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Thread started 09/25/20 10:22pm

AvocadosMax

Prince’s BEST/PEAK era

I’m not sure there is a ‘best’ era.
Maybe, arguably, there’s some ‘peak’ eras (in songwriting and another in live shows)
There’s the Prodigy era (1977-1979)
There’s the rebellious, risqué Rude Boy (1980-1981)
There’s the super star (1982-1984)
There’s the era where he’s his most prolific as a musician and songwriter (1985-1988)
There’s the badass (1993-1995)
There’s the sophisticated oldhead (even tho he never looked old) musician (2001–beyond)
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Reply #1 posted 09/25/20 10:28pm

ForceofNature

For me personally, 1982-1989

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Reply #2 posted 09/25/20 10:37pm

Margot

i liked his mature years; 2002+

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Reply #3 posted 09/26/20 3:27am

GeurtWalraven

1984-1989. The 1985 Syracuse broadcast was the major breakthrough, worldwide. While the movie Purple Rain, did very well for him, in march 1985 the world was able to see an extraordinary live performer. The following years proved he was a much more talented musician than his direct competitor, MJ. In many ways. This era couldn’t actually be beaten. Therefore, all what after came that (84-89), was less.
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Reply #4 posted 09/26/20 4:35am

ForbiddenFruit

his peak was in the 80s.

but i still believe that he could have produced his best album in 1993/94.

[Edited 9/26/20 4:35am]

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Reply #5 posted 09/26/20 8:27am

skywalker

avatar

Each era has a different flavor/strength.

-

Plus, time is tricky. If Prince would have put out Lotusflower or MPLSound in the 80's, people woulda lost their shit and those albums would be viewed as all time classics.

"New Power slide...."
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Reply #6 posted 09/26/20 8:53am

funkaholic1972

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These two are my favorites:

The super star (1982-1984)
The era where he’s his most prolific as a musician and songwriter (1985-1988)

RIP Prince: thank U 4 a funky Time!
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Reply #7 posted 09/26/20 9:15am

GeurtWalraven

skywalker said:

Each era has a different flavor/strength.


-


Plus, time is tricky. If Prince would have put out Lotusflower or MPLSound in the 80's, people woulda lost their shit and those albums would be viewed as all time classics.



The “if’s” arent relevant. We cant change history. It is what it is.
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Reply #8 posted 09/26/20 9:49am

CAL3

skywalker said:

Each era has a different flavor/strength.


-


Plus, time is tricky. If Prince would have put out Lotusflower or MPLSound in the 80's, people woulda lost their shit and those albums would be viewed as all time classics.


.
You’ve got to be kidding. I mean seriously, you’re kidding.
.
Those albums wouldn’t have been considered “all time classics” in ANY era. Period. End of. Accept it.
I’ve been informed that my opinion is worth less than those expressed by others here.
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Reply #9 posted 09/26/20 9:52am

fortuneandsere
ndipity

We don't know if 85-88 period was his most prolific, but it was probably his best/

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Reply #10 posted 09/26/20 9:52am

CAL3

AvocadosMax said:

I’m not sure there is a ‘best’ era.
Maybe, arguably, there’s some ‘peak’ eras (in songwriting and another in live shows)
There’s the Prodigy era (1977-1979)
There’s the rebellious, risqué Rude Boy (1980-1981)
There’s the super star (1982-1984)
There’s the era where he’s his most prolific as a musician and songwriter (1985-1988)
There’s the badass (1993-1995)
There’s the sophisticated oldhead (even tho he never looked old) musician (2001–beyond)

.
There IS most definitely a definable “BEST/PEAK Era,” no need for uncertainty.
.
And that era spans the years 1980-1988.
.
Final answer.
I’ve been informed that my opinion is worth less than those expressed by others here.
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Reply #11 posted 09/26/20 10:03am

RogerRoger

1983-1989

& 1993-1995

But his live shows/aftershows were great and varying in many different periods

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Reply #12 posted 09/26/20 2:28pm

TrivialPursuit

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This isn't to diminish each other period, but...

