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Thread started 09/24/16 11:29pm

ThePanther

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Why did 'Gold' (the single) flop in North America?

I was surprised to note the failure of 'Gold' on both the US mainstream and R&B charts! It reached a dismal #88 on the US charts, and fared even worse on the R&B chart.

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Given Prince's P.R. issues that was starting at the time, his oversaturation of the market, and the rise of slow-jam R&B and mainstream hip-hop, I'm not surprised that 'Gold' wasn't a huge #1 or whatever, but I would have expected it to get some radio/MTV support (it had a glossy, easily digestible video) being that it was such an obviously strong song with easy hooks and a fairly maintream sound. It came out only a year after 'The Most Beautiful Girl...' had been an international smash, too.

.

It was a top-10 in the UK and top-20 in some European markets, which would seem to me to have been a logical chart-placing in the US, too. But instead it completely flopped. Why?

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Reply #1 posted 09/25/16 3:17am

funkaholic1972

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I was also kinda surprised it didn't fare better. It is a big song that has 'hit' written all over it. I guess Prince's feud with WB made them decide not to give it the song the big commercial push.

The song/production is slightly cheesy though, maybe that's another factor why it didn't work at the time? Gold sounds like a cheesier, glossed up 'glitter' version of Purple Rain to me. Maybe people compared it with the 'original' and thought of it as 'Prince light'?

RIP Prince: thank U 4 a funky Time!
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Reply #2 posted 09/25/16 5:35am

PurpleColossus

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I'm surprised Gold wasn't as big as Purple Rain. It's just as great as Purple Rain is...for me atleast.

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Reply #3 posted 09/25/16 5:41am

gandorb

It was really a hard time for songs that weren't hip hop tio get played during that era. I also wonder if it had been the first single rather than follow eye Hate U, if it might have been played. eye Hate U was too far removed from anything on top 40, so they played it a few times and apparently stopped quickly due to negative listener reaction. Once a song from an album fails on radio, the stations are more resistant to playing the next single. Interestingly eye Hate U, with it's soufulness was more appropriate than the poppish Gold for R & B stations, where it was a top 5 hit!

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Reply #4 posted 09/25/16 5:49am

bonnie184

cheese

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Reply #5 posted 09/25/16 5:50am

rainbowchild

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PurpleColossus said:

I'm surprised Gold wasn't as big as Purple Rain. It's just as great as Purple Rain is...for me atleast.




I disagree. If it were the case, Prince would b playing it regularly at his concerts like one of his B-sides that were never a hit but considered classic.
"Just like the sun, the Rainbow Children rise."

"Am I black or white? Am I straight or gay?"

"We had fun, didn't we?"
-Prince (1958-2016) 4ever in my life
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Reply #6 posted 09/25/16 5:53am

NorthC

I don't think it has "hit" written all over it. It's not danceable like Gett Off, it's not a singalong like Purple Rain, it doesn't capture the zeitgeist like 1999 did... If it was a hit in the UK and Holland (something like # 20 I think), that was mostly because he had toured here. He was very visible in England and Holland in 1995, but mostly out of he picture in the USA. And of course the whole TAFKAP thing didn't help.
Don't ever lose your dreams.
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Reply #7 posted 09/25/16 5:54am

NorthC

rainbowchild said:

PurpleColossus said:

I'm surprised Gold wasn't as big as Purple Rain. It's just as great as Purple Rain is...for me atleast.




I disagree. If it were the case, Prince would b playing it regularly at his concerts like one of his B-sides that were never a hit but considered classic.

He did revive it in 2011-12.
Don't ever lose your dreams.
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Reply #8 posted 09/25/16 5:55am

ScarLett

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True .. there was a lot to contend with during that time period.. Prince was great for romance and getting it in. But day to day we were rolling biggie - Tupac- Kelly - etc.. they were at the height of their game then .. and honestly he was a bit weird then
~Live Free ... Be Wyld~AlwaysOnlyMakeBelieve - LiveUrLyfe... laissez le bon temps rouler...vivre sans être sauvage...हमेशा ही बना विश्वास ~Change and do so CONSTANTLY...
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Reply #9 posted 09/25/16 5:59am

rainbowchild

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Gold, like other said is a cheesier version of Purple Rain. Dolphin, however, was just out there. Made me chuckle the first time I heard it performed in one of the late night shows. lol Not a fan of the album, in general.
"Just like the sun, the Rainbow Children rise."

