Prince is a talented singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist whose heydey was in the mid 80s.

His early albums including Dirty Mind, Prince, For You and Controversy concentrated purely on funk and soul.

His most creative years are probably between 1983 and 1988 when he released a string of classic albums starting with 1999 and going on through Purple Rain, Around The World In A Day, Parade, Sign o' the Times and Lovesexy.
There is hardly a bad track on any of these albums.

During the 90s, most of his albums have been filled with anonymous groove based tracks which are done better by many other artists.
Diamonds And Pearls is his best album from this period.
There are a few good/interesting tracks to be found on his 90s albums and these include Pussy Control, Dionne and Cloreen Bacon Skin.

Sadly he became more famous for his eccentricities such as changing his name to a squiggle and painting his face with the word Slave during a contract dispute.
He did have a massive hit a few years back with the ballad The Most Beautiful Girl In The World tho.
Over the years he has made a few dodgy films that he has starred in including Purple Rain, Under The Cherry Moon and Graffiti Bridge.
He also provided the soundtrack to Batman.

Many artists have benefited from covering Prince songs. To name a few:
Sinead O'Connor - Nothing Compares 2 U,
Chaka Khan - I Feel 4 U,
Bangles - Manic Monday,
Tom Jones - Kiss

Indeed he's probably had as many hit singles through other artists than by himself.

Many other artists have gone on to success after working with him such as Wendy & Lisa and Shiela E.
Other artists such as Jill Jones and Ingrid Chavez have released great albums which are basically Prince records under another name.
He currently has tracks available for download at
I saw Prince last year in London and although the newer material isn't as good as his 80s stuff he hasn't lost anything as a performer.

Editor's note: Prince died, aged 57, on April 21, 2016. He was found unresponsive at his home in Chanhassen, Minnesota.

Prince is not my hero, but he is infinitely my role model, musically. Prince didn't ever pander to trends and certainly not to what people expected or wanted of him musically. He never compromises his artistry, because he doesn't really see it as art, rather just as something he must do. He isn't pretentious about it (although many people think that he is... so maybe they're right.) He pissed loads of people off because of this fact, not least Warner Brothers, who, let's face it, ripped him off (they're currently making about $80 million off his back catalogue a year, and he sees practically none of that), which wasn't so bad to him, but then they told him what he could and couldn't release... which was very, very bad to him.

The accusations of pretension go on and intensify when talking of the changing of his name to an unpronouncable symbol. People also call it a cynical marketing ploy, and others still call it a manifestation of insanity. But I do believe he did it to free himself from many things... and he's clever, I'm sure... he knew that changing his name to an unpronounceable symbol and forcing people to come up with stupid subsititutes such as "The Artist Formerly Known as Prince" would wreck his commercial career, as it pretty much did (to the mainstream, he's but a fond, or laughable memory).

But away from all of that, he's releasing at least one album's worth of new material a year, whether it be via paid downloads, membership of the NPG Music Club, or in the 'usual way'. He's now working outside the mainstream, by his own rules.

And of course I'm the only person in the world who thinks everything he's ever done musically is excellent. So I guess I'm biased.

"I record because it's in my blood. If I didn't, I'd die." - Prince

Warner Bros.

20 years old and already headed for the outskirts of Warner Brothers, Prince Nelson badly needed to transform his endless talent for songwriting and instrumentalism into commercial success. He tried his hand at composing singles for Patrice Rushen, and when she rejected them, he put them on his next record. Lo and behold, black radio at the time was in the mood for a bit of crossover pop, and readily jumped on his synth-infused R&B and funk at a time when artists like The Cars and Supertramp were displaying their own catchy rock credentials.

Nobody's gonna argue that Prince is his best record - it's got some real clunkers on it - but as a whole, it's not a bad album, and it's got plenty of flashes of the brilliance that he would display on his classics like 1999, Purple Rain and Sign O' The Times.

The most damning and un-Prince-like thing about the album is its general conservatism. Sure, its got a touch of raunch and a dash of idiosyncrasy, but if you never told someone it was a Prince record they'd be more likely to discern it as some Quincy Jones-produced no-name. It does have a few tracks going for it (namely the first two and the oddly affecting and stage-setting closing track "It's Gonna Be Lonely"), but this is an album in transition, and it's that difference between a Prince album and that aforementioned no-name album it could've been that make this worth a listen for all fans of Earth Wind and Fire, Hall and Oates, The Bee Gees, early Michael Jackson, and of course, the little purple guy.


