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Thread started 03/03/18 12:07am

3y3no

People who were around in the 80's; How popular was Prince?

I ask because nowadays and even when he was still with us, it seemed like a niche thing to be a Prince fan. I never heard a lick about him EVER, and i don't know why...Why wasn't he more popular? Even after all of the scandals that Michael Jackson had, he still remains insanely popular today. I don't say that to disrespect Prince or say that MJ was/is better, but because i don't see why Prince wasn't/isn't on that same level of popularity. So, it just left me wondering; How popular was he in his prime? Was he on the same level of MJ? Bigger?...

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Reply #1 posted 03/03/18 12:38am

NorthC

He was at the peak of his popularity in Europe in 1986-88. He may not have had the best selling albums, but every album made the top ten. His reputation as a live artist had a lot to do with it; between 1986 and 1993 he did 6 European tours in sold out arenas. Of course this doesn't mean everybody loved him, there were plenty of people who couldn't stand him and who thought he was a weirdo, but overall, he was pretty popular. Both with critics and the general public, which is something you can't say about Michael Jackson or Madonna. They may have sold more records, but they didn't have the reputation of a musical innovator that Prince had.
It was the name change and the WB war that ruined all of this. When he toured in 1995, venues that were sold out two years before, were only half full.
He made a comeback at the end of the 90s and from then, he was always assured of sold out arenas and there was always a buzz about possible aftershows. So even if he wasn't on top of the charts anymore, he could grab people's attention until the very last moment.
[Edited 3/3/18 1:01am]
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Reply #2 posted 03/03/18 1:03am

antonb

MJ was more popular because he was mr nice and prince was mr controversial. Mj wanted to be the biggest star in the world. All the time. And had a army of people to back him.Fueled by sony and the quincy jones machine. Not saying he wasn't very talented. But Prince took a different path after the monster that was Purple Rain.

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Reply #3 posted 03/03/18 1:21am

Adorecream

Being a kid in New Zealand in the mid and late 80s, he was known but not super popular. Here it was mainly local and Australian acts that ruled our charts, Split Enz, Crowded House, John Farnham and the annual Kiwi one hit wonder riding the charts (John Stevens, Tim Finn, All of Us - sailing away Americas cup song, Rob Guest, Holiday Makers, Margaret URLICH to name a few and I know you Americans and Europeans have never heard of them except maybe Split Enz and Crowded House, which the Aussies claim all the time).

.

Then British acts of the 80s were popular, Duran Duran, Thompsons, Boy George, Goerge Michael, Wham, Mel and Kim. Of the Americans - all the cowboy country stuff to 1985 and then acts like Guns and Roses, Poison, Bon Jovi in the later 80s. Black artists were only really popular with Maori and Polynesians in the 80s and apart from Whitney Houston and Lionel Richie, few really ahd any following until MJ borke through - he was big but not huge, having more Top 10s rather than #1 hits.

.

Prince was very muted as he was seen as a Disco one hit wonder in 1980/81 and all the albums before 1999 hardly circulated here. 1999 was a small hit thanks to the singles going Top 10. Purple Rain went platinum in its 1984/85 release, but only selling 15,000 copies and reaching #2 compared to 150,000 of Thriller. The singles did fair rather than excellent - WDC got to #2 (Kept out by the Specials - Free Nelson Mandela) and his biggest hit to date, LGC was #8, Purple Rain was #25 and IWD4U and TMWU were complete flops. Several more singles top 10ed, Kiss was another #2, but SOTT stalled at #6.

.

1988 saw a sea change in music and white NZers got heavily into funkier and blacker stuff, with Bad going to #1 and all of the singles being Top 10 smashes, then Alphabet Street was a #1 his first here and Lovesexy a #1 album here and then this feat was followed up with Batdance and Batman hitting #1, Graffiti Bridge got to #4 and TITT got to #5 on our charts. More success followed with D and P hitting #2 on the chart, with Cream and Gett Off Top 10 hits. Love Symbol also went Top 10 and Sexy MF reached #9, with 7 getting to #4. Princes last Top 10 hit and #1 smash was TMBGITW.

