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Thread started 10/22/20 4:37pm

funkbabyandthe
babysitters

is the slave era something to be proud of now?

For years I thought this was an embarrassing era
A multi millionaire protesting he was a slave...
Yes musicians get exploited, yes prince might gave only earned a fraction of what warners made, but a slave? I thought that was nonsensical, an insult to real slaves, and a move that most ordinary people would look at as crazy, and the move of a spoilt showbiz toddler moaning without merit. Little Richard, chuck berry, fats domino, these guys got ripped off. Prince though, he might have felt he was taking on warners to fight for those who didnt fight (something a lot of black artists seemed to respect him for) but in truth, he was far savier. He profited more, he had more control, more freedom, more money. Was he earning as much as the label? No. But such is capitalism.
Tbh all that stuff I still believe
But, today, when you look at Taylor swift trying to own her masters and kanye using princes old arguments, and guys like Frank ocean or Rihanna owning their masters, maybe, even if he went about it in a prima Donna way, and looked out of touch with most people out there who have more of a case to say they are modern day slaves, maybe prince did everyone a favour? He brought ownership to mainstream attention.
So my question is, did he win? Can you separate the method from the outcome?
[Edited 10/22/20 16:38pm]
[Edited 10/22/20 16:38pm]
[Edited 10/22/20 22:16pm]
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Reply #1 posted 10/22/20 4:56pm

skywalker

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Absolutely. Prince was as much as a revolutionary in this regard as he was musically. Have you ever watched the documentary “Slave trade: how Prince re-made the music business”? If not, check it out. Completely fascinating a speaks volumes as to what a visionary/vanguard our boy really was.
"New Power slide...."
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Reply #2 posted 10/22/20 5:01pm

SexyMuthaF

Prince believed artists should have control over their own music. Can't fault the brotha for that.
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Reply #3 posted 10/22/20 5:08pm

BoraBora



On the artistic side, yes.

On the mediatic side, no.


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Reply #4 posted 10/22/20 5:33pm

luv4u

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SexyMuthaF said:

Prince believed artists should have control over their own music. Can't fault the brotha for that.


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Reply #5 posted 10/22/20 5:33pm

Polo1026

funkbabyandthebabysitters said:

For years I thought this was an embarrassing era A multi millionaire protesting he was a slave... Yes musicians get exploited, yes prince might gave only earned a fraction of what warners made, but a slave? I thought that was nonsensical, an insult to real slaves, and a move that most ordinary people would look at as crazy, and the move of a spoilt showbiz toddler moaning without merit. Little Richard, chuck berry, fats domino, these guys got ripped off. Prince though, he might have felt he was taking on warners to fight for those who didnt fight (something a lot of black artists seemed to respect him for) but in truth, he was far savier. He profited more, he had more control, more freedom, more money. Was he earning as much as the label? No. But such is capitalism. Tbh all that stuff I still believe But, today, when you look at Taylor swift trying to own her masters and kanye using princes old arguments, and guys lihe Frank ocean or tivanna owning their masters, maybe, even if he went about it in a prima Donna way, and looked out of touch with most people out there who gave more if a case to say their slaves, maybe prince did everyone a favour? He brought ownership to mainstream attention. So my question is, did he win? Can you separate the method from the outcome? [Edited 10/22/20 16:38pm] [Edited 10/22/20 16:38pm]

What is the definition of a slave? Forced labor against one's will is one definition. Another is; a person who is excessively dependent upon or controlled by something.

The music business aims to own an artists masters in perpetuity. To profit, sell, promote, that master in any way the business see's fit to attain revenue and profits and to do it as many times as it see's fit, at it's own discretion and without the input of the artist that created it and to pay that artist, often times, less that 10% of the actual revenue the master generated. Kanye, Taylor Swift, et al are now realizing the value of forever.

I often wondered why Prince in 1986, coming off of Purple Rain the Movie and Soundtrack as well as hit records like 1999, the Time's two gold albums, Vanity and Apollonia 6, Sheila E and various hit singles, two tours(one generating over $100M), would need to go to Warner Bros for 12 Million dollars to build Paisley Park? Jerome Benton told a story about being at Tower Records with Prince and spending over $1000 in the store but charging it to Warner Bros. Why didn't Prince pay for it?