"Am I black or white? Am I straight or gay?"

"We had fun, didn't we?"
-Prince (1958-2016) 4ever in my life
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Reply #10 posted 09/25/16 6:05am

mynameisnotsus
an

He was at war with his record company. There is no 'hit' without label support. Also the song was a bit cliche - he had done similar enough sounding songs better previously in his career.

Also it can't be overstated, he was not 'Prince' anymore, he was prince so the general public were confuse
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Reply #11 posted 09/25/16 6:14am

Genesia

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Name change. Obscure album. No label to promote it.

Take your pick.
I mean if he did have sex he would break every rule Jehova's have regarding premarital sex so Prince is really just friends with them all anyway.
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Reply #12 posted 09/25/16 6:19am

NorthC

mynameisnotsusan said:

He was at war with his record company. There is no 'hit' without label support. Also the song was a bit cliche - he had done similar enough sounding songs better previously in his career.

Also it can't be overstated, he was not 'Prince' anymore, he was prince so the general public were confuse

That didn't stop him from having a hit with The Most Beautiful Girl In The World. But that was a catchy tune that everybody could understand and relate to. And that also was before he went to war with his record company. And as that whole thing dragged on, the album suffered. It came out more than a year after the hit single that should have sold it and by that time nobody, including The Artist, cared anymore. Who knows, if Gold had been released right after Beautiful Girl, it might have done better.
Don't ever lose your dreams.
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Reply #13 posted 09/25/16 6:35am

SoulAlive

mynameisnotsusan said:

He was at war with his record company. There is no 'hit' without label support.

Exactly.Because of Prince's feud with Warners,that song (and the album itself) didn't get the full promotion and attention that it deserved.

.

[Edited 9/25/16 6:35am]

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Reply #14 posted 09/25/16 7:34am

IstenSzek

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ScarLett said:

True .. there was a lot to contend with during that time period.. Prince was great for romance and getting it in. But day to day we were rolling biggie - Tupac- Kelly - etc.. they were at the height of their game then .. and honestly he was a bit weird then


falloff best typo ever.

and true love lives on lollipops and crisps
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Reply #15 posted 09/25/16 7:47am

NouveauDance

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Genesia said:

Name change. Obscure album. No label to promote it. Take your pick.

There it is.

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Reply #16 posted 09/25/16 8:00am

ScarLett

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IstenSzek said:



ScarLett said:


True .. there was a lot to contend with during that time period.. Prince was great for romance and getting it in. But day to day we were rolling biggie - Tupac- Kelly - etc.. they were at the height of their game then .. and honestly he was a bit weird then


falloff best typo ever.



Lol.. not a true typo.. it's a saying 😋
https://youtu.be/ghR6dsIZatM
~Live Free ... Be Wyld~AlwaysOnlyMakeBelieve - LiveUrLyfe... laissez le bon temps rouler...vivre sans être sauvage...हमेशा ही बना विश्वास ~Change and do so CONSTANTLY...
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Reply #17 posted 09/25/16 8:09am

muleFunk

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When Prince was sent to the R&B division of Warner Brothers it changed the way his music was marketed. It also cut his fan base.

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Reply #18 posted 09/25/16 8:11am

IamBryan

love the song! IMO:

1 - Radio didn't play

2 - People didn't buy it

3 - Enough people didn't want to listen to it

4- Record company didn't want to promote it

5 - Prince didn't give a shit what it did..

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Reply #19 posted 09/25/16 8:20am

FUNKNROLL

Let's focus on the song.
It's farcical and over the top in a way that alienates.

Otherwise - Prince seemed to be obsessed with besting the standard set by Queen's Bohemian Rhapsody which had received a bump from Wayne's World at the time. Not a good look for him, IMO.
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Reply #20 posted 09/25/16 8:34am

TrivialPursuit

PurpleColossus said:

I'm surprised "Gold" wasn't as big as "Purple Rain". It's just as great as "Purple Rain" is...for me at least.


It was truly the "Purple Rain" of the 90s. Anthemic, begs for audience sing-along, great guitar solo, etc.