.

The 80s was a breakthrough, but Prince never saw huge success and fame here until Lovesexy in 1988 and this was thanks mostly to a man who wrote a music magazine here and played Prince endlessly in his radio show and really got him out there. By 1990 Rap and R and B was a big seller here, but before 1988/89, the only big time Black music was disco in the late 70s and early 80s and then a lot of white rock music through the 80s.

.

Even today he has never been huge and as we all know, true Prince fans in NZ are few and far between, I can think of about 10.

Got some kind of love for you, and I don't even know your name
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Reply #4 posted 03/03/18 1:49am

SimonCharles

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Adorecream said:

Being a kid in New Zealand in the mid and late 80s, he was known but not super popular. Here it was mainly local and Australian acts that ruled our charts, Split Enz, Crowded House, John Farnham and the annual Kiwi one hit wonder riding the charts (John Stevens, Tim Finn, All of Us - sailing away Americas cup song, Rob Guest, Holiday Makers, Margaret URLICH to name a few and I know you Americans and Europeans have never heard of them except maybe Split Enz and Crowded House, which the Aussies claim all the time).

.

Oi! Kiwis, both! biggrin Which you recognise here! Phar Lap (Timaru Reprazent!) and Pavlova, just the same!

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Reply #5 posted 03/03/18 2:33am

maplenpg

avatar

NorthC said:

He was at the peak of his popularity in Europe in 1986-88. He may not have had the best selling albums, but every album made the top ten. His reputation as a live artist had a lot to do with it; between 1986 and 1993 he did 6 European tours in sold out arenas. Of course this doesn't mean everybody loved him, there were plenty of people who couldn't stand him and who thought he was a weirdo, but overall, he was pretty popular. Both with critics and the general public, which is something you can't say about Michael Jackson or Madonna. They may have sold more records, but they didn't have the reputation of a musical innovator that Prince had.
It was the name change and the WB war that ruined all of this. When he toured in 1995, venues that were sold out two years before, were only half full.
He made a comeback at the end of the 90s and from then, he was always assured of sold out arenas and there was always a buzz about possible aftershows. So even if he wasn't on top of the charts anymore, he could grab people's attention until the very last moment.
[Edited 3/3/18 1:01am]

This. Though I was in school (UK) in the 80's and being a Prince fan was a lonely affair. People simply couldn't understand what I saw in him. Most preferred MJ. It possibly didn't help that all the cool kids were into MJ and I was far from a cool kid, especially when I copied some of Prince's fashions smile . I definitely felt a sense of camaraderie at concerts that I never felt with those around me.
If love is the answer, what was the question? - Carter USM.
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Reply #6 posted 03/03/18 2:40am

databank

avatar

3y3no said:

I ask because nowadays and even when he was still with us, it seemed like a niche thing to be a Prince fan. I never heard a lick about him EVER, and i don't know why...Why wasn't he more popular? Even after all of the scandals that Michael Jackson had, he still remains insanely popular today. I don't say that to disrespect Prince or say that MJ was/is better, but because i don't see why Prince wasn't/isn't on that same level of popularity. So, it just left me wondering; How popular was he in his prime? Was he on the same level of MJ? Bigger?...

You need to understand that MJ was the star of stars, worldwide. Thanks to the sales of Thriller he'd reached a level of popularity that may only be comparable to The Beatles' popularity 2 decades earlier. Comparing any 80's star's level of popularity to MJ's is absurd because he was a league of his own. That's why Prince wasn't/isn't on the same level of popularity. No one was/is. So let's just put this aside once and for all because it leads nowhere.

.

