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Thread started 02/01/18 5:32am

67Cadillac

Did Prince Ever Have a Bad Show Vocally?

May bit too daft a topic, but in all my hours of listening to Prince concerts (and there are thousands), I am amazed at not only how amazingly well P reserved his voice, but how consistent he kept in terms of range, quality, etc. In 2011 he was still nailing those helicopter falsettos in "Peach." I've only heard one show where Prince was truly, noticably off: the second Kentucky show in 2015, where he very obviously had a cold. I know he was sick at the Starlight Lounge shows as well, but he covers it up well. He also sounds a little strained and cracks at one point during the European MTV Awards version of "Peach."

Any other notable examples, if any?

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Reply #1 posted 02/01/18 5:44am

antonb

yes only one i can think of where it was obvious was the 3rdeye show you are talking about. He has forgot the words a few times but covered it up well, like the Brits awards show where he forgot a line of the song Fury. But covered it over by stretching over it vocally. Watch it and you will see what i mean. But overall his vocals have been brilliant like you said.

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Reply #2 posted 02/01/18 5:45am

donnyenglish

I have always thought he was off on Breakdown in Montreux. Also, Honky Tonk Woman from the Undertaker. Otherwise he usually sounds great.
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Reply #3 posted 02/01/18 6:18am

soladeo1

Prince had a truly REMARKABLE voice in live settings. 98% of the time it was clear and powerful and seemingly effortless. His voice reminds me a lot of Freddie Mercury in that regard. Compare Prince to some of MJ's later career live vocals... MJ needed to add backing tracks to his LEAD vocals his voice was so brittle and weak. Prince never had to do that.

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Reply #4 posted 02/01/18 6:23am

Knightoflight

Half of Nokia 2009
THough it is hard to blame him because of technical issues

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Reply #5 posted 02/01/18 6:29am

67Cadillac

soladeo1 said:

Prince had a truly REMARKABLE voice in live settings. 98% of the time it was clear and powerful and seemingly effortless. His voice reminds me a lot of Freddie Mercury in that regard. Compare Prince to some of MJ's later career live vocals... MJ needed to add backing tracks to his LEAD vocals his voice was so brittle and weak. Prince never had to do that.

Funny you should say that because Freddie Mercury actually had a reputation for being remarkably off his game in live shows.

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Reply #6 posted 02/01/18 6:45am

soladeo1

67Cadillac said:

soladeo1 said:

Prince had a truly REMARKABLE voice in live settings. 98% of the time it was clear and powerful and seemingly effortless. His voice reminds me a lot of Freddie Mercury in that regard. Compare Prince to some of MJ's later career live vocals... MJ needed to add backing tracks to his LEAD vocals his voice was so brittle and weak. Prince never had to do that.

Funny you should say that because Freddie Mercury actually had a reputation for being remarkably off his game in live shows.

you think??? I watch live Queen shows from 1977, 1980, 1982, 1986, etc., and the vast majority of the time Freddie is KILLING IT voice-wise...

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Reply #7 posted 02/01/18 6:52am

RodeoSchro

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The only two times it seemed to me he was off were: (1) "Beautiful, Loved and Blessed" on Saturday Night Live (weird, because he nailed "Fury" on the same show); and (2) "RockNRollLoveAffair" on the Jimmy Kimmel show. Although, it;s possible on RNRLA that he was re-arranging the notes. It's not like he's in the wrong key as much as he sang he melody in a different register.

Second Funkiest White Man in America

P&R's paladin
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Reply #8 posted 02/01/18 11:03am

djfine

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I always feel that he was not only clear and powerful, but also in tune!

He very rarely sang flat or sharp and was bang on the note, there aren't too many artists of his type you can say that about.

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Reply #9 posted 02/01/18 2:12pm

Farfunknugin

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The DNA SF aftershow from 93, he almost called it off but wanted to play so bad he went through with it anyway.

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Reply #10 posted 02/01/18 2:27pm

dandan

Farfunknugin said:

The DNA SF aftershow from 93, he almost called it off but wanted to play so bad he went through with it anyway.


I love that aftershow. What other 'popstar' could deliver a show of that quality whilst being that sick? He turned it into a sleazy funk rock jam to accommodate his gravelly talk/singing. Honestly, I think we take for granted just how much he was on another level.

