Saturday, April 30, 2016

Love Has Left the Building


The heavens themselves blaze forth the death of princes” or as the case be, Prince. The world mourns the passing of music's second most enigmatic celebrity (surpassed only by Jacko) He was totally fucking cool and bad exaggerated foppish mini-pimp decked out in puffy sleeves and every shade of purple imaginable. I gotta say though, I was never a huge fan. As for his status as musical genius, lest we forget, the Love Symbol formerly known as Prince, followed up “Purple Rain” (a trite, quasi-biographical musical, chock full-o- drama for yo' mama and bad acting) with the much maligned “Under the Cherry Moon” (a self indulgent, pretentious clunker, filmed in black & white, no less)

Prince Rogers Nelson was a revolutionary figure in music (less so in film) and his first five albums alone would have secured him a place in the annals of American music. “Purple Rain” however was what ultimately transformed Prince from a cult favorite into an unstoppable musical force. Burning him deep onto the psyche of music lovers worldwide. “Purple Rain” struck a nerve but after “Under the Cherry Moon” he was dishing out mediocrity as an entrée. Not that Prince wasn't on his game. He wrote chart busters for himself and others, boosting the careers of a handful of artists. (Nothing Compares 2 U by Sinéad O'Connor being the most memorable)

Prince's performance at Super Bowl XLI in 2007 was electrifying. (the bar for halftime entertainment having been set quite low..... Up With People, Tops in Blue, Aerosmith, the Janet Jackson / Justin Timberlake wardrobe malfunction) Opening with a thunderous refrain from Queen's “We Will Rock You” under storm clouds, then seguing into a muscular arena rock take on “Let's Go Crazy” The crowd rushed the love symbol stage platform in a scripted frenzy. Prince effortlessly worked in covers of Proud Mary, All Along the Watch Tower and The Foo Fighters' Best of You before closing with a rousing version of Purple Rain complete with audience sing-a-long. Shine on you crazy diamond.

It's rumored that he left enough recorded music behind to release an album per year through the foreseeable future. Here's hoping that's nothing more than wishful thinking. Prince released at least 39 albums while alive, few of those albums are still compelling. While prolific, Prince Rogers was also the king of indulgent doodling. I'd hasten to bet that hundreds of hours spent hunkered down at Paisley Park (an unyielding big box monolith jotting out of the prairie in Chanhassen, MN.) didn't necessarily result in a treasure trove of killer tunes. The Prince is dead and the lesson we should all come away with is simply this; Prayer has few if any medicinal properties. If you're deathly ill... go see a doctor.