independent and unofficial
Prince fan community
Forum jump
Forums > Prince: Music and More > Prince didn’t really record “demos”, did he??
« Previous topic  Next topic »
  New topic   Printable     (Log in to 'subscribe' to this topic)
Author

Tweet     Share

Message
Thread started 05/09/18 12:22pm

soladeo1

Prince didn’t really record “demos”, did he??

95% of the time he just recorded the song, right?

Most artists, while touring or at their homes with relatively simple recording equipment record early versions of eventual songs. Not Prince, though.

The only times Prince sort of did this was one songs he wrote and recorded for other artists like Sheila E or The Bangles.

There are some exceptions, of course, but I get the sense he was too creative and prolific and that demo recording was too costly a time commitment...

Thoughts??
  - E-mail - orgNote - Report post to moderator
Reply #1 posted 05/09/18 12:27pm

OldFriends4Sal
e

avatar

moderator

soladeo1 said:

95% of the time he just recorded the song, right? Most artists, while touring or at their homes with relatively simple recording equipment record early versions of eventual songs. Not Prince, though. The only times Prince sort of did this was one songs he wrote and recorded for other artists like Sheila E or The Bangles. There are some exceptions, of course, but I get the sense he was too creative and prolific and that demo recording was too costly a time commitment... Thoughts??

I think there are a lot of DEMO material in the 1977-1979 period

#IDEFINEME #ALBUMSSTILLMATTER
https://www.youtube.com/w...bs57Kl3OOU
https://www.youtube.com/w...M0JN5IAD50
What's the matter with your life
Is poverty bringing U down?
Is the mailman jerking U 'round?
Did he put your milli
  - E-mail - orgNote - Report post to moderator
Reply #2 posted 05/09/18 12:34pm

RodeoSchro

Sure he did. "Alphabet Street Blues" comes to mind.

He probably had a "demo" or "rough draft" or "first version on a guitar or piano" of just about every song he wrote.

  - E-mail - orgNote - Report post to moderator
Reply #3 posted 05/09/18 12:58pm

OldFriends4Sal
e

avatar

moderator

Susannah's Blues

a lot of pieces that Wendy Lisa the Revolution pulled out of the fledgling vault were demos


Strange Relationship, Wonderful Ass, New Position etc

#IDEFINEME #ALBUMSSTILLMATTER
https://www.youtube.com/w...bs57Kl3OOU
https://www.youtube.com/w...M0JN5IAD50
What's the matter with your life
Is poverty bringing U down?
Is the mailman jerking U 'round?
Did he put your milli
  - E-mail - orgNote - Report post to moderator
Reply #4 posted 05/09/18 2:26pm

PURPLEIZED3121

Have to say of the many hundreds of boots i have so many sound like demos. Thinking of many from 90's era. 80's stuff sounds mostly like finished tracks. '77 sessions are variable etc. Just heard Big House for the 1st time in years....awful track & god forbid THAT was the final version!
  - E-mail - orgNote - Report post to moderator
Reply #5 posted 05/09/18 4:12pm

TrivialPursuit

avatar

RodeoSchro said:

Sure he did. "Alphabet Street Blues" comes to mind.

He probably had a "demo" or "rough draft" or "first version on a guitar or piano" of just about every song he wrote.


For me, that was more of an idea. There was so little to songs like that and "Kiss", that I think they don't even qualify as a demo.

A demo is a demonstration of how the song is eventually going to sound; a rough example.

I think by 1981 he was not recording demos as much anymore. He started to mix as he recorded. Peggy Mac and Susan Rogers both said that about his recording. Or that he'd lay down tracks, do overdubs for 12 or 15 hours (or more) then have them mix it. It became easier (in the sense of what is "easy" working with Prince) to mix as the overdubs went along. Rogers said she would adjust EQ, add compression, or any other tweak as they went along, so when it got to the final mixing process it was much more abbreviated.

He worked to get the sounds in his head out and onto tap as he heard them. That goes beyond the idea of a demo, for sure.