Now as to P's level of popularity in the 80's, I'll speak from a European perspective only but I can tell you Prince was HUGE from the mid-80's to the mid 90's. No everyone liked him or his music, he actually divided people quite a lot. Back then there still was a sort of feud between people who were into rock and people who were into dance music, so rockers often disdained Prince, and many people were uncomfortable with his sexual provocations and ambiguities, not to mention that his music wasn't always that accessible. Most people didn't really know what he was about. But everyone knew him and his hits, he was being played on the radio constantly and he was definitely considered one of the biggest stars of the decade. Now you'd probably be surprised to know of other artists who were huge at the time and are today a "niche thing". How many Phil Collins fans do you meet on a daily basis? lol

.

That's for the general public, now when it comes to hipsters, artists, critics and the media, Prince was THE genius of the decade. If you were hype you had to be into Prince. Of course you had the occasional negative review in the music press but in the end Prince was synonym to cool. That went on up until the mid-90's, which is why even through the name change and WB wars, Prince had a lot of support from the media and elites in Europe. It's only after 1995 that Prince faded out from the public eye, if only because the 90's had produced a new generation of cool and hip artists.

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Reply #7 posted 03/03/18 2:53am

SimonCharles

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maplenpg said:

NorthC said:
He was at the peak of his popularity in Europe in 1986-88. He may not have had the best selling albums, but every album made the top ten. His reputation as a live artist had a lot to do with it; between 1986 and 1993 he did 6 European tours in sold out arenas. Of course this doesn't mean everybody loved him, there were plenty of people who couldn't stand him and who thought he was a weirdo, but overall, he was pretty popular. Both with critics and the general public, which is something you can't say about Michael Jackson or Madonna. They may have sold more records, but they didn't have the reputation of a musical innovator that Prince had. It was the name change and the WB war that ruined all of this. When he toured in 1995, venues that were sold out two years before, were only half full. He made a comeback at the end of the 90s and from then, he was always assured of sold out arenas and there was always a buzz about possible aftershows. So even if he wasn't on top of the charts anymore, he could grab people's attention until the very last moment. [Edited 3/3/18 1:01am]
This. Though I was in school (UK) in the 80's and being a Prince fan was a lonely affair. People simply couldn't understand what I saw in him. Most preferred MJ. It possibly didn't help that all the cool kids were into MJ and I was far from a cool kid, especially when I copied some of Prince's fashions smile . I definitely felt a sense of camaraderie at concerts that I never felt with those around me.

I was an 80s schoolkid in the UK, too. I remember there being an air of "ooooh, a Prince fan..." like they'd stumbled on something exotic, unfamiliar and precious. Then he became cool and more kids enjoyed the music. I was constantly reminded by a friend of mine that I had not enjoyed 1999 the first time I'd heard it...it was Lovesexy that brought me on board.

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Try my shoes on...
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Reply #8 posted 03/03/18 4:24am

milesb

Born in '75

Mickey J was my route in to discovering Prince

I don't mean that as a direspect to MJ

MJ is great, but when I discovered Prince it was like a whole new universe opened up

MJ was the King of the 80's

But Prince was the cool kid for those in the know

MJ had Thriller. That held all the records

But Purple Rain came close and Prince was mega popular in the US and Europe in the 80's

MTV was in it's prime, feeding the imaginations of us teenagers

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Reply #9 posted 03/03/18 4:43am

milesb

Adorecream said:

Being a kid in New Zealand in the mid and late 80s, he was known but not super popular. Here it was mainly local and Australian acts that ruled our charts, Split Enz, Crowded House, John Farnham and the annual Kiwi one hit wonder riding the charts (John Stevens, Tim Finn, All of Us - sailing away Americas cup song, Rob Guest, Holiday Makers, Margaret URLICH to name a few and I know you Americans and Europeans have never heard of them except maybe Split Enz and Crowded House, which the Aussies claim all the time).

.

Then British acts of the 80s were popular, Duran Duran, Thompsons, Boy George, Goerge Michael, Wham, Mel and Kim. Of the Americans - all the cowboy country stuff to 1985 and then acts like Guns and Roses, Poison, Bon Jovi in the later 80s. Black artists were only really popular with Maori and Polynesians in the 80s and apart from Whitney Houston and Lionel Richie, few really ahd any following until MJ borke through - he was big but not huge, having more Top 10s rather than #1 hits.

