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James Brown and Prince and Michael Jackson
April 6, 2010 6:55 AM   Subscribe

James Brown and Prince and Michael Jackson
posted by Meatbomb (48 comments total) 11 users marked this as a favorite

 
Fun game before you watch: which one comes off like a self-absorbed asshole?
posted by Meatbomb at 6:55 AM on April 6, 2010 [2 favorites]


Well, I'd seen it before so I know it was the Artist Who Was Still Called Prince At The Time And Who Later Was The Artist Formerly Known As Prince And Is Now The Artist Once Again Known As Prince. And, IIRC, he knocked over a stage prop on his hissy way off the stage. I think he did it with his upturned nose.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 6:59 AM on April 6, 2010


I really liked the way Michael Jackson combined some of Brown's signature dance moves with his own. It was a nice little tribute.
posted by oddman at 7:06 AM on April 6, 2010 [1 favorite]


It is pretty weird that both James Brown and Michael Jackson are dead.
posted by shakespeherian at 7:15 AM on April 6, 2010


JAMES BROWN IS DEAD??!!
posted by Mike Mongo at 7:15 AM on April 6, 2010 [4 favorites]


Ugh Price was soooo skeevy back then. I think my eyes need a Lysol dip.
posted by stormpooper at 7:16 AM on April 6, 2010 [1 favorite]


2:22 - Kenny Rogers had certainly fallen on hard times.
posted by pracowity at 7:20 AM on April 6, 2010


Is Prince still alive?
posted by blucevalo at 7:24 AM on April 6, 2010


If you call that living.
posted by The Whelk at 7:28 AM on April 6, 2010 [1 favorite]


Sadly, like the Beatles, these performers are dying in reverse order of merit.
posted by leotrotsky at 7:39 AM on April 6, 2010


You're assuming that Ringo will outlive Paul. Or maybe you aren't?
posted by blucevalo at 7:41 AM on April 6, 2010


I always thought of this as evidence -- if we needed any more -- that Prince owns MJ.
posted by muckster at 7:43 AM on April 6, 2010


I'm torn on Prince's behavior. On one hand, he showed up as a fan to watch James Brown perform. No expectation of being called on-stage after his rival (graciously and excellently) did the same. If it were me, I'd feel put on the spot in a huge way.

...then again, I'm not a natural stage performer who oozes musical talent and can crank out a blistering solo as easily as yawning. A coworker showed me this video a while back and her reaction was, "Oh, that's just Prince being really weird." He wasn't being weird, he was pissed and trying to sabotage the moment. He definitely acted like a brat.
posted by kryptondog at 7:43 AM on April 6, 2010


He definitely acted like a brat.

Yes he did. I'm a huge fan of Prince as a composer, but sometimes "being weird" is not an excuse for acting like an asshole. Prince may or may not be superior to MJ, but in this clip, one of them was gracious about being called to perform, the other threw a tantrum and acted like an asshole.
posted by alvarete at 7:50 AM on April 6, 2010


I think everybody is torn on Prince's behavior in general.
posted by blucevalo at 7:50 AM on April 6, 2010


Prince by himself was James Brown and Michael Jackson, with a little bit of Jimi Hendrix for good measure.
posted by empath at 7:50 AM on April 6, 2010 [1 favorite]


I remember reading an essay a few years back on Soul Parade (I think) about the Michael Jackson and Prince's giving back to the community of funk/soul musicians. The consensus was that Prince gave back, he would turn up to award shows, help people out, recognise the earlier generation and hell, he even hired Sly & The Family Stone's horn section. MJ was seen as someone who had turned his back on where he was from. I can't find the article at the moment but the only reason I mention it is to maybe provide a counterweight for this video.
posted by ob at 7:50 AM on April 6, 2010


Prince by himself was James Brown and Michael Jackson, with a little bit of Jimi Hendrix for good measure.

You're just confused because they both used the word purple in a song title.
posted by shakespeherian at 7:53 AM on April 6, 2010


And here I thought nothing would top Prince and Patti Labelle doing a duet of "Wade in the Water".
posted by yeloson at 7:55 AM on April 6, 2010


Sadly, like the Beatles, these performers are dying in reverse order of merit.

You're talking about musical merit here? If so, are you actually suggesting, with a straight face, that George Harrison, a reasonably good guitarist and a fellow who penned a few good tunes over the course of the Beatles career represents more musical "merit" than Paul McCartney? Even if you hate Paul McCartney for his post-Beatles music, that's still a pretty hard argument to make. Objectively.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 7:57 AM on April 6, 2010 [1 favorite]


Prince by himself was James Brown and Michael Jackson, with a little bit of Jimi Hendrix for good measure.

Prince is actually a 50-50 combination of Jimi Hendrix and John Waters.
posted by ericbop at 8:04 AM on April 6, 2010 [4 favorites]


Sadly, like the Beatles, these performers are dying in reverse order of merit.

I might possibly grant that MJ was a better all around performer than Prince. And that's MIGHT.

