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Thread started 03/15/15 9:10am

KingSausage

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Sampler Set: The Laziest Thing Prince Has Ever Done?

I've seen mixed opinions here of the sampler sets. Many say that they're lame karaoke style medleys of stale hits. Others say that they're cool because those songs sound better electronically anyway. I've never seen a live show with a sampler set (though I saw Kirky J on drums numerous times, so maybe that was bad enough). I've only heard sampler sets on bootlegs, where they're boring and lifeless. That being said, I can't help but wonder if the sampler sets aren't damn near the laziest thing Prince has ever done.

What do you think? Are they lazy? Has he been lazier? What would you honestly say of another artist who did the same thing? Where is the line between lip syncing and sampler sets? Why even have a band if you can just do a sampler set?
"Drop that stereo before I blow your Goddamn nuts off, asshole!"
-Eugene Tackleberry
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Reply #1 posted 03/15/15 9:31am

thisisreece

Yeah, pretty much.

Hundalasiliah!
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Reply #2 posted 03/15/15 9:39am

Averett

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If you're gonna tease me with a snippet of a track, it better be using your skills as a live musician. confused

Let's not wander into Britney territory... Its not like we can say, "It's ok... he's too busy dancing to some crazy choreography so you can't expect him to sing live too." hrmph

A robin sings a masterpiece that lives and dies unheard...
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Reply #3 posted 03/15/15 9:43am

skywalker

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KingSausage said:

I've seen mixed opinions here of the sampler sets. Many say that they're lame karaoke style medleys of stale hits. Others say that they're cool because those songs sound better electronically anyway. I've never seen a live show with a sampler set (though I saw Kirky J on drums numerous times, so maybe that was bad enough). I've only heard sampler sets on bootlegs, where they're boring and lifeless. That being said, I can't help but wonder if the sampler sets aren't damn near the laziest thing Prince has ever done. What do you think? Are they lazy? Has he been lazier? What would you honestly say of another artist who did the same thing? Where is the line between lip syncing and sampler sets? Why even have a band if you can just do a sampler set?

As a superfan (which I assume the majority of people at the org are) I enjoy the sampler set for what it is.

-

Yet, the times I have seen a live show with the sampler set, it absolutley lights the crowd on fire, and it is a highlight for many in attendance. So, though it doesn't do A LOT for me after seeing it a few times, I understand why Prince keeps it in the set because it blows the roof off and is a crowd favorite. He really does have many songs the casual fans wanna hear, and not enough time to do them all. This is a funky ass remedy.

[Edited 3/15/15 9:43am]

"New Power slide...."
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Reply #4 posted 03/15/15 9:44am

KingSausage

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I mean, past tours have had medley segments. They've had Prince solo segments. By those things were done by playing live instruments.

If other artists did this, people here would tear their heads off and say they weren't shit compared to Prince.
"Drop that stereo before I blow your Goddamn nuts off, asshole!"
-Eugene Tackleberry
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Reply #5 posted 03/15/15 9:46am

KingSausage

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skywalker said:



KingSausage said:


I've seen mixed opinions here of the sampler sets. Many say that they're lame karaoke style medleys of stale hits. Others say that they're cool because those songs sound better electronically anyway. I've never seen a live show with a sampler set (though I saw Kirky J on drums numerous times, so maybe that was bad enough). I've only heard sampler sets on bootlegs, where they're boring and lifeless. That being said, I can't help but wonder if the sampler sets aren't damn near the laziest thing Prince has ever done. What do you think? Are they lazy? Has he been lazier? What would you honestly say of another artist who did the same thing? Where is the line between lip syncing and sampler sets? Why even have a band if you can just do a sampler set?


As a superfan (which I assume the majority of people at the org are) I enjoy the sampler set for what it is.


-


Yet, the times I have seen a live show with the sampler set, it absolutley lights the crowd on fire, and it is a highlight for many in attendance. So, though it doesn't do A LOT for me after seeing it a few times, I understand why Prince keeps it in the set because it blows the roof off and is a crowd favorite. He really does have many songs the casual fans wanna hear, and not enough time to do them all. This is a funky ass remedy.