Just when U think U've got more than enough, that's when it all up and flies away.
  - E-mail - orgNote - Report post to moderator
Reply #6 posted 05/09/18 7:57pm

databank

avatar

Prince himself kind of replied to that question in the CB lyrics.

.

Now if Last Heart was a "demo" how was it any more a demo than any other track hastily recorded? Did he mean by that that when he recorded it he was planning to rerecord it from scratch at a later d ate, before being enamoured with that version?

.

According to Wikipedia:

A demo (from "demonstration") is a song or group of songs recorded for limited circulation or reference use rather than for general public release. A demo is a way for a musician to approximate their ideas in a fixed format and to thereby pass along those ideas to record labels, record producers, or to other artists.

Musicians often use demos as quick sketches to share with bandmates or arrangers or simply for personal reference during the songwriting process; in other cases a songwriter might make a demo to send to artists in hopes of having the song professionally recorded, or a music publisher may need a simple recording for publishing or copyright purposes.

.

Did Prince record demos? According to this definition nearly every song recorded by Prince both was and wasn't a demo, since Prince was in a continuous recording process and the fate of a song usually wasn't determined when he would record it. It could end-up locked in the vault forever; be reworked or rerecorded entirely for release or released exactly as such at a later date going from next year to 20 years later; sent to another artist who would either use the basic tracks or rerecord it from scrach.

.

In the end, with Prince, the history of a song would retroactively define whether it was a demo or not. Was Cloreen Bacon Skin a demo? It was just a joke with Morris at first, then it became a demo for Tricky, then it became an album track as such.

Another perspective would be to say that only those tracks that he knew from day 1 he would not, ever, release as such, could possibly be considered demos.

A COMPREHENSIVE PRINCE DISCOGRAPHY (work in progress ^^): https://sites.google.com/...iscog/home
  - E-mail - orgNote - Report post to moderator
Reply #7 posted 05/09/18 9:00pm

Mikado

Sure he did. A lot of stuff from the late 70s and early 80s would certainly qualify Demos.

And a lot of his released stuff (for example When Doves Cry) had demos - you can find bootlegs of them.

A certain kind of mellow.
  - E-mail - orgNote - Report post to moderator
Reply #8 posted 05/09/18 10:22pm

udo

avatar

soladeo1 said:

Prince didn’t really record “demos”, did he??

95% of the time he just recorded the song, right?

.

Where do you draw the line between a demo and a aong?

Pills and thrills and daffodils will kill... If you don't believe me or don't get it, I don't have time to try to convince you, sorry.
  - E-mail - orgNote - Report post to moderator
Reply #9 posted 05/10/18 4:48am

bonatoc

avatar

RodeoSchro said:

Sure he did. "Alphabet Street Blues" comes to mind.

He probably had a "demo" or "rough draft" or "first version on a guitar or piano" of just about every song he wrote.



"Kiss" original take.
"Thieves In The Temple" original take.
"Irresistible Bitch", "Tick, Tick, Bang", a lot of songs went through rough versions
before reaching their admitted final status.

I see where the OP is getting at. But you could also say:
"Prince did really record just demos,
and polished only a small part of them for his records".

This is true until 1983.

Suddenly, all these years of relentless work pay off,
and Prince is able to record and mix in one day.
Which is unheard of at the time, and will be for a decade,
before cheap homestudios and Fruityloops persuade every aspiring musician, and the audiences,
that composing is about pushing buttons and triggering samples.


[Edited 5/10/18 4:55am]

The Colors R brighter, the Bond is much tighter
No Child's a failure
Until the Blue Sailboat sails him away from his dreams
Don't Ever Lose, Don't Ever Lose
Don't Ever Lose Your Dreams
  - E-mail - orgNote - Report post to moderator
Reply #10 posted 05/10/18 6:04am

OldFriends4Sal
e

avatar

moderator

Wednesday

G-Spot

some Glamorous Life/Vanity 6 stuff

Elephants & Flowers

stuff for Graffiti Bridge

#IDEFINEME #ALBUMSSTILLMATTER
https://www.youtube.com/w...bs57Kl3OOU
https://www.youtube.com/w...M0JN5IAD50
What's the matter with your life
Is poverty bringing U down?
Is the mailman jerking U 'round?
Did he put your milli
  - E-mail - orgNote - Report post to moderator
Reply #11 posted 05/10/18 6:09am

Musze

avatar

bonatoc said:

RodeoSchro said:

Sure he did. "Alphabet Street Blues" comes to mind.