1983-1987 was extremely prolific, varied, and interesting. 1999 was him just playing and shooting his wad. Rightly so. But once he focused in on Purple Rain, had a 3 or 4 year plan, he was a power house. Ditched all of his Revolution era aesthetic into being a one-man band again (yet the little carryover of Susannah being on some tracks, IGBABN, and W&L here and there was nice). He got a little goofy in 1988, and his sound changed to this super fast, reverby, echoey, Taylor Dayne type stuff that morphed into ...meh. Not bad. A large bulk of GB is amazing, Batman the same. But no way does GB hold up against PR, nor does Batman against something like Parade or SOTT. Batman really was the end of an era.

With GB he started following a few trends, but I did enjoy him having full band albums again. When I edited Tony M. out of D&P and prince, they got 100% stronger as songs and albums.

Then comes 1993/4. We get albums like COME, Exodus, The Gold Experience, Chaos. Those are as amazing as his mid-80s. So really 1993-1997 is almost a direct reflection of his prolific nature as 1983-1987, when talking about variety, number of projects, songs, remixes, B-sides, whatever.

I've often said that Prince made some of his best material when he was in some sort of turmoil. Whether it's troubles with Vanity, his relationship with Susannah and the battles with Wendy and Lisa (which is sorta 3 against 1 sometimes), and getting a new band... or the mid 90s where he starts fighting with WB big time, whittles down his band, changes his name, denounces his own name in favor of writing Slave on his face (which honestly for a Black person to do that anywhere at anytime was huge... I still don't think the racial and historical impact of that action has settled into a lot of White folks minds; it didn't in mine for a long time). Those are moments where he was under the most unrest, fighting with his environment, people, business, whatever. He poured that angst and "fuck you, don't leave me, get out of here" into songs. You don't write "The Exodus Has Begun," "The Beautiful Ones," or anything else without having some sort of inspiration.

I didn't want Prince unhappy, but when he did get happy with his religion and new found 40-ish adulthood, his music suffered. He got a little too content in some ways. If it makes him write some stank funk, pull his fucking armpit hairs again and again!

"eye don’t really care so much what people say about me because it is a reflection of who they r."
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Reply #13 posted 09/26/20 2:36pm

spookEElectric

I like the ‘faded forgotten star’ phase from 97-01.
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Reply #14 posted 09/26/20 3:22pm

BalladofPeterP
arker

1958 - 2016. Highest Peak.

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Reply #15 posted 09/27/20 7:38am

KoolEaze

avatar

skywalker said:

Each era has a different flavor/strength.

-

Plus, time is tricky. If Prince would have put out Lotusflower or MPLSound in the 80's, people woulda lost their shit and those albums would be viewed as all time classics.

MPLSound ? In the 80s while the "real" Minneapolis Sound was still a thing? I doubt it.

And as much as I love Lotusflower (especially musicwise) , I think some of the more political lyrics such as in Dreamer would´ve rubbed many of his white fanbase in the 80s the wrong way.

His political leanings were different back then.

" I´d rather be a stank ass hoe because I´m not stupid. Oh my goodness! I got more drugs! I´m always funny dude...I´m hilarious! Are we gonna smoke?"
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Reply #16 posted 09/27/20 7:44am

KoolEaze

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I love the 1985-1988 era today but in retrospect, I have to admit that I didn´t really like it back in the day as much as I do today but the 1982-1985 years will always be my favorite era. I also liked the 1993-1995 years a lot and the 2001-2004 era.

The OP left out the 1996-1999 years.

Those were difficult years (the Larry phase, the censored lyrics, the same ol´ cover songs etc. etc.) but even those years had their highs despite the many lows.

" I´d rather be a stank ass hoe because I´m not stupid. Oh my goodness! I got more drugs! I´m always funny dude...I´m hilarious! Are we gonna smoke?"
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Reply #17 posted 09/27/20 7:59am

soladeo1

Rude Boy
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Reply #18 posted 09/27/20 8:13am

OldFriends4Sal
e

avatar

moderator

The Best area in undoubtedly 1981-1989 I will extend to 1978- because those early years and demo recordings etc are key.

