Chains of Gold
Of all the Prince films 3 Chains of Gold is the most ahead of its time. So ahead that now 5 years later I still find it confusing. Prince, who at the time was 0->, wrote a hodgepodge of action film and spirtual mumbo jumbo. Though beautifully shot 3 chains is over all dull. Especially the dancing. Buy the CD instead. It contains some of the most underated songs of Prince's career. This film is only for the serious collector. (video)

 

Diamonds and Pearls
I am an artist myself and am inspired by THE ARTIST, but it's good and entertaining to see the girls and glamour. He loves to dress and the music is ok. I think it lacked performance, it was just too hard to see the talent in Prince. Just him having fun with all the girls. Whatever, needs to get back to THE MUSIC. (video)

 

Prince and the Revolution
I used to own this video back in the late 80's,but it tore up in my older brother's vcr a few years later.This is a spectacular concert of Prince and the Revolution around the time of the Purple Rain album and tour.I agree with the other customer reviews,the audio mix as well as the picture when it's dark at times is not great.I am hoping someday that Warner Reprise Music Video will reissue this on DVD soon.The Hits Collection is the only DVD released by Warner so far;I Would Die 4U is on the video of the time of this tour.We know that Prince no longer records for the label,but they could put out more.

 

I hope they release it in 5.1 Dolby Digital and also with multple camera angles on some songs,especially on When Doves Cry.The picture is split screen.Prince and the Revolution Live really funks and roll and again this a great concert but Sign o'the Times still remains the best out of all concert videos Prince has put out so far.Anybody who wants to write a review after this one here,I hope you share my opinions as well as other reviews.Thank U. P.S. Remember the videos they had played on MTV a long time ago on the Purple Rain tour:Take Me With U w/Prince soloing on guitar as well as I Would Die 4U(featured in the Hits Collection video)and Baby I'm A Star with Sheila E.and her band.Please Warner Bros.if you're reading this,I hope these songs go in the DVD as bonus songs. (video)

Sign o'the times
I have read several reviews that talk about just how poor the quality is of this dvd and how bad the packaging is. To clear up a few misunderstandings, number one: This is not a bootleg. This DVD is an import from Brazil. In Brazil, they have different copyright laws and the packaging is the sole responsibility of the manufacturer (which I don't believe is Wanner Bros. or MCA). If you're a well seasoned Prince fan, then I'm sure you've seen countless promotional posters for concerts in years such as 1995, with 1985 pictures on them.

 

This is very common outside of the United States. As far as owning this DVD as a "Must Have," buy it at your own risk; but don't blame Amazon. Amazon is actually doing die hard fans a favor by making this DVD available. Left in the hands of Wanner Brothers, we probably wont see another Prince DVD until long after he's gone. (video)

The Hits / The B-Sides
This collection of videos is important for what it includes (if the buyer is REALLY a fan) and does not warrant the comdemnation it has received for the songs that were left out. Incredibly rare videos of "I Wanna Be your Lover," "Dirty Mind," "Uptown," (which all predate the MTV era) and "Controversy" (filmed in early '81 but only played in video clubs with a few rare airings much later on BET and MTV) are all included here for the first time as are the brillant "1999" & "Little Red Corvette" (#12 and #6 respectively on Billboard's Top 100 and also initially excluded from MTV's playlist).

 