[Edited 3/15/15 9:43am]




I hear what you're saying. But he's done medleys in the past with his actual bands. Real music from real musicians. Why do this through the sampler set? I'm sure this is a crowd favorite, but they would go nuts for a band playing the same songs. They just want to hear something they know. Does it have to literally be the exact recorded song they know? It's lazy.
"Drop that stereo before I blow your Goddamn nuts off, asshole!"
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Reply #6 posted 03/15/15 10:05am

djThunderfunk

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As I said on another thread:

djThunderfunk said:

And then there's the sampler set. Look, I know we've all talked back and forth on this topic and I've heard recordings of sampler sets but seeing it live really turned me off. Of the other 8 times I've seen him, 7 of the shows had piano medleys then at musicology that was changed to an acoustic guitar medley. These were some of the best parts of the shows and the most memorable to me. Now we have a sampler set that really is Prince Karaoke. That's the only way to describe it. Why? Can the band not play those songs? The other bands I saw played these songs and they sounded great. If I want to hear a sample of the record I can do that at home. Sure, Prince jammed along to them on the synth and sang along with them but they're still samples instead of the band playing. This from the real music, real musicians guy?!? Plus, the audience around me seemed oblivious to the fact that the band wasn't playing (or was quitely strumming along with the sampler). The stage was pretty dark during the set and it was hard to see the girls weren't playing the music then he brought dancers on stage to obscure them even more. I swear everyone around me had no idea that they were listening to recordings of SOTT or When Doves Cry. It's just gross. And disappointing.

I expected a hits show and even though it's not what I want it's not why this show ranks at the bottom of the 9 I've seen. It's simply that every band I've seen play with him is of a much higher class than this one and I'm baffled that Prince or any of his fans find the sampler set to be acceptable in any way. The only way the sampler would be cool is if he toured as a one man show. That might be interesting. As it is the only thing I come away with is this band isn't good enough to play these songs so he has to sing along to recordings of the classic tracks.




That about says it all. I've seen 8 other shows where the band actually learned and played the hits. To see him doing the karaoke thing while they are obscured in darkness and behind dancers to a mostly oblivious audience is more than one step down from hearing a new band's take on a classic track. The Piano & Acoustic Guitar medleys of the past served the same purpose while showing off some seriously great musicianship. Triggering samples just doesn't hold up.

[Edited 3/15/15 10:06am]

Ross Perot was right!!
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Reply #7 posted 03/15/15 10:47am

bashraka

In 2002 when he coined the phrase "real music by real musicians", the implication is music played and performed with musicians using instruments to produce sound rather than an apparatus that is designed to play pre-recorded sounds with various modulation and electronic technology. In 2002, he railed against corporate owned radio stations, payola, and music not based in funk. Recorded a slew of albums that was experimental but utilized live musicians for the most part. The sampler set has its pros and cons. Pros-it is a party starter for casual fans that want to hear his most well known songs as they were recorded with Prince's live singing and ad-libs on top. Cons-it's really concert filler than looks like a way to kill 30 minutes to fullfill the contract he has with a promoter to perform for a certain amount of time.

With that said, nothing is lazier than Prince having his background singers (Liv Warfield, Shelby J and Elisa) playing long covers for 20 minutes at a time while Prince changes backstage or noodle on keyboards. At least with the sampler set, Prince is onstage and performing.

3121 #1 THIS YEAR
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Reply #8 posted 03/15/15 11:36am

Militant

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I fucking love the sampler set.

I will never forget being in the O2 Arena and hearing the SOTT intro drums just BOOM out across the arena and everybody collectively losing their shit.

There's a point at a Prince show where I just want to hear some god damn Linn programming and some thick, stacked, gritty Oberheims. That's what the sampler set brings to the table. When he drops the "77-9311" drums and then segues into the"Hot Thing" beat (check Sweden 2011 bootleg) and grabs the bass and jams over it, that shit is fucking incredible.

Some of that 80's drum-and-synth programming simply can't be replicated live.

Birmingham last year. First show. Sampler set. Prince ends it with "I Would Die 4 U". There's a visceral, emotional reaction sometimes when you hear a song exactly the way you've listened to it for years and years, yet the person is right there singing it in front of you. The woman standing next to me turned to me smiling and hugged me with tears streaming down her face, she was so overcome with emotion.

I think anyone who complains about it hasn't seen Kraftwerk live. Four guys standing in front of laptops triggering loops and samples and yet it's one of the best live shows I have ever seen.