When I got into the Music Industry under Island Records, I fully began to understand the game. A record like Purple Rain happens, you get that artist to make the next record before they can get an accounting of what Purple Rain really generated. KEEP THE ARTIST IN THE RED! Buy them diamonds, cars, lavish trips, homes, women, clothes, etc but DON'T EVER cut them a check from the profits, only cut checks FROM THE NEXT PROJECTS' BUDGET! Look at Prince after Purple Rain. Movie deals with Warner, extention of his record deal, giving Prince his OWN Label deal, green lighting Under the Cherry Moon. Four brand new open budgets that quick! Look all that is no brainers to record execs because it's all going to be hits or be paid for off the back of Purple Rain's sales. Profits are safe at Warner, Christmas bonuses are safe! Promotions are coming! The SYSTEM OF CONTROL!

That's in real time but what about 10-20 years later? I was talking to a friend of mine from Sony/Universal. Prince's vault has full albums of music that we didn't even know existed. They are making so much money for FREE off of Prince he wouldn't even tell me because it made him sick.

So Prince may not have been as wealthy as his success may lead you to believe. I recall the story of LiveNation giving Prince a check for $40M in 2004 and Prince allegedly told them he had never seen that much money in his whole career. How could that be?

A person who is excessively dependent or controlled by something. A slave.

That is the music industry.

Prince was up when the hits was rolling and he used the system like the system wants to be used. Demanding more cost against yourself like a BIG POPSTAR is supposed to do. Prince did it too and he paid dearly for it. But he also quickly pivoted and smartened up. The slave on his face wasmore of a clarion call to all of his peers to sit up and take notice these agreements you're making.

Too bad that today when labels are making multibillion-dollar streaming deals for these masters and artists haven't seen a dime, that they've finally heard Prince.

[Edited 10/22/20 17:39pm]

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Reply #6 posted 10/22/20 5:44pm

carmy

The Machine back then spun the narrative that Prince was crazy , prince wasn’t commercially viable anymore ..... and most people believed that . When in fact it was just the opposite, people turned their backs on Prince industry and fan wise. They had all the media publications dogging Prince and his stance for Artist rights. twenty some years later Some of Musics biggest stars still having the same issues. The Come and Gold Experience albums were two of the best records he put out according to most on this site. I remember people at that time ignoring those records mostly back then. Long story short , it was a good era as far as music and his stance . Nothing to be ashamed of here.
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Reply #7 posted 10/22/20 6:49pm

TrivialPursuit

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You were the only one embarassed by it. Prince stuck to his guns and got what he wanted: freedom.

The rest of us can only hope to be as brave in what we desire.

"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 #8 posted 10/22/20 9:19pm

JoeyCococo

Especially now. There is so much awareness now about this kind of thing....this dude gave up a lot to battle.

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Reply #9 posted 10/23/20 12:58am

Resolution

YES absolutely

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Reply #10 posted 10/23/20 1:44am

Rimshottbob

It always was something to be proud of....

I was a new fan when he changed his name and I found the whole journey incredibly refreshing, exhilarating and exciting.

What he believed in was more important than mainstream success.... can't fault that.

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Reply #11 posted 10/23/20 3:47am

BartVanHemelen

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SexyMuthaF said:

Prince believed artists should have control over their own music. Can't fault the brotha for that.

.

Prince "enslaved" Jill Jones and Margie Cox. And Cox's happened during the same period Prince was whining about Warners. And Cox was actually prevented from releasign anything for YEARS while got let out of his WBR contract without fulfilling its requirements: https://musicfans.stackex...a/2171/129 .

.

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It is not authorized by Prince or the NPG Music Club. You assume all risk for
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Reply #12 posted 10/23/20 3:50am

BartVanHemelen

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JoeyCococo said:

Especially now. There is so much awareness now about this kind of thing....this dude gave up a lot to battle.

.

Prince didn't "battle" anything. He whined like a sulky teen and stomped his foot, that's all.

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This posting is provided AS IS with no warranties, and confers no rights.
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your use. All rights reserved.
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Reply #13 posted 10/23/20 3:59am

BartVanHemelen

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The reality is that while Prince was whining, REM and Metallica both struck deals with WEA companies where they gained control of their master recordings. Prince did absolutely nothing and all he did was care about himself and never built anything to support other artists. He used his celebrity status to score deals with other majors, and when they realized he was more trouble than he was worth, he resorted to cheap stunts (free CD with newspaper, free CD with concert ticket), and when that ran out there was... nothing. Didn't release an album for four years cuz nobody would touch him.

© Bart Van Hemelen
This posting is provided AS IS with no warranties, and confers no rights.
It is not authorized by Prince or the NPG Music Club. You assume all risk for
your use. All rights reserved.
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Reply #14 posted 10/23/20 5:34am

funkbabyandthe
babysitters

how much did that new deal he struck with WB impact on this i wonder? cos that, weirdly, seemed to be the breaking point. maybe he felt the deal was too much pressure, or that he wouldnt be able to get the sales he needed to really get that money he could make. or maybe that just felt like too much pressure or constraint.

