11 May. 2018
If it is featured in Daniel Benneworth-Gray’s newsletter — Meanwhile — you know it is good: Prince Discography Annotated. This is the title of the website, and the exact whole thing. Something I would have loved to have all those years listening passionately to Prince’s gigantic collection of songs.
So many anecdotes and gems to discover. My favorite part so far, on his 1989 album — and one of my favourites, Batman:
Prince was a lifelong fan of the comic book character Batman. As a child, the very first song he learned on the piano was the theme song for the late ’60s television series Batman — an anecdote that Prince would share many times throughout his life, including at the first Piano and a Microphone show he performed at Paisley Park in January 2016. So when the director Tim Burton contacted Prince to ask if he could use two of his singles, 1999 and Baby, I’m a Star, for his new movie, Batman, Prince didn’t just sign off on the idea; within a few weeks he was on set with Burton watching rough cuts of the movie, meeting the stars of the film like Jack Nicholson, and preparing to compose an entire album-length soundtrack to accompany Burton’s work.
If you think you would like to know a bit more about Prince, but you do not know what you would enjoy most, this ressource is a fantastic place to start and browse around.
Two bonus Prince links:
The Roots’ Questlove participated in this one-second Prince blindtest, and he was pretty good. I am proud to say that I got them all right too.
Yesterday, May 10th, was the day the Lovesexy album was released 30 years ago, one of his best albums, and the one with arguably the best cover, shot by French photographer Jean-Baptiste Mondino. Here is what Mondino said about his work with Prince, in an interview for Vice i-D:
I did a little drawing during the night, starting from the idea of a nude. In the morning he said, “It’s perfect.” That same night we chose just one Ekta which I took back to Paris with me. Then I scanned that photo and used the only machine that could retouch in Paris. It was my friend Kiki Picasso who had the demonstration model. Prince took a plane and we all found ourselves in the kitchen, the kids horsing around with his bodyguards. In the end Prince destroyed everything, and he said to me, “I think what you did with the flowers was best.” The cover came out and got banned in quite a few States. It’s a religious image par excellence.