Where do I start with Prince?

Nobody who really knows music ever seems to dispute that Prince is amazing in just about every musical way. I would like to start appreciating his work, but I only know his songs that were super mega hits, like “1999”. For a person who likes rock and blues, is there an album that is a good gateway drug?

Sign O’ The Times is solid beginning to end. I truly love 3121, too. “The Dance” and “Incense and Candles” are two of my all-time favourite Prince songs.

One of my favourite Prince videos - While My Guitar Gently Weeps. It starts off pretty tame, with Tom Petty and Jeff Lynne moaning away, then Prince takes over. :smiley:

Dirty Mind

Well, that is definitely his gitchiest album…

Purple Rain is a nailed-on classic. Not a weak song on it and though most are hits that you’ll be familiar with it’ll be a gentle introduction.

I would recommend the 3 CDs set The Hits/The B-Sides:

It covers the 70s, 80s and early 90s. You can find out which songs from what period are the most appealing to you and then look up the relevant albums.

Then you may get hooked and you may end up buying everything he has ever released, plus a ridiculous amount of bootleg live recordings. One of Prince’s idiosyncrasies is that he refused to release any live album until 2002, even though he was one of the greatest performers on stage ever.

PS: I happen to know where you can watch videos of Prince, both live and the official ones that got pulled off youtube, but I know better than to link to them on a public forum.

All good so far. I tend to agree with Cat Whisperer - my favorite album of his is Sign O’ The Times.

Thanks for the ideas, everyone! I will start hitting up iTunes.

Cat Whisperer, that video is the reason that I started this thread. He was pretty amazing in it!

That’s what I remember first. The album and the movie.

For some more context of why people rave over Prince, you have guitar performances like that one (I’m pretty sure there’s nothing he can’t do with a guitar), his four octave vocal range (E2 to B6), his mastery of all the other instruments in the band, his song-writing skills, his live performances - it’s all good.

Here he starts off playing the synthesizer for Stevie Wonder, then goes back to guitar. I think it’s in one of his concert videos where Sheila E. is wailing on the drums, then Prince steps in and takes over without missing a beat, then hands it back to Sheila E. again.

The problem with discussing Prince’s music is that it is so difficult to link to any videos of his songs. If you head on over to the iTunes store and look for his “Come” album and take a listen to “Solo,” you can hear his upper range there in a truly lovely little song.

Cat Whisperer, your link is taking me to the wiki article on 3121 (the same link from your previous post). Here’s the link to While My Guitar Gently Weeps.

“…then Prince takes over.” Does he ever.

Great playing to be sure, but it left a bad taste in my mouth. It was supposed to be a tribute to Harrison, not a Prince talent showcase. Seems to me that he could easily have played just as well without upstaging everyone else in the process. Near the end, it even looked like Petty was getting tired of it and waiting for Prince to quit hot dogging and turn it back over to the rest of the group.

Sign o The Times and 1999 are great but the one that really sold me was Around the World in a Day.
Huge scope, great songs, amazing musicianship and an artist really pushing himself. Still amazing.


Purple Rain is not my favourite Prince album but I do think it’s the best place to start. It’s accessible and is aimed at a crossover market. And it really is a solid, 5-star album.

Oops, sorry about that. Thanks for the fix.

Hey, you hire Prince, you get Prince. :slight_smile: That’s the downside of his genius; he is not a get-along kind of guy.

I’ve been thinking about albums a bit today, and I’m not sure that’s the way to go. A greatest hits package like the one suggested already might be a better way to begin; Prince’s albums are very good, but they’re not 100% hits, beginning to end. He hits a few clinkers on each album, just like mortal humans. If you’d be interested, Mithril, I could post a list of my favourite Prince songs and you could just get those, if you’d like.

Ach, no. Lynne, Petty and the whole huge squad of them were droning through an utterly turgid version of a song which originally needed a four-piece to play. And then Prince takes over, and makes it interesting. Wonder what George would have appreciated?

I’m surprised nobody has made a double-entendre joke referring to the thread’s title yet. Where would a woman start with Prince? He would probably start with her.

Well, you start at the feet and stop when you get to the asshole.

If you want to hear Prince rocking out, try his rendition of “Whole Lotta Love” which hopefully doesn’t get pulled off the 'Net in the next couple days… (Fingers crossed)

There really isn’t much of anything Prince can’t do musically. Funk is his wheelhouse, but he can rock with the best of them. And I have no doubt that if he ever felt the urge, he could also produce a damn fine record in virtually any other genre.