  • I Wanna Be Your Lover - The first track is my favorite, because it captures early Prince in the best light - not ready to step out as the singular artist of tomorrow, this is him feeling comfortable in his role as a young songsmith and second-tier label act. It also features hints of his one-of-a-kind lyrics, combining explicit boudoir language ("I wanna be the only one you come for") and vaguely creepy sentimentality ("I wanna be your mother and your sister"). It's also got a great disco cut breakdown.
  • Why You Wanna Treat Me So Bad? - The second track is what most closely represents what Prince would evolve into in the early 80s - his natural inclinations of Bee Gees harmonies, New Wave and progressive pop synth work, and wanky guitar meshing together to turn a nice R&B hit into something a bit more universal and a bit more classic.
  • Sexy Dancer - As much as "Why You Wanna Treat Me So Bad?" represents early 80s Prince, "Sexy Dancer" represents the late 80s Prince who redefined sexy music forever. If the song title didn't give it away, this is a sultry funk number, good enough for dance floors and bedrooms alike even today. This also exhibits one of my favorite Prince traits - his seemingly off the cuff cooing and entendre, turning serviceable numbers into his own creation.
  • When We're Dancing Close and Slow - I never quite know what to make of Prince's balladry. This song sounds more tailor made for Rod Stewart or Sting with its atmospheric minimalist production and breathy lyrics. But Prince undeniably makes it his with his classic speedreading of some lines and odd vocalizing. This song is begging for an Andre 3000 cover.
  • With You - One of the more dismal Prince songs put out, it's a slow ballad without a single memorable lyric, melody, or any other production element to its credit. Pass.
  • Bambi - Showing off his guitar chops proves to be kind of a mixed bag for Prince at this stage. Clearly his idolization of Jimi Hendrix doesn't quite translate here, reined in by the album's overall restrictions (and someone else's A&R hand is on this track for certain.) This track is fairly representative of the album as a whole - ambition translates as flop sweat, ideas translate as indecision, and there's no synergy between all of Prince's disparate ideas.
  • Still Waiting - This sounds most like a Jermaine Jackson song, or maybe a Diana Ross song circa 1979 - it's a small step above "With You", but that doesn't say much. I'm very glad Prince doesn't settle for stuff like this any more.
  • I Feel For You - The poppiest and most radio-friendly track (one of the rejected Rushen singles), it's still pretty safe given what we know about Prince's future, and the song is fairly artist-neutral - if The Commodores or Rick James had pushed this out instead, I wouldn't be surprised. On the other hand, the songwriting is pretty strong, and anybody who doesn't love late 70s funk production is no friend of mine.
  • It's Gonna Be Lonely - This song cuts to the heart of Prince's roots - governed more by the affecting soul-pop of Stevie Wonder, Hall and Oates, and The Bee Gees than the funkier contemporaries he was expected to be following. This song's great for a lot of reasons - it's the only track that really makes use of the Purple One's wholly unique falsetto, it doesn't kowtow to funk expectations, instead using what can only be termed a Foreigner-style rhythm section of reverse gated drums and guitar, and best of all, it, too, has a really great breakdown. A sign of things to come, then ..

Prince (?), n. [F., from L. princeps, -cipis, the first, chief; primus first + capere to take. See Prime, a., and Capacious.]


The one of highest rank; one holding the highest place and authority; a sovereign; a monarch; -- originally applied to either sex, but now rarely applied to a female.

Wyclif (Rev. i. 5).

Go, Michael, of celestial armies prince. Milton.

Queen Elizabeth, a prince admirable above her sex. Camden.


The son of a king or emperor, or the issue of a royal family; as, princes of the blood.



A title belonging to persons of high rank, differing in different countries. In England it belongs to dukes, marquises, and earls, but is given to members of the royal family only. In Italy a prince is inferior to a duke as a member of a particular order of nobility; in Spain he is always one of the royal family.


The chief of any body of men; one at the head of a class or profession; one who is preeminent; as, a merchant prince; a prince of players.

"The prince of learning."


Prince-Albert coat, a long double-breasted frock coat for men. -- Prince of the blood, Prince consort, Prince of darkness. See under Blood, Consort, and Darkness. -- Prince of Wales, the oldest son of the English sovereign. -- Prince's feather Bot., a name given to two annual herbs (Amarantus caudatus and Polygonum orientale), with apetalous reddish flowers arranged in long recurved panicled spikes. -- Prince's metal, Prince Rupert's metal. See under Metal. Prince's pine. Bot. See Pipsissewa.


© Webster 1913.

Prince, v. i.

To play the prince.




© Webster 1913.

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