independent and unofficial
Prince fan community site
Fri 24th May 2019 3:56am
Welcome! Sign up or enter username and password to remember me
Forum jump
Forums > Prince: Music and More > Prince Books
« Previous topic  Next topic »
Page 1 of 3 123>
  New topic   Printable     (Log in to 'subscribe' to this topic)
Author

Tweet     Share

Message
Thread started 03/15/19 3:28am

cRaZyMiLk

Prince Books

Hi there beautiful people.

I was just wondering what you guys think are the best Prince books out there.

Its my birthday in a couple of weeks and my wife keeps asking for any ideas on prezzies, I have always liked the idea of building up a nice collection of books so just wondering what ones I shoudl be looking at.

Thanks all

Love ya smile

  - E-mail - orgNote - Report post to moderator
Reply #1 posted 03/15/19 10:04am

TrivialPursuit

avatar

Do NOT buy every book out there. Most are the same rehash over and over and over. I recently read Toure's book, and was greatly disappointed. He covered some very interesting things about baby boomers vs. Gen Xers, how they were raised, their perspective on life, etc. Being a Gen Xer myself, I found it fascinating. How Prince (a baby boomer) fits into the Gen X population more was a cool note (the same applies for Madonna, MJ - folks of that age group). However, after the first 1/3 of the book, it all goes off the rails. There's never a final definitive statement on how Prince became an icon (the literal name of the damn book). I was let down and wouldn't recommend it.

I would recommend:


Guitar & Bass

Fashion

Paisley Park (all 3 from Paisley Park's site)

The Most Beautiful... by Mayte. What a beautiful read, true, heartfelt, honest, unapologetic, tender. All these other random fans can write books, but she married the MFer! She's the first one I'd wanna read, and it didn't disappoint.

Purple Rain Sessions by Duane Tudahl. A different kind of "Prince recorded this song on such and such date". It's the sort of technical stuff that some fans may not expect to enjoy, but will by the time they get into the book. It's not a lot of re-telling of the stories like we've had in A Pop Life, DMSR, etc. It's more like The Vault boiled down to the PR period. Amazing that so many ATWIAD songs were recorded or worked on before PR ever came out (movie or album).

The Rise of Prince - Alex Hahn - this book in its early form caused more uproar among fans, but it's still a solid book. I've not read the updated version, but I plan to buy it at some point.

Books by Alan Light, Jim Walsh or Ben Greenman, but maybe others could offer something on those. I can't imagine Light or Walsh's books would be bad. They're longtime Prince critics and writers. Also, old favorites like Per Nilsen's DMSR and Dave Hill's A Pop Life are nice.

Definitely get the photo books from Steve Parke, Shahidi, and Allen Beaulieu.

__________


Some of the worst:
Toure - When Doves Cry: How Prince Became An Icon

Ro Ronin - Inside the Music and the Masks (I didn't get 20 pages in before I returned it to the library)

Liz Jones - Purple Reign (she cops most of the Oprah interview and builds her book around it, never once citing her source; flat out thievery. It goes beyond a simple quote into forgery.)

There are a lot of yahoos who wanted to write a Prince book, and they're all garbage. Don't buy it just because it's about Prince. You'll be disappointed. Stick with authors who have the reputation that deserve your wife's cash. haha

This experience will cover courtship, sex, commitment, fetishes, loneliness, vindication, love, and hate.
http://bit.ly/1D3FG2U
  - E-mail - orgNote - Report post to moderator
Reply #2 posted 03/15/19 4:39pm

BartVanHemelen

avatar

cRaZyMiLk said:

Hi there beautiful people.

I was just wondering what you guys think are the best Prince books out there.

Its my birthday in a couple of weeks and my wife keeps asking for any ideas on prezzies, I have always liked the idea of building up a nice collection of books so just wondering what ones I shoudl be looking at.

Thanks all

Love ya smile

.

This is why sites like Goodreads exist. Princevault has a list of virtually all books, use that to look them up on GR and read the reviews.

