ZINIO logo
Music Icons: Prince

Music Icons: Prince

Music Icons: Prince

Prince Rogers Nelson was a prolific musical innovator and songwriter, multi-instrumentalist and record producer who sold over 100 million records, making him one of the best-selling artists of all time. His shocking death on April 21, 2016, however, made him more than a genius—it made him a legend. A year after his passing, Prince: The Story Behind Every Album, sheds light on this wild, mysterious and controversial musician, with illuminating and authoritative stories about his many hit recordings and his astounding life. Featuring rare interviews and intimate photos, this special takes you on a journey through the fascinating details and creative epiphanies the shaped his 24 studio albums and astounding body of work.

Meer lezen
United States
Athlon Media Group
€ 11,61(Incl. btw)

in deze editie

2 min

They called it the Endorphin Machine. A company that builds Rose Bowl Parade floats had been paid a million dollars to erect it on the stage at Prince’s Glam Slam club in Minneapolis. But the Endorphin Machine wasn’t really a machine at all. It might more accurately be described as a cavernous edifice, with a red velvet curtain hanging between huge, suggestively curved walls at the entrance. The curves were designed to evoke the same thing as the “Sugar Walls” referenced in the hit song Prince wrote for Sheena Easton. During performances, Prince would ocassionally disappear behind the structure’s curtain, leaving audiences to wonder what the heck he was doing back there. In 1994, following a gloriously hot-and-sweaty Prince concert, his guitarist, Sonny Thompson, invited me inside the Endorphin Machine to have…

3 min
for you a promising debut

In shopping for a record deal, Prince’s manager had billed him as “the next Stevie Wonder” to prospective labels. The comparison is an apt one in many regards. Like Wonder, Prince would have a profound impact on the sound and style of popular music. Both artists were accomplished multi-instrumentalists, endowed with an ability to play the entire recording studio like a single musical instrument. And both were early achievers. Wonder had his first hit, “Fingertips,” at age 13. Prince was just 18 when Warner Brothers Records took a chance on him, cutting him an unprecedented three-album deal. Its investment in Prince would turn out to be a wise one. Work on For You commenced in October of 1977. The teenage wunderkind was flown from his home in Minneapolis out to the…

4 min
prince cracking the charts

The modest success of For You enabled Prince to purchase his first house, in the Minneapolis suburb of Wayzata. Down in the basement, he put together a recording studio where he set to work writing songs specifically designed to become the hit singles that For You had failed to deliver. As Warner Brothers hadn’t provided much at all in the way of tour support to promote For You, Prince had plenty of time to stay at home and work on tunes for his next album—the one that would simply bear his name as its title, and which indeed would propel its creator to the upper reaches of the charts. As well as gearing up musically, he’d switched management in the aftermath of For You, ending his managerial relationship with the…

6 min
prince becoming

mMUSIC WAS HIS DESTINY—SOMETHING DEEPLY INGRAINED IN HIS DNA OOZING OUT FROM EVERY CELL his body. Prince Rogers Nelson born in Minneapolis, Minnesota, June 7, 1958. His unique first name was bestowed on him by his father, John L. Nelson, a pianist and bandleader who performed under the stage name Prince Rogers. It was music that had brought John Nelson together with Prince’s mom, Mattie Della Shaw, in 1956. Mattie was also a musician and became the singer with the Prince Rogers Band. The couple married in 1957. Prince was their firstborn child, followed by his sister, Tyka Nelson, two years later. Prince demonstrated his prodigious musical ability at an early age, teaching himself to play piano. He wrote his first song, “FunkMachine,” at age seven. The young lad was also precociously…

6 min
dirty mind sex sells

At dawn the ‘80s, a dramatic change had taken hold of pop music, in the wake of the late ‘70s punk rock explosion. One post-punk spinoff was new wave—a catch-all term that encompassed artists as diverse as Blondie, the Cars, Elvis Costello, the Police, the Pretenders and the Talking Heads. New wave managed to be both futuristic and retro, referencing the classic cool of mid ‘60s rock, but encasing its infectious melodicism in a glossy, post-modern sheen. And right alongside new wave came the synth pop sounds of artists such as Depeche Mode, the Human League, Gary Numan, and Berlin. Leveraging the early ‘80s’ quantum advances in synthesizer technology—which made these electronic instruments both more affordable and more user-friendly—synth pop banished guitars from the mix. Instead, catchy tunes were set…

3 min
controversy where sacred meets sexy

Pop stardom is a bully pulpit. Many performers who reach the highest pinnacle of fame feel inspired to use their immense cultural influence to comment on politics, spirituality and other major issues. Prince took up the gauntlet on his fourth album, aptly named Controversy. As with Dirty Mind, the album cover art for Controversy announces Prince’s agenda for the disc. Dressed in a high-collared white shirt, black necktie, black vest and grey studded jacket, he poses in front of a collage of fictitious newspaper headlines, including “Love Thy Neighbor,” “President Signs Gun Control Act” and “Do You Believe in God.” The cover art echoes that of John Lennon’s 1972 album Some Time in New York City, not to mention Jethro Tull’s Thick as a Brick, also released in ’72, both of…