The disc is simply a DVD of the original 1993 VHS companion released to compliment the CD "The Hits / The B-Sides". Everyone who has reviewed this disc seems to spend a lot of time bitchin' about their faves not being in this package. At the time the video of this DVD was released, Prince had already accrued 27 Top 40 singles. This set is representative of some of his most inovative work. Obviously, Warners wasn't going to include much from"Purple Rain" and cut into its video sales potential. The same holds true for material from "Graffiti Bridge" and the video for "U Got the Look" was lifted sraight off of his "Sign O' the Times" video. Video material from "Batman" was contractually tied up and not available for use. Be gateful for what you get (especially the rareties listed previously). Real Prince fans are aware that by 1993, Prince was embroiled in a bitter dispute with Warner Bros. over the ownership of his songs. That's why he changed his name to a symbol and eventually bought his way out of his contract. The price for artistic freedom was to lose the rights to these songs to Warner Bros. who could now package them for release--or re-release--any way they saw fit. (This also included many, many songs in "The Vaults" Prince did not deem ready to be released at the time. Ever notice how Warner Bros. releases a new collection of previously unavailable songs every time Prince releases an album of new material?). Everyone of the remaining songs presented here, with the exception of "Peach" which was a new single from "The Hits" set, are videos for top 10 singles: "Alphabet St." , "Sign O' the Times" , "Raspberry Beret", "Kiss" , "Cream", & "7". As previously stated, many of the songs excluded causing other reviewers to whine, were available at the time of the tape's release on other videos. Another thing people seem to forget or are unaware of is that in the early '90s it was rare for any commercial music video relase to be longer than 60 minutes unless it was a concert video. Yeah, Warner Bros. could have updated and expanded this collection for DVD release but that was hardly likely with the malice the company has treated its own Prince releases since he left the label. Maybe they'll release more in the future, but until then enjoy this extraordinary time capsule of late '70s and '80s Prince videos. It will give you valuable insight as to why he is still so revered well into his 3rd decade of making music. (DVD)

Prince Live at the Alladin
Given the sheer volume and varying quality of his recorded output, not to mention his weird behavior, it's easy to overlook the fact that Prince is one of the great talents of the last quarter century--a fact underlined in earnest by this galvanizing performance. The guy has always had a preternatural ability to channel R&B and rock legends like Sly Stone, Jimi Hendrix, and James Brown (cf. this performance's amazing "Money Don't Matter 2 Night/The Work"); now he's added more sophisticated flavors to the mix as well, ranging from George Benson to Steely Dan and Weather Report, and all without sacrificing his own voice.

 

Add to that covers of the Ohio Players' "Love Rollercoaster" and Led Zeppelin's "Whole Lotta Love" (really), all played by Prince and his smokin', skin tight band, and what you get is one of the best shows of 2002, or any other year. Extraordinary. --Sam Graham (DVD)

Rave Un2 the Year 2000
Back in 1983, Prince emphatically described how he was going to bring in the new millennium. Still, who knew "1999 " would be so prophetic? Who knew Prince would still be around to make good on his promise? It's doubtful you were sitting home, watching a pay-per-view special on the last night of 1999, but know this: The Artist, Prince--whatever he's calling himself on a daily basis--understands how to throw one amazing party. This DVD not only presents the entire 21-song pay-per-view in its entirety, but also includes behind-the-scenes interviews and adds additional jams featuring Jimmy Russell, bassist Larry Graham, and George Clinton.

 

Clinton is the key figure here, because over the last decade, Prince has essentially followed in the funk master's footsteps. Rather than just fronting a band (as he did with the Revolution and New Power Generation), Prince is now more of a bandleader. Here, surrounded by legends like Maceo Parker and members of Sly and the Family Stone, Prince displays the graciousness of a sideman, showcasing the musicians on his crowded stage. He offers backup vocals on the Family Stone's "Everyday People," and then plays cheerleader on "I Want to Take You Higher." Prince even gives up his stage to Lenny Kravitz for "American Woman," and to the Time for energetic, tongue-in-cheek versions of the hits "Jungle Love" and "The Bird." When taking center stage, Prince shows he hasn't lost a step either. His guitar playing on "Purple Rain," for example, is some of his strongest in years. All told, this is the best Prince concert film we've had since Sign O' the Times . --Dave McCoy (DVD)

Purple Rain
When Prince's dazzling and dynamic Purple Rain (movie and soundtrack album) and the hypnotic hit single "When Doves Cry" exploded onto the pop-culture scene in 1984, it seemed there was nothing the purple one couldn't do. The film is basically a feature-length music video, but no musician has ever had a better big-screen showcase for his many talents. The plot is really just a theme (about the son of an abusive father struggling not to continue the pattern) upon which to hang some of Prince's most dazzling songs (including "Let's Go Crazy" and the title tune), and some sizzling live-concert numbers.

