I Don’t Think I’ve Ever Heard A Prince Song

Didn’t he do some songs for the Michael Keaton Batman movie? That and his “The-artist-formerly-known-as-Prince” routine is practically all I know about him.

Anyway, this article shows him to be a very interesting fellow indeed. It’s people like him who change the world.

With remarkable prescience, as far back as 1995 he told an interviewer: ‘Once the internet is a reality the music business is finished. There won’t be any need for record companies. If I can send you my record direct, what’s the point of having the business? I don’t even have a manager any more. Would you want somebody living off your work?’

When record company executives warned him against releasing Sign O’ The Times as a double album, he ignored their wishes and it became his most critically acclaimed work.

‘These are the same people who would tell Mozart he writes too many notes or say that Citizen Kane is a long movie,’ he said at the time.

He knows how to treat The Suits:

The maverick from Minneapolis has been doing things his way since 1977 when, at the age of 19, he signed a three-album deal and blew the budget for all three albums on the first one, and this after insisting that he play all the instruments himself, record all the vocals himself – and produce it himself. He had assumed full artistic control from the off and he has never relinquished it.

I love it!!!

And [today] he releases Planet Earth, his brilliant new ten-track album, exclusively through The Mail on Sunday, a move that has sparked controversy across the music industry.

A spokesman for Prince said: ‘Prince feels that charts are just music industry constructions and have little or no relevance to fans or even artists today. Prince’s only aim is to get music direct to those what want to hear it. Prince famously took a stand against Warner Records in the Nineties when he went on strike and appeared with the world “slave” drawn on his cheek. Subsequently, he regained control of the publishing right to his work and broke down the existing system through his innovation.’

Planet Earth, which is not due to go on sale until July 24, will also be given away free to holders of tickets to Prince’s London 02 concerts in August and September. When asked recently why he had decided to do this, Prince replied: ‘It’s directing marketing as well, and I don’t have to be in the speculation business of the record industry, which is going through a lot of tumultuous times right now.’

Dig that! He is giving his latest album away free when you buy a copy of a certain newspaper!

Is that an eleven-point-oh on the Richter Scale of the music industry or what?

However, in recent years it has been his determination to challenge the music industry that has had everyone in the business talking – and not always favourably. His decision earlier this year to offer a track from his new Planet Earth album, Guitar, as a free download as part of a deal with American mobile phone giant Verizon prompted anger from the record industry. But antipathy towards Prince for embracing new ways of getting his music to fans reached a crescendo when he decided to release Planet Earth, not in record shops or even online, but free inside The Mail on Sunday. It was another clear signal that Prince intends to keep control of his music. And with Planet Earth he is undoubtedly back to his very best.

Man, I never even heard of that Verizon deal. That’s how far out of mainstream news circles I can get. Good for him, though. I hope The Suits felt the ground shake underneath their feet.

Pity yourselves, all of you who grew up in the bosom of love and comfort:

School was a pretty miserable experience. He was teased about his height – he is only 5ft 2in without his trademark heels – and was continually the butt of jokes. He was given various nicknames, the cruellest of which was ‘Butcher Dog’ because his peers decreed that he looked like an alsatian. ‘Princess’ was another taunt.

Life at home was not much better. Not only was the family worse off after the departure of John Nelson, but his mother remarried and Prince took an instant dislike to his stepfather, Hayward Barker, whom he saw as ‘materialistic’.

‘He would bring us presents all the time rather than sit down and talk with us or give us companionship,’ Prince has said. ‘I would say all the things I disliked about him rather than tell him what I really needed which was a mistake, and kind of hurt our relationship.’

And:

His father was barely around and his mother found him so difficult she turfed him out, though it is unclear exactly why. Had it not been for his best friend André Cymone’s mother allowing him to live in her basement, the teenage Prince might have been homeless.

You think his kind of drive would have developed had he grown up all loved and comfy, feeling fulfilled and contented? Shitty childhoods can lead to world-changing greatness (for those who never, ever give up). Great childhoods lead to … employment at Microsoft or Nokia and other variations of ghastly Suited corporate anonymity, suicidal conformity, and plodding mediocrity.

Go Prince! Show everyone how the future will be done!

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