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Reply #15 posted 10/23/20 5:40am

Vannormal

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BartVanHemelen said:

JoeyCococo said:

Especially now. There is so much awareness now about this kind of thing....this dude gave up a lot to battle.

.

Prince didn't "battle" anything. He whined like a sulky teen and stomped his foot, that's all.

-

Indeed. His batlle wasn't that kind of battle at all.

He signed a contract, fully aware, for so much $$$$.

He knew exactly what he did, only he thought he could demand more, qafter he suddenly start to think ''wait a minute... did I fucked it up''?

And whined to get exactly what he could not have and signed for in full agreement.

-

@ JoeyCococo :

He didn't give up that much, he just thought everything was possible in position.

Only, he was not fully aware of the weight of his position right there and then.

He had already become a little alienated... I believe.

All imho of course.

-

"...no matter what, all will be fine, always."
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Reply #16 posted 10/23/20 5:44am

OldFriends4Sal
e

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I think there was always some dignity in it.
But many of the antics are still embarrassing.

.

I never liked the 'only talk through Mayte' thing

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Reply #17 posted 10/23/20 5:45am

tab32792

funkbabyandthebabysitters said:

For years I thought this was an embarrassing era
A multi millionaire protesting he was a slave...
Yes musicians get exploited, yes prince might gave only earned a fraction of what warners made, but a slave? I thought that was nonsensical, an insult to real slaves, and a move that most ordinary people would look at as crazy, and the move of a spoilt showbiz toddler moaning without merit. Little Richard, chuck berry, fats domino, these guys got ripped off. Prince though, he might have felt he was taking on warners to fight for those who didnt fight (something a lot of black artists seemed to respect him for) but in truth, he was far savier. He profited more, he had more control, more freedom, more money. Was he earning as much as the label? No. But such is capitalism.
Tbh all that stuff I still believe
But, today, when you look at Taylor swift trying to own her masters and kanye using princes old arguments, and guys like Frank ocean or Rihanna owning their masters, maybe, even if he went about it in a prima Donna way, and looked out of touch with most people out there who have more of a case to say they are modern day slaves, maybe prince did everyone a favour? He brought ownership to mainstream attention.
So my question is, did he win? Can you separate the method from the outcome?
[Edited 10/22/20 16:38pm]
[Edited 10/22/20 16:38pm]
[Edited 10/22/20 22:16pm]



Are you black? Let’s start there
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Reply #18 posted 10/23/20 5:51am

funkbabyandthe
babysitters

no.

looking forward to reading your response.

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Reply #19 posted 10/23/20 6:17am

jdcxc

BartVanHemelen said:

The reality is that while Prince was whining, REM and Metallica both struck deals with WEA companies where they gained control of their master recordings. Prince did absolutely nothing and all he did was care about himself and never built anything to support other artists. He used his celebrity status to score deals with other majors, and when they realized he was more trouble than he was worth, he resorted to cheap stunts (free CD with newspaper, free CD with concert ticket), and when that ran out there was... nothing. Didn't release an album for four years cuz nobody would touch him.

REM and Metallica...hmmm. It took Prince 5 albums before he was marketed like they were from Day 1.

Name a Black artist who gained control of their Masters. Study the history of Black artists and the apartheid nature of the music biz...racist record labels, radio segregation and ownership. Of course Prince had missteps and strategic errors in battling a huge multinational corporation and anti-artist industry norms. U have been carrying the water for music biz practices for years, but the current state of the industry has proven Prince to be ahead of his time.

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Reply #20 posted 10/23/20 6:28am

funkbabyandthe
babysitters

the modern industry is set up how it is is cos of the internet and mp3s and streaming

majors now want to control even more than they did of an artists income as a result (merch, etc)

not sure prince was THAT ahead of the game to know that was coming in 93!

re: black artists and ownership, stevie wonder, who is no obscure indie artist, owned his masters. and that was in his contract back in 1971 when he renewed the terms with motown because he felt berry gordy was exploiting him.

ray charles, who prince covered in his last tour and was also no tiny little musician, owned his too. and he was the first black artist to do so IIRC.

and REM and metallica did not own theirs until later in their career, FWIW

so, i would venture that in the same way stevie renegotiated his deal in the early 70s, before he had his run of all those incredible albums, prince could have done that himself in the early 90s.

