Prince vs. Michael

Listen, as you will recall, I started this thread supporting Prince over Michael - but y'all are trippin' if you're trying to infer that MJ is somehow not talented and merely a function of marketing. What did Prince create really? (BTW - some would say that the hallmark of his music - which is a synthetic, computer-driven sound - is NOT necessarily an advancement of any kind.) In his music and dance he straight copied from the likes of James Brown as well as others from 'the day'. Ever see Prince wobble across stage? He's doing his damndest to do James Brown. Still. nono

Mike, on the other hand, CREATED a whole new way of moving on stage. Do you see Usher now? There would be no Usher w/out Mike. His whole game is a front - copying Mike's moves. Ever heard of the moon walk? Not that it is necessarily the most important discovery of the 20th century, but ain't no one ever thought a dat chit before MJ. Besides that, who dances better than him? Who?

Most importantly, who has the better/purer voice? Are you trying to tell me that Prince wit dat falsetto/gravelly whining voice can really sing? You think he can sing better than MJ? WHAT? Eek ek

OK - Prince can play a couple of instruments. BIG DEAL. He should have joined the symphony then! bsm

Y'all need to stay off dat pipe!! tongue cabbage
Another feather in MJ's cap is the fact that besides his sister (Janet); name another artist that dances BETTER then any of the back updancers in their videos..?

When you see Michael and/or Jenet in one of their videos, they are the best dancers on the screen...

I cannot think of anyone else that can make that claim..
I'm not sayin' MJ has no talent. I think he has a tremendous amount of talent. I just think that when you add it all up, Prince is the more talented of the two.

I'll say this for MJ: he's talented enough to still be able to sing well after all those nose jobs and the way they can alter the timbre of a singer's voice.
quote:
Originally posted by Vox:

I'm not sayin' MJ has no talent. I think he has a tremendous amount of talent. I just think that when you add it all up, Prince is the more talented of the two.


More talented at what?

Singing? No.

Dancing? No.

Over-all showmanship and entertainment value? No.

At creating record selling music? No.

At winning Grammy's? No.

At making money in the industry? No.

At creating cutting-edge music videos? No.

Oh, OK, playing musical instruments? Arranging? Composing? Perhaps. At the end of the day, though, IMHO those talents are not necessarily the things which make a recording artist "world-class" at what they do. You and AG just seem to value a different set of skills than the ones that are necessarily required of them. It would be like asking music producers to be able to sing and dance. Is P. Diddy more talented than Quincy Jones because he can "sing" and "dance"? Is that really fair?
Where AudioGuy & I differ is that he says that musicians are more talented if they play instruments and sing than ones who just sing. I don't agree with that, because it seems to me that this would mean that Alicia Keys is more talented than Aretha Franklin. I don't even agree that you're more talented if you write and sing than someone who just sings (Alicia Keys vs., say, Chaka Khan). But if you are an amazing overall creator and overall performer, you're overall more talented than an amazing performer.

What do u think about this formula for judging musical talent, between artists whose music fall under the same or similar genres: Prince could create music that MJ could not have. But MJ never made a song that Prince couldn't have made. If MJ had come out with "When Doves Cry," everybody would have been shocked at the strikingly innovative direction he had gone in (plus it would've sold 50 million copies). Name one MJ song which, if Prince had come up with it instead, would have caught people similarly off guard. Are u willing to say that Prince could never have come up with a bangin' "Liberian Girl?" "Rock With You?" "Billie Jean?"
quote:
Originally posted by blaqfist:
It's a push if you ask me..
Lost in the shuffle of this debate is the fact MJ can literally "blow"...!

If you don't beleive me go back and listen to "Lady In My life". It's on the Thriller Album..



tfro "Lady In My Life..." tfro
quote:
Originally posted by Vox:

What do u think about this formula for judging musical talent, between artists whose music fall under the same or similar genres: Prince could create music that MJ could not have. But MJ never made a song that Prince couldn't have made.


I'm not sure I understand it as a "formula for judging talent". They are very different people and artists. If it has integrity, music springs forth from who that artist is. I don't think that Prince could have executed many of the songs that Michael made mega-hits. I can't see Prince singing "Thriller" or "Billie Jean" for example. Beyond that, I don't think that the Jackson 5 would have been the hugely popular group that they were with Prince leading it. Not that Prince isn't talented etc., just that I can't see him pulling it off like Mike did.

quote:
If MJ had come out with "When Doves Cry," everybody would have been shocked at the strikingly innovative direction he had gone in (plus it would've sold 50 million copies).


