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Forums > Prince: Music and More > Is there a shared view among P fans that the years 1989-1992 were P's lowest career point?
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Reply #60 posted 11/28/19 10:38am

noobman

For me Graffiti Bridge felt like a huge drop in his career at the time.

Until then I felt like Prince was marching to his own beat and could do no wrong. Personally I loved and still love the Batman soundtrack.

But with Graffiti Bridge he incorporated new jack swing and hip-hop (moreso than before) into his music... really felt like he was just following trends.

[Edited 11/28/19 10:39am]

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Reply #61 posted 11/29/19 9:50am

jfenster

after Rave and before Rainbow Children

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Reply #62 posted 12/02/19 1:23am

lavendardrumma
chine

I think it depends on when you became a fan and if you were in the US. It's a given Prince had a corny side, and his sensibilities were off at times, compared to the earlier work where he felt hip and edgy, and everything he did was just cool. He evolved and alienated fans in the US to cater more to his international audiences at a time when their pop music sounded very different than ours. So he was out of step with audiences. That period just had a lot of music that felt safe, or was trying to hard. Even Batman, as experimental as it was, didn't seem as edgy as the Black album. It just wasn't sexy, and sounded too standard to our ears, even if it wasn't. He lost a lot of fans during that period, and a lot of them checked out. The truth is, a lot of songs from that era are classics too, but fans don't realize when they came out.

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Reply #63 posted 12/03/19 12:23pm

LewArcher

SoftSkarlettLovisa said:

Strangely enough, I was introduced to Prince by hearing tracks from his Diamonds and Pearls album. It was a while before I introduced myself to Purple Rain, although I had heard "Kiss" on radio.

I grew to like the Diamonds and Pearls album, as well as the Batman and LoveSymbol album. To me, they were quirky and like tributes to classic Hollywood in terms of vision and style.

Now fast forward to now, I am aware of Prince's status in the 1990s - that he wasn't as popular as he was in the 1980s, and many of his 1990s albums were considered "underground".

I'm going to be honest - I like a lot of Prince's 1990s music, even the Come and Rave Un2 The Joy Fantastic albums. Heck, I even vote Grafitti Bridge as one of my top fave albums of all time.

But it seems from fans - and even people in my personal life - all agree that the years 1989 - 1992 - which saw the releases of Batman, Grafitti Bridge, Diamonds and Pearls and LoveSymbol - were the lowest point in his career.

My question is: why? Did people find the music too dark, sexual, weird? Or it had something to do with Prince being very experimental and not repeating the same 1999/ Purple Rain formula that made him a star?

I gotta say, in the Prince fam community, I'm a bit embarrased to admit I like Prince's music from 1989-1992, for I may be labelled as a freak or musically uneducated person.

[Edited 11/18/19 5:13am]

This is way off... Prince was so popular in the early 90s that he famously signed the "biggest contract in pop music history" in 1992 (between D&P and 0(+>). While the contract, supposedly for 100 million, really wasn't as big as it sounded, since it included all sorts of incentives and conditions that were unlikely to be triggered, it was still significant. I was in junior high at the time and my family got the L.A. Times every morning. I remember looking at the "Calendar" (entertainment) section and seeing the "biggest contract ever" news as the main article on the front page. Diamonds & Pearls had been a big wordlwide hit, prompting WB to sign Prince to this massive new contract.

Prince's five career US #1 hits (on the Billboard Hot 100, which is the main US singles chart) include two songs during that 1989-1992 period: Batdance (1989) and Cream (1991). Also, Diamonds & Pearls (1991) was a #3 hit that stuck around for a while and had a similar impact to #1s. Also, Thieves in the Temple was a #6 hit in 1990 and 7 peaked at (fittingly) #7 in 1992, but stuck around in the top 40 for 19 weeks (which is twice as long as Thieves and longer than many #1 hits); Also, 7 is widely considered an artistic highlight for Prince, mixing funk, pop/rock and gospel influences in a way that's innovative and compelling. The Batman album was #1 for six weeks in 1989 and was a big worldwide hit, with Batdance topping the charts in the UK, Holland, Australia, etc. Songs that weren't even released as US singles charted in parts of Europe... for example The Future was a top 10 hit in Holland.

