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Thread: Slave Trade: How Prince Remade The Music Business

  1. #1

    Slave Trade: How Prince Remade The Music Business

    Caught this on AXS. Really blew my mind as I knew almost nothing about him or his career and especially the whole hulaballoo with him changing his name and all that.

    The fact he realized how the internet was going to change things and that the music biz didn't get it is really fascinating. That whole crazy period of his now has context and while he was off the rails at times mostly he knew what he wanted and he wasn't just fighting for himself. Makes me think of Curt Flood and what his fight did to his career.

    I am not a fan of his music but will admit he was a hell of a instrumentalist and he could write great songs just not in my style of listening, hence why I never knew what really happened with him.

    I saw it on the guide and it was three hours long. I thought that was a DirectV gaff but no, it's that long. They could have shortened the video clips and saved some time but overall it's really informative.

    Dude was way ahead of the time, business wise and although it took him a while to get that business sense to handle his own stuff he fought and largely won so kudos to him.
    Carry On My Blood-Ejaculating Son - JKL2000

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheLoony View Post
    Caught this on AXS. Really blew my mind as I knew almost nothing about him or his career and especially the whole hulaballoo with him changing his name and all that.

    The fact he realized how the internet was going to change things and that the music biz didn't get it is really fascinating. That whole crazy period of his now has context and while he was off the rails at times mostly he knew what he wanted and he wasn't just fighting for himself. Makes me think of Curt Flood and what his fight did to his career.

    I am not a fan of his music but will admit he was a hell of a instrumentalist and he could write great songs just not in my style of listening, hence why I never knew what really happened with him.

    I saw it on the guide and it was three hours long. I thought that was a DirectV gaff but no, it's that long. They could have shortened the video clips and saved some time but overall it's really informative.

    Dude was way ahead of the time, business wise and although it took him a while to get that business sense to handle his own stuff he fought and largely won so kudos to him.
    I will have to try to catch this. Like you I think the guy was an incredible talent, but most of the music he made was not my thing.

  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by SteveSly View Post
    I will have to try to catch this. Like you I think the guy was an incredible talent, but most of the music he made was not my thing.
    It's well worth it. While he never got my rocks off, the guy could play his ass off and he stood up when no one else was and fought the satanic music industry. His fight with Warner Bros. wasn't really with them it was with the whole music industry. Didn't matter which label he would have been with the fight was against the plantation mentality of the labels and would have happened regardless because he was right and wasn't going to back down.

    Makes me think a bit of Rush and 2112, which bought them their freedom, the fight against the labels to do what you do, and do it well, but they want hit singles and complete control of the rights and therefore, the money. He played for love but come on, love don't pay the bills.

    This totally rocks. Jeff Lynne, Tom Petty, Dhani Harrison, Steve Winwood and a few others AND Prince ripping it on guitar. Not Paul Gilbert over the top but damned well worthy of a listen or two.

    Carry On My Blood-Ejaculating Son - JKL2000

  4. #4
    I always reckoned the whole "Artist Formerly Known As Prince" (or "That guy they used to call Prince", as VH-1 once called him in a promo) thing was a deliberate move to exploit a loophole in his Warner Brothers contract. He could record, so long as he didn't call himself Prince. He could have changed his name to anything, he could have called himself Hymie Bergman-Steinowitz or whatever, and Warners wouldn't have been able to touch him. But he went full eccentric, pulled this "I'm changing my name to an unpronounceable symbol" trip, making it look like nothing more than a fantastic PR stunt, which it was, but it actually had a point to it (much like the ludicriously detailed and specific contract riders some bands have on tour, e.g. Van Halen's infamous brown M&M's).

    And then, in 2000, suddenly, he starts calling himself Prince again. So I reckon Warners had a contract whereby "Prince Rogers Nelson" had to record for them, until the end of the century. They didn't have a contract with Bronx Cheer (that's actually how you pronounce the supposedly unpronounceable symbol). So he was free to do whatever he wanted until 2000, and once the turn of the century rolled around, the Warners contract was no longer under force, and he was free to call himself Prince again.

  5. #5
    Hymie Bergman-Steinowitz

    Three and a half gold stars for that one.

    IIRC 2000 he was already out of the Warner contract so could use whatever name. It's rather convoluted what really happened and while I do admit he went a wee bit cray cray he wasn't wrong and doing the whole Curt Flood thing did affect his career he did it for all artists who have "contracts" instead of what he did with the majors after the whole thing blew over was "agreements".

    It's not a simple story and TBH it blew me away. He took on an untouchable entity and beat them. Unlike Flood he was able to continue his career but what he did was lay the groundwork for the new model of selling music that the internet gave him and the labels were loathe to, or just too stupid to do so.
    Carry On My Blood-Ejaculating Son - JKL2000

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by TheLoony View Post
    Hymie Bergman-Steinowitz

    Three and a half gold stars for that one.
    Credit where credit's due: I got Bergman-Steinowitz off a radio show I used to listen to, back in the 90's. The host, himself Jewish, posited that as "the most Jewish name possible". And it's always stuck in my head for some reason.

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