© Bart Van Hemelen
This posting is provided AS IS with no warranties, and confers no rights.
It is not authorized by Prince or the NPG Music Club. You assume all risk for
your use. All rights reserved.
  - E-mail - orgNote - Report post to moderator
Reply #3 posted 03/15/19 7:29pm

purplefam99

TrivialPursuit said:

Do NOT buy every book out there. Most are the same rehash over and over and over. I recently read Toure's book, and was greatly disappointed. He covered some very interesting things about baby boomers vs. Gen Xers, how they were raised, their perspective on life, etc. Being a Gen Xer myself, I found it fascinating. How Prince (a baby boomer) fits into the Gen X population more was a cool note (the same applies for Madonna, MJ - folks of that age group). However, after the first 1/3 of the book, it all goes off the rails. There's never a final definitive statement on how Prince became an icon (the literal name of the damn book). I was let down and wouldn't recommend it.

I would recommend:



Guitar & Bass


Fashion


Paisley Park (all 3 from Paisley Park's site)

The Most Beautiful... by Mayte. What a beautiful read, true, heartfelt, honest, unapologetic, tender. All these other random fans can write books, but she married the MFer! She's the first one I'd wanna read, and it didn't disappoint.

Purple Rain Sessions by Duane Tudahl. A different kind of "Prince recorded this song on such and such date". It's the sort of technical stuff that some fans may not expect to enjoy, but will by the time they get into the book. It's not a lot of re-telling of the stories like we've had in A Pop Life, DMSR, etc. It's more like The Vault boiled down to the PR period. Amazing that so many ATWIAD songs were recorded or worked on before PR ever came out (movie or album).

The Rise of Prince - Alex Hahn - this book in its early form caused more uproar among fans, but it's still a solid book. I've not read the updated version, but I plan to buy it at some point.

Books by Alan Light, Jim Walsh or Ben Greenman, but maybe others could offer something on those. I can't imagine Light or Walsh's books would be bad. They're longtime Prince critics and writers. Also, old favorites like Per Nilsen's DMSR and Dave Hill's A Pop Life are nice.

Definitely get the photo books from Steve Parke, Shahidi, and Allen Beaulieu.

_____



Some of the worst:
Toure - When Doves Cry: How Prince Became An Icon


Ro Ronin - Inside the Music and the Masks (I didn't get 20 pages in before I returned it to the library)


Liz Jones - Purple Reign (she cops most of the Oprah interview and builds her book around it, never once citing her source; flat out thievery. It goes beyond a simple quote into forgery.)

There are a lot of yahoos who wanted to write a Prince book, and they're all garbage. Don't buy it just because it's about Prince. You'll be disappointed. Stick with authors who have the reputation that deserve your wife's cash. haha




The book by Toure is “I would die 4 you” not “when doves cry”
  - E-mail - orgNote - Report post to moderator
Reply #4 posted 03/15/19 8:39pm

TrivialPursuit

avatar

BartVanHemelen said:

.

This is why sites like Goodreads exist. Princevault has a list of virtually all books, use that to look them up on GR and read the reviews.


It's also why prince.org exists, you toad.

This experience will cover courtship, sex, commitment, fetishes, loneliness, vindication, love, and hate.
http://bit.ly/1D3FG2U
  - E-mail - orgNote - Report post to moderator
Reply #5 posted 03/15/19 8:40pm

TrivialPursuit

avatar

purplefam99 said:

The book by Toure is “I would die 4 you” not “when doves cry”


You are correct. Shows ya how much of an impression it made on me long term.

This experience will cover courtship, sex, commitment, fetishes, loneliness, vindication, love, and hate.
http://bit.ly/1D3FG2U
  - E-mail - orgNote - Report post to moderator
Reply #6 posted 03/15/19 9:37pm

ISaidLifeIsJus
tAGame

avatar

TrivialPursuit said:

BartVanHemelen said:

.

This is why sites like Goodreads exist. Princevault has a list of virtually all books, use that to look them up on GR and read the reviews.


