Prince vs. Michael

Remember in the days when Michael Jackson and Prince used to "compete" for being the "most talented man on the planet"? While they didn't do it openly, there seemed to be a bit of a rivalry between the two as to who had the best records and who was the coolest etc. Believe it or not, back in the early 80's I remember when Prince was "weirder" than Michael. Eek

All these years later, it's pretty clear who the winner is now. Prince made more money than any other music artist in America last year and has an absolutely beautiful wife on his arm. And Michael . . .

Here's a link to a pic of Prince and wife at the Oscars. http://www.imdb.com/features/rto/2005/gallery/oscar05-redcarpet/131



© MBM

Original Post
quote:
Originally posted by MBM:
Believe it or not, back in the early 80's I remember when Prince was "weirder" than Michael. Eek

All these years later, it's pretty clear who the winner is now. Prince made more money than any other music artist in America last year and has an absolutely beautiful wife on his arm. And Michael . . .


You ain't lyin'! lol

Micheal went from 'he', to 'she', to "it"! He is a *&%@! mess!

P.S. Who did you like better back in the day?
quote:
Originally posted by Oshun Auset:

P.S. Who did you like better back in the day?


Well, it was hard not to be in love with Mike back during the Thriller days - OA were you even born then! Big Grin

PS - I added a link to a pic of Prince and his wife at the Oscars in the original post. What a stark contrast w/ good 'ole MJ. Eek
quote:
Originally posted by MBM:
quote:
Originally posted by Oshun Auset:

P.S. Who did you like better back in the day?


Well, it was hard not to be in love with Mike back during the Thriller days - OA were you even born then! Big Grin

PS - I added a link to a pic of Prince and his wife at the Oscars in the original post. What a stark contrast w/ good 'ole MJ. Eek


Mike was my pick too. Thanks for the link. I've never seen Prince's 'newest' wife until now. She is pretty...But so is he! Is she the lady from Canada I heard he built a cstle like home for?

And yes, I remember Thriller MBM!...lol...I actually still know the entire "Beat it" dance routine from the music video by heart! I even remember the "Off the Wall" LP when Micheal looked normal..I wasn't allowed to touch any records or the record player at that age so when they were brought out I would study the labels as my Dad held them... I have the strange ability to retain early childhood memories of music. But my father used to be a musician so that's probably why.

Who do you like more now? Prince or Mike?...not judging looks...just music...
I used that same pic of MJ in an e-mail joke yesterday to some friends, in which I had him in a photo lineup with Jason, Freddy Krueger & the guy in the "Scream" mask.

What a got dam waste.

Before I got heavily into music, Thriller was out & everybody was into the phenomenon, so it was hard not to like it. But by high school, Prince was all-that, and MJ was already starting to become a joke to me. The hair-on-fire thing, the elephant man thing, and all the plastic surgeries were kicking in back then. Prince was weird, but his music was edgy & creative, & it worked for me.

BTW, I wish I could've seen MJ in concert. That's the true test of talent, & that would've been the best way to compare them. because last year, Prince...

tore...

the...

roof...

off...

of Madison Square Garden.

So for me, it's no contest. Prince is King.
Chris Rock said it best last year in his HBO Special Never Scared.

"Remember back in the 80s when we used to wonder who was better [between Michael and Prince]?...Prince won!"

I remember someone on the defunct africana.com had an article between Prince and Michael Jackson and someone said you could tell which girls were Michael fans and those who were Prince fans.

If you were a dad in the 80s and your daughter had a MJ poster, you weren't upset. But if she had a Prince, you'd be very concerned...if she wasn't sexually active, she would be very soon. Wink
quote:
Originally posted by AudioGuy:

IMO, Price is the more talented artist - on his first couple of albums he played ALL of the instruments. I don't think Mike can/could've do(ne) that.


OK - I'll start some stuff to keep this discussion going.

Prince may have been more talented in the sense that he can play a number of instruments, but IMHO, Mike's vocals and dancing/performance are so far superior to Prince that the ultimate experience blows Prince away. Who cares that Prince plays more than one instrument? We consume the music and the performance in total - and in those categories, Mike is miles and miles ahead of Prince. It ain't even close.

I saw the Purple Rain concert as well as Mike around the same time. The Prince show was fantastic. He is a great performer - absolutely. BUT - he don't come close to Mike in his prime. Back in the day, Mike was incredible - better than anyone else on the planet. cabbage

Thoughts?
quote:
Originally posted by MBM:
quote:
Originally posted by AudioGuy:

IMO, Price is the more talented artist - on his first couple of albums he played ALL of the instruments. I don't think Mike can/could've do(ne) that.