Two interesting points here: 1) what is "strikingly innovative" about WDC? When I think "strikingly innovative" I think Charlie Parker or Jimmi Hendrix or John Coltrane. I'm not saying it isn't, but I'm interested in your interpretation here. 2) Inherent in your statement seems to be an admission that Jackson could "do it better" than Prince. Based on the debate here, I'm wondering what you think is behind the contention that MJ would sell more of Prince's songs than Prince could.

quote:
Name one MJ song which, if Prince had come up with it instead, would have caught people similarly off guard.


In your mind, how does "catching someone off guard" equate with talent or great music?

quote:
Are u willing to say that Prince could never have come up with a bangin' "Liberian Girl?" "Rock With You?" "Billie Jean?"


Well, he didn't. Are you suggesting that Prince never intended to sell as many records as possible? Do you think he preferred to be a more limited commercial success? Perhaps so, but most artists with integrity - I would guess - create from the heart, and then hope that everyone else sees their work as brilliant and buys it. I don't think that they create with the objective of limiting their work's popularity. What do you think?
quote:
Originally posted by MBM:
Listen, as you will recall, I started this thread supporting Prince over Michael - but y'all are trippin' if you're trying to infer that MJ is somehow not talented and merely a function of marketing...
I merely stated that I thought Prince was more talented - because he wrote, composed, arranged, produced, played and recorded his first 2 albums - by himself! (Without Q, where would Mike have been?). He bacame a star as a result of those efforts. He subsequently, wrote, produced and arranged the rest of his albums. Mike did none of those things - to ME, what Prince did takes a great deal more talent to accomplish.
quote:
...Mike, on the other hand, CREATED a whole new way of moving on stage...
Mike created nothing... EVERY dance move he does, has been done before - mimes were doing the "moonwalk" way before Mike. Ever heard of the Temptations? The Dells? Ever heard of the "Lindy Hop"? To say that Mike CREATED does a serious disservice to all those do-wop groups that were creating and inventing way before Mike was born. Just because he popularized something doesn't mean he created it.
quote:
Originally posted by AudioGuy:

I merely stated that I thought Prince was more talented - because he wrote, composed, arranged, produced, played and recorded his first 2 albums - by himself!


Interesting that you don't mention the quality of his doing those things - just that he did them. In general, my response from above still applies:

quote:
Originally posted by MBM:

More talented at what?

Singing? No.

Dancing? No.

Over-all showmanship and entertainment value? No.

At creating record selling music? No.

At winning Grammy's? No.

At making money in the industry? No.

At creating cutting-edge music videos? No.

Oh, OK, playing musical instruments? Arranging? Composing? Perhaps. At the end of the day, though, IMHO those talents are not necessarily the things which make a recording artist "world-class" at what they do. You and AG just seem to value a different set of skills than the ones that are necessarily required of them. It would be like asking music producers to be able to sing and dance. Is P. Diddy more talented than Quincy Jones because he can "sing" and "dance"? Is that really fair?


quote:
(Without Q, where would Mike have been?).


Perhaps you would have an argument if Q had done the same for all(or even other) of his clients. He did not. If you viewed Q's talents in the singular way that you seem to be vis-a-vis his association with Mike for, say, the Brothers Johnson - then I guess we wouldn't have such a high opinion of him, would we. In your seemingly all or nothing analysis which discounts artist ability, why didn't Tevin Campbell sell as many records as MJ? Patti Austen? The Manhattan Transfer? It's all about Q right? Confused

quote:
He became a star as a result of those efforts.


So, was Q just lucky in the albums he produced for M and unlucky in those he produced for other artists? Funny how that works, huh? bsm

Oh, that's right, it was the marketing. Mike just got more marketing than those others. nono Again, Q could create the best compositions in history for me, the record wouldn't sell. There's a reason for that.

quote:
...Mike, on the other hand, CREATED a whole new way of moving on stage...

quote:
Mike created nothing... EVERY dance move he does, has been done before - mimes were doing the "moonwalk" way before Mike. Ever heard of the Temptations? The Dells? Ever heard of the "Lindy Hop"?


Again, AG, JUST SAY NO. You straight trip if you suggest that any of those crooners moved anywhere like MJ. Bruh, it didn't happen.

quote:
Just because he popularized something doesn't mean he created it.