.

Prince was very muted as he was seen as a Disco one hit wonder in 1980/81 and all the albums before 1999 hardly circulated here. 1999 was a small hit thanks to the singles going Top 10. Purple Rain went platinum in its 1984/85 release, but only selling 15,000 copies and reaching #2 compared to 150,000 of Thriller. The singles did fair rather than excellent - WDC got to #2 (Kept out by the Specials - Free Nelson Mandela) and his biggest hit to date, LGC was #8, Purple Rain was #25 and IWD4U and TMWU were complete flops. Several more singles top 10ed, Kiss was another #2, but SOTT stalled at #6.

.

1988 saw a sea change in music and white NZers got heavily into funkier and blacker stuff, with Bad going to #1 and all of the singles being Top 10 smashes, then Alphabet Street was a #1 his first here and Lovesexy a #1 album here and then this feat was followed up with Batdance and Batman hitting #1, Graffiti Bridge got to #4 and TITT got to #5 on our charts. More success followed with D and P hitting #2 on the chart, with Cream and Gett Off Top 10 hits. Love Symbol also went Top 10 and Sexy MF reached #9, with 7 getting to #4. Princes last Top 10 hit and #1 smash was TMBGITW.

.

The 80s was a breakthrough, but Prince never saw huge success and fame here until Lovesexy in 1988 and this was thanks mostly to a man who wrote a music magazine here and played Prince endlessly in his radio show and really got him out there. By 1990 Rap and R and B was a big seller here, but before 1988/89, the only big time Black music was disco in the late 70s and early 80s and then a lot of white rock music through the 80s.

.

Even today he has never been huge and as we all know, true Prince fans in NZ are few and far between, I can think of about 10.

You must've been stoked when he finally showed up to give you guys the recognition you deserve in 2016. Did you go?

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Reply #10 posted 03/03/18 6:51am

skywalker

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A few thoughts:

Prince isn't as easily digestible or family friendly as Michael Jackson. His lyrics are not for kids, his themes are more complex, his music is less mainstream sounding, he didn't chase sales numbers like MJ. Prince's catalog is also WAY more overwhelming than MJ. With Michael, you gotta get like 6 albums and you have most of his output as a singles artist. Lastly, Prince was A LOT more protective of how his music was used. Billie Jean was a Pepsi commercial, When Doves Cry never sold Coca Cola. It was only after his death, that we are really starting to see Prince's image and music licensed in a more traditional (wide reaching) manner.

-

Current pop music now is ALL a niche thing compared to the 80's. There are SO many options that listeners can easily ignore entire genres of music, let alone individual artists.
Back in the 80's we basically got our exposure to musicians/artists through the radio and MTV. So everyone was exposed to EVERYTHING. You had to sit through Phil Collins, Billy Ocean, and Def Leppard to get to a Prince video. Nowadays, music is more divided and niche than it ever has been. I am a teacher and kids these days care more about youtube than music. They don't LOVE their music the way kids did in the past.

-

Example:
Think about the most "popular" music act today. Beyonce? Not EVERYONE owns a Beyonce album. In the 80's EVERY one BOUGHT Purple Rain, every one BOUGHT Thriller.

I emphasize BOUGHT because people don't really pay for music now. Streams and youtube followers are a much easier thing to attain than having people have to go to a store to buy your music.

-

Prince has always been an enigma in terms of popularity. He is one of the biggest selling musicians of all time, and he is known the world over. Yet, even in the 80's, Prince was simlutaneously insanely famous, and at the same time, kind of a niche artist.