It's also why prince.org exists, you toad.

jester

  - E-mail - orgNote - Report post to moderator
Reply #7 posted 03/16/19 3:58am

KoolEaze

avatar

TrivialPursuit said:

Do NOT buy every book out there. Most are the same rehash over and over and over. I recently read Toure's book, and was greatly disappointed. He covered some very interesting things about baby boomers vs. Gen Xers, how they were raised, their perspective on life, etc. Being a Gen Xer myself, I found it fascinating. How Prince (a baby boomer) fits into the Gen X population more was a cool note (the same applies for Madonna, MJ - folks of that age group). However, after the first 1/3 of the book, it all goes off the rails. There's never a final definitive statement on how Prince became an icon (the literal name of the damn book). I was let down and wouldn't recommend it.

I would recommend:


Guitar & Bass

Fashion

Paisley Park (all 3 from Paisley Park's site)

The Most Beautiful... by Mayte. What a beautiful read, true, heartfelt, honest, unapologetic, tender. All these other random fans can write books, but she married the MFer! She's the first one I'd wanna read, and it didn't disappoint.

Purple Rain Sessions by Duane Tudahl. A different kind of "Prince recorded this song on such and such date". It's the sort of technical stuff that some fans may not expect to enjoy, but will by the time they get into the book. It's not a lot of re-telling of the stories like we've had in A Pop Life, DMSR, etc. It's more like The Vault boiled down to the PR period. Amazing that so many ATWIAD songs were recorded or worked on before PR ever came out (movie or album).

The Rise of Prince - Alex Hahn - this book in its early form caused more uproar among fans, but it's still a solid book. I've not read the updated version, but I plan to buy it at some point.

Books by Alan Light, Jim Walsh or Ben Greenman, but maybe others could offer something on those. I can't imagine Light or Walsh's books would be bad. They're longtime Prince critics and writers. Also, old favorites like Per Nilsen's DMSR and Dave Hill's A Pop Life are nice.

Definitely get the photo books from Steve Parke, Shahidi, and Allen Beaulieu.

__________


Some of the worst:
Toure - When Doves Cry: How Prince Became An Icon

Ro Ronin - Inside the Music and the Masks (I didn't get 20 pages in before I returned it to the library)

Liz Jones - Purple Reign (she cops most of the Oprah interview and builds her book around it, never once citing her source; flat out thievery. It goes beyond a simple quote into forgery.)

There are a lot of yahoos who wanted to write a Prince book, and they're all garbage. Don't buy it just because it's about Prince. You'll be disappointed. Stick with authors who have the reputation that deserve your wife's cash. haha

I agree with you that Mayté´s book is quite an interesting read and I think it is much better than people on the org say. It´s especially interesting for those who missed out on the early 90s era or those who witnessed it and want to know more details about that interesting era.

.

Duane´s book is great, I can´t wait for follow ups to cover the Parade or SOTT or Lovesexy era. I was a tad disappointed that the updated version came out right after I had received my first edition version of that book and I haven´t bought the expanded or updated version yet and I don´t know if I will. But yeah, it´s an excellent book.

.

Possessed- The Rise and Fall of Prince by Alex Hahn is much better than its reputation but also a bit disappointing in some aspects, but I won´t get into the details now and here because I think we´ve had enough discussions about the pros and cons regarding this book. I found it a bit odd and still find it odd that he called his book "The Rise and Fall of Prince" and then kind of backpedaled and called the second version "The Rise of Prince". I like the first version for what it is despite some of the negative aspects and the controversy surrounding it and I can understand both sides but I must admit it left a sour aftertaste and I am still hesitant to buy the new version but I think one day I might.

.

.

I also own the Alan Light book Let´s Go Crazy and Jim Walsh´s Gold Experience book.

Both are good books and enjoyable reads for the casual fan or for those who want a detailed account of those eras (Purple Rain and Gold Experiene) but the first one does not really contain that much new info for the diehard fans and the second one is more or less a collection of previously released newspaper articles written by Jim Walsh (who also wrote the liner notes to the Gold Experience album).

Jim´s book is probably interesting for hardcore fans who want some sort of diary of the Gold Experience era and who don´t have all those articles saved somewhere or can´t find them online anymore, and it has a nice local Minnesota feel to it but I was a little bit disappointed after reading it. It is by no means a bad book though and I am still glad that I bought it. It just doesn´t contain that much info for me but it´s worth having.

