and the anthemic title cut. Thereafter, he continued to produce inventive music of broad appeal; outside the United States, he was particularly popular in Britain and the rest of Europe.
Throughout most of his career, Prince’s prolific inventiveness as a songwriter clashed with his record company’s policy of releasing only a single album each year. As a backlog of his completed but unreleased recordings piled up, he gave songs to other performers—some of whom recorded at and for Paisley Park, the studio and label he established
in suburban Minneapolis—and even organized ostensibly independent groups, such as the Time, to record his material.
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His 1996 album Emancipation celebrated the forthcoming end of his Warner Brothers contract, which enabled him to release as much music as he liked on his NPG label. Later he explored marketing his work on the Internet and through private arrangements with retail chains as a means
of circumventing the control of large record companies.
In 1999, however, he released Rave Un2 the Joy Fantastic under the Arista label; a collaboration with Sheryl Crow, Chuck D, Ani DiFranco, and others, the album received mixed reviews and failed to find a large audience.
Prince (who, following the formal termination of his contract with Warner Brothers in 1999, stopped using the symbol as his name) was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2004. That year, he also released Musicology, an album that both sold well and was much praised by critics.
Prince – 4EVER | Prince – Greatest Hits [Full Album]
1. 1999 00:00 2. Little Red Corvette 03:38 3. When Doves Cry 06:47 4. Let’s Go Crazy 10:35 5. Raspberry Beret 14:24 6. I Wanna Be Your Lover 17:59 7. Soft And Wet 20:59 8. Why You Wanna Treat Me So Bad? 24:04 9. Uptown 27:55 10. When You Were Mine 32:06 11. Head 35:51 12. Gotta Stop (Messin’ About) 40:39 13. Controversy 43:34 14. Let’s Work 47:11 15. Delirious 50:16
16. I Would Die 4 U 52:54 17. Take Me With U 55:53 18. Paisley Park 59:36 19. Pop Life 1:04:24 20. Purple Rain 1:08:05 21. Kiss 1:16:50 22. Sign ‘O’ The Times 1:20:36 23. Alphabet St. 1:24:19 24. Batdance 1:26:44 25. Thieves In The Temple 1:30:52 26. Cream 1:34:13 27. Mountains 1:38:26 28. Girls & Boys 1:42:24 29. If I Was Your Girlfriend 1:45:45
30. U Got The Look 1:49:38 31. I Could Never Take The Place Of Your Man 1:53:25 32. Glam Slam 1:57:07 33. Moonbeam Levels 2:00:38 34. Diamonds And Pearls 2:04:44 35. Gett Off 2:09:04 36. Sexy MF 2:13:04 37. My Name Is Prince 2:18:30 38. 7 2:22:35 39. Peach 2:26:58 40. Nothing Compares 2 U 2:30:46
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