Thursday, April 21, 2016

"The Enormous Shadow the Purple One Cast"

"As music critic Michaelangelo Matos notes in his recent retrospective on the classic album Dirty Mind (No. 45, 1980), the young Prince demanded to be signed not to Warner Bros.' R&B division but its pop division. But it took some years for the industry to get the message—for his first four albums, Prince was marketed harder at black radio, scoring much bigger hits on Hot Soul Singles such as 'I Wanna Be Your Lover' (No. 1 R&B, No. 11 pop, 1979) and 'Uptown' (No. 5 R&B, No. 101 pop, 1980). Prince's forward-thinking insistence on marketing himself across genres only really began to pay off when his masterpiece 'Little Red Corvette' not only broke into the pop Top 10, beating its black-radio peak (No. 6 pop, No. 15 R&B, 1983) but also made the rock chart Top 20 (No. 17 on Top Tracks, the predecessor to today's Album or Active Rock chart). Indeed, even amid their rivalry, Prince and Michael Jackson were a two-front superforce busting down the doors at both rock radio and MTV—'Corvette' and 'Billie Jean' were shoved into rotation at the video channel virtually simultaneously, and 'Corvette' and 'Beat It' debuted on the rock chart literally the same week."
"As if all this appreciation for Prince’s core output weren't enough, there were the hit sounds and hit songs Prince just gave away."

Chris Molanphy in Slate looks at the impact of Prince during the 1980s and beyond.

And at Michael Hann The Guardian discusses Prince's connections to L.A.'s Paisley Underground.

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