.

The picture books are, in my opinion, must-haves....especially the Allen Beaulieu book and Afshin Shahidi´s book are phenomenal, and I also like Steve Parke´s book.

.

As far as Touré is concerned, I can´t stand that guy or his books.

" I´d rather be a stank ass hoe because I´m not stupid. Oh my goodness! I got more drugs! I´m always funny dude...I´m hilarious! Are we gonna smoke?"




http://kooleasehvac.com/
  - E-mail - orgNote - Report post to moderator
Reply #8 posted 03/16/19 9:17am

peggyon

I hear "Dance, Music, Sex, Romance" by Per Nilson is a must-read

It is quite expensive but I've noticed it coming down in price a bit...

[Edited 3/16/19 9:18am]

  - E-mail - orgNote - Report post to moderator
Reply #9 posted 03/16/19 11:15am

purplefam99

Well I have read quite a few books.
The Toure book happens to be one of them.
The reason I think people don’t like it because of the last page
And Toure explanation of princes possible motivation.
Folks don’t like what he says at the end.
The book is great esp the gen X part is very true and well
Stated. I think most gen xers can relate.
And if you share a similar background, community
And upbringing as prince if the fabric of you life is similar, you can see your way to seeing how
Toures summation at the end could be true.
I would rec “ I would die for you” by Toure.
[Edited 3/16/19 11:17am]
  - E-mail - orgNote - Report post to moderator
Reply #10 posted 03/16/19 11:32am

BartVanHemelen

avatar

purplefam99 said:

Well I have read quite a few books. The Toure book happens to be one of them. The reason I think people don’t like it because of the last page And Toure explanation of princes possible motivation.

.

It's a mediocre book, basically a collection of essays and quite repetitive in places. His respect for some self-proclaimed Prince experts is annoying. Also, he's written an entire book and managed to not unearth a single scrap of new information (except perhaps when he talked to several women who'd slept with Prince).

© Bart Van Hemelen
This posting is provided AS IS with no warranties, and confers no rights.
It is not authorized by Prince or the NPG Music Club. You assume all risk for
your use. All rights reserved.
  - E-mail - orgNote - Report post to moderator
Reply #11 posted 03/16/19 11:34am

purplefam99

If you want an in-depth look at prince
And Minneapolis and the black community of the
Great migration that surrounded him and what he was
Nurtured in you should read this.
The Lyrics of Prince Rogers Nelson/[icon Symbol]: A Literary Look at a Creative Musical Poet, Philosopher, and Storyteller
Book by C. Liegh McInnis

You will come away from this read
More informed on not only Prince.
  - E-mail - orgNote - Report post to moderator
Reply #12 posted 03/16/19 11:36am

purplefam99

BartVanHemelen said:



purplefam99 said:


Well I have read quite a few books. The Toure book happens to be one of them. The reason I think people don’t like it because of the last page And Toure explanation of princes possible motivation.

.


It's a mediocre book, basically a collection of essays and quite repetitive in places. His respect for some self-proclaimed Prince experts is annoying. Also, he's written an entire book and managed to not unearth a single scrap of new information (except perhaps when he talked to several women who'd slept with Prince).




I thought it was good
And the ending profoundly possible.

And to the OP,it is at the library, your out nothing,
Check it out for yourself.
[Edited 3/16/19 11:39am]
  - E-mail - orgNote - Report post to moderator
Reply #13 posted 03/16/19 11:28pm

Nightcrawler

Dave Hill - Prince: A Pop Life. Covers his career until 1988 (book was published in 1989). It was my first Prince book, so I‘m nostalgic about it, but I recommend it. All the other good releases are already mentioned above. I agree with all of the recommendations in the first comment and Per Nilsens books are also essential.
Just like the sun, the rainbow children rise...
  - E-mail - orgNote - Report post to moderator
Reply #14 posted 03/17/19 9:39am

pinkcashmere23

peggyon said:

I hear "Dance, Music, Sex, Romance" by Per Nilson is a must-read

It is quite expensive but I've noticed it coming down in price a bit...