 

Apollonia Kotero is ravishing as the romantic interest, and Morris Day and the Time provide some terrific musical competition. Purple Rain is an essential artifact of the mid-'80s pop Zeitgeist. Prince took home an Oscar for the song score. --Jim Emerson (DVD)

Purple Reign
I read Ms. Jones book recently and found it to be full of errors. There are so many mistakes, I found myself more angry than entertained by the end of the book. Dates, names, events etc were out of place. The book give good info on the record industry as a whole, but her layout of the story of Prince's life is jumbled and confusing. Any real Prince fan would find more than a couple of errors in her attempt at a biography. She quoted Prince from when he was on the Oprah show (and quoted Oprah herself) and NEVER gave credit to the show. 25% of the book wouldn't be there if she hadn't have used Oprah's show as a base. My advice as a writer (published more than a few times) do your research and then do it again then to be sure.....do it once more. (book)

 

Possessed
The alien androgyny, the spiritual eroticism, the royal conceit: the outsized persona of the artist currently known as Prince fascinates on numerous levels. In this detailed biography by journalist and attorney Hahn, anecdotes of a personal nature mix with close readings of Prince's musical output, producing few big secrets but plenty of insight. Prince's early days are recounted as a frenzy of musical education, with influences ranging from the funky dexterity of Sly Stone, to the tight perfectionism of James Brown, to the spiritual yearning of Stevie Wonder.

 

(Hahn also names a less obvious influence in Joni Mitchell, whose lyrics Prince apparently purloined sometimes whole cloth.) The young Prince also absorbs the mechanics of the studio like a sponge. When the child prodigy meets with early success, signing to Warner Brothers at age 19, he blossoms into the personality of flamboyant and controlling self-absorption that fans have now watched mutate for over two decades. Constructed from interviews with producers, sound engineers, journalists and publicists, though not as frequently with Prince's inner circle, the book portrays Prince as a kind of outsider artist, eccentric and self-centered to the extreme, rarely leaving the enchanted, Minneapolis garden of his childhood, where he has managed to build himself into a living, protean god. This is a truly American story of cranky self-invention. B&w photos.
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc. (book)

Tracklist: 3121 (incl. D.M.S.R.), Girls and Boys, Song of the Heart, Delirious, Just like U (monologue), Satisfied, Beggin' Woman Blues (new), Rock Steady (w/ Beverley Knight), Whole Lotta Love, Alphabet St., Indigo Nights, Misty Blue (w/ Shelby J), Baby Love (w/ Shelby J), The One (incl. The ? of U), All the Critics love U in London.

21 Nights

by Prince

Hardcover: 256 pages
Publisher: Atria Books (September 9, 2008)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1416554440

Book Reviewed by Thumper

My number one is Aretha Franklin. Aretha Franklin is my favorite artist of all times. When I was 13 years old, her album, I Never Loved a Man, saved my life, literally. My number two is Ella Fitzgerald. Prince is my number 5. He comes after Ray Charles and Billie Holiday. I am a fan of Prince. When I say fan, I mean fan-by the definition of the word fanatic. His music, his public persona, I am utterly, completely, devotionally captivated by Prince. There was a time in my life, back in my early 20s; I would have followed him like I was the disciple Peter. When I got word that he was releasing a coffee table photograph book, pre-ordering my copy of the book went without saying. A couple of days ago, I got my book.

21 Nights is a big coffee table book with photographs, by Randee St. Nicholas, that are meant to show what it's like being Prince for 21 days during his European tour. The pictures are accompanied by poetry and song lyrics written by Prince. Inside the front cover of the book is a CD, Indigo Nights/Live Sessions; which is composed of live recordings of Prince and his band, the NPG. I read the book, played the CD, Indigo Nights/Live Sessions, and happily plunged into Prince's worldfor a little while.

