Exactly 94 days ago, Prince was the greatest living musician on the planet. Imagine that; out of 7.4 billion people alive, you were the best. This is a realm reserved only for a tiniest minority of people; the Michael Jordans, the Albert Einsteins, the Usain Bolts, the Steve Jobs’, the Mahatma Gandhis- this club is for the elitist of all elites, the greatest of all greats.
In the world of music, it is incomprehensible how outstandingly talented Prince was at everything he did. Firstly, the guitar playing. Prince was for me, the greatest guitar player on the planet. He combined his love of Santana, Hendrix and Sly and The Family Stone, to create the most effortless guitar playing you will ever see. Check out the live version of ‘Joy in Repetition’ to hear some INSANE Jeff Beck-style licks. The difference is, there are people in the world who can play the same technical notes as Prince, but not play so flawlessly EVERYTIME whilst dancing, singing, wafting your arm in the air, and god knows what else he was doing. It was truly next level.
Secondly, the vocals. His voice not only was insane in range and control, but even in his last years he didn’t lose a SINGLE note of his falsetto. Check out his track ‘Solo’ from 1993’s ‘Come’, one of my all time favourites.
Then there were the insane piano skills, the drumming, the dancing, the choreography, and the rest of the massive list of instruments he played, I can’t even begin to start on all this. The hard work and complete obsessiveness it takes to become so good, at such a young age, is beyond words.
But the thing I admire most about him, far more than anything, was his output. He wrote/recorded/produced/mastered a track a day; with an insane amount of layers, harmonies and instrumentation to go on top. This was no Ed Sheeran shit, this was intricate & astonishing music. This is a true, true genius at work, operating at a level no one else can touch. Completely self-taught, his mind was akin to Beethovens, he could orchestrate an entire track in his head at lightning speed. Prince’s album credits read “all music written, recorded, composed, performed and produced by Prince”. Even the artwork of Prince, was taken by Prince. Insane.
But to be clear, Prince wrote some absolute crap. Like cheesy funk rubbish. And the majority of his music is not stuff I would listen to normally. But the thing you have to take from him, no matter what you’re trying to achieve in life, is just complete admiration and respect for his hard work and precision.
There’s so much more I want to talk about but this is getting lengthy, so I’ll wrap it up. The song I wanna leave you on is a recent discovery for me, it’s the live version of “Question of U”. The guitar work is simply outstanding, the vocals channel James Brown at his finest, and did I mention the guitar work?