He probably had a "demo" or "rough draft" or "first version on a guitar or piano" of just about every song he wrote.



"Kiss" original take.
"Thieves In The Temple" original take.
"Irresistible Bitch", "Tick, Tick, Bang", a lot of songs went through rough versions
before reaching their admitted final status.

I see where the OP is getting at. But you could also say:
"Prince did really record just demos,
and polished only a small part of them for his records".

This is true until 1983.

Suddenly, all these years of relentless work pay off,
and Prince is able to record and mix in one day.
Which is unheard of at the time, and will be for a decade,
before cheap homestudios and Fruityloops persuade every aspiring musician, and the audiences,
that composing is about pushing buttons and triggering samples.


[Edited 5/10/18 4:55am]

That Thieves in The Temple rough demo, with that FALSETTO.... gives me goose bumps. Everytime.

I Love U, But I Don't Trust U Anymore...
  - E-mail - orgNote - Report post to moderator
Reply #12 posted 05/10/18 6:29am

fen

avatar

bonatoc said:

Suddenly, all these years of relentless work pay off,
and Prince is able to record and mix in one day.
Which is unheard of at the time, and will be for a decade,
before cheap homestudios and Fruityloops persuade every aspiring musician, and the audiences,
that composing is about pushing buttons and triggering samples.


[Edited 5/10/18 4:55am]

Yes, I think that this is the key. Prince managed to work in a way that probably wasn’t commonplace until many years later, with the advent of computer based home studios. It’s clear that he wanted to be entirely self-reliant, and for the process to be as intimate and solitary as it could be, forging a creative environment and process to this end.

Nowadays it’s not unusual. A talented individual can produce fairly professional results from his or her home, especially in the field of electronica where mic-based recording and acoustics are less of a concern (think of the working process of someone of like Aphex Twin).

I’ve been thinking about this a lot in relation to recent threads about the vault. It’s not that unusual for me to finish a track in a day (that they’re often rubbish is beside the point biggrin ), and over the course of 5 or 6 years I’ve amassed around 1500 project files representing individual tracks in various stages of completion. Unless Prince pursued every musical idea to completion, there must be hundreds of genuine “demos” and sketches in the vault (just a groove, ideas for drum parts etc).

[Edited 5/10/18 6:30am]

  - E-mail - orgNote - Report post to moderator
Reply #13 posted 05/10/18 6:30am

darkroman

One could argue his tracks for the Family were demos as they were used as references for the band when recording.

I think the term 'demo' is somewhat skewed. I suspect he didn't record a 4-track in his bedroom in readiness to take to a studio to then record 48 tracks and mix.

As Prince was always recording what he would have done was use a full professional studio to create the basis of a track to then build upon and develop - for example Computer Blue.

After all, when a song comes out of someones head and ends up as a finished track, it goes on a creative journey and develops until complete.


smile

  - E-mail - orgNote - Report post to moderator
Reply #14 posted 05/10/18 6:54am

RodeoSchro

bonatoc said:

RodeoSchro said:

Sure he did. "Alphabet Street Blues" comes to mind.

He probably had a "demo" or "rough draft" or "first version on a guitar or piano" of just about every song he wrote.



"Kiss" original take.
"Thieves In The Temple" original take.
"Irresistible Bitch", "Tick, Tick, Bang", a lot of songs went through rough versions
before reaching their admitted final status.

I see where the OP is getting at. But you could also say:
"Prince did really record just demos,
and polished only a small part of them for his records".

This is true until 1983.

