Prince (The Artist) and Generation X
First published: 26th April 2016
Prince Rogers Nelson. An artist and music icon of “Generation X”; But what is it?
People born between 1965 and 1979 are described as generation X.
A group sandwiched between the Baby Boomer and Millennial generations.
Born in 1973, I have empathy for others stereotyped as “Coffee drinkers ~ quietly revolting against cultural and social norms of previous generations”.
My generation are influenced by a wide range of cultural, political shifts and technological development.
There were VCRs, personal cassette players and the Nintendo game boy to keep us entertained.
We lived through the invention of the microwave oven; the Sinclair C5, the death of Princess Diana and the fall of the Berlin wall.
We listened and watched music videos on the MTV; Dire Straits, Bon Jovi, Queen, U2, Madonna, Michael Jackson, Prince… and plenty more.
Prince the artist: A music icon of generation X
Prince Rogers Nelson was born in Minneapolis on June 7th, 1958. He passed away on April 21st, 2016.
A musician, songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, singer, performer and producer.
A music icon of generation X. He created his own music genre, which fused soul, funk, rock and pop and allowed him to be daringly innovative.
Prince ~ On Life:
“Everyone has their own experience. We are here to learn and go down those paths, and eventually you may have gone down so many paths and learned so much, you don’t have to come back again.”
Prince: Life and times
Much has been written about the rise of Prince from stardom and then to super stardom.
Top 10 hits; “Little Red Corvette”, “Let’s Go Crazy”, “Kiss” and “The Most Beautiful Girl in the World”.
His songs also became hits for other artists, among them “Nothing Compares 2 U” for Sinead O’Connor, “Manic Monday” for The Bangles and “I Feel for You” for Chaka Khan.
With 1984’s ‘Purple Rain’, he simultaneously had the number 1 album, single and film in the United States.
‘Purple Rain’ sold more than 13 million copies in the US alone, and its music also won him an Academy Award.
His last Grammy awards came in 2007; Best Male R&B Vocal Performance For the song “Call My Name” and Best Traditional R&B Vocal Performance for the song “Musicology.”
Prince: The business of Music
In 1993, Prince changed his stage name to an unpronounceable glyph.
An open battle ensued with his record label because he wanted to buy back the master recordings.
“There I was. I didn’t own my own music. If you don’t own your masters, your master owns you.”
“I’m going to re-record all my songs. There will be two catalogues with pretty much the same music, except mine will be better, and you can either give your money to a big company, or to NPG (his own record label). You choose.”
He only returned to the name ‘Prince’ in early 2000 after his record contract ended.
Prince: on Piracy and covers
He was quoted in a newspaper interview in 2011 as saying he had no plans to make a new album;
“We made money [online] before piracy was real crazy. The Industry has changed”.
“It’s like the gold rush. Or a car-jacking. There are no boundaries.
They say to me, “you don’t understand, it’s dog-eat-dog out there. So I’ll just hold off on recording music.”
Prince was equally put out by covers of his songs. A version of “Kiss” being the latest offender.
“There’s no other art form where you can do that. You can’t do your own Harry Potter. Do you want to hear somebody else sing Kiss?”
But, whilst doing some research, I did find an interesting flip-side.
At the Coachella Music Festival in 2008, Prince performed a cover of Radiohead’s “Creep“.
Immediately after, he forced YouTube and other sites to remove fans footage of the performance, despite Radiohead’s wishes for it to remain on the website.
Days later, YouTube reinstated the videos. Radiohead claimed, “it’s our song, let people hear it.”
Prince: The icon of a generation
To conclude, Prince lived a life that uniquely prepared him to understand “Generation X”.
He wrote songs which spoke of our desires, fears, longings and anxieties.
Rock, R&B, and hip-hop music would all definitely not be the same had Prince not existed.
He was one of the finest and most talented members of his musical generation.
InfinityBass.com | by Simon Edward | April 26th, 2016.