So, it’s been awhile since I’ve posted. There’s been a lot going on. I’ve been a little preoccupied. It’s much more difficult to maintain a blog when you have regular freelance design projects, oh, and a newborn to help take care of. More on that later… I couldn’t let the death of Prince go unacknowledged in my personal internet diatribe, though. I’m not going to pretend that I have something important to say about him that every music journalist or musician hasn’t said. This is just an account of my relationship with his music – no matter how boring it might be.
Being born in 1978, and not having any older siblings (an important factor), I didn’t really get into Prince until later in life. However, that doesn’t mean I didn’t grow up with his music. My first sighting of him was due to a babysitter watching MTV – I believe it was the “Kiss” music video. Every one my age, of course, remembers the Batman soundtrack. His music was played at the dances I attended throughout my youth. However, not even Prince could get me to retire from my permanent role of wallflower. I had a cassette of his greatest hits. Still, it wasn’t until my freshman/sophomore years in college that I purchased the Holy Trilogy of albums – 1999, Purple Rain, and Sign O’ the Times. The genius was finally realized, and I never looked back. I kept adding to my collection one at a time – very randomly… Parade… a pirated version of The Black Album… and so on. Though I was looking backwards at his music at different eras, his latter day output felt much like running into an old friend you haven’t seen in years – Musicology is a fantastic album and should not be ignored. Unfortunately, I never saw him live in concert. I tried to purchase tickets to his show in Charlotte in 2011. It proved to be more difficult than Radiohead tickets – and a bank breaker to boot.
It’s been interesting this past week mourning him. I had to relocate CDs that I haven’t listened to in ages. There are very limited ways to stream anything by Prince (except for stupid Tidal). Don’t get me wrong. I actually love that! I mean, I’m sure you can torrent his entire discography, but I love that some music fans out there are actually going to have to find a used copy of some of his post-WB era albums – if they’re interested.
It’s been a rough start to the year in the world of music. Bowie, Haggard, now Prince. Bowie’s death was just as tragic. In fact, it’s probably safe to say that I’m actually a bigger fan of a select part of Bowie’s discography. But, Bowie wasn’t woven into the fabric of my youth. I mean, sure, there was this. But, we all try to forget that ever happened. Even though I wasn’t an active participant in the contemporary music scene as a young child growing up in the 1980s, his music was still constantly surrounding me. He was an icon – much in the same way as Michael Jackson. I think that’s why I’m taking Prince’s death so much harder. It’s as though something familiar, that was always supposed to be there, is now gone. In that way, in my mind, Prince had transcended being an actual human being. He was just part of life in the universe as we know it. There are very few musicians/artists left on the earth that I view that way. Maybe McCartney? Hell, even I see Dylan and Springsteen as just men who will someday leave us – and that’s saying a lot. Prince was different.
So… Here’s a playlist to download. I know lots of people have already been listening to him over the past week. His albums are at the top of almost every chart. But, maybe one of the 5 people that read this will find it useful.