Seriously, can you actually name another high profile artist, band or act who could just jam a show like that? In fact, does anyone even do aftershows except P?

I got two sides... and they're both friends.
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Reply #11 posted 02/01/18 2:30pm

Electrostar

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Quite remarkable voice. Many live artists use vocal tuning equipment to maintain perfection. Prince obviously worked very hard to maintain his quality.
Get up, come on let's do something.
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Reply #12 posted 02/01/18 2:52pm

MehatmecoatMeh
anky

Probably not as everything is relivant, as my perception may differ greatly from yours. Just the fact that he played a certain song may tip me over the edge probably ending in tears, but standing next to me people are chatting about how they have every album?...I win smile

make sure ya put a pillow up under her ass! She likes that!
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Reply #13 posted 02/01/18 3:37pm

67Cadillac

soladeo1 said:

67Cadillac said:

Funny you should say that because Freddie Mercury actually had a reputation for being remarkably off his game in live shows.

you think??? I watch live Queen shows from 1977, 1980, 1982, 1986, etc., and the vast majority of the time Freddie is KILLING IT voice-wise...

No, it's very well known Freddie often struggled voice-wise. He had has 'on' nights for sure, but he would often dodge the highest notes on record and rearrange the vocal melodies to accomodate his limitations.

It's hard to believe given how his voice is often raised about, but Freddie's technique - especially his belting - was incredibly unhealthy and resulted in him developing nodules while he was recording "Bohemian Rhapsody" (a demanding performance for any singer). He never had them removed, and combined the fact that he drank and smoked, often yielded moments in concert that are quite embarassing for a singer of his stature.

The official releases either catch Freddie on a good night or have been doctored heavily (Freddie had a disastrous crack during "Fat Bottomed Girls" on the Milton Keynes show that was dubbed over in the release), there are tons of shows that catch his voice in less than flattering form. Check out Japan from early 1979 or the first few shows of the Hot Space tour to hear Freddie at his worst.

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Reply #14 posted 02/01/18 3:42pm

Farfunknugin

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dandan said:

Farfunknugin said:

The DNA SF aftershow from 93, he almost called it off but wanted to play so bad he went through with it anyway.


I love that aftershow. What other 'popstar' could deliver a show of that quality whilst being that sick? He turned it into a sleazy funk rock jam to accommodate his gravelly talk/singing. Honestly, I think we take for granted just how much he was on another level.

Seriously, can you actually name another high profile artist, band or act who could just jam a show like that? In fact, does anyone even do aftershows except P?

Nobody but P could of pulled that off, I have a feeling he knew it would add to the delivery of the down & dirty setlist as well.

On a side note did he ever record a stripped down funky version of Come like the one he performed that night at the DNA? It's by far my favorite version.

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Reply #15 posted 02/01/18 3:46pm

robertgeorge

dandan said:

Farfunknugin said:

The DNA SF aftershow from 93, he almost called it off but wanted to play so bad he went through with it anyway.


I love that aftershow. What other 'popstar' could deliver a show of that quality whilst being that sick? He turned it into a sleazy funk rock jam to accommodate his gravelly talk/singing. Honestly, I think we take for granted just how much he was on another level.

Seriously, can you actually name another high profile artist, band or act who could just jam a show like that? In fact, does anyone even do aftershows except P?


That is such a badass show. He has this sinister lascivious vocal like the plant in little shop of horrors (not in tone of Levi Stubbs, but just in malevolent playfulness)

The fact his voice sounded shredded and it could actually add to the performance.

I would love to have footage of this performance, and I would call it a pivotal aftershow performance, and showed the extent of his vocal control.

His voice sounds like the lovechild of spooky electric and camille. Such an amazing funk voice. I could hear a funk triple album of this damaged voice. Superb.

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Reply #16 posted 02/01/18 3:46pm

rogifan

His voice was amazing. And I give props to guys who still sing in the same key. I know Paul McCartney does which is really impressive for his age.
Paisley Park is in your heart
#PrinceForever 💜
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Reply #17 posted 02/01/18 3:59pm

67Cadillac

rogifan said:

His voice was amazing. And I give props to guys who still sing in the same key. I know Paul McCartney does which is really impressive for his age.

Paul's voice is also gone now.