[Edited 3/16/19 9:18am]

Yes! It's excellent. Last I checked it was going for over 100 dollars on Amazon while Possessed was over 300.

  - E-mail - orgNote - Report post to moderator
Reply #15 posted 03/17/19 10:32am

peggyon

pinkcashmere23 said:

peggyon said:

I hear "Dance, Music, Sex, Romance" by Per Nilson is a must-read

It is quite expensive but I've noticed it coming down in price a bit...

[Edited 3/16/19 9:18am]

Yes! It's excellent. Last I checked it was going for over 100 dollars on Amazon while Possessed was over 300.

I may break down and buy this one, though I just checked, and a used copy sells for $85.00 (groan)

I get the impression it is comparable to the level of excellence found in Duane Tudahl's book, (which I have read)

  - E-mail - orgNote - Report post to moderator
Reply #16 posted 03/17/19 10:39am

TrivialPursuit

avatar

KoolEaze said:

Duane´s book is great, I can´t wait for follow ups to cover the Parade or SOTT or Lovesexy era. I was a tad disappointed that the updated version came out right after I had received my first edition version of that book and I haven´t bought the expanded or updated version yet and I don´t know if I will. But yeah, it´s an excellent book.


Duane is not a dick by any means, but the re-issue a year after a dick move. It would have been worth it to just wait. Or something. It felt like a double-dip, a bait n' switch. But I don't think he was intentional in the dickery. I didn't buy either, yet, but I plan to buy the updated one.

This experience will cover courtship, sex, commitment, fetishes, loneliness, vindication, love, and hate.
http://bit.ly/1D3FG2U
  - E-mail - orgNote - Report post to moderator
Reply #17 posted 03/17/19 10:47am

pinkcashmere23

peggyon said:

pinkcashmere23 said:

Yes! It's excellent. Last I checked it was going for over 100 dollars on Amazon while Possessed was over 300.

I may break down and buy this one, though I just checked, and a used copy sells for $85.00 (groan)

I get the impression it is comparable to the level of excellence found in Duane Tudahl's book, (which I have read)

I haven't yet read Duane's but DMSR is an excellent overview of the first ten years of his career. There are several stories from insiders and I loved the detail Per went into about the recording process of the albums. I also appreciated that he listed all songs recorded in studio up until the time the book was published.

  - E-mail - orgNote - Report post to moderator
Reply #18 posted 03/17/19 11:24am

peggyon

pinkcashmere23 said:

peggyon said:

I may break down and buy this one, though I just checked, and a used copy sells for $85.00 (groan)

I get the impression it is comparable to the level of excellence found in Duane Tudahl's book, (which I have read)

I haven't yet read Duane's but DMSR is an excellent overview of the first ten years of his career. There are several stories from insiders and I loved the detail Per went into about the recording process of the albums. I also appreciated that he listed all songs recorded in studio up until the time the book was published.

You have talked me into buying!

  - E-mail - orgNote - Report post to moderator
Reply #19 posted 03/17/19 11:38am

pinkcashmere23

peggyon said:

pinkcashmere23 said:

I haven't yet read Duane's but DMSR is an excellent overview of the first ten years of his career. There are several stories from insiders and I loved the detail Per went into about the recording process of the albums. I also appreciated that he listed all songs recorded in studio up until the time the book was published.

You have talked me into buying!

Great! I couldn't put it down once I started reading. I got mine from B&N in 2007 used like new for about 20 bucks and unfortunately lost it when my apartment flooded. It was very reasonably priced before Prince passed of course and I wish I had replaced my copy.Glad you found it for a somewhat reasonable price.

[Edited 3/17/19 11:50am]

  - E-mail - orgNote - Report post to moderator
Reply #20 posted 03/17/19 12:01pm

peggyon

pinkcashmere23 said:

peggyon said:

You have talked me into buying!

