Saturday, April 23, 2016

Purple Reign

I was never a big Prince fan - though I'm dreaming as I write this - but I did like some of his hit songs, particularly "1999," "Raspberry Beret," and "Rock and Roll Love Affair," one of his most recent tunes.  So, yes, I'm going to add my voice to the chorus singing his praises.  
Prince Rogers Nelson was never accepted as a rock and roller by many people calling themselves "rock fans," not because he was black, but because he concocted a lot of arrangements more suitable for dance clubs than for sports bars.  But wait a minute!  What about Prince's ability to rock out with killer guitar solos like the one on "Let's Go Crazy?"  What about his intense playing on "Little Red Corvette?"  What about his love for Led Zeppelin?  Or his ability to make people forget Eric Clapton when he played a solo in a live rendition of the Beatles' "While My Guitar Gently Weeps," which Clapton originally played a solo for on the original Beatles recording?   Or the fact that the Rolling Stones, who have made it clear that they owe a debt to black music, hired him as an opening act for their Los Angeles shows in 1981 (though Prince had to cut his set short when the overwhelmingly white audience threw bottles at him)?   Yeah, he was a rock and roller.  And even Tom Jones appreciated his talent.
I won't be able to feature any of his promotional videos on my Music Video Of the Week page, though, as Prince had his videos taken off YouTube a few years ago as part of his desire to control the output of his music, just as he refused to go by his own name in the nineties during a spat with his record company so it couldn't profit off his name.  (I prefer not to show still-photo-montage videos made by fans, of any artist.)  Pity, I wanted to feature "Little Red Corvette" there.  Probably my favorite Prince song, in fact, because it was about a Corvette (ostensibly, at least ;-) ) and because of the free publicity it generated for the fourth-generation Corvette that Chevrolet was introducing at the time, as this image from makes clear.
He's driven to the place where his horses run free. RIP.

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