Suddenly, all these years of relentless work pay off,
and Prince is able to record and mix in one day.
Which is unheard of at the time, and will be for a decade,
before cheap homestudios and Fruityloops persuade every aspiring musician, and the audiences,
that composing is about pushing buttons and triggering samples.


[Edited 5/10/18 4:55am]



Perfect. Lock this thing up!

  - E-mail - orgNote - Report post to moderator
Reply #15 posted 05/10/18 9:21am

fen

avatar

darkroman said:

One could argue his tracks for the Family were demos as they were used as references for the band when recording.

I think the term 'demo' is somewhat skewed. I suspect he didn't record a 4-track in his bedroom in readiness to take to a studio to then record 48 tracks and mix.

As Prince was always recording what he would have done was use a full professional studio to create the basis of a track to then build upon and develop - for example Computer Blue.

After all, when a song comes out of someones head and ends up as a finished track, it goes on a creative journey and develops until complete.


smile

Wasn't the Kiowa Trail Home Studio quite well equipped? He had 24 tracks and a huge Soundcraft console:

  - E-mail - orgNote - Report post to moderator
Reply #16 posted 05/10/18 12:37pm

paisleypark4

avatar

Matter of fact I just finished listening to "That Girl Thing" and "Boyfriend (Demo)" Prince recorded demos all the time.

Now weather he finished them or not is the question...we have proof of that in many tracks (even unreleased songs like Can I Play With U and The Line, We Can Funk, Dance Electric..).

"That Girl Thang" from Princevault for example:

That Girl Thang, an acoustic track, was first available for download from Prince's 3rdEyeGirl.com website on 18 February 2013, within hours of the track's recording.

It is unknown if this song is also planned for inclusion on an album or any other project.

Blogger Dr. Funkenberry, reported in an online video chat that the song was written and recorded about six hours before its release; since the song was available in the early morning of 18 February 2013, this places the recording on the evening of 17 February 2013, most likely at Paisley Park Studios in Chanhassen, Minnesota.

The track appears to have been recorded in a single take with no overdubs, however, and Prince can be heard to turn off the recording machine at the end of the track, so the track could have been recorded on a mobile device from another location.

In November 2016 Dancer Lala Escarzega wrote a blogpost about the song in Instragram saying "Girl Thang"- Prince gifted this song to me after a night I jokingly asked him to sing me to sleep. I had also told him his photo he sent me made me swoon & I love how he made the lyrics so personal so only he and I would "get it". He gave this song to me the very next night. There is also an instrumental of this that he gave me and I have no idea if it was ever released or not.

It appears Michael B. Nelson also wrote a string arrangement for it,and recorded with Adi Yeshaya and StringGenius.

Download all the shit hop that you can for your kids, neices, nephews, and their friends also. That will prevent them from going out and buying it and will prevent some shit hop sales. Every little bit helps - Andy
http://www.soundclick.com/bands/pagemus
  - E-mail - orgNote - Report post to moderator
Reply #17 posted 05/13/18 2:36am

Marrk

avatar

It really hits me how incredible a vocalist he was when i listen to 101 or 'Come Home' and you can hear him imitate Sheena and Mavis. It's mindblowing how great his guide vocals are. It's like vocal sorcery or something! lol

Yeah, we'll, we'll try to imagine what silence looks like.
  - E-mail - orgNote - Report post to moderator
Reply #18 posted 05/13/18 4:18am

databank

avatar

Marrk said:

It really hits me how incredible a vocalist he was when i listen to 101 or 'Come Home' and you can hear him imitate Sheena and Mavis. It's mindblowing how great his guide vocals are. It's like vocal sorcery or something! lol

It's unclear whether Prince recorded new vocals for Mavis when he finished the song in 88 and, if so, if this is the version we have, but the song wasn't originally intended for her.

A COMPREHENSIVE PRINCE DISCOGRAPHY (work in progress ^^): https://sites.google.com/...iscog/home
  - E-mail - orgNote - Report post to moderator
  New topic   Printable     (Log in to 'subscribe' to this topic)
« Previous topic  Next topic »
Forums > Prince: Music and More > Prince didn’t really record “demos”, did he??