OK - I'll start some stuff to keep this discussion going.

Prince may have been more talented in the sense that he can play a number of instruments, but IMHO, Mike's vocals and dancing/performance are so far superior to Prince that the ultimate experience blows Prince away. Who cares that Prince plays more than one instrument? We consume the music and the performance in total - and in those categories, Mike is miles and miles ahead of Prince. It ain't even close.

I saw the Purple Rain concert as well as Mike around the same time. The Prince show was fantastic. He is a great performer - absolutely. BUT - he don't come close to Mike in his prime. Back in the day, Mike was incredible - better than anyone else on the planet. cabbage

Thoughts?


You have got to be kidding MBM ! Prince' LOVESEXY tour tore everything Mike did to shreads. I admit to being prejudiced though. Prince does not do shows he does experiences. Only James Brown is funkier. As a performer MJ in his prime was a good Pop artist while Prince is an artist period. To compare the two is not fair to MJ he will never be what Prince is.
quote:
Originally posted by MBM:
OK - I'll start some stuff to keep this discussion going.

Prince may have been more talented in the sense that he can play a number of instruments, but IMHO, Mike's vocals and dancing/performance are so far superior to Prince...


I'm sorry... I thought that the initial question was about TALENT... My bad. bump
quote:
Originally posted by AudioGuy:

I'm sorry... I thought that the initial question was about TALENT... My bad. bump


You know - there's a reason that we're talking about Prince and MJ as opposed to MBM and AudioGuy. It's called TALENT. cabbage cabbage cabbage
Razz

You infer that Jackson's music, singing, and performances are somehow not related to talent? Mr. AudioGuy - OFF THE PIPE!!! music
quote:
Originally posted by MBM:
You know - there's a reason that we're talking about Prince and MJ as opposed to MBM and AudioGuy. It's called TALENT.

No, it's called marketing. Either one of us could be touted as the next famous whatever - all it takes is marketing (and a whole lot of it!!! laugh)
quote:
You infer that Jackson's music, singing, and performances are somehow not related to talent? Mr. AudioGuy - OFF THE PIPE!!! music


Singing and dancing are indicators of talent???!!! Would you say that Beyonce is more talented that say, Quincy Jones? Would you say Hammer or Vanilla Ice are more talented than RUN-DMC? Milli Vanilli more so than Babyface? All because of their performance ability??

Maybe you should define what you see as talent - and we will start over. Wink
quote:
Originally posted by AudioGuy:

Singing and dancing are indicators of talent???!!!


AG! Can YOU dance like Hammer? Can you even sing like him? Smile Of course singing and dancing are examples of talents. Being a producer is but another type of talent.

quote:
Would you say that Beyonce is more talented that say, Quincy Jones?


You're trying to compare apples and oranges, but I would say that Q is a more talented producer than Beyonce is a singer/dancer. On the other hand, I would say that Michael Jackson was a more talented performer than Q is a producer. I would say that the other MJ - Jordan - was a more talented basketball player than Q is a producer. I would say that Paul Robeson was a more talented person than Q is a producer. There are lots of talents that people have. I think in this thread we were comparing Michael and Prince to each other, somewhat holistically, as artists/performers. Sure Prince may be able to play more instruments. At the end of the day though, I'm not sure that matters all that much. People are buying the whole package and IMO the most important variables are the vocals and over-all performance - closely followed by the music. Let's take Mike's little sister, as an example. Janet CAN'T sing, but because she's FOINE and puts on a great show, she has been a very entertaining performer. The entire package is entertaining. When I was drooling at her in concert here about 10 years ago - I could care less that she was probably lip syncing and in reality had no voice. The experience of her show was great.

Prince is definitely a smarter guy. He definitely has better judgment than Mike. He is saner than Mike. He can probably write "better" lyrics. He can probably play more instruments and play them better than Mike. But IMHO, in their prime, Mike was a better performer (although I'm sure Prince could probably let Mike have it in concert today.)

quote:
Would you say Hammer or Vanilla Ice are more talented than RUN-DMC?


In a word, "HELL NO". But, while Hammer was a more talented dancer - the total package of Run-DMC - IMHO - put on a better show!
quote:
Originally posted by MBM:
AG! Can YOU dance like Hammer? Can you even sing??? like him? Smile Of course singing and dancing are examples of talents. Being a producer is but another type of talent.


