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Thread started 10/03/18 12:24pm

Mackopolis44

Was Dirty Mind Prince's punk album?

I've been listening to the old punk band The Adverts and a few of the drum beats caught my attention.
When U Were Mine has a classic punk edge to it and Sister is basically what punk rock is all about!
Do you think Prince was a fan of the punk movement back in the day? 😎✌❤
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Reply #1 posted 10/03/18 12:43pm

skywalker

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Mackopolis44 said:

I've been listening to the old punk band The Adverts and a few of the drum beats caught my attention. When U Were Mine has a classic punk edge to it and Sister is basically what punk rock is all about! Do you think Prince was a fan of the punk movement back in the day? 😎✌❤

Punk was all about attitude/style...maybe even more so than musicality. So, yes...

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Reply #2 posted 10/03/18 1:09pm

PeteSilas

he was coopting a lot of it, yes, even with the rude boy button. he was trying for the crossover early on. It wasn't so punk musically though, outside of sister maybe. most of it was pretty black sounding. so lyrically and ideologically yes, musically? not really.

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Reply #3 posted 10/03/18 1:12pm

42Kristen

I think so. The clothes that he wore.

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Reply #4 posted 10/03/18 2:00pm

LaurenceNoonan

Sort of? The album has a demo feel to it, the song "Sister" is straight up punk and so is "When You Were Mine" the whole look was punk as well. So yes, it's punk w/Prince attitude and a bit of Newwave in the mix.

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Reply #5 posted 10/03/18 2:31pm

PeteSilas

LaurenceNoonan said:

Sort of? The album has a demo feel to it, the song "Sister" is straight up punk and so is "When You Were Mine" the whole look was punk as well. So yes, it's punk w/Prince attitude and a bit of Newwave in the mix.

ya sort of, prince was however developing further his minneapolis sound with the syth riffs being central in songs like Head and Dirty Mind. The album had a demo feel because they felt it was good enough as it was, i wonder if Springsteens' nebraska had any bearing on that decision. When you were mine had to be for one of the girl groups he was already trying to form, it's a vintage girl group song with more risque lyrics and one of the catchiest things he ever wrote, i wouldn't call it punk, i'd call it ska before i'd call it punk. Punk was known for it's nihilism so, in that way, yes it's punk but musically? got a broken heart again, uptown, partyup were pretty funky, not quite as funky as the stuff he gave the time but then, as I said, he was going for the crossover. I, personally, never saw his histrionics over social stuff as sincere in those years, never, just because black music never grandstanded like white music did over those kinds of issues. they'd use them as topics but I always thought it was what joni mitchel called something "posturing whiteboys" did. It was cool to be antiestablishment in that realm of pop, prince was just trying to crossover, I never got the feeling any of it was sincere.

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Reply #6 posted 10/03/18 5:10pm

TrivialPursuit

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LaurenceNoonan said:

Sort of? The album has a demo feel to it, the song "Sister" is straight up punk and so is "When You Were Mine" the whole look was punk as well. So yes, it's punk w/Prince attitude and a bit of Newwave in the mix.


You know damn well it was an album of demos.

To the OP: It's definitely Prince's version of punk funk, as were later songs like "Sexuality", "Ronnie Talk 2 Russia", IMO. The new wave influence was obvious throughout that album (especially on the aforementioned "When You Were Mine") & the next one. It stands to note that Cyndi Lauper was very much a new wave-influenced artist and covered "When You Were Mine", taking into heavier synth territory.

It seems a natural progression to the harder R&B he delved into on Controversy (which is probably why it's often seen as a transitional album) and 1999. Prince would pretty much drop the punk funk approach by 1985's ATWIAD.

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Reply #7 posted 10/03/18 10:52pm

databank

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PeteSilas said:

i wonder if Springsteens' nebraska had any bearing on that decision.

Nebraska was recorded and released in 1982.

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Reply #8 posted 10/03/18 10:54pm

PeteSilas

databank said:

PeteSilas said:

Nebraska was recorded and released in 1982.

oh, ok, i wondered about that. thanks. my trivia gets' blurry sometimes.

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Reply #9 posted 10/03/18 10:56pm

PeteSilas

they rhythms prince used on Dirty mind would be new wave or punk, whichever one you call it I guess. His dancing was far from traditional black dancing at that time so, that part, he looked like a typical headbanger.

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Reply #10 posted 10/03/18 11:21pm

databank

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Mackopolis44 said:

I've been listening to the old punk band The Adverts and a few of the drum beats caught my attention. When U Were Mine has a classic punk edge to it and Sister is basically what punk rock is all about! Do you think Prince was a fan of the punk movement back in the day? 😎✌❤

I believe André is the one who was a lot into new wave/post punk, and explosed Prince to it. André's solo albums certainly show a strong interest for those movements.

I think it would be worth digging into this a little more for the sake of music history: back in 1980 post-punk/new wave was the new hip thing but at this point was mostly a British (and to some extent European) phenomenon, with New York and its no wave scene being kind of the American outpost of the movement. Crossover wasn't a new thing since Hendrix and Funkadelic: Nona Hendryx did a hard rock album in 1977 and other bands such as Breakwater would include some rock into their R&B here and there, but by the late 70's traditional rock was already getting tired and I think Prince was the first (and at the time only) American Black musician to dive into new wave/post-punk. This was a super smart move because it immediately gave him an avant-garde edge, at a time when most Black artists were rehashing the same old funk and disco (funk was clearly in need of new directions at the turn of the decade). It certainly went in the way of Prince getting more mainstream success for a while, but it made sure he had the likes of Andy Warhol in the room when he'd play NY. Prince was incredibly smart to feel that zeitgeist and understand that it was what he had to do if he wanted to be relevent to his time.

Those were fascinating times in terms of music, there were many interesting things being done and Prince was only one of many great talents at the time, but I think he managed to secure himself a unique position at the time, by being the first Black new wave artist.

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Reply #11 posted 10/04/18 3:11am

andrewm7

Interesting thread, I always considered Plectrumelectrum his punk album. Especially MArz + smile Fixurlifeup

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Reply #12 posted 10/04/18 3:21am

databank

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PeteSilas said:

databank said:

Nebraska was recorded and released in 1982.

oh, ok, i wondered about that. thanks. my trivia gets' blurry sometimes.

Mine too, we ain't gettin' any younger wink

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Reply #13 posted 10/06/18 2:25pm

206Michelle

Dirty Mind is very funky. Chaos and Disorder is much more of a punk album than Dirty Mind is, in my opinion.

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Reply #14 posted 10/06/18 7:40pm

frylo

Surprised nobody is complaining about genre labels like in that "Annie Christian Punk Version" thread from this summer lol Dirty Mind & Controversy definitely had some punk influences though, for sure. Prince was punk rock, even if it was more in attitude than sound.

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Reply #15 posted 10/06/18 8:45pm

poppys

Saw him at the Mudd Club in NYC in 1980 with either the Talking Heads or the B52s, can't remember exactly, I went there a lot. So, punk/new wave. Rocakabilly songs are also very short, not just punk songs.

His hometown paper called him a punk rock act back then. The clipping is somewhere in a thread here. But as always, he takes a genre and makes it Prince. His genius can rock, trash, mash-up, elaborate or add to any genre at will. No matter what, it always comes out Prince.

[Edited 10/7/18 7:29am]

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Forums > Prince: Music and More > Was Dirty Mind Prince's punk album?