So which is more reflective of talent: creating something which has little consumer value, or adopting something and, in so doing, presenting it in a way that is commercially popular? Apple created the PDA back in the early 90's - forgot what it was called - but no one saw value in it. It flopped. Palm comes along and creates the Palm Pilot, and the rest is history. Who was the real innovator? I guess central to this whole discussion is the value that you place on popular adoption. I think the point of art is to touch and impact people. Anyone can create art in their closet. Prince created art which was popular, but no way near as popular as what MJ (and Q - I'll give you that) did.

Maybe that was Prince's problem. Maybe he should have chosen producers who could have packaged his music in a more popular way.
quote:
Originally posted by MBM:
Interesting that you don't mention the quality of his doing those things - just that he did them.
Do I really need to mention the quality?? The fact that he has done many subsequent albums should be enough. Rec cos. do not allow you to make more albums if your first two aren't any good.

quote:
Originally posted by MBM:

More talented at what?

Apparently, how I define talent is quite different from how you do. I assumed that since you are a former musician that you could appreciate the difficulty in mastering ONE instrument let alone several. Maybe you are unaware(?), but the producing, and recording processes are extremely difficult as well, as is the composing process. The process of completing an album with separate individuals in each of those roles is hard enough, but to do all of them yourself, to me is extraordinary.
quote:
Perhaps you would have an argument if Q had done the same for all(or even other) of his clients. He did not. If you viewed Q's talents in the singular way that you seem to be vis-a-vis his association with Mike for, say, the Brothers Johnson - then I guess we wouldn't have such a high opinion of him, would we. In your seemingly all or nothing analysis which discounts artist ability, why didn't Tevin Campbell sell as many records as MJ? Patti Austen? The Manhattan Transfer?
No producer has great success with every artist. A great producer has success with many artists and then great success with one, maybe two. Q is one of the greatest producers of all time - he had success with all of the artists that you mentioned - and more.
quote:
Oh, that's right, it was the marketing. Mike just got more marketing than those others. nono Again, Q could create the best compositions in history for me, the record wouldn't sell. There's a reason for that.
Of course MJ got more marketing... are you trying to say he did not?? As I have said in a previous post, MJ had a 15 yr head start in a successful group before going solo - that's 15 yrs of marketing in addition to the marketing he got/gets as a solo artist. There certainly have been and in fact are other artists who are more talented than MJ, but yet don't do as well. Why? Marketinggggggg. Razz

p.s. With the proper marketing anybody can be a star... ANYBODY. Look at Milli Vanilli - they did not even sing on their project and became international stars.

Again, popularity & record sales do not reflect talent.

quote:
Again, AG, JUST SAY NO. You straight trip if you suggest that any of those crooners moved anywhere like MJ. Bruh, it didn't happen.
The point is that MJ did not create anything - there were other people who did the same stuff before him.

quote:
So which is more reflective of talent: creating something which has little consumer value, or adopting something and, in so doing, presenting it in a way that is commercially popular? Apple created the PDA back in the early 90's - forgot what it was called - but no one saw value in it. It flopped. Palm comes along and creates the Palm Pilot, and the rest is history. Who was the real innovator?
Apple. The device you are referring to is the Newton. It is still today far superior to the palm pilot in terms of innovation and functionality. (I refer you here) With the exception of IPOD and the "1984" advertisement, Apple has not ever done much marketing. Their biggest problem is their steadfast refusal to license any of their products so that other manufacturers can innovate and create while they get the moolah. IBM licensed the PC and look what happened - sure they lost control of the product, but they made a whole lot of money as a result. I digress. If Apple put some money behind Newton they could have cornered the market.
quote:
I guess central to this whole discussion is the value that you place on popular adoption.
No, the point was to offer an opinion as to who I/we thought was more talented. I still think Prince was/is.
quote:
Maybe that was Prince's problem. Maybe he should have chosen producers who could have packaged his music in a more popular way.
Maybe he should not have fought with his rec co. I just think that he was not willing to give up creative control of his work and he suffered as a result - he still ain't doin' to bad though.
quote:
Originally posted by Vox:

quote:
When I think "strikingly innovative" I think Charlie Parker or Jimmi Hendrix or John Coltrane.



And interestingly, they never sold as much as Michael Jackson. I guess they weren't as talented... Wink


Vox, sir, that's YOUR point, not mine. I never said anything about innovation and talent. Smile
quote:
Originally posted by AudioGuy:

(Without Q, where would Mike have been?).