Can I now dance like Hammer used to? No. Did I used to be able to? Yes. In fact, I was in a rap group as a DJ/Dancer - back in MY heyday. We performed @ the Apollo and everything (not on the TV show - just wed night am. night)



quote:
You're trying to compare apples and oranges, but I would say that Q is a more talented producer than Beyonce is a singer/dancer. On the other hand, I would say that Michael Jackson was a more talented performer than Q is a producer...
Obviously, my employment as a sound engineer has jaded my opinion - I have a very different view of what talent is.

When you can write, produce, play all the instruments, record all the instruments in your own studio, establish yourself as a premier artist with hit records, and then back it up with your performance... in my book that makes much more talented than just about anybody else out. But as I said, I am jaded.

Just as an aside... Jacko had the bulk of his success as a solo artist with two albums - "Off The Wall" & "Thriller"... who was the producer of both?? Quincy Jones!!

Just maybe Q is a more talented producer than MJ is an artist... Food for thought.
quote:
Originally posted by AudioGuy:

When you can write, produce, play all the instruments, record all the instruments in your own studio, establish yourself as a premier artist with hit records, and then back it up with your performance... in my book that makes much more talented than just about anybody else out. But as I said, I am jaded.


Ah, so . . . Jay Z is the most talented man in hip hop? Eek
quote:
Originally posted by MBM:
Ah, so . . . Jay Z is the most talented man in hip hop? Eek


JayZ does not play any instruments, doesn't produce his own music... he only writes his own lyrics - much like MJ. nono

quote:
BTW - who is more talented, Prince or Stevie Wonder?
Stevie, he did the same as Prince on his early albums(played all instr's)... except he is blind! cool
In my view, if you play ten intruments well, you're not as talented as someone who can only sing, but sing amazingly.

Nevertheless, I'm with AG on Prince v. MJ. Michael was a reasonably good singer in his day, and he was an excellent dancer and performer. Prince was a reasonably good singer, great dancer and great performer, plus a masterful composer and yes, he played multiple instruments amazingly. I don't think there's any question that Prince is a musical genius. To me, the bottom line is that musical genius beats "King of Pop" any day, all day.

Stevie vs. Prince: I hate to do it, but I have to go with Stevie. Same reasons given by AudioGuy.
quote:
Originally posted by Vox:

I don't think there's any question that Prince is a musical genius. To me, the bottom line is that musical genius beats "King of Pop" any day, all day.


So why didn't that genius translate into record sales?


Biggest Selling Album Of All Time

Michael Jackson's "Thriller" Album is the biggest selling album of all time, with over 50 million copies sold worldwide. Thriller is also the biggest selling U.S album with sales of 25 million copies.

Most No. 1 Hits in 1980's

By The End of the 1980's MIchael Jackson had more no. 1 hits than any other artist for the decade.

Greatest Audience

The highest-ever viewership was 133.4 million viewers watching the NBC transmission of Super Bowl XXVII on June 31, 1993. Michael was spotlighted during the half-time peformance.

Bad Tour

Michael Jackson's world tour brought in a record gross revenue of over $124 million during September 1987-December 1988.

100 Million Records

Michael has sold over 100 million singles and albums outside of the U.S.

Billboard Charts

Michael Jackson is the first person in the 37 year history of the Billboard chart to enter straight in at No1, with his single "You Are Not Alone". The previous record "Earth Song" which had debuted at No5 and also Michael Jacksons.

Biggest Selling Video

Michael Jackson's "The Making Of Thriller" is the biggest selling video to be released by an artist.

Billboard "Hot 100" Singles Chart

Most No. 1 Hits by Male Artist (13)

No. 1 Debuts

Michael Jacksons "Bad", "Dangerous", and "HIStory" albums all debuted in at No1.

Awards

Michael has won more awards than any other artist.

No. 1 On Charts

In 1983 Michael became the first artist to simultaneously hold the number one spots on Billboard's rock albums and rock singles charts, as well as the R&B albums and singles charts.

Consecutive No. 1 Singles

Jackson 5 were the first group to ever have four consecutive No. 1 singles.


BTW - Prince's biggest selling album was Purple Rain which sold 13 million records in the US. MJ's Thriller sold 26 million in the US. Prince's next greatest selling album was at 2 million units - with nothing else coming close. MJ had at least 7 records with US sales over 2 million units. Even "Invincible" - which BOMBED (and was terrible) - still sold 2 million units domestically.

Looking at the numbers, Prince couldn't carry MJ's jock! nono
quote:
Originally posted by MBM:

So why didn't that genius translate into record sales?



You're asking that question of a guy who thinks Jill Scott is more talented than, say, Mary J. Blige. And that Talib Kweli is more talented than 50 Cent. And hold up... I'm not new to you... I know damn well that u agree with me on those artists, as well, Mr. MBM... nono

So nope. Not tryin' to hear it... MJ's sales numbers are 2nd to none, but that can't be part of that equation.
quote:
Originally posted by MBM:
[So why didn't that genius translate into record sales?