But Prince owns MJ in straight up musical talent. He wrote more and better songs than Michael Jackson ever did, with more range and for multiple performers. People are going to be covering Prince songs and getting hits with them for a long long time.
posted by empath at 8:07 AM on April 6, 2010 [5 favorites]


Even if you hate Paul McCartney for his post-Beatles music, that's still a pretty hard argument to make. Objectively.

Not really. All Things Must Pass easily kicks Ram's ass.

Prince by himself was James Brown and Michael Jackson, with a little bit of Jimi Hendrix for good measure.

I defy you to watch James Brown on "The T.A.M.I. Show" and still say this with a straight face.
posted by blucevalo at 8:08 AM on April 6, 2010


the Artist Who Was Still Called Prince At The Time And Who Later Was The Artist Formerly Known As Prince And Is Now The Artist Once Again Known As Prince

Man, people are STILL ripping on him for that? For one thing, it was over 15 years ago. Mainly, though, he did it to get out of an oppressive record contract (the dispute was over what he could use the name "Prince" to release), not because he's just a weirdo who wanted to be known as a symbol, and that fact is well documented. It probably even was at the time, but "weirdo Prince wants to be called a symbol for no reason" was a better story.
posted by DecemberBoy at 8:14 AM on April 6, 2010 [2 favorites]


Settle down there, DB, I was just riffing. Not ripping. I don't really care that much about what the guy calls himself, and yeah, I knew it was because of some contract bullshit.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 8:22 AM on April 6, 2010


I do appreciate that Prince rode in on the back of a yeti. Say what you will about the dude, he has style.
posted by Astro Zombie at 9:04 AM on April 6, 2010 [4 favorites]


Even if you hate Paul McCartney for his post-Beatles music

I hate Paul McCartney FOR his Beatles music. Solo and/or with Wings - the man is amazing and demonstrated far more talent and versatility than any of his three former bandmates.

But back on topic: as bizarre as he can be, Prince is a musical genius - writing, performing, playing, etc. Able to integrate genres and themes like almost nobody else.

James Brown is a legendary musical genius, too, albeit slightly more narrow in his application of such genius.

MJ was...a gifted performer, but I don't think the word "genius" would apply to him.
posted by davidmsc at 9:05 AM on April 6, 2010


I hate Paul McCartney FOR his Beatles music. Solo and/or with Wings - the man is amazing and demonstrated far more talent and versatility than any of his three former bandmates.

wut
posted by Astro Zombie at 9:07 AM on April 6, 2010 [3 favorites]


I hate Paul McCartney FOR his Beatles music. Solo and/or with Wings - the man is amazing and demonstrated far more talent and versatility than any of his three former bandmates.

Really? REALLY? For honest and for serious?

Well, that makes one of you.
posted by DecemberBoy at 9:08 AM on April 6, 2010


And here I thought nothing would top Prince and Patti Labelle doing a duet of "Wade in the Water"

I submit, for your consideration, James Brown & Luciano Pavarotti performing "It's a Man's World".
posted by prinado at 9:17 AM on April 6, 2010 [2 favorites]


I don't think anything Prince ever recorded was as good as I Want you Back, though.
posted by empath at 9:24 AM on April 6, 2010


Cocaine is a hell of a drug.
posted by a little headband I put around my throat at 9:25 AM on April 6, 2010 [1 favorite]


All they need is George Clinton there and the universe would implode into a SOUL SINGULARITY.
posted by gottabefunky at 9:42 AM on April 6, 2010 [4 favorites]


So Prince can now die saying "James Brown carried my jacket."
posted by gottabefunky at 9:46 AM on April 6, 2010


I defy you to watch James Brown on "The T.A.M.I. Show" and still say this with a straight face.

I defy you to read the words James Brown on "The T.A.M.I. Show" and not hear the line, "Same tape I've had for years" right afterwards*.

*Note: may not work if you are not a Gen-X type.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 9:56 AM on April 6, 2010 [4 favorites]


You make the best with what's still around.

Bonafide Gen-X type
posted by Babblesort at 10:29 AM on April 6, 2010


JAMES BROWN IS DEAD??!!

For almost 20 years now.
posted by mrgrimm at 10:36 AM on April 6, 2010


Prince wasn't being a brat: the hyperbolic machismo, the swagger, etc. is all part of the idiom of funk performance that James Brown helped define. Prince is paying homage here. He steals the guitar gestures from Jimi, the mic tricks from James. He wasn't trying to show up JB, he was showing him that he learned.
posted by barrett caulk at 10:54 AM on April 6, 2010 [8 favorites]


Michael Jackson was a highly talented singer/songwriter/producer/dancer/entertainer. He wrote "Don't Stop Till You Get Enough," "Workin' Day and Night," "Wanna Be Startin' Somethin'," "The Girl Is Mine," "Beat It," and "Billie Jean."
"Quincy Jones did not want 'Billie Jean' to appear on Thriller; he felt that the song was too weak to be part of the collection. The producer disliked the demo and did not care for the song's bass line...Jones also wanted to change the track's title to 'Not My Lover,' believing that people would think the song referred to the tennis player Billie Jean King...Jackson refused to change the title and asked Jones to give him co-producing credits for the track; he felt that the demo tape sounded exactly like the finished product."
The Artistic Value of Thriller shows that a lot of the songs on Thriller were close to Jackson's original demos.