[Edited 3/3/18 12:58pm]

"New Power slide...."
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Reply #11 posted 03/03/18 6:56am

gandorb

During the Purple Summer of 1984, he was an absolute phenomenon in the US. He was by far the most popular star of any stripe. His movie was an unexpected smash, his concerts were selling out in minutes, his music was booming out of cars driven by all sorts of people anging from suburbanite teenyboppers to businessmen to folks from the hood, had two #1 singles including the most popular song of the year ("Doves"), had massive critical acclaim for his music, and his album was on it's way to set a record for the most consecutive weeks at #1. Before then, he had an increasingly positive buzz that was quite loud by the time 1999 caught on. After then, droves of Purple Rain fans abandoned him due to his refusal to make Purple Rain #2 and a variety of well documented PR issues. However, he maintained a large dedicated following during the 80s that got his artistic and musical integrity.

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Reply #12 posted 03/03/18 7:23am

214

Who knows, I wasn't alive then, but here in Mexico He's never been popular, like ever.

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Reply #13 posted 03/03/18 8:56am

206Michelle

antonb said:

MJ was more popular because he was mr nice and prince was mr controversial. Mj wanted to be the biggest star in the world. All the time. And had a army of people to back him.Fueled by sony and the quincy jones machine. Not saying he wasn't very talented. But Prince took a different path after the monster that was Purple Rain.


yeahthat
I was born in 1986. MJ may have been more clean-cut musically, but his personal life was more controversial than Prince’s due to abuse allegations and his changing appearance.
.
I love MJ and was practically obsessed with him when I was in high school. I wanted to buy PR, but refused because I was afraid of what my parents would do if they found out about Darling Nikki. Thriller, however, was iconic and more family-friendly, and became my favorite album. Now, though, I still love MJ’s music, but I have a harder time embracing him personally due to the abuse allegations. MJ May have sold more albums, but I think Prince was the better musician. P’s catalogue speaks for itself. He could be the songwriter, the band, and the vocalist.
[Edited 3/3/18 8:56am]
Live 4 Love ~ Love is God, God is love, Girls and boys love God above
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Reply #14 posted 03/03/18 9:35am

Guitarhero

avatar

maplenpg said:

NorthC said:
He was at the peak of his popularity in Europe in 1986-88. He may not have had the best selling albums, but every album made the top ten. His reputation as a live artist had a lot to do with it; between 1986 and 1993 he did 6 European tours in sold out arenas. Of course this doesn't mean everybody loved him, there were plenty of people who couldn't stand him and who thought he was a weirdo, but overall, he was pretty popular. Both with critics and the general public, which is something you can't say about Michael Jackson or Madonna. They may have sold more records, but they didn't have the reputation of a musical innovator that Prince had. It was the name change and the WB war that ruined all of this. When he toured in 1995, venues that were sold out two years before, were only half full. He made a comeback at the end of the 90s and from then, he was always assured of sold out arenas and there was always a buzz about possible aftershows. So even if he wasn't on top of the charts anymore, he could grab people's attention until the very last moment. [Edited 3/3/18 1:01am]
This. Though I was in school (UK) in the 80's and being a Prince fan was a lonely affair. People simply couldn't understand what I saw in him. Most preferred MJ. It possibly didn't help that all the cool kids were into MJ and I was far from a cool kid, especially when I copied some of Prince's fashions smile . I definitely felt a sense of camaraderie at concerts that I never felt with those around me.

The cool kids were into Prince not MJ wink

Miss my wife Julita rose
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Reply #15 posted 03/03/18 9:37am

Guitarhero

avatar

214 said:

Who knows, I wasn't alive then, but here in Mexico He's never been popular, like ever.

So only you have good music tastes. yes

Miss my wife Julita rose
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Reply #16 posted 03/03/18 9:39am

Guitarhero

avatar

I was a proud Prince fan at school in the 80's and i did not give a flying f@@k what others thought. biggrin Prince and MJ were opposites. Funny that one was thought of as weird but the other later in his career was thought of as more weird. Another thing with Prince was most thought he was gay another problem for all those homophobes. They just could not get why as a straight kid i was into Prince, i told them his music man. guitar



[Edited 3/3/18 9:54am]

Miss my wife Julita rose
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Reply #17 posted 03/03/18 9:51am