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Reply #18 posted 02/01/18 4:09pm

OnlyNDaUsa

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yeah... there was one in the 90s when he was sick and he asked the audience if he should do the show or reschedule... he did the show but apparently it showed.

"...if you don't have a sword, sell your cloak and buy one..." ~ Jesus Luke 22:36
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Reply #19 posted 02/01/18 4:25pm

misiu

...almost the whole purple rain dvd sounds so flat vocally. I dont know, sometimes i m really schocked, how weak he sounded live on some songs, changing the melodies etc. bcause he couldn t sing em the right way ... dolphin performance or mtv gett off. His voice aged a lot in the last years....
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Reply #20 posted 02/01/18 5:47pm

LittleProfesso
r

Heard through reliable Minnesota sources within the music/music ed scene that Prince apparently worked with a vocal coach who specializes in vocal health. Very wise on his part, and it showed.

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Reply #21 posted 02/02/18 4:22am

rogifan

67Cadillac said:



rogifan said:


His voice was amazing. And I give props to guys who still sing in the same key. I know Paul McCartney does which is really impressive for his age.

Paul's voice is also gone now.


sad
Paisley Park is in your heart
#PrinceForever 💜
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Reply #22 posted 02/02/18 5:28am

consistently

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LittleProfessor said:

Heard through reliable Minnesota sources within the music/music ed scene that Prince apparently worked with a vocal coach who specializes in vocal health. Very wise on his part, and it showed.

Wouldn't surprise me. Prince wasn't stupid about that sort of thing - needing a vocal coach isn't a weakness; it's just good sense. Taking care of your instrument, like you would a piano or a guitar.

thank u 4 a funky time
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Reply #23 posted 02/02/18 7:34am

RodeoSchro

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LittleProfessor said:

Heard through reliable Minnesota sources within the music/music ed scene that Prince apparently worked with a vocal coach who specializes in vocal health. Very wise on his part, and it showed.




No doubt about it. And for a long time, too.

Second Funkiest White Man in America

P&R's paladin
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Reply #24 posted 02/02/18 8:34am

antonb

misiu said:

...almost the whole purple rain dvd sounds so flat vocally. I dont know, sometimes i m really schocked, how weak he sounded live on some songs, changing the melodies etc. bcause he couldn t sing em the right way ... dolphin performance or mtv gett off. His voice aged a lot in the last years....

Can anyone else smell something?

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Reply #25 posted 02/02/18 10:49am

misiu

antonb said:



misiu said:


...almost the whole purple rain dvd sounds so flat vocally. I dont know, sometimes i m really schocked, how weak he sounded live on some songs, changing the melodies etc. bcause he couldn t sing em the right way ... dolphin performance or mtv gett off. His voice aged a lot in the last years....

Can anyone else smell something?



Facts?
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Reply #26 posted 02/02/18 10:58am

misiu

....the are lot of examples, where his vocal-delivery is just horrible and flat.
But as a fan its very hard to realise the truth. Search for the video of p singin 1999 in paris ( ca.2010 filmed from the back) the vocals are so flat and weak, i was schocked, when i heard it.
Technically, he could sing. But he had not the strongest voice and sometimes couldnt really deliver...
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Reply #27 posted 02/02/18 11:14am

rogifan

antonb said:



misiu said:


...almost the whole purple rain dvd sounds so flat vocally. I dont know, sometimes i m really schocked, how weak he sounded live on some songs, changing the melodies etc. bcause he couldn t sing em the right way ... dolphin performance or mtv gett off. His voice aged a lot in the last years....

Can anyone else smell something?


Reminds me of the guy who ussec to post here that Prince needed guitar lessons. lol
Paisley Park is in your heart
#PrinceForever 💜
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Reply #28 posted 02/02/18 11:39am

pinkcashmere23

donnyenglish said:

I have always thought he was off on Breakdown in Montreux. Also, Honky Tonk Woman from the Undertaker. Otherwise he usually sounds great.

I thought he sounded a bit off on Breakdown too but he sounded kind of hoarse through the whole show to me.

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Reply #29 posted 02/02/18 1:08pm

JoeyCococo

Farfunknugin said:

The DNA SF aftershow from 93, he almost called it off but wanted to play so bad he went through with it anyway.

Oh yes...he was obviously sick..you could hear it. ..but we got him to do the 777 9311 bass part...haha.

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