It's not lazy at all. It's genius.

But you're never going to be able to appreciate it by listening to a fucking bootleg. That misses the entire point.







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Reply #9 posted 03/15/15 11:52am

kenkamken

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Seems like he also uses the set to acknowledge some of the songs from his past that he wouldn't play in full because he isn't the same dude he was when he wrote them. Nasty Girl, Darling Nikki, Head, etc. are likely never to be heard played live by him again, but he at least acknowledges their existence.

"So fierce U look 2night, the brightest star pales 2 Ur sex..."
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Reply #10 posted 03/15/15 12:03pm

databank

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KingSausage said:

I've seen mixed opinions here of the sampler sets. Many say that they're lame karaoke style medleys of stale hits. Others say that they're cool because those songs sound better electronically anyway. I've never seen a live show with a sampler set (though I saw Kirky J on drums numerous times, so maybe that was bad enough). I've only heard sampler sets on bootlegs, where they're boring and lifeless. That being said, I can't help but wonder if the sampler sets aren't damn near the laziest thing Prince has ever done. What do you think? Are they lazy? Has he been lazier? What would you honestly say of another artist who did the same thing? Where is the line between lip syncing and sampler sets? Why even have a band if you can just do a sampler set?

I'd say that Prince can "afford" to do it without losing credibility because it's only a segue in the show filled with live music. He did it before, there were prerecorded intros to the Controversy, Lovesexy and Nude tour and prerecorded segues during the D&P and Act I/Act II tours and no one even thought of complaining about it at the time. I mean OBVIOUSLY Prince doesn't do a few minutes of sampler set out of laziness, he does it because he thinks it's cool. Whether it indeed is cool or not can be debated, but laziness isn't the key word here.

.

On a sidenote I remember some people calling laziness for the samples filled shows of 94-96 and this always made me laugh because the act of merging hundreds of individual samples with live music actually required a level of technicity for Tommy and Morris, who had to launch the right sample at the right time AND play the keyboard at the same time, that it was most likely much more challenging for Prince and the band than anything else Prince has ever done live before or since.

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Reply #11 posted 03/15/15 12:19pm

bluegangsta

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The sampler set can be cool. Listen to the Monreux 2013 final show. When the band plays along with it it can be pretty mindblowing (eg; the bass on Love or the guitar on Sign O The Times).

Always cry 4 love, never cry 4 pain.
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Reply #12 posted 03/15/15 12:24pm

Shockedelicus

He opened with the sampler set when I saw him and it seemed to go over well. I'd rather he do it live, but I didn't even consider that at the time.

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Reply #13 posted 03/15/15 12:42pm

vinaysfunk

Militant said:

I fucking love the sampler set.

I will never forget being in the O2 Arena and hearing the SOTT intro drums just BOOM out across the arena and everybody collectively losing their shit.

There's a point at a Prince show where I just want to hear some god damn Linn programming and some thick, stacked, gritty Oberheims. That's what the sampler set brings to the table. When he drops the "77-9311" drums and then segues into the"Hot Thing" beat (check Sweden 2011 bootleg) and grabs the bass and jams over it, that shit is fucking incredible.

Some of that 80's drum-and-synth programming simply can't be replicated live.

Birmingham last year. First show. Sampler set. Prince ends it with "I Would Die 4 U". There's a visceral, emotional reaction sometimes when you hear a song exactly the way you've listened to it for years and years, yet the person is right there singing it in front of you. The woman standing next to me turned to me smiling and hugged me with tears streaming down her face, she was so overcome with emotion.

I think anyone who complains about it hasn't seen Kraftwerk live. Four guys standing in front of laptops triggering loops and samples and yet it's one of the best live shows I have ever seen.

It's not lazy at all. It's genius.

But you're never going to be able to appreciate it by listening to a fucking bootleg. That misses the entire point.








Yeah co-sign with you militant. I absolutely love the sampler set. I have seen it live (twice with the sampler set) with him 15 feet in front of me doing it. And I was in awe. First of all he is no hypocrite for those talking about real musicians making real music. He made all that music in his sampler set by himself or with others with real musicians playing real instruments in the past.