1981-1989 becaus it's what everything Prince was forever, buildt on. They mystery, the man the mystique. Even when other periods were not so interesting Prince was because fo 1981-1989

1981-1989 including The Time, Vanity 6, Sheila E, the Family, Mazarati, Jill Jones, Madhouse

A solid block of excitement and quality

#ALBUMSSTILLMATTER
https://prince.org/msg/7/464433 9.24.2020
if you ever try the lotus position
Try it while you're being strangled
Do U understand what I'm saying?
#IDEFINEME
It’s unloving and selfish to be easily offended
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Reply #19 posted 09/27/20 9:50am

skywalker

avatar

CAL3 said:

skywalker said:

Each era has a different flavor/strength.

-

Plus, time is tricky. If Prince would have put out Lotusflower or MPLSound in the 80's, people woulda lost their shit and those albums would be viewed as all time classics.

. You’ve got to be kidding. I mean seriously, you’re kidding. . Those albums wouldn’t have been considered “all time classics” in ANY era. Period. End of. Accept it.

Not kidding at all. Sounds like you've got limits to your fandom or the Prince eras you enjoy. I just don't view things the way you do.

"New Power slide...."
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Reply #20 posted 09/27/20 10:14am

GiggityGoo

avatar

I consider "classic Prince" to run from "Dirty Mind" (1980) to "Batman" (1989). Nine incredible and diverse albums within the span of one decade.

.

I waffle back and forth about including "Batman" in that range... but at the end of the day, even though "Batman" points to where he was going in the 90s, it was still a big enough album that it's a perfect "farewell" for his amazingly prolific and popular 80s era.

.

But my personal favorite "era" is everything from "1999" (1982) to "Lovesexy" (1988). Including all the Vault stuff.

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Reply #21 posted 09/27/20 10:46am

ufoclub

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I find personal gems in every era in terms of songs, but certainly the SOTT to Black Album / Lovesexy period was mystical peak to the whole package.


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Reply #22 posted 09/27/20 12:18pm

ThePersian

1978-2016

The Earth is but one country and mankind its citizens.
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Reply #23 posted 09/27/20 12:41pm

KoolEaze

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ThePersian said:

1978-2016

Best reply.

lol

" I´d rather be a stank ass hoe because I´m not stupid. Oh my goodness! I got more drugs! I´m always funny dude...I´m hilarious! Are we gonna smoke?"
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Reply #24 posted 09/28/20 8:42am

AMERICA1ST

skywalker said:

Each era has a different flavor/strength.

-

Plus, time is tricky. If Prince would have put out Lotusflower or MPLSound in the 80's, people woulda lost their shit and those albums would be viewed as all time classics.

I could not agree more. I say the same about Rainbow Children and Emancipation - if they came at different times, they would have gotten the acknowledgement that they deserve.

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Reply #25 posted 09/28/20 8:54am

mrjj71

'82-'88

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Reply #26 posted 09/28/20 8:56am

Poplife88

avatar

1980 to 1988

We're gonna need a bigger boat
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Reply #27 posted 09/28/20 9:53am

Genesia

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skywalker said:

Each era has a different flavor/strength.

-

Plus, time is tricky. If Prince would have put out Lotusflower or MPLSound in the 80's, people woulda lost their shit and those albums would be viewed as all time classics.


Totally agree about Lotusflow3r. Not so much about MPLSound (though I do love that album).

We don’t mourn artists because we knew them. We mourn them because they helped us know ourselves.
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Reply #28 posted 09/28/20 2:24pm

CAL3

skywalker said:



CAL3 said:


skywalker said:

Each era has a different flavor/strength.


-


Plus, time is tricky. If Prince would have put out Lotusflower or MPLSound in the 80's, people woulda lost their shit and those albums would be viewed as all time classics.



. You’ve got to be kidding. I mean seriously, you’re kidding. . Those albums wouldn’t have been considered “all time classics” in ANY era. Period. End of. Accept it.

Not kidding at all. Sounds like you've got limits to your fandom or the Prince eras you enjoy. I just don't view things the way you do.


.
How utterly presumptuous of you to even SUGGEST you know how I “view things.” Or that there are “limits” to my “fandom.”
.
To pretend he didn’t have a peak period is lunacy. He did - and I stated which years that period spans.
.
It doesn’t invalidate the other periods of his career.
I’ve been informed that my opinion is worth less than those expressed by others here.
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Reply #29 posted 09/28/20 2:29pm

homesquid

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ForceofNature said:

For me personally, 1982-1989

yes

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