[Edited 10/23/20 6:34am]

[Edited 10/23/20 6:51am]

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Reply #21 posted 10/23/20 7:28am

jdcxc

funkbabyandthebabysitters said:

the modern industry is set up how it is is cos of the internet and mp3s and streaming

majors now want to control even more than they did of an artists income as a result (merch, etc)

not sure prince was THAT ahead of the game to know that was coming in 93!

re: black artists and ownership, stevie wonder, who is no obscure indie artist, owned his masters. and that was in his contract back in 1971 when he renewed the terms with motown because he felt berry gordy was exploiting him.

ray charles, who prince covered in his last tour and was also no tiny little musician, owned his too. and he was the first black artist to do so IIRC.

and REM and metallica did not own theirs until later in their career, FWIW

so, i would venture that in the same way stevie renegotiated his deal in the early 70s, before he had his run of all those incredible albums, prince could have done that himself in the early 90s.

[Edited 10/23/20 6:34am]

[Edited 10/23/20 6:51am]


Stevie DID NOT own the Masters through his 1970 deal.

George Clinton only obtained the Masters after extensive litigation. Prince notoriously signed GC during his legal struggles.

I didnt say REM/Metallica owned their Masters from jump street. I said they were marketed differently than Prince and put in a different financial position as a result.

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Reply #22 posted 10/23/20 7:40am

udo

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It is a good thing to stand up against oppression by large corporations, as we see in this age.

For the fans it made some interesting times.

For the media it made another article about a wacky artist.

For the label it made a lost artist. (but now he's back...)

For the fans, post-slave, we have some out of print albums.

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.
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Reply #23 posted 10/23/20 8:10am

funkbabyandthe
babysitters

jdcxc said:

funkbabyandthebabysitters said:

the modern industry is set up how it is is cos of the internet and mp3s and streaming

majors now want to control even more than they did of an artists income as a result (merch, etc)

not sure prince was THAT ahead of the game to know that was coming in 93!

re: black artists and ownership, stevie wonder, who is no obscure indie artist, owned his masters. and that was in his contract back in 1971 when he renewed the terms with motown because he felt berry gordy was exploiting him.

ray charles, who prince covered in his last tour and was also no tiny little musician, owned his too. and he was the first black artist to do so IIRC.

and REM and metallica did not own theirs until later in their career, FWIW

so, i would venture that in the same way stevie renegotiated his deal in the early 70s, before he had his run of all those incredible albums, prince could have done that himself in the early 90s.

[Edited 10/23/20 6:34am]

[Edited 10/23/20 6:51am]


Stevie DID NOT own the Masters through his 1970 deal.

George Clinton only obtained the Masters after extensive litigation. Prince notoriously signed GC during his legal struggles.

I didnt say REM/Metallica owned their Masters from jump street. I said they were marketed differently than Prince and put in a different financial position as a result.

sure, but its worth considering that in the 80s, one of the biggest news stories was MJ buying up publishing rights to the songs by dylan, the beatles, etc. to think prince only discovered how the industry works and where the money was at in 92/93 is a bit strange. he was also not the first black artist to have his own label (curtis mayfield, sam cooke - who also took ownership of his masters after 30 years, james brown and others that already and JB and curtis were more independent than prince). JB, i believe, also took ownership of his masters in the early or mid 60s too, which prince must have known, as he was such a JB fan.

obv im not saying a lot of black artists werent fucked over. thats obviously the case. and prince fighting a major is a big deal. nothing but praise for an artist demanding better treatment. its just that in this case, while i def think he did something worthwhile in raising awareness of this issue, it was not always done in the best way, ie in a way that wouldnt be met with derision (im guessing his management and PR at this stage was poor). but my argument is that in spite of that, the cringey stuff he did can be overlooked for the awareness it raised.

[Edited 10/23/20 8:12am]

[Edited 10/23/20 8:13am]

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Reply #24 posted 10/23/20 8:47am

BlueShakooo

BartVanHemelen said:



SexyMuthaF said:


Prince believed artists should have control over their own music. Can't fault the brotha for that.

.


Prince "enslaved" Jill Jones and Margie Cox. And Cox's happened during the same period Prince was whining about Warners. And Cox was actually prevented from releasign anything for YEARS while got let out of his WBR contract without fulfilling its requirements: https://musicfans.stackex...a/2171/129 .


.