And the main reason he uses the sampler sets in the first place is because at this stage in his career he has so many songs that he cant conceivebly play all of them in one concert with arena curfews or the concert would go way past 2-3 hours. Also a boot doesn't even come close to seeing him live do it in person. It's very intimate. Just Prince and the keyboards. It really isn't laziness at all. It's like militant said, it's genuis!

Imagine this scene. At the concert I was at He played for about an hour and a half with real musicians. He killed it on guitar etc. Then it went dark and everyone left the stage. Not a sound I was right next to the stage. Quietly and with a royal air about him he slowly walks on stage and just stands next to the keyboards. The crowd can barely see him. Everyone is going crazy, I mean super LOUD. Cheering him on to do whatever he wants. He had us in the palm of his hands. He quietly slips behind the keyboards and sits down. One soft spotlight on him, that's it. And he spends the next 30 minutes going through about 15-20 songs, about a minute or so on each one. He was having so much fun. He had a great sense of humor. And we in the crowd loved it and ate it up. It was very intimate. No distractions, just him. He then let the band back on stage and went into housequake/days of wild! The energy was electric.

In the end it isn't lazy it's genius. For those that still thinks it's lazy it's like you want Prince to not be Prince but be who you want him to be. I want him the way he wants himself to be.

[Edited 3/15/15 13:02pm]

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Reply #14 posted 03/15/15 12:52pm

paulludvig

I don't understand the criticism of thesamper set. Many of the songs in the set have always been performed using backing tracks.

The wooh is on the one!
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Reply #15 posted 03/15/15 1:00pm

skywalker

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Militant said:

I fucking love the sampler set.

I will never forget being in the O2 Arena and hearing the SOTT intro drums just BOOM out across the arena and everybody collectively losing their shit.

There's a point at a Prince show where I just want to hear some god damn Linn programming and some thick, stacked, gritty Oberheims. That's what the sampler set brings to the table. When he drops the "77-9311" drums and then segues into the"Hot Thing" beat (check Sweden 2011 bootleg) and grabs the bass and jams over it, that shit is fucking incredible.

Some of that 80's drum-and-synth programming simply can't be replicated live.

Birmingham last year. First show. Sampler set. Prince ends it with "I Would Die 4 U". There's a visceral, emotional reaction sometimes when you hear a song exactly the way you've listened to it for years and years, yet the person is right there singing it in front of you. The woman standing next to me turned to me smiling and hugged me with tears streaming down her face, she was so overcome with emotion.

I think anyone who complains about it hasn't seen Kraftwerk live. Four guys standing in front of laptops triggering loops and samples and yet it's one of the best live shows I have ever seen.

It's not lazy at all. It's genius.

But you're never going to be able to appreciate it by listening to a fucking bootleg. That misses the entire point.







Exactly.

-

Also, I love this point: judging live the concert experience by listening to bootlegs is not the way to go. You have to be there.

[Edited 3/15/15 13:01pm]

"New Power slide...."
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Reply #16 posted 03/15/15 1:05pm

Aerogram

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Prince has never been afraid of hard work, that much is true. So the sets are not the product of being lazy, more of a way of saying "hey my band has those awesome rock chops, but I'm not gonna lie and tell you it can do justice to some of my funkier songs, so take a listen to this sampler set instead and don't you dare call me lazy King Sausage -- not when I'm playing two shows in one night!"

I'm pretty sure that's his meaning. smile

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Reply #17 posted 03/15/15 1:44pm

fusk

hah, two shows in one night doesn't mean 'working hard', it means 'getting paid twice'

.

I agree with Militant that hearing something like Hot Thing booming in an arena is pretty great, but I don't know if I'd call the sampler set "genius"... I'm also not sure if it's impossible to get a band to sound as good as the recording. They won't sound the same, but I think they can sound as good. Put some triggers on the drums or something. Fiddle with the distortion on the bass until it sounds nasty. Why not have your midi keyboard to trigger samples of a stack of classic synths?

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Reply #18 posted 03/15/15 2:09pm

KingSausage

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Thanks, everyone, for the variety of comments so far. It's interesting that the sampler set provokes such a wide range of strong reactions, from dismissal that it's half-assed to appreciation for a different style of performing his music.

To the fans of the sampler sets: Are there songs in the sampler set that you'd rather hear performed with a live band? Or vice versa, songs that AREN'T in the sampler set but would sound better if they were?

