Ruminations on TV Shows, Comics, And Music
Prince Vs. U2: LEaving Their Reimagined DIscographies Behind 4 Now (No Closure ... Like Those Assless Chaps)
andI never met Mozart, I never met Duke Ellington or Charlie Parker, I never met Elvis. But I met Prince - Bono
Making the decisions for the U2 discography was simple. I've heard all of their albums, apart from the most recent two, hundreds of times. I've heard their two most recent albums enough times to make educated decisions about them. I consider myself an expert on U2.
I'm an amateur Prince fan.
I've owned most of his albums, but apart from Purple Rain and Sign O The Times, I didn't really sit down and listen to any of the albums straight thtough on a regular basis. There were four albums of his that I hadn't even heard of until I started this discography.
I can't say I learned anything from making the Reimagined U2 Discography. It was fun, and I enjoyed sharing some of the albums with people, but I didn't come out of it with a new appreciation for their music. I already liked what I liked, and was familiar with what I didn't enjoy.
I had forgotten that I have a bootleg of Prince and Bono singing "The Cross" from Sign O The Times, but recorded two years Before the release of Sign O The Times. I'm almost afraid to listen to it, even though it's from a time when everyone involved in the performance was at their peak. I'm hoping the reason I don't remember it is not that it sucks, but that I was unfamiliar with the song, and stopped listening as soon as it got Jesusy.
What I learned from listening through Prince's discography and then condensing it, and remixing parts of it is that I'm a much bigger Prince fan that I thought. I once believed that the only Prince that mattered was the one producing music between 1985 and 1995. That everything after that was forgettable, and everything before it was inferior. I was very wrong.
Here's my ranking of the Reimagined Prince Discography from Least Favorite to Favorite. (Please note, I like All Of The Albums, That's Why They're On The Reimagined Discography, I just like some more than others.)
12: The HITnRUN EP
10: An Honest Man Vs The Truth
9: The Breakfast Album
8. Diamonds & Pearls
4. The Vault
1 Sign O The Times
The top 10 Prince songs, based purely on how often they get stuck in my head:
10. "Count The Days"
9. "Purple Rain"
8. "Rave Un2 The Joy Fantastic"
7. "Little Red Corvette"
5. "Diamonds & Pearls"
4. "Starfish & Coffee"
2. "Sexy M.F."
1. "Crystal Ball"
I've been playing the remagined albums in the store, and have had several conversations with people about them. I had a pair of women around my age talking about how they were trying to get more familiar with the mid-90s Prince, and they wanted to get their hands on my version of The Vault. I also had someone say how much they liked Purple because it was better than Purple Rain, his friend was quick to tell him he was wrong. Their discussion got more intense, so I hung back and nodded, rather than try and change anyone's opinion on what is, essentially, the same tracks in a different order, with a couple of additions.
Looking at the entirety of Prince's Discography, album to album, I'm not going to try and rank them all, but I will put them into categories. I'm not including any Greatest Hits collections, live albums, or any posthumous releases.
Nah, You Can Keep That Trash Outta My House: Chaos & Disorder, Kamasutra, Lotusflow3r, MPLSound
I'm Not Going To Send The Whole Meal Back, I'll Just Eat Around The Parts I Don't Like: Lovesexy, Graffiti Bridge, Crystal Ball, The Rainbow Children, Musicology, The Slaughterhouse, HITnRUN Phase One, HITnRUN Phase Two
Not My Cup Of Tea, But I Understand The Appeal: C-Note, NEWS, X-pectations
Cool: For You, Prince, Dirty Mind, The Batman Soundtrack, Come, The Gold Experience, The Vault, Rave Un2 The Joy Fantastic/Rave In2 The Joy Fantastic, 20ten, The Chocolate Invasion, Plectrumelectrum
Hell Yes, I Need More Of That: 1999, Parade, The Undertaker, Emancipation, Planet Earth, Art Official Age
I Will Play This On Repeat Until My Friends Love It, Too: Controversy, Around The World In A Day, Diamonds & Pearls, Emancipation, The Truth, 3121
Truly, The Best Of The Best: Purple Rain, Camille, The Black Album, Sign O The Times, Love Symbol, Goldn----a
I plan on coming back to this discography much later, and adding in a live album, a Best Of, and a posthumous album. But, for now, I'm pleased with where this journey took me. I am nowhere near tired of listening to the reimagined albums, even though I've been futzing around with them for about six weeks, listening to at least one album every day.
If you're looking for more writing about Prince from an actual expert on the subject, you should check out Scott Woods Makes Lists, and buy his book.