NorthC

Nice to see you back, Guitarhero. biggrin
I may disagree with everything you say, but I will defend your right to say it.
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Reply #18 posted 03/03/18 9:53am

Guitarhero

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NorthC said:

Nice to see you back, Guitarhero. biggrin

Hey NorthC nice to see you buddy cool

Miss my wife Julita rose
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Reply #19 posted 03/03/18 10:07am

luvsexy4all

during the diamonds and pearl release ...his hits from that album were all over NY radio....last time he was all over the radio was The Holy River

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Reply #20 posted 03/03/18 10:36am

maplenpg

avatar

Guitarhero said:

I was a proud Prince fan at school in the 80's and i did not give a flying f@@k what others thought. biggrin Prince and MJ were opposites. Funny that one was thought of as weird but the other later in his career was thought of as more weird. Another thing with Prince was most thought he was gay another problem for all those homophobes. They just could not get why as a straight kid i was into Prince, i told them his music man. guitar





[Edited 3/3/18 9:54am]


Yup. I didn't care one bit that others didn't understand my obsession. I heard it all, about him being gay, removing the rib etc... Luckily I spend a lot of time hanging around my local record store and, though not fans themselves, they used to get me all the limited editions etc... I loved that store, spent a lot of my schooldays there.
If love is the answer, what was the question? - Carter USM.
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Reply #21 posted 03/03/18 10:39am

maplenpg

avatar

Guitarhero said:



maplenpg said:


NorthC said:
He was at the peak of his popularity in Europe in 1986-88. He may not have had the best selling albums, but every album made the top ten. His reputation as a live artist had a lot to do with it; between 1986 and 1993 he did 6 European tours in sold out arenas. Of course this doesn't mean everybody loved him, there were plenty of people who couldn't stand him and who thought he was a weirdo, but overall, he was pretty popular. Both with critics and the general public, which is something you can't say about Michael Jackson or Madonna. They may have sold more records, but they didn't have the reputation of a musical innovator that Prince had. It was the name change and the WB war that ruined all of this. When he toured in 1995, venues that were sold out two years before, were only half full. He made a comeback at the end of the 90s and from then, he was always assured of sold out arenas and there was always a buzz about possible aftershows. So even if he wasn't on top of the charts anymore, he could grab people's attention until the very last moment. [Edited 3/3/18 1:01am]

This. Though I was in school (UK) in the 80's and being a Prince fan was a lonely affair. People simply couldn't understand what I saw in him. Most preferred MJ. It possibly didn't help that all the cool kids were into MJ and I was far from a cool kid, especially when I copied some of Prince's fashions smile . I definitely felt a sense of camaraderie at concerts that I never felt with those around me.

The cool kids were into Prince not MJ wink


I dunno, not in my school, I was considered odd. Now though they whine 'I wish I'd realised sooner, come to a concert etc...' That's their loss not mine
If love is the answer, what was the question? - Carter USM.
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Reply #22 posted 03/03/18 10:58am

NorthC

maplenpg said:

Guitarhero said:

I was a proud Prince fan at school in the 80's and i did not give a flying f@@k what others thought. biggrin Prince and MJ were opposites. Funny that one was thought of as weird but the other later in his career was thought of as more weird. Another thing with Prince was most thought he was gay another problem for all those homophobes. They just could not get why as a straight kid i was into Prince, i told them his music man. guitar





[Edited 3/3/18 9:54am]


Yup. I didn't care one bit that others didn't understand my obsession. I heard it all, about him being gay, removing the rib etc... Luckily I spend a lot of time hanging around my local record store and, though not fans themselves, they used to get me all the limited editions etc... I loved that store, spent a lot of my schooldays there.

Yeah... That's how I got Crystal Ball: the man behind the counter seeing me and saying, "you like Prince, don't you? I've got something for ya..."
Although that was about ten years after my school days, when I was at school, the "cool" guys were into U2 and Queen and stuff like that. Some of them also liked Prince. Never heard much about him being gay. (Which would be quite funny coming from Queen fans anyway.) Madonna was thought of as sexy and Michael Jackson was mostly ridiculed.
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Reply #23 posted 03/03/18 11:08am

214

Guitarhero said:

214 said:

Who knows, I wasn't alive then, but here in Mexico He's never been popular, like ever.

