Prince or Stevie Wonder?

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Who floats your boat most?

a) Prince
16
40%
b) Stevie
24
60%
 
Total votes: 40

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Diamond Dog
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Prince or Stevie Wonder?

Postby Diamond Dog » 07 Jun 2018, 10:23

On the occasion of Prince's 60th birthday....

Simple - who do you prefer, and then try to explain why.
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Re: Prince or Stevie Wonder?

Postby Geezee » 07 Jun 2018, 10:36

If Prince had been born 10 years earlier, I'd probably be saying Prince - but Prince ultimately peaked in the 80s, when the world of pop music had too many bad influences around it, too much of which seeped its way into his music. Stevie peaked in the 60s and 70s, and as such his musical legacy is protected by the influences of the time. Very arbitrary measure, I know, but it's the only way I can think of separating them. But it's Stevie for me - I've definitely been putting on more Prince records since he passed away and gained even more appreciation for him as an artist, but Stevie's records are the ones I'll still have a stronger urge for.

They were good friends of course - I remember Stevie Wonder saying how Prince's music was the only music that he could "see/visualise", or words to that effect.
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Re: Prince or Stevie Wonder?

Postby Jimbo » 07 Jun 2018, 11:14

Songs in the Key of Life changed my life.

I was depressed - clinically, I'd say. But I had a stereo and bought SITKOL and was awed by how wonderful it was, how like a Beatles album, so rich, so complete, so varied, so unexpected, me not a particular Stevie fan. It gave me hope for the future of music. For my future.

Prince's best are his hits. Get his best of and you are set with a wonderful double album.
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Re: Prince or Stevie Wonder?

Postby Darkness_Fish » 07 Jun 2018, 11:49

Neither are exactly on regular rotation for me, but it'd be Stevie Wonder by a long way. The Prince tracks I know, the sound is just so dry, so empty, so lacking in depth or energy.
Like fast-moving clouds casting shadows against a hillside, the melody-loop shuddered with a sense of the sublime, the awful unknowable majesty of the world.

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Re: Prince or Stevie Wonder?

Postby Eddie Shah environment » 07 Jun 2018, 11:57

Jimbo wrote:Songs in the Key of Life changed my life.

I was depressed - clinically, I'd say. But I had a stereo and bought SITKOL and was awed by how wonderful it was, how like a Beatles album, so rich, so complete, so varied, so unexpected, me not a particular Stevie fan. It gave me hope for the future of music. For my future.


That's nice to hear. And the Beatles comparisons ring true - the album does have that richness and that musicality.

I like some Stevie but the 60s/early 70s singles - I Was Made To Love Her, For Once In My Life, My Cherie Amour, Signed, Sealed, Delivered, Yester-Me... - move me way more than albums like Innervisions (which is invariably singled out for praise, but I find too rich and gloopy).


I'm not a fan of Prince - altho' every few months I'll try again. I bought the Purple Rain remaster a few weeks ago, I don't know why. It's like everything he does - every musical choice - is wrong for me. All flash and falsetto. And like many people, I find those 80s sounds a real turn-off.

Maybe I should try with Parade again - I dug it as an 18-year-old.
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Re: Prince or Stevie Wonder?

Postby Goat Boy » 07 Jun 2018, 12:05

Take a guess
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Re: Prince or Stevie Wonder?

Postby kalowski II: The Revenge » 07 Jun 2018, 12:15

Stevie, natch, although his post Hotter Than July output ain’t all that (it doesn’t need to be) and live he’s just as terrible as Prince.

Gash on Prince:

gash on ignore wrote:His main thing is a kind of melange (rock pop soul funk) that he renders flavourless, emulsifies, becomes paste-y. When he was on form in that initial burst it didn’t matter because the songs/arrangements were there, later all that slop was all that remained.


gash on ignore wrote:He reminds me of live Mercury/Queen. Revue, entertainment, crowd-pleasing, a sort of weightless/frictionless version of what you think you want. Calorie free. A semi-decent night out in the presence of a star.

If you can put up with the interminable funk jams.

Or the gruesome guitar wankery, his tone a slippery, mass-free squeal (just like Mays).

Even at his peak (and that starts/ends exactly where you know it does, like Bowie his later work rarely shines) his records are riddled with filler (Parade doesn’t kick off until track 5 or something, SotT is one record too long). His habit of hiding behind characters/strange voices pushes you away, reminds you that it’s all an act.

Don’t get me wrong, there is a solid body of work there with a good two dozen absolute classic tunes but most of the time the music is a bit chintzy/saccharine. His attempts at heaviosity often lack any bottom end.