I loved 21 Nights, but then again, I'm a fan. The book is big in size and importance. 21 Nights is the first time that Prince has entered the publishing world and he does it his way. The book is designed to give the reader a look into what the world looks like for Prince when he is on tour. There are photographs of streets, cars, hotel rooms, as he travels from the hotel to the concert, etc. While from an artistic stand point, I understand why these photographs are included. The photographs, albeit beautiful, are tourist pictures; pictures I would have taken with my camera from a car or bus as I played vacationer. that's the bridge we crossed as I we rode through St. Louis, or that's a picture of the hotel we stayed in. I felt like the bored, caught-up sucka who is stuck looking at my neighbor's pictures from her trip to Hawaii or something.

Naturally, there are pictures of Prince. There are pictures of Prince in different poses, with different women (all drop dead gorgeous, yall know Prince), in various outfits. Towards the end of the book a beautiful maid is shown looking through Prince's things, turning down his bed, etc. The one image that caught my eye throughout these pictures is Prince. Prince does not appear to have aged. Unless he has the best makeup artist in the business, Prince looks like the Prince from the Dirty Mind days. There has to be a picture around of Prince getting ugly, re The Picture of Dorian Gray, because he does not look like a person who just turned 50.

Included, intermittently, in the book are song lyrics and poetry written by Prince. Seeing his writing presented in this manner allowed me to look at Prince's words from a purely poetic perspective. Prince is deep. There is a strength and depth to his poetry. I did not realize this until I read the first poem in the book, The Unknown. Man, that's tight. I ended up reading the book twice. The first time, I looked only at the photographs. The second time, I read the poetry. I came away with a new appreciation of Prince.

In my opinion, the most important component of the package was the CD, Indigo Nights/Live Sessions. I have all of Prince's albums, including foreign imports and bootleg recordings. To show how devoted of a fan I am of Princes, years ago when he stated in an interview not to buy the bootleg recordings of him because he did not get paid for them, I stopped buying them! Prince did not disappoint because he eventually released those CDs, the black album and the 5 CD set Crystal Ball comes to mind. If you think I sound infatuated now, you should hear me go on and on about Aretha!

Indigo Nights/Live Sessions clued me into a fact that I have not realized a difference between today's younger recording artists and the older generation; the ability to sing, perform and record a concert LIVE! When did the live concert recordings go out of style? Back in the day, everybody did at least ONE concert recording. Fortunately Prince is one of the only artists today who can deliver live recordings that make me feel like I'm there. What a show he gave me this time.

On this CD, he covers Led Zeppelin's Whole Lotta Love, Dorothy Moore's Misty Blue and Aretha's Rock Steady. For a number of years, Prince began releasing covers, recording songs originally recorded by another artist, starting with his Emancipation CD package. It is always interesting to hear Prince's interpretation of other artist's songs. I was in my own private heaven when I heard Prince's take of Aretha's Rock Steady. I always wanted Aretha to record some of Prince's songs, especially How Come U Dont Call Me. If I could play a Misery, I would lock Aretha and Prince in a recording studio and not let them out until I got a double CD of new music from them. Vocalist Beverly Knight handled the lead vocals of Rock Steady and handle it she did. Rock Steady is FUNKY baby. Then with the Rock Steady bass line still thumping, Prince launches into Whole Lotta Love and rocks it!

Speaking of Prince's vocalist, another vocalist Shelby J. did the lead vocals on Baby Love and Misty Blue. Shelby J. blows, seriously. Man, Prince doesnt deal with itty bitty voice female singers, my girl Rosie Gaines comes rapidly to mind. Prince's singers SANG. If your church is missing the choir's lead singer, I would check Prince out first to see if he has her in his band.

Another pleasant happening on the CD is Beggin Woman Blues. This medley is tight. A few albums ago, Prince began his exploration of the blues. I'm glad to see that he is continuing his trip. He revisited a couple of the old hits; Girls and Boys, from the Parade album; Delirious and All the Critics Love You in London (New York), from 1999 album. From the opening song, 3121 to the end, All the Critics Love You in London; the CD emerges as one of the best live recording I have heard in YEARS!