Great! I couldn't put it down once I started reading. I got mine from B&N in 2007 used like new for about 20 bucks and unfortunately lost it when my apartment flooded. It was very reasonably priced before Prince passed of course and I wish I had replaced my copy.Glad you found it for a somewhat reasonable price.

[Edited 3/17/19 11:50am]

Looking forward to it.

  - E-mail - orgNote - Report post to moderator
Reply #21 posted 03/22/19 12:47am

PeteSilas

cRaZyMiLk said:

Hi there beautiful people.

I was just wondering what you guys think are the best Prince books out there.

Its my birthday in a couple of weeks and my wife keeps asking for any ideas on prezzies, I have always liked the idea of building up a nice collection of books so just wondering what ones I shoudl be looking at.

Thanks all

Love ya smile

i've read many and the faves are still the earlier ones, the dave hill, jon bream, steven ivory i always liked the best. dmsr is a must have and it's a one off that doesn't get into the personality cult much. Haven't read the post-death ones but I plan on it.

Prince.org: With fans like these he didn't need haters.
  - E-mail - orgNote - Report post to moderator
Reply #22 posted 03/22/19 12:49am

PeteSilas

TrivialPursuit said:

BartVanHemelen said:

.

This is why sites like Goodreads exist. Princevault has a list of virtually all books, use that to look them up on GR and read the reviews.


It's also why prince.org exists, you toad.

that's right, one time i gently suggested just search, we've all talked a lot about this stuff before but no point being rude.

Prince.org: With fans like these he didn't need haters.
  - E-mail - orgNote - Report post to moderator
Reply #23 posted 03/22/19 2:06pm

KoolEaze

avatar

PeteSilas said:

cRaZyMiLk said:

Hi there beautiful people.

I was just wondering what you guys think are the best Prince books out there.

Its my birthday in a couple of weeks and my wife keeps asking for any ideas on prezzies, I have always liked the idea of building up a nice collection of books so just wondering what ones I shoudl be looking at.

Thanks all

Love ya smile

i've read many and the faves are still the earlier ones, the dave hill, jon bream, steven ivory i always liked the best. dmsr is a must have and it's a one off that doesn't get into the personality cult much. Haven't read the post-death ones but I plan on it.

DMSR is by far the best of them all. And I completely forgot to mention it in my post above. lol

The Jon Bream book is out of print because Prince allegedly found it a tad too personal and informative, so he bought the rights but I´ve read it online and don´t really understand why he prevented it from being reprinted because I really didn´t find it so special or personal at all.

Maybe in 1984, when he was still very mysterious, but most books that came out later were far more interesting and informative.

" I´d rather be a stank ass hoe because I´m not stupid. Oh my goodness! I got more drugs! I´m always funny dude...I´m hilarious! Are we gonna smoke?"




http://kooleasehvac.com/
  - E-mail - orgNote - Report post to moderator
Reply #24 posted 03/22/19 2:37pm

ChocolateBox31
21

avatar

cRaZyMiLk said:

Hi there beautiful people.

I was just wondering what you guys think are the best Prince books out there.

Its my birthday in a couple of weeks and my wife keeps asking for any ideas on prezzies, I have always liked the idea of building up a nice collection of books so just wondering what ones I shoudl be looking at.

Thanks all

Love ya smile

2uekadh.jpg

[Edited 3/22/19 14:44pm]

So Prince, whom fought 4 his first record deal & got it, fought 4 a movie deal & got it, fought 4 freedom from his WB contract & got it, fought 4 his masters & got them.Gets a curable illness & says 2 himself ok, I'm done. "Life is a Box Of Chocolates"
  - E-mail - orgNote - Report post to moderator
Reply #25 posted 03/22/19 4:24pm

PeteSilas

KoolEaze said:

PeteSilas said:

i've read many and the faves are still the earlier ones, the dave hill, jon bream, steven ivory i always liked the best. dmsr is a must have and it's a one off that doesn't get into the personality cult much. Haven't read the post-death ones but I plan on it.

DMSR is by far the best of them all. And I completely forgot to mention it in my post above. lol

The Jon Bream book is out of print because Prince allegedly found it a tad too personal and informative, so he bought the rights but I´ve read it online and don´t really understand why he prevented it from being reprinted because I really didn´t find it so special or personal at all.