Finally, Jackson has a patent for anti-gravity shoes. How many patents does Prince have?
posted by kirkaracha at 11:10 AM on April 6, 2010 [1 favorite]


And watching the video, note that it is 1983 - just before Prince's popularity and music exploded. And I agree with some of the above - I don't think Prince is quite being a jerk, he's just doing what he did, does, and will do - thriving on a stage.

And yes, I am serious about enjoying McCartney far more as a solo/Wings performer.

There's only a handful of Beatles songs that I enjoy, and I think they are so over-rated as to be ridiculous. And yes, I realize that I am likely alone in this opinion.
posted by davidmsc at 11:41 AM on April 6, 2010


There's only a handful of Beatles songs that I enjoy, and I think they are so over-rated as to be ridiculous. And yes, I realize that I am likely alone in this opinion.

Actually, no. :-)
posted by CommonSense at 12:13 PM on April 6, 2010 [1 favorite]


There's only a handful of Beatles songs that I enjoy, and I think they are so over-rated as to be ridiculous.

But you can't possibly blame that on Paul McCartney (even though you just did).

Re: Prince vs. MJ, Prince fosters the "musical genius" tag by maintaining eccentric work habits, being a one man show and self-produced outsider. Michael Jackson's career trajectory was much more of an insider track, he started out in a boy band FFS. As a result I think his musical genius is often overlooked or downplayed.

I don't know if it makes sense to compare the two directly, I just think that MJ was much more than a good singer/dancer.
posted by abc123xyzinfinity at 12:19 PM on April 6, 2010


Prinado,

I don't even understand how the world did not explode from that much awesome put together.
posted by yeloson at 12:48 PM on April 6, 2010


It is so rare that perfection gets caught on tape. Thank god for these few moments. You all had me funkin early this morning!

You know its a jam when you cant stop the boogie before the coffee perks.
posted by Mike Mongo at 2:39 PM on April 6, 2010


To clarify my statement: There's only a handful of Beatles songs that I enjoy, and I think they are so over-rated as to be ridiculous.

There are only a handful of Beatles songs that I enjoy.

The Beatles as a group - and their music - are so over-rated as to be ridiculous.

And I'm not "blaming" or "crediting" McCartney with the Beatles songs that I do enjoy. It's just that he has done so much more, post-Beatles, that I find more listenable and enjoyable.
posted by davidmsc at 3:05 PM on April 6, 2010


Astro Zombie: "I do appreciate that Prince rode in on the back of a yeti. Say what you will about the dude, he has style."

Prince had no choice; dude is short even in heels that James wouldn't see him making his way through the crowd.

"Prince! Prince! Where ARE you, PRINCE!?

Can't see ya ... can't see ya ... where you at?

Prince! Pri-- THERE you are! HA HEH!"
posted by bwg at 2:42 AM on April 7, 2010


All they need is George Clinton there and the universe would implode into a SOUL SINGULARITY.

Plus Wilson Pickett and/or Otis Redding for a the BIG BANG all over again.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 6:48 AM on April 11, 2010


How many patents does Prince have?

Having seen him play, in little nightclubs and huge stadia, I could not give two hoots how many patents he has. Sure, Jackson had his sublime, even perfect moments, but if the two were playing on the same night in your town, going to the Jackson gig would be fucking madness.

Prince wasn't being a brat: the hyperbolic machismo, the swagger, etc. is all part of the idiom of funk performance that James Brown helped define. Prince is paying homage here. He steals the guitar gestures from Jimi, the mic tricks from James. He wasn't trying to show up JB, he was showing him that he learned.

Hmmn. I'm pretty sure he'd just battered a load of coke and so was even more convinced than usual of his status as the ultimate tiny human.

I mean, I really love Prince. No living musician is more important to me than him. Before the web existed, I traded cassette bootlegs by post with other fans across the globe. I worry about his refusal to have hip surgery. I often wonder whether the moment when he looks into the camera in the Raspberry Beret video is better than the bit by the lake in Purple Rain (it totally is, but I still wonder). I had to buy a new copy of the I Could Never Take The Place of Your Man 7" off eBay because I wore out the B-side of the copy I bought when it came out. I once spent two days in a friend's studio with his Linn LM-1 trying to get the rimshot to sound like it does on Strange Relationship, even though I know Prince's LM-1 is modified. I actually cried when his and Mayte's baby died. I continue to buy his half-arsed albums and persuade myself that the aching disappointment is worth it because they contain the odd half-decent song. I've seen Graffiti Bridge more than once, for God's sake.

But there's absolutely no doubt that he's a complete and utter arse.
posted by a little headband I put around my throat at 1:12 PM on April 11, 2010


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