To sampler set haters: How do compare the sampler set to some of the extended medleys Prince has done in past tours with a live band (especially the shows that seem like they're half medley)? Would you prefer that a live band plays 30 second snippets of songs or that Prince does a sampler set with more complete snippets, if you're limited to those two choices?

To all: To what extent do you think an appreciation of electronic music affects how much people enjoy the sampler sets? I'm talking hardcore Prince fans here, not the fucking drooling masses who poop themselves and cry when they hear karaoke versions of I Would Die 4 U.

Most of my Prince concert experiences have been at Paisley Park, right up close to him. It's hard imagining him doing the sampler set. The closest I've come to a full Prince concert per se (i.e. not a Paisley performance) was the 1999 Mill City Music Festival and the 2000 Celebration show at Northrop Auditorium. I've never seen a Hit & Run show, so perhaps in person there's more to appreciate to the sampler set.

"Drop that stereo before I blow your Goddamn nuts off, asshole!"
-Eugene Tackleberry
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Reply #19 posted 03/15/15 2:15pm

toejam

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I'm not a fan of the sampler set. I agree it comes across half-assed. It's just a cheap and easy way to cater to the masses and fill-in 20mins. If I want to hear those grooves, I already have them at home. Give me a piano or guitar set any day. In 2012, I saw most of the Aussie shows. I remember going to the bathroom during one of the sampler sets later in the tour and having no regrets.

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Reply #20 posted 03/15/15 2:18pm

paulludvig

To those who don't like the sampler set - what did you think of the live versions of Hot Thing and Forever in My Life back in '87? I Wish U Heaven in '88?

The wooh is on the one!
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Reply #21 posted 03/15/15 2:19pm

vinaysfunk

I am not trying to duck out of an answer to your question KingSausage but I like the delivery of his music to be any which way he wants to deliver it. I am totally dead serious. I like being surprised and he has many times over the years. Sometimes it's horn heavy, sometimes it mostly piano and soft and somtimes he its hard rock guitar. Big venues, small venues, big tour, hit and run tour. I have seem him with 30,000 people in concert and I have seen him with a total of 1,200 in attendance. All I am trying to say is that the sampler set is just another technique he has used in recent years and I tend to just take it in, as is. Without trying to change one thing. I want my Prince experience as he wants to bring it. So I like things just the way they are. Don't worry he may be Prince but here on the org you'll always be King, sausage that it.

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Reply #22 posted 03/15/15 2:23pm

stillwaiting

Prince loves to talk about the legends...Miles Davis, James Brown, Stevie Wonder. He did the Hall of Fame George Harrison tribute because he wanted to play with Tom Petty. How many of those legends just played a damn tape? None of them.

Prince is lazy. The Louisville shows were both short...so he could milk the crowd for as much money as possible. He's afraid to do a real tour. He only wants people to show up at the shows who love him so much they will call in to work risking their jobs...he hates the fans with real jobs who can't get time off at the drop of the hat. Ok, a little sarcasm here...and off topic..

But like I've said a billion times, the sampler set is amazing supidity. Had he stopped it back in 2007, I'd have forgiven him, but it's like a sad running joke that won't end. Overkill has been passed...this is an act of Self-Parody. He's even done this longer than he ordered Shelby to shout "Put Your Hands Up" over 200 times at every show. That actually stopped...but like I've said...if you're gonna be dumb enough to play a fuc**G tape of music, and then shout out "Real Music By Real Musicians," Then you have no clue.

Remember, this is the guy who let Tony M in the band. Would Miles have done that? Stevie Wonder? Tom Petty? Nope. For better or worse...there is only one Prince. Sometimes absolute genius, sometimes absolute buffoon with no clue.

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Reply #23 posted 03/15/15 2:33pm

thisisreece

My problems with the sampler set...

1) Oh cool, he's playing 'I Would Die 4 U', oh wait, no he's not, he's playing 'Pop Life', oh wait, no he's playing 'Nasty Girl'...

2) I can play them at home.

3) 20 minutes gone where he could be playing live.

3) I got so many hits.