So only you have good music tastes. yes

I guess. cool

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Reply #24 posted 03/03/18 11:35am

Seahorsie

avatar

skywalker said:

A few thoughts:

Prince isn't as easily digestible or family friendly as Michael Jackson. His lyrics are not for kids, his themes are more complex, his music is less mainstream sounding, he didn't chase sales numbers like MJ. Prince's catalog is also WAY more overwhelming than MJ. With Michael, you gotta get like 6 albums and you have most of his output as a singles artist. Lastly, Prince was A LOT more protective of how his music was used. Billie Jean was a Pepsi commercial, When Doves Cry never sold Coca Cola. It was only after his death, that we are really starting to see Prince's image and music licensed in a more traditional (wide reaching) manner.

-

Current pop music now is ALL a niche thing compared to the 80's. There are SO many options that listeners can easily ignore entire genres of music, let alone individual artists.
Back in the 80's we basically got our exposure to musicians/artists through the radio and MTV. So everyone was exposed to EVERYTHING. You had to sit through Phil Collins, Billy Ocean, and Def Leppard to get to a Prince video. Nowadays, music is more divided and niche than it ever has been. I am a teacher and kids these days care more about youtube than music. They don't LOVE their music the way kids did in the past.

-

Example:
Think about the most "popular" music act today. Beyonce? Not EVERYONE owns a Beyonce album. In the 80's EVERY one BOUGHT Purple Rain, every one BOUGHT Thriller.

I emphasize BOUGHT because people don't really pay for music now. Streams and youtube followers are a much easier thing to attain than having people have to go to a store to buy your music.

-

Prince has always been an enigma in terms of popularity. He is one of the biggest selling musicians of all time, and he is known the world over. Yet, even in the 80's, Prince was silmutaneously insanely famous, and at the same time, kind of a niche artist.

[Edited 3/3/18 6:54am]

Very good thoughts here, Skywalker. Not to tell on myself, but Prince and I were close in age. So, I have been a Prince follower for a LONG time. He was a real musician, and child of the 70's, a tragic figure, a trend setter, an artist, a believer, and I hear...had a great sense of humor. But he never felt he was here to produce commercially palatable or marketable music. He created what he created with no apologies; you could choose to be on his bandwagon or choose not to.

I personally think that the whole Purple Rain movie was cathartic to him- to banish some of the ghosts of his earlier life. (It just struck a chord with so many, but was not written just to be popular.) That's what I think.

Good morning children...take a look out your window, the world is falling...
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Reply #25 posted 03/03/18 4:27pm

Adorecream

milesb said:

Adorecream said:

Being a kid in New Zealand in the mid and late 80s, he was known but not super popular. Here it was mainly local and Australian acts that ruled our charts, Split Enz, Crowded House, John Farnham and the annual Kiwi one hit wonder riding the charts (John Stevens, Tim Finn, All of Us - sailing away Americas cup song, Rob Guest, Holiday Makers, Margaret URLICH to name a few and I know you Americans and Europeans have never heard of them except maybe Split Enz and Crowded House, which the Aussies claim all the time).

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Then British acts of the 80s were popular, Duran Duran, Thompsons, Boy George, Goerge Michael, Wham, Mel and Kim. Of the Americans - all the cowboy country stuff to 1985 and then acts like Guns and Roses, Poison, Bon Jovi in the later 80s. Black artists were only really popular with Maori and Polynesians in the 80s and apart from Whitney Houston and Lionel Richie, few really ahd any following until MJ borke through - he was big but not huge, having more Top 10s rather than #1 hits.