How about the fact that MJ had about a 15 year head start??

How about the fact that he came from one of the most popular groups of all time??

Prince established himself as a major artist... by himself!!

You of all people should know that sales are not driven by talent - they are driven by marketing. Especially now. If they were driven by talent, Roberta Flack would be one of the greatest selling artists in history... Earth, Wind & Fire would be Kazillionares... Stevie Wonder and Donnie Hathaway would have Bill Gates money... Fertile Ground would outsell the Beatles... I could go on, but I think the point has been made.

Talent and records sales have no correlation.
Let's just cut to the chase; we're talking about two androgynous and extremely talented "brothers" who are two distinct sides of the same damn coin.

It's like people in clubs who hates or likes either rap music or techno music, despite the fact they like dancing to both forms of music.
quote:
Originally posted by Vox:
quote:
Originally posted by MBM:

So why didn't that genius translate into record sales?



You're asking that question of a guy who thinks Jill Scott is more talented than, say, Mary J. Blige. And that Talib Kweli is more talented than 50 Cent. And hold up... I'm not new to you... I know damn well that u agree with me on those artists, as well, Mr. MBM... nono

So nope. Not tryin' to hear it... MJ's sales numbers are 2nd to none, but that can't be part of that equation.


For the sake of argument, could it just be that you particular tastes are not in line with those of the rest of America/the world? Obviously people vote with their dollars. If most have overwhelmingly voted for MJ, then what does that say?
quote:
Originally posted by AudioGuy:

You of all people should know that sales are not driven by talent - they are driven by marketing.


If that were entirely the case then groups like The Monkees, Milli Vanilli, B2K, Backstreet Boys etc. would still be kicking it.

Marketing dollars follow talent. When there ain't no talent, there won't be no marketing. Again, all the marketing in the world couldn't make me into a pop idol.

Don't you think people see through Ashlee Simpson? They certainly did at the Super Bowl! lol

BTW - if your hypothesis were true, then Da Band would be on top of the Hip Hop world.

In business every investment is designed to make money. Marketing dollars will not be invested in anything that it is not believed will deliver a return. Sure, marketing can enhance someone's luster, but at least in music - IMHO - it can't absolutely make you. Even Janet looks the part and can dance! cabbage Reebie, on the other hand, can't do either, and therefore she's at home sullking. Smile


quote:
Especially now. If they were driven by talent, Roberta Flack would be one of the greatest selling artists in history.


While I may agree with you - our tastes are not the mainstream's tastes.

quote:
... Earth, Wind & Fire would be Kazillionares... Stevie Wonder and Donnie Hathaway would have Bill Gates money... Fertile Ground would outsell the Beatles... I could go on, but I think the point has been made.


The point that I think you've made is that YOUR particular perception of talent (which I wholeheartedly agree with) is not aligned with the rest of the world's. That's cool though for me. I'm not trying to hang with folks from Jerry Springer. Wink

quote:
Talent and records sales have no correlation.


In YOUR judgement!

BTW - Purple Rain sold 12 million domestic records. Don't you think that there was all of the marketing in the world behind Prince going forward from that? PR made LOTS of people very rich. The one thing you can guarantee about folks is that if they made some from someone once - they'd be more than down to try to do it again. It never happened. It never even came close.
quote:
Originally posted by MBM:


For the sake of argument, could it just be that you particular tastes are not in line with those of the rest of America/the world? Obviously people vote with their dollars. If most have overwhelmingly voted for MJ, then what does that say?


No doubt about your first question. My tastes are not in line with other people's tastes. But I think there's "taste" on one hand, and "talent" on the other. In music, crafting a popular tune and creating a brilliant work of art are often two different things.

And before you accuse me (and us, 'cause I know we have similar tastes) of being a chauvinist, I notice that I'm objective enough to know that sometimes my "tastes" lead me to like songs that I "know" actually aren't very good. I like "1 2 Step" by Ciara, even though I "know" better. I "know" that "Rock Me Amadeus," a joke pop song from the 80s, was no kind of work of art, but that has never stopped me from liking it. And I'm sure there are musical geniuses whose music I can't get into.