Prince's US chart success during this time is actually understated, due to his decision to release singles that were too explicit to get much radio play (the US charts used a formula that combined radio airplay and sales, making it virtually impossible to chart well without significant radio airplay). In most of Europe, where radio was willing to get somewhat raunchier and/or sales were more heavily weighted for chart purposes, Gett Off, Sexy MF and My Name is Prince were also top 10 hits. Diamonds & Pearls somehow managed to produce FIVE top 10 hits in Ireland and two or three in many other countries (including the US). This was actually Prince's 2nd-best commercial stretch (after the mid-80s) by a significant margin. He was such a hot commodity that when Cream was released as a single (eventually spending two weeks at the top of the US charts), WB decided to release a different song to R&B radio, which was unlikely to play a guitar-based rock song with a heavy T-Rex vibe. So R&B stations were sent Insatiable, which to this day doesn't strike me as a particularly memorable or commercial choice... but it managed to hit #3 on the R&B chart anyway... while Cream was #1 on the pop chart.

So commercially, this was a great period for Prince. Artistically, it's more controversial. But it's by no means his lowest point. Graffiti Bridge finished 10th in the Village Voice year end critics' poll and even though it's rather uneven as an overall album, Joy in Repetition and The Question of U are widely considered among Prince's very best work. Diamonds & Pearls includes Money Don't Matter 2Night and, as already mentioned, 0(+> features 7. There are some other really good songs from this period, too, imo, but I'd say those are probably the "classics." How many well-known artists have never even come close to a song like 7 or Money Don't Matter 2Night or The Question of U in their entire career? If you go back and look through reviews from this period, they're less laudatory than during the 82-88 golden age (which obv makes sense, since Prince's 82-88 period is on the shortlist of candidates for greatest stretch in the history of modern popular music, along with The Beatles 64-69 and Stevie Wonder 71-76 imo)... but they're still pretty good. Especially for 0(+>, which was mostly well-received by critics. I could see labeling the 89-92 period "below average" within the context of Prince's entire career, but it's defnitely not his lowest point.

Also, 92 seems like a bit of an arbitrary end point to me. I usually think of it as 89-94, with Come/TGE as the end of the mini-era. Perhaps any end point (or begining point) is arbitrary, really, but that feels more like a definitive conclusion to me. He's still making the same general sort of music through 94, with hip-hop/contemporary R&B influences playing a big role (although plenty of Princely innovation and genre-hopping, too, on tracks like Loose! or Space or unreleased-but-easy-to-find numbers like the jazzy Red Scarlet or "Uh Huh," his song-length extended riff on a Pepsi jingle). After Prince was released from his WB contract, it seemed like he entered a new period (which would hve a much more convincing argument as his lowest point) that lasted until his 2004 "comeback" with Musicology—(one of my least favorite Prince albums, actually, but it was well-received by most and a commercial success—I thought 3121 was WAY better)—and his widely acclaimed RRHOF performance.

[Edited 12/3/19 12:24pm]

[Edited 12/3/19 12:24pm]

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Reply #64 posted 12/03/19 2:04pm

jfenster

does Billie ellish know who prince was??

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Reply #65 posted 12/03/19 4:28pm

Hamad

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jfenster said:

does Billie ellish know who prince was??



Fresh PRINCE of Bel-Air? lurking
Every saint has a past, and every sinner has a future...

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Reply #66 posted 12/04/19 7:03am

OldFriends4Sal
e

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noobman said:

For me Graffiti Bridge felt like a huge drop in his career at the time.

Until then I felt like Prince was marching to his own beat and could do no wrong. Personally I loved and still love the Batman soundtrack.

But with Graffiti Bridge he incorporated new jack swing and hip-hop (moreso than before) into his music... really felt like he was just following trends.

[Edited 11/28/19 10:39am]

It really was for me too

The 89 band change up into GB-1990 the movie and era just lost me

Diamonds & Pearls was just so different overall. And a bit to 'clean' for me

#IDEFINEME #ALBUMSSTILLMATTER

A Liar Shall Not Tarry In My Presence
I will make you cyber shit in your pants!
What's the matter with your life
Is poverty bringing U down?
Is the mailman jerking U 'round?
Did he put your million dollar check
In
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Reply #67 posted 12/05/19 7:36pm

POOK

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FOR CLASSIC ALBUM MAYBE NOT BEST PERIOD

BUT SINGLE FROM NEW POWER GENERATION ERA MOSTLY SUPER BIG FAT HUGE HIT

CREAM ONE OF BEST POP SONG EVER

GETT OFF MONSTER JAM OF SUMMER 1991

SEVEN REAL BIG TOO

P o o |/,
P o o |\
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Forums > Prince: Music and More > Is there a shared view among P fans that the years 1989-1992 were P's lowest career point?