I think there was so much being released, that it got lost in the mix. COME and The Black Album were released three months apart. Less than a year later The Gold Experience was out, and in an even shorter time Chaos and Disorder dropped. All that coupled with the constant media joking about the name change, and his seemingly erratic behavior, etc., I can see why many things were ignored. It should have been the opposite. VH1 special, live appearances, and all that. It could have been a good promotional period, but it was all backlash.

For me, "Gold" was a brilliant single, and could have been the final on the WB era. It was a phase-ender, and Emancipation could have been the beginning of something new. But I think America was just tired of Prince, prince and the "he wants to be free" chant.

"Despite everything, no 1 can dictate who u r 2 other people." - Prince |
http://bit.ly/unboxingprince
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Reply #21 posted 09/25/16 8:42am

Iamtheorg

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FUNKNROLL said:

Let's focus on the song. It's farcical and over the top in a way that alienates. Otherwise - Prince seemed to be obsessed with besting the standard set by Queen's Bohemian Rhapsody which had received a bump from Wayne's World at the time. Not a good look for him, IMO.

That was more with 3 Chains Of Gold then Gold. Gold was trying to channel Purple Rain transcendency.

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Reply #22 posted 09/25/16 8:44am

mtlfan

Gee, what's going to do better on the radio, a singalong about how girls are beautiful or a preachy tune?

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Reply #23 posted 09/25/16 8:45am

leadline

Folks its a matter of two things:

1. At that time the only people who understood the name change was Prince and diehard fans. The general public let their own perceptions and misunderstandings of it get in the way of the music.

2. Air play and promotion. If this song was properly promoted it would have done better.

So, if Prince was still Prince back then, and it had proper promotion, it surely would have dont better IMO.

"You always get the dream that you deserve, from what you value the most" -Prince 2013
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Reply #24 posted 09/25/16 8:47am

Iamtheorg

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leadline said:

So, if Prince was still Prince back then, and it had proper promotion, it surely would have dont better IMO.

bam

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Reply #25 posted 09/25/16 8:56am

rebelenterpris
e

"Gold" is an awesome song...but it was never going to be heavily played on R&B radio. IMO, A better track for R&B radio from the album would've been something like "Billy Jack Bitch" (edited, of course) or "Now". I do remember ATL R&B stations playing the hell out of "I Hate U" & they started playing the TGE version of "Shhh" as well during that time period. But "Gold" definitely could've been a hit on adult Pop/Rock stations if it was promoted properly.
[Edited 9/25/16 8:59am]
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Reply #26 posted 09/25/16 9:02am

MattyJam

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It was a minor hit in the UK (reached the top 10 if I recall). I remember quite a few non-fans liking this song at the time. Other than TMBGITW, I would say it's Prince's most fondly-remembered song from the 90s in the UK.

As for North America, well, I'm not North American, so fudge knows....

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Reply #27 posted 09/25/16 9:05am

NorthC

Iamtheorg said:



leadline said:



So, if Prince was still Prince back then, and it had proper promotion, it surely would have dont better IMO.




bam


In France they have a saying that with "if" you can put Paris in a bottle because "if" Paris had been a little smaller and"if" the bottle had been a little larger, then...
Don't ever lose your dreams.
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Reply #28 posted 09/25/16 9:08am

SoulAlive

rebelenterprise said:

"Gold" is an awesome song...but it was never going to be heavily played on R&B radio. IMO, A better track for R&B radio from the album would've been something like "Billy Jack Bitch" (edited, of course) or "Now". I do remember ATL R&B stations playing the hell out of "I Hate U" & they started playing the TGE version of "Shhh" as well during that time period. But "Gold" definitely could've been a hit on adult Pop/Rock stations if it was promoted properly.

I think "319" would have been a perfect single.It would have done well on R&B and pop stations,I think.I consider it to be the "Kiss" of the 90s smile

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Reply #29 posted 09/25/16 9:40am

Iamtheorg

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NorthC said:

Iamtheorg said:

bam

In France they have a saying that with "if" you can put Paris in a bottle because "if" Paris had been a little smaller and"if" the bottle had been a little larger, then...

In America, we have a saying of make my funk the p funk, I wants ta gets funked up.

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