Maybe in 1984, when he was still very mysterious, but most books that came out later were far more interesting and informative.

it was 84, he was in his full prime, probably still feeling the heady intoxications of success and didn't want pictures of him in second hand clothes with an afro floating around. that's my theory. arsenio hall did some comedy off the afro pics a few years later. Prince didn't like to be laughed at, i called him a tard in one of his pics and others chipped in and they almost shut the whole goddamned org down. I found the book cheap about 8 years ago, i wouldn't sell it though.

[Edited 3/22/19 16:26pm]

Prince.org: With fans like these he didn't need haters.
  - E-mail - orgNote - Report post to moderator
Reply #26 posted 03/25/19 4:19am

cRaZyMiLk

Thanks all for your input. Some really usful comments

Will be checking some out for sure.

  - E-mail - orgNote - Report post to moderator
Reply #27 posted 03/25/19 6:43am

jaawwnn

avatar

For what it's worth, my two cents:


Touré's I would Die 4 U book isn't a biography and should not be approached as one, it's got its flaws (not least the fact that he doesn't seem to know the basic tracklists to albums) but it's interesting enough. He's making an argument about pop culture via Prince though so it's kind of niche.

Alex Hahn's The Rise of Prince is decent and well written and in the recent version he dug up some interesting historical details about Prince's ancestry, but he doesn't seem to fact check anything he hears, he takes every rumour as true and you get some odd, contradictory impressions about Prince. Approach with caution. I haven't read Possessed myself.

Duane Tudah's is brilliant but it's for scholars of Prince and obviously hyper-focused on two years, it's not someone who wants to know the basic biography.

Per Nielsen's DMSR is way out of print right? It's probably the best i've read covering his first decade but it does end at that point.

I'd recommend Alan Light's Let's Go Crazy book, it gives you the central story of why Prince is famous and what Purple Rain achieved - in fact I'd probably go as far as saying it's the best starter book. Obviously, it's limited in scope but I still feel you leave it understanding the whole phenomenon better and have a context for understanding why he went the way he did after Purple Rain.

Matt Thorne's bio is alright, not great, he tells the 80's story fine, but not as good as others, and glosses over the next 25 years far too fast.

Mick Wall's Purple Reign is a hack job. An enjoyable and pretty well-written hack job, but he only writes about what he cares about and skims over the rest. You won't learn a lot.

There's a 33 and a Third about Sign O the Times that's ok, filled with strange opinions on tracks (apparently Starfish & Coffee is the worst song Prince ever wrote, who knew??) but the writer grew up in Minneapolis and there's some great writing about what it was like to see someone from your hometown make it big.


If i've read any more i've forgotten.



[Edited 3/25/19 6:49am]

  - E-mail - orgNote - Report post to moderator
Reply #28 posted 03/25/19 9:11am

TrivialPursuit

avatar

jaawwnn said:

For what it's worth, my two cents:


Touré's I would Die 4 U book isn't a biography and should not be approached as one, it's got its flaws (not least the fact that he doesn't seem to know the basic tracklists to albums) but it's interesting enough. He's making an argument about pop culture via Prince though so it's kind of niche.

I'd recommend Alan Light's Let's Go Crazy book, it gives you the central story of why Prince is famous and what Purple Rain achieved - in fact I'd probably go as far as saying it's the best starter book. Obviously, it's limited in scope but I still feel you leave it understanding the whole phenomenon better and have a context for understanding why he went the way he did after Purple Rain.


