Prince is a popular American singer who has been a major figure in popular music for more than three decades. He is known for his wide vocal range, eclectic work, and great stage presence. He is regarded as the pioneer of Minneapolis sound. His music is a blend of rock, soul, funk, hip hop, R&B, disco, jazz, pop and psychedelia.
Prince developed an interest in music at a very early age. He wrote his first song at the age of seven. He recorded songs with his cousin’s band 94 East. In 1978 he released his debut album ‘For You’. Prince has sold more than 100 million records globally. He is one fo the best-selling artists of all time. He has won several awards including seven Grammy Awards, one Golden Globe and one Academy Award. His name was included into the ‘Rock and Roll Hall of Fame’ in 2004. Rolling Stone has ranked him number 27 on it’s list of ‘100 Greatest Artists of All Time’. His career was a roller coaster ride. He is a firm believer that every parent should help his kid how to learn guitar. Here, we will look into his solo career from 1987 – 1991.
His became famous with his band The Revolution which later disbanded. Before the disbanding of The Revolution, Prince was working on two projects for the band. One was Teh Revolution album ‘Dream Factory’ and the other is solo ‘Camille’. The album ‘Dream Factory’ had great input from the band members. In the ‘Camille’ project Prince created a new persona by singing in a speeded-up, female-sounding voice.
As The Revolution disbanded, Prince combined materials from these two albums along with some new songs and made a three-LP album named ‘Crystal Ball’. Warner Bros., however, asked Prince to shorten his triple album to a double album and titled it as ‘Sign ‘’O’’ the Times’ which was released in 1987. The album became No. 6 on the Billboard 200 albums chart. It’s first single, ‘Sign ‘’O’’ the Times’ was No. 3 on the Hot 100 list. The single ‘If I Was Your Girlfriend’ didn’t do well and was at No. 67 on the Hot 100 list. The third single was a duet with Sheena Easton called ‘U Got the Look’ which secured No. 2 position on the Hot 100 list. The single ‘I Could Never Take the Place’ took No. 10 spot on the Hot 100 list. The album sold 3.2 million copies. Prince promoted the album world wide with his world tours. His venture was successful.
His next album to be released was ‘The Black Album’. This was a more instrumental and funk album. In this album, Prince experimented with hip hop music on the songs ‘Dead on It’ and ‘Bob George’. He made the cover of the album monochromatic black with only the catalog number printed. After 500,000 copies were pressed, Prince got a spiritual epiphany that the album was evil and so it’s release was stopped.
The album was later released by Warner Bros. in 1994 as a limited edition album. Prince worked for eight weeks in his studio and recorded the album ‘Lovesexy’. The album was released in 1988 and it was a spiritual opposite to the dark’ The Black Album’. The album reached No. 11 on the Billboard 200. The single ‘Alphabet St.’ was at No.8 spot on the Hot 100 list. The album sold 750,000 copies worldwide. He went to Lovesexy World Tour with some of the members of his band The Revolution. Their shows were popular, but they lost a lot of money due to their expensive sets and props.
Prince appeared on Madonna’s studio album ‘Like a Prayer’ in 1989. He had co-written and sang the duet ‘Love Song’. He also played electric guitar on the songs ‘Keep It Together’, ‘Like a Prayer’, and ‘Act of Contrition’.
He started working on various musical projects like ‘Rave Unto the Joy Fantastic’ and ‘Graffiti Bridge’ film. Both these projects were kept on hold as the Batman director Tim Burton asked Prince to record a number of songs for his upcoming movie.
Prince produced the whole nine-track album ‘Batman’ which was released by Warner Bros. in 1989. It topped the Billboard 200 chart and sold 4.3 million copies worldwide. The single ‘Batdance’ topped the charts too. In 1990, Prince went to his ‘Nude Tour’. His Japanese and European tour was a financial success. During that year, he completed the production of his fourth film ‘Graffitti Bridge’ and the album ‘Graffitti Bridge’ as well. The album reached No. 6 spot on the Billboard chart. The film was a box office flop grossing just $4.2 million.
In 1991, Prince formed his new band ‘New Power Generation’. The album ‘Diamonds and Pearls’ was released in 1991. It reached No. 3 spot on the Billboard 200 chart. The album had four hit singles. During 1990 and 1991, Warner Bros. attempted to release a ‘greatest hits’ compilation. But the project didn’t happen till 1993.
Besides his singing abilities, Prince is one of the most talented multi-instrumentalists. Rumors say that he had played all 27 instruments that on his debut album. As a live performer, he focuses on guitar, bass piano, drums, harmonica and lead vocals. On recordings, he plays keyboards, drums, guitar, saxophone, etc.
Prince had a good solo career from 1987 to 1991. He went to a number of world tours and his fan base increased. He became successful financially as well.