4) It's the fucking sampler set machinegun shoot shoot3


Sometimes it's fun to hear Prince play bass over 777-3911 or Hot Thing (one song where the sampler works), but it's lazy and the time is wasted where it could be better spent actuallyplaying the songs. Each time I saw him last year I couldn't wait for the sampler to be over, it was the low point of both shows. They were fun for 5 minutes but then they just dragged. The only time I'd like the sampler would be for SOTT, playing over it with guitar like he did at the 87 MTV awards.

Hundalasiliah!
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Reply #24 posted 03/15/15 2:33pm

SuperSoulFight
er

I've never ever ever been to a Prince concert or any concert where I'"just want to hear some goddamn Linn programming". No! That shit may work fine on records, but live... disbelief I consider myself very lucky that the 2011 European tour was the only tour where he left the sampler set at home.
[Edited 3/15/15 14:45pm]
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Reply #25 posted 03/15/15 2:38pm

SuperSoulFight
er

Aerogram said:

Prince has never been afraid of hard work, that much is true. So the sets are not the product of being lazy, more of a way of saying "hey my band has those awesome rock chops, but I'm not gonna lie and tell you it can do justice to some of my funkier songs, so take a listen to this sampler set instead and don't you dare call me lazy King Sausage -- not when I'm playing two shows in one night!"



I'm pretty sure that's his meaning. smile




Playing 2 shows in 1 night... THAT's the problem. Why not just play one long concert in a bigger hall? Then everybody:s happy!
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Reply #26 posted 03/15/15 2:42pm

SuperSoulFight
er

paulludvig said:

To those who don't like the sampler set - what did you think of the live versions of Hot Thing and Forever in My Life back in '87? I Wish U Heaven in '88?


I wasn't there, but watching the Sign O'the Times film, I found it boring.
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Reply #27 posted 03/15/15 2:51pm

TrevorAyer

prince needs to play 'whole' songs by 'whole' songwriters .. the sampler just shows how bad the rest of the set is cuz the sampler has all the good songs .. the medleys and shortened songs have the been the bane of prince live set since before PR .. which is sad that he is so clueless he still has not figured out that people want to hear a full song .. actually many full songs .. thats what musicians are supposed to do live ..

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Reply #28 posted 03/15/15 3:56pm

djThunderfunk

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Militant said:

I fucking love the sampler set.

I will never forget being in the O2 Arena and hearing the SOTT intro drums just BOOM out across the arena and everybody collectively losing their shit.

There's a point at a Prince show where I just want to hear some god damn Linn programming and some thick, stacked, gritty Oberheims. That's what the sampler set brings to the table. When he drops the "77-9311" drums and then segues into the"Hot Thing" beat (check Sweden 2011 bootleg) and grabs the bass and jams over it, that shit is fucking incredible.

Some of that 80's drum-and-synth programming simply can't be replicated live.

Birmingham last year. First show. Sampler set. Prince ends it with "I Would Die 4 U". There's a visceral, emotional reaction sometimes when you hear a song exactly the way you've listened to it for years and years, yet the person is right there singing it in front of you. The woman standing next to me turned to me smiling and hugged me with tears streaming down her face, she was so overcome with emotion.

I think anyone who complains about it hasn't seen Kraftwerk live. Four guys standing in front of laptops triggering loops and samples and yet it's one of the best live shows I have ever seen.

It's not lazy at all. It's genius.

But you're never going to be able to appreciate it by listening to a fucking bootleg. That misses the entire point.







With all due respect:

If I want to hear exactly what is on record I can do that all day long by listening to records.

Kraftwerk and Prince are apple and oranges. They may be "genius" for those that love their music but Prince's sampler sets are not genius and suggesting they are is ridiculous.

Prince has had several bands that play good live renditions of the these same songs.

Your last sentence isn't a good look for a mod or for anyone participating in a respectful debate.

Ross Perot was right!!
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Reply #29 posted 03/15/15 3:57pm

djThunderfunk

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kenkamken said:

Seems like he also uses the set to acknowledge some of the songs from his past that he wouldn't play in full because he isn't the same dude he was when he wrote them. Nasty Girl, Darling Nikki, Head, etc. are likely never to be heard played live by him again, but he at least acknowledges their existence.


When Doves Cry? Sign "O" The Times? Housequake?

Nah, that's not all about nasty songs.

Ross Perot was right!!
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Forums > Prince: Music and More > Sampler Set: The Laziest Thing Prince Has Ever Done?