A lot else goes into sales figures other than just musical talent. Marketing matters. Pop craftsmanship in itself involves marketing principles. The whole structure of a standard pop hit is the result of market-oriented principles. Somebody realized that Verse/chorus/verse-with-a-li'l-extra-oomph/chorus-with-a-little-extra/bridge/chorus/chorus was, for some reason, the formula most likely to result in a hit record. Do you think there's something artistically "better" about that formula that some other one?
quote:
Originally posted by MBM:
If that were entirely the case then groups like The Monkees, Milli Vanilli, B2K, Backstreet Boys etc. would still be kicking it. Marketing dollars follow talent. When there ain't no talent, there won't be no marketing. Again, all the marketing in the world couldn't make me into a pop idol...
All the groups you have mentioned self destructed... They all had some internal conflict that caused them to break up. Had MV not been exposed as frauds, they might still be kickin' it - with no talent.

quote:


BTW - if your hypothesis were true, then Da Band would be on top of the Hip Hop world.
Again, another group that imploded. Puffy was trying to prove a point... the point that you do not have to have talent to make it in the industry - Da Band would have made if they weren't fighting each other constantly.

quote:
In business every investment is designed to make money. Marketing dollars will not be invested in anything that it is not believed will deliver a return. Sure, marketing can enhance someone's luster, but at least in music - IMHO - it can't absolutely make you...
Again, Milli Vanilli had no talent... yet, they were the biggest thing since sliced bread - because of marketing!!!
quote:
Even Janet looks the part and can dance! cabbage Reebie, on the other hand, can't do either, and therefore she's at home sullking. Smile
Janet is NOT marketed as a DANCER, she is marketed as a SINGER. You said yourself that she couldn't sing
    "...Janet CAN'T sing, but because she's FOINE and puts on a great show, she has been a very entertaining performer. The entire package is entertaining..."


The music industry is based on singing. Whomever puts money behind Janet KNOWS that she cannot sing, has no singing talent - yet they still put money behind her.

quote:
BTW - Purple Rain sold 12 million domestic records. Don't you think that there was all of the marketing in the world behind Prince going forward from that? PR made LOTS of people very rich. The one thing you can guarantee about folks is that if they made some from someone once - they'd be more than down to try to do it again. It never happened. It never even came close.
The music industry is not some ubiquitous monolith that plucks talent from a pool, and then makes them famous. The decision to spend marketing dollars is based upon a lot of ass kissing, ego stroking and couch casting - not any standard formula.

Prince has been fighting with his rec.co. since day one, and they chose not to market him the way that he undoubtedly deserved, why? because they knew that his talent was such that they could make money from him w/o spending it. They also knew they could make another prince type, market him a little, and still make money. Unfortunately, he signed a deal back in the day that prevented him from getting out from under them until recently - otherwise he could have had been much bigger, sooner.
And you know, not that I really credit sales all that much in assessing true talent, but AG raises a great point that I want to build on. How many artists -- honestly, how many PEOPLE -- succeed to the astonishing level he reached, as totally on his own as Prince did? Also, consider that he did it all with one of the strangest, most bizarre personas that we had seen up until that time? He did whatever the hell he wanted to do, really, and was incredibly successful. Even if we look at it in terms of popularity, I can name no one in history who has truly managed to do that and attain the level of popularity he did.
quote:
Originally posted by Vox:

How many artists -- honestly, how many PEOPLE -- succeed to the astonishing level he reached, as totally on his own as Prince did?


What does "on his own" mean? Who do you think distributed his records? Who do you think produced Purple Rain? All of that was "by himself"?

quote:
He did whatever the hell he wanted to do, really, and was incredibly successful. Even if we look at it in terms of popularity, I can name no one in history who has truly managed to do that and attain the level of popularity he did.


How about Elvis Presley?

All of the above said, he still couldn't hold Mike's jock. nono
No, I mean writing, producing, Paisley Park, adhering to his creative vision, and not starting out with a hugely popular group. Creatively, he was as much his own man as any major star ever has been. Elvis??? Borrower extraordinaire? Now I know u're playing devil's advocate. lol BTW, What was the name of the black woman who originally recorded "Hound Dog?"

I think we can all agree, though, that we can vibe all day listening to the best cuts of both artists... I just may go ahead and put a playlist together. Lessee... track 1, Rock With You; track 2, Kiss; track 3, Don't Stop 'Til You Get Enough, track 4... cabbage
quote:
Originally posted by MBM:
...Who do you think produced Purple Rain?
PRINCE.
quote:
All of the above said, he still couldn't hold Mike's jock. nono
What about all the groups that Prince produced? The Time,(indirectly Jimmy & Terry - who produced Janet) Vanity 6, Apollonia, Jesse Johnson??

Q:How many did MJ produce? A: None.

As I stated before MJ relied heavily on Quincy to produce his 2 greatest albums - Prince produced all of his own music.

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