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Prince was very muted as he was seen as a Disco one hit wonder in 1980/81 and all the albums before 1999 hardly circulated here. 1999 was a small hit thanks to the singles going Top 10. Purple Rain went platinum in its 1984/85 release, but only selling 15,000 copies and reaching #2 compared to 150,000 of Thriller. The singles did fair rather than excellent - WDC got to #2 (Kept out by the Specials - Free Nelson Mandela) and his biggest hit to date, LGC was #8, Purple Rain was #25 and IWD4U and TMWU were complete flops. Several more singles top 10ed, Kiss was another #2, but SOTT stalled at #6.

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1988 saw a sea change in music and white NZers got heavily into funkier and blacker stuff, with Bad going to #1 and all of the singles being Top 10 smashes, then Alphabet Street was a #1 his first here and Lovesexy a #1 album here and then this feat was followed up with Batdance and Batman hitting #1, Graffiti Bridge got to #4 and TITT got to #5 on our charts. More success followed with D and P hitting #2 on the chart, with Cream and Gett Off Top 10 hits. Love Symbol also went Top 10 and Sexy MF reached #9, with 7 getting to #4. Princes last Top 10 hit and #1 smash was TMBGITW.

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The 80s was a breakthrough, but Prince never saw huge success and fame here until Lovesexy in 1988 and this was thanks mostly to a man who wrote a music magazine here and played Prince endlessly in his radio show and really got him out there. By 1990 Rap and R and B was a big seller here, but before 1988/89, the only big time Black music was disco in the late 70s and early 80s and then a lot of white rock music through the 80s.

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Even today he has never been huge and as we all know, true Prince fans in NZ are few and far between, I can think of about 10.

You must've been stoked when he finally showed up to give you guys the recognition you deserve in 2016. Did you go?

Totally! Both of them, cost me $800 in all and worth every cent. My Adorecream videos went into depth about them. Just type Auckland Feb 24th 2016 Show 1 or Show2 and I am all that page.

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I was lucky enough to go to a show in Melbourne in 2012, which was the Welcome to Australia tour and saw the whole band thing there. I was too young to go to the Diamonds and Pearls tour in 1992 and the 2003 tour, I was in Korea at the time (I still could have gone to the show in Fukuoka). So I took up the opportunities.

Got some kind of love for you, and I don't even know your name
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Reply #26 posted 03/03/18 5:05pm

GimmeThat

Ok, first of all, I got a big laugh out of the phrasing of the question. I feel old, but not in a bad way!

He was VERY popular in my experience. When 1999 came out, I was in grade school and it was THE song. We didn’t have cable television in the town I grew up in, so we watched Friday Night Videos on channel 36 every week hoping they would play Little Red Corvette or 1999. Purple Rain was HUGE - I can’t tell you how many times we watched the VHS tape of that movie at slumber parties. The first time I saw this movie, I announced that I was going to marry Prince someday. Sadly, that didn’t happen wink
2 sevens together
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Reply #27 posted 03/04/18 9:50am

nextedition

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I only remember the time from 1986 and futher, he was extremely popular in holland. Critics loved him, everybody talked about his concerts, i mean, even If I was your girlfriend was a hit!

Lovesexy was a smash and went to number 1.

I remeber going to a stadium to see the Lovesexy concert, later it was broadcasted on national television.

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Reply #28 posted 03/04/18 10:06am

ufoclub

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In the U.S., during the Purple Rain craze, he was the most popular top 40 star in my high school days in Houston, TX. So much so that girls were singing songs pointing at each other in the hall, and one guy even bought a trench coat, boots, and.... motorcycle which he would drives to school on. there was a reason Prince played 6 shows in a row here on that tour.

After that he faded in a way, although you still knew he had singles that were hitting, and Kiss was on radio play like crazy. Everything after that (until “Batdance” and then the Diamonds and Pearls album) was more of a niche.
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Reply #29 posted 03/04/18 10:54am

soladeo1

In Lilly white Maine in ‘84-‘85 he was pretty huge. Respected at the very least, even by the medalheads. All of the parties I went to in middle school and high school always played a song or two from 1999 or Purple Rain...
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Forums > Prince: Music and More > People who were around in the 80's; How popular was Prince?