Yeah, Toure's book is more about Gen Xers. As one of those people, it was interesting. He breaks down how Prince is actually a baby boomer, but clicked with the Gen X population. He talks at great length about Gen X's outlook on war, social responsibility, work ethics, divorce; how so much of their parent's age of prosperity and growth was shattered by their own actions, thereby giving Gen Xers a reason to scoff at the world, and not see the brighter side. He then pushes that narrative into Prince's music, especially with songs like "When Doves Cry", where he theorizes that Prince is pleading with his father in "how could you just leave me standing, alone in a world so cold", correlating that to Prince being kicked out, and calling his father from a phone booth on a rainy night. He says Prince aligns himself with his father - a man he's always had a tumultuous relationship with - comparing their personalities and symbiotic; "maybe I'm just like my father, too bold", to say "Dad, we're more alike than not". Then relents by dissing his mother, "maybe I'm just like my mother, she's never satisfied", finding a foxhole bonding moment with his dad over his mother's shortcomings. "Why do we scream at each other?" is the ultimate pleading to get back home.

It's an interesting take on Prince's lyrics. (He does this with other songs, too, but not in great quantity.) As a person who turned 51 last Friday, and being a solid Gen X person, those parts of the read were fascinating. I was more wrapped up in how Gen Xers were raised and their ideologies - while shouting "YES!" at my Nook - than I was caring what Tourè had to say about Prince sometimes. The last 1/3 of the book just trails off into blathering about nothing.

I'm glad to hear that about Alan Light's book. He was always a good writer in the years he covered Prince for Vibe or other outlets. Light is a couple of years older than me, so he's right in that Gen X pocket as well. His familiarity with Prince as a Gen Xer and a journalist gave him a great perspective on Prince. I remember his articles back in the 90s during the prince name era. His book is still on my list to read.

This experience will cover courtship, sex, commitment, fetishes, loneliness, vindication, love, and hate.
http://bit.ly/1D3FG2U
  - E-mail - orgNote - Report post to moderator
Reply #29 posted 03/25/19 11:54am

InwardJim

  • Tudahl's book is great, but it is very 'Inside Baseball' in the way it flows. It's very thorough, and very encycolpedic, but not the best starter book. This plus Alan Light's Let's Go Crazy probably give the best view of the Purple Rain era.

  • Of the general biographies, I would recommend Matt Thorne's Prince: The Man And His Music. It has its flaws, but far fewer than Ronin Ro's and Brian Morton's. Avoid Morton's book.

  • Jim Walsh is mostly a fair view. The Gold Experience is a collection of pieces he wrote around the mid-late '90s. If you were there it's interesting to see, but I wonder about accessibility to those tho have only known the digital age.

  • The only reason I have a hard time recommending Per Nilsen's books is just their age AND that nearly every author since has referenced them. They were the gold standard, but are dated at this point. And EXPENSIVE as they are out of print.

  • Of the art books, Parke's seems to be the most interesting so far. Shahidi's isn't bad, but he was more a long for the ride as where Parke was part of Prince's story. I don't have Beallieu's yet, but have only heard good things. 21 Nights is good, too, if you enjoy that period.

  • Greenman and Toure's books are basically long-form op-ed pieces. Both are decent reads if you don't go into them expecting anything, but they paint a very specific picture.

  • Owen Husney and Dez Dickerson's books are great reads that give great insight on their time with Prince as they remember it. I have Mayte's but haven't read it yet. I have yet to acquire Marylou Badeaux's, but I have heard very mixed reactions.

  • Mobeen Ahzar's two books are pretty much the same book just with a different title. The memories shared by the indivduals within are kinda cool, but only go after one or the other.

  • Similarly, Jason Draper's books are copies of each other in different formats. Life & Times is prettier and comes with imagery to accompany what it talks about, but you have to get through his bad attitude towards '90s Prince.

  • Avoid The James Perone Words And Music, despite its blurb it has no real insight on the musicality and comes off as more 'I know stuff about music.'

  • Most others are money grabs. Not all, but it's generally not unwarranted when someone calls it a hackjob.

[Edited 3/25/19 11:56am]

[Edited 3/25/19 11:58am]

Listen2Prince !!

U can listen to a different Prince project every week for a year! Sometimes U might have to double (or triple) up on related albums to make it fit, tho.

https://listen2prince.blogspot.com/
  - E-mail - orgNote - Report post to moderator
Page 1 of 3 123>
  New topic   Printable     (Log in to 'subscribe' to this topic)
« Previous topic  Next topic »
Forums > Prince: Music and More > Prince Books