We ‘needed’ an 80s figure like him I suppose, perhaps we willed him into being.
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Re: Prince or Stevie Wonder?

Postby Bent Fabric » 07 Jun 2018, 12:17

I think a person who prefers Prince would likely say a lot of the very same things I say to describe my preference for Stevie ("oozes music", "transparently natural gift", "as powerful a concert as I'll ever see, couldn't wait to see him again", etc.).

My attachment to Stevie Wonder's best work (for me, the 67-71 singles, as John points out...as well as the 71-76 albums, with a real peak in 72-73) does nothing to diminish Prince's greatness, but there is something about Wonder's best that just really...is it ridiculous to say that I feel in some way embraced by it? I'm not quite finding the words, but...maybe an "intimate psychedelic warmth" is what I'm trying to convey.

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Re: Prince or Stevie Wonder?

Postby Eddie Shah environment » 07 Jun 2018, 12:24

Yeah - I get that. He was never a showman (unlike Prince, who very much was), and that might make you feel closer to him. There's less stage.
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Re: Prince or Stevie Wonder?

Postby kalowski II: The Revenge » 07 Jun 2018, 12:24

Part of the trouble with Prince was no matter how much you loved him it was evident that he loved himself more. His self-regard and narcissism was very distancing and that played into the deluge of recordings, too much, even at his peak.
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Re: Prince or Stevie Wonder?

Postby Eddie Shah environment » 07 Jun 2018, 12:26

Very much how I feel.
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Re: Prince or Stevie Wonder?

Postby The Modernist » 07 Jun 2018, 13:29

Stevie -ultimately because he has a better groove, he's just funkier. As songwriters I think they're about equal (I might even put Prince further ahead, he's certainly the better singles artist). Prince is also more eclectic with his range, but that's less important to me.

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Re: Prince or Stevie Wonder?

Postby Goat Boy » 07 Jun 2018, 13:31

It made him Other. I dig that completely. Just like Hendrix or Dylan circa 66. A Superman. The next stage in our evolution. Even his gender bending sexuality seemed futuristic and alien.
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Re: Prince or Stevie Wonder?

Postby Diamond Dog » 07 Jun 2018, 13:32

I've not actually decided myself yet - but I would say I'm much more inclined to listen to Prince than Stevie these days. Don't get me wrong - I still love Stevie's best when I do play it but I play it much less than Prince.
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Re: Prince or Stevie Wonder?

Postby Jeemo » 07 Jun 2018, 13:49

I love both of them but I play Prince more. So he got the vote.
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Re: Prince or Stevie Wonder?

Postby Jimbo » 07 Jun 2018, 14:36

When Doves Cry is irritating.
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Re: Prince or Stevie Wonder?

Postby Twang » 07 Jun 2018, 14:48

I'm not sure there's a single musician who's affected me more than Stevie. Sitting in the back of a car going down the highway when "A Place in the Sun" came on and gripped me...walking to the bus stop wearing headphones, wondering how he could sing those first lines of "He's Misstra Know-It-All" so perfectly, like he'd found some secret core of each note...lying on my bed, eyes closed as I listened to "Golden Lady" and imagined I was performing it for some crush...giddily riding my bike around town with my friend on some early morning of a summer night, obnoxiously trying and failing to mimic the "Signed, Sealed, Delivered I'm Yours" vocal...under the facade of stimulating myself to do schoolwork, putting on "Sugar", which I think has elated me more than any other song ever...

I like Prince alright enough but I've never really gotten the hype. Maybe I'll return someday but now I'm of the mind he's not for me. I like Purple Rain, don't care much for Around the World in a Day or Sign 'O' the Times save the odd track.

Melody is king for me.

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Re: Prince or Stevie Wonder?

Postby Eddie Shah environment » 07 Jun 2018, 14:56

Jimbo wrote:When Doves Cry is irritating.


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Re: Prince or Stevie Wonder?

Postby fange » 07 Jun 2018, 15:02

Diamond Dog wrote:I've not actually decided myself yet - but I would say I'm much more inclined to listen to Prince than Stevie these days. Don't get me wrong - I still love Stevie's best when I do play it but I play it much less than Prince.

This is how i feel, but just with the names the other way around.
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Re: Prince or Stevie Wonder?

Postby joels344 » 07 Jun 2018, 15:09

Prince, hands down. There are several albums I do really like from him. Whereas, Stevie Wonder just leaves me feeling empty.