AG - I've been thinking about this. You may have it exactly backward. Without MIKE where would Q be? Would he be just another talented, but undermarketed jazz musician/producer? Probably so. I think the fact that Michael was a STAR before he even met Q, and the fact that Q never came even remotely close to replicating his success with Michael with any other artist suggests that Michael had more to do with their success than Q.

BTW - Quincty's website lists the following musicians/groups that he worked with: Michael Jackson, 98˚, Tevin Campbell, K-Ci & Jo Jo, George Benson, Ivan Lins, S.W.V., Vanessa Williams, Patti Austin, The Manhattan Transfer, James Ingram, Barry White and Ray Charles.

Any of those come anywhere near MJ? If Q was so talented why isn't Tevin Campbell MJ? He can sing better than MJ. He can dance. So what he's 4'2"? lol

I'm pretty sure that MJ did more for Q than vice versa. How many of those artists do you think he got because he worked with MJ? Can you imagine if Jimmy Jam and Terry L. got Mike from the jump? ek
quote:
Originally posted by MBM:
AG - I've been thinking about this. You may have it exactly backward. Without MIKE where would Q be? Would he be just another talented, but undermarketed jazz musician/producer? Probably so...
Are you telling me that you never heard of Q before he produced MJ??? The reason that Q was chosen to produce MJ in the first place was because of his enormous body of work. No one else could have produced MJ and made him into the superstar that he is/was besides Q. As I have stated before, MJ did not come close to having the sales that he had with Q, on his post Q albums - he was still making money from "Thriller" when "Awful", I mean, "Bad" came out.

quote:
BTW - Quincty's website lists the following musicians/groups that he worked with: Michael Jackson, 98˚, Tevin Campbell...

Any of those come anywhere near MJ? If Q was so talented why isn't Tevin Campbell MJ? He can sing better than MJ. He can dance. So what he's 4'2"? lol
You neglected to mention that he has done numerous movie soundtracks, numerous tv show themes, he has worked with Miles, Dizzy, Train, Monk... just about anybody who is anybody in music, across all genres... (He produced "We Are the World") Has his own tv production co. which produced the hugely successful "The fresh Prince of Belair" among others... He did not need MJ, MJ needed him.

Again, Tevin self destructed.

quote:
I'm pretty sure that MJ did more for Q than vice versa. How many of those artists do you think he got because he worked with MJ? Can you imagine if Jimmy Jam and Terry L. got Mike from the jump? ek
Me don' tink so... nono
quote:
Originally posted by AudioGuy:

Are you telling me that you never heard of Q before he produced MJ???


Sure - but I've heard of a lot of people. That has nothing to do with the question. tongue

quote:
The reason that Q was chosen to produce MJ in the first place was because of his enormous body of work.


Well - as you know - "enormous" has nothing to do with quality.

quote:
No one else could have produced MJ and made him into the superstar that he is/was besides Q.


My brother - Nancy Reagan said it best: "JUST SAY NO"!!! You better lay off that pipe before it makes permanent damage. ek

quote:
As I have stated before, MJ did not come close to having the sales that he had with Q, on his post Q albums - he was still making money from "Thriller" when "Awful", I mean, "Bad" came out.


So what? If Q was really that talented he could have replicated his talent elsewhere. He did not - not even remotely close. So what are we to believe about his talent? Confused

BTW - your two arguments are converging here. You believe that marketing is the most important thing to an artists' commerical success. You also believe that Q's producing and arranging skills are what "made" Michael. If artist talent is so unimportant and if Q is so good - why wouldn't record companies have invested the marketing to make ANYBODY Q worked with into mega-stars? If:

Q + Marketing = Mega Star

then why didn't that equation work for ANYBODY else? Confused


quote:
You neglected to mention that he has done numerous movie soundtracks, numerous tv show themes, he has worked with Miles, Dizzy, Train, Monk...


So what? What does that have to do with this argument? And btw - "working with" someone doesn't mean jack. You know how many people can say that they "worked with someone"? bsm And btw - Q's own websites do not list the credits that you site for him here.

quote:
just about anybody who is anybody in music, across all genres...


Again - HIS website suggests otherwise.

quote:
(He produced "We Are the World")


ek ek ek Well, with that point, I'm sold!! lol
We will never agree...

quote:
From MBM:
...And btw - Q's own websites do not list the credits that you site for him here.