Interesting.
I didn't know that.
Still I had always thought that he was contradicting himself, when he spoke about "the respect for creative ownership".
Because he obviously didn't respect the creative ownership of some of the people who contributed to his music.
We all know some examples like:
The production credits of "Kiss", that should have been "David Z. & Prince".
And the writing credits for "Rockhard In A Funky Place" that should have been"Prince & Eric Leeds".
[Edited 10/23/20 9:17am]
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Reply #25 posted 10/23/20 7:19pm

bluesangel

The slave era was and is something to be proud of. Prince stood up for himself and what he created. I definitely have much respect and admiration of him for it. No way should it be embarrassing. He did things his way. Speaking as someone who likes to think for myself rather than be told this is how things are and too bad, I'm proud of him for fighting for what he thought was right. He went about that fight in his own way too.
"Music is healing. Write that down first. Music holds things together." - Prince
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Reply #26 posted 10/23/20 8:54pm

databank

avatar

BartVanHemelen said:

The reality is that while Prince was whining, REM and Metallica both struck deals with WEA companies where they gained control of their master recordings. Prince did absolutely nothing and all he did was care about himself and never built anything to support other artists. He used his celebrity status to score deals with other majors, and when they realized he was more trouble than he was worth, he resorted to cheap stunts (free CD with newspaper, free CD with concert ticket), and when that ran out there was... nothing. Didn't release an album for four years cuz nobody would touch him.

While you are right about Prince "enslaving" Paisley Park artists (the Estate still owns quite a few masters, including George Clinton's), your long debunked theory about Prince not being able to get a record deal is getting tiresome, and I really wish you'd call it a day.

.

So once again (sigh):

.

In one of the leaked police interviews recordings, someone from P's camp (whose name I can't recall, I'm sorry, but many here have these recordings so it'd be easy to find the name) revealed that in 2014, Prince found himself in the middle of a bidding war between WB and Sony regarding the release of his next albums, and that WB finally won the bidding war, i.e. the privilege to release AOA and Plec.

.

From this, it is easy to infer that:

.

1/ Prince was more or less always in a position to get a distribution deal with a label (anyway, if not a major, there were the indies, and most indies would have sucked dicks to get a deal with a big artist such as Prince: he could get any indie label he wanted as long as he didn't ask for a bigger advance than they could afford).

.

2/ He wasn't dumped by Kobalt like you used to claim (without a single bit of evidence and despite Kobalt hosting dozens of totally obscure artists who don't sell much, the list is on their website), but quite the opposite (he dumped them in favor of the 2 majors' bidding war, if only because Kobalt is a distribution-only label that probably doesn't pay advances to their artists).

.

That's it. End of discussion. Don't even try.

A COMPREHENSIVE PRINCE DISCOGRAPHY (work in progress ^^): https://sites.google.com/...iscog/home
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Reply #27 posted 10/23/20 11:28pm

funkbabyandthe
babysitters

Explain to me how there would be a bidding war? His other 00s albums were hardly big sellers. I mean, good for prince he was able to score unusual deals for twenty ten but idk what there would be to gain from an album unlikely to be a huge success without being given away as part of something else.
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Reply #28 posted 10/24/20 12:21am

databank

avatar

funkbabyandthebabysitters said:

Explain to me how there would be a bidding war?

Oh it's easy! My 2 options are:

.

1/ A witness account from a Prince collaborator in the context of a police investigation, without apparent cause for coming-up with a story + the fact that Sony released a single early in 2014, followed by WB releasing 2 albums later that same years (funny, isn't it?).

.

2/ Prince fans who don't know anything theorizing against all evidence because said evidence does not fit the narrative they wish to adhere to.

.

My choice is easily made!! It's pretty much the same way I'd explain the Earth isn't flat, BTW, but of course if you choose to believe the Earth is flat, I can't possibly convince you of the opposite.

.

But to be honest, I had already explained it when you asked me to explain it, which means that you were dishonest when you asked and that you clearly aimed at creating an endless loop conversation, which is a form of fallacy. Therefore, I will not discuss the matter anymore unless evidence (not opinion and conjecture) contradicting the facts I offer is presented.

.

And to be clear: I refuse to debate with people who equal facts with opinions and conjecture. Same with Flat Earthers BTW, so don't even try to go there lol

.

No offense meant, I ain't mad at u, just fed-up with this kind of time-consuming nonsense. Peace hug

.

[Edited 10/24/20 0:33am]

A COMPREHENSIVE PRINCE DISCOGRAPHY (work in progress ^^): https://sites.google.com/...iscog/home
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Reply #29 posted 10/24/20 2:33am

funkbabyandthe
babysitters

Lol. You hardly presented any evidence. You just stated there was a bidding war. Based on what I dont know.
So not much to go on except your insistence there was one.
I asked as I'm genuinely interested. How the industry works these days and how deals are made are things I'd like to know.
I dont know why there was a sony single and two wb albums. Maybe prince struck a few deals, one for a single,one for two albums with warners, in return for them re releasing purple rain with bonus material. Who knows. But I'd like to know.
[Edited 10/24/20 2:34am]
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