One week on from the news of the death of Prince, Steve Taylor-Bryant finds the words...
In the beginning God made the sea
But on the 7th day he made me
He was tryin' to rest y'all when He heard the sound
Sound like a guitar cold gettin' down
I tried to bust a high note, but I bust a string
My God was worried 'til he heard me sing
I couldn't talk about Prince when the news first broke of his passing. A mixture of yet another creative soul lost and personal loss prevented me from getting words on paper. I mention personal loss but I did not know the man, we never met, I never even got to see him live, no the personal loss I felt was because there was a period of Prince's career that coincided with my battles with life. I was at my darkest. I'd attempted to take my life a couple of times in my younger days for reasons I won't go into here and to be honest seem irrelevant now as my life has gone through changes. This period of my turbulent existence was at the same time as Prince himself was going through change. When it started he was still Prince, just, and when his music had helped me out of my slump he had become a nameless symbol as he battled the corporate machine. It was the 1990's and I started my decline around the time of the Love Symbol album, an album of funk, of RnB, of Jazz licks and pop recorded with the New Power Generation and I came out of my darkness slightly about three years later with the rockier more aggressive release The Gold Experience.
Like the entirety of Prince's career a lot happened in that three year period. Musical styles changed, lyrics had a rawer edge, the man had reinvented himself again, as he did with every album release from the '70s to his last. I didn't have a need for a hero that could reinvent himself when I was a child, and whilst I appreciate musical progress now I'm in my 40s I also don't need the changes. However in that period of the 1990's I needed a way out of my life, I need a reboot or a refresh and in that dark time I saw nothing around me that could inspire me to even leave my bed let alone improve my life. Until Prince, the New Power Generation, and the infamous symbol showed me that reinvention and changing ones life and lifestyle wasn't something to be scared of, there was no fear in giving something a try if it could lead to something better.
The two albums I've mentioned I've not seen on anyone's list of Prince favourites in the last few days and that is of course fine, like Bowie before him Prince could have a divisive release as he spoke to a different audience with every recording, and some of the songs on both my chosen releases whilst musically superior to most 1990's releases by anybody didn't always lyrically grab the fanbase. But to a lost soul stood on the edge of despair My Name is Prince, Endorphin Machine, Sexy MF, The Max, The Morning Papers and We March, an artist I never met reached deep inside of me and helped me find my way back and for that I will be forever grateful.
I know from righteous,I know from sin,
I got two sides and they both friends.
Image - Wikipedia