Do you list your high school on your resume? Just because they were not listed on a website, doesn't mean that he did not produce them.

quote:
From MBM:
quote:
From AG:
(He produced "We Are the World")



Well, with that point, I'm sold!!


Up until "Candle in the wind" by Elton John(1997), "W.A.T.W." was the largest selling single in history.

BTW, "Thriller" sold 25 million copies (with Q), "Bad" sold 8 million (w/o Q)... Same "talented" artist on both albums - different producer.
quote:
Originally posted by AudioGuy:

Up until "Candle in the wind" by Elton John(1997), "W.A.T.W." was the largest selling single in history.


AG - with all of the talent on that cut, even I could have produced that song and sold millions. cabbage
quote:
Originally posted by AudioGuy:

quote:
Originally posted by MBM:
AG - with all of the talent on that cut, even I could have produced that song and sold millions. cabbage


Somehow I doubt that... Razz


AG - I lead a software company. I knew not one thing about how to create the product that my company produced.

I could have made millions with all of that talent! It's all about management. (BTW - so could you!) $$
quote:
Originally posted by MBM:
AG - I lead a software company. I knew not one thing about how to create the product that my company produced.

I could have made millions with all of that talent! It's all about management. (BTW - so could you!) $$


Where's Nancy R. when you need her...
OK - I can't let this thread die!!! lol

So, let's concede the fact that Prince is a more talented musician, writer, composer, arranger etc. We can also throw in that he has FAR better taste in 'love interests'. ek All that said, who was/is the better PERFORMER? Now I'm sure we could have a pages long debate about what the word "performer" means, but I am using it in the most common way - who put on the best show, who can sing/dance/perform better? Who has better stage presence? Who 'moves the crowd' better? Etc.

Michael or Prince?
quote:
Originally posted by MBM:
OK - I can't let this thread die!!! lol

So, let's concede the fact that Prince is a more talented musician, writer, composer, arranger etc. We can also throw in that he has FAR better taste in 'love interests'. ek All that said, who was/is the better PERFORMER? Now I'm sure we could have a pages long debate about what the word "performer" means, but I am using it in the most common way - who put on the best show, who can sing/dance/perform better? Who has better stage presence? Who 'moves the crowd' better? Etc.

Michael or Prince?
Let it go man!!! Let it gooooooooo!!!

If you include their most recent tours, Prince... If not, MJ...

*fuel for the fire* Did I mention that Quincy J. also produced several albums for the greatest white crooner-icon there ever was... Frank Sinatra? Who was notorious for eating producers alive?
Better artist?

Prince....

Better performer?

Michael.....


Weirdest then?

Prince....

Weirdest now?

Michael......

Better choice of ladies?

Prince.....

Look like a lady?

Michael.....

Who do I still jam too?

Prince....

Who I wish could put out better jams?

Michael....

bsm



Peace,
Virtue
quote:
Originally posted by virtue:
Better artist?

Prince....

Better performer?

Michael.....


Weirdest then?

Prince....

Weirdest now?

Michael......

Better choice of ladies?

Prince.....

Look like a lady?

Michael.....

Who do I still jam too?

Prince....

Who I wish could put out better jams?

Michael....

bsm



Peace,
Virtue



yeah
The first time I heard MJ, he was singing things like ABC. The first time I heard Prince, I was visiting a friend and had to get up on the floor and get my groove on to "Soft n Wet". Michael is an entertainer and more enjoyable to watch than to listen to - well, at least he used to be when he was Black.

Prince, on the other hand sings "grown up" songs and does not give a dayum about the commercialism. Michael may have MADE more money, but I have a feeling that Prince HAS more money.

Prince all the way for me! music
I must admit that I never watch American Idol, so I don't know what the commercialism factor is. I do recall, however, when Prince had his tiff with Warner Brothers and sold his material exclusively on his website - knowing that he would not make as much money without a record company behind him.
I grew up on the J5, but came of age with Prince. I was a BIG Prince fan! (I still have my 1999 concert t-shirt!)

I never thought there was a rivalry. Each did his own thing. Each had his share of copy cat artists. (Even Rick James wanted to be Prince. Remember Process and the Do Rags and The Mary Jane Girls? And if his Glow video wasn't a four-minute bootleg version of Purple Rain, I don't what was.

Back in the day folks thought Prince was a weirdo, a freak. Nowadays some folks use the same words to describe MJ.

Anyway, my all-time personal favorite is Prince.

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