Lotta Love

>> Wednesday, April 14, 2010

I pontificated a wee bit in the last two installments of PRINCE WEEK, BABY mostly to screw with friends' RSS readers, being uncertain whether they were just being fed the first few lines or the whole posts.

Hey, I'm a bad, bad boy.

This time it's Prince with the cover--Led Zeppelin's "Whole Lotta Love". And man, oh man, does the Purple One shred it:

Michelle has offered some of her ideas this week about why Prince polarizes some folks. One thing I'll say here, briefly, is that a common refrain about Prince involves shots at his appearance. Okay, in some of his incarnations he's looked a bit silly, I get that. But even if you grant that--and I have no objection to the man's style, myself, what does that have to do with the man's musical proficiency (a multi-instrumentalist who plays nearly everything but can blow away nearly any guitarist alive), songwriting gifts (hitmaker for himself and dozens of other artists), or creative range (whether you think his efforts to create a female persona, "Camille," actually work, surely you have to admit it's, forgive the irony, ballsy-as-hell he even tries).

Listen to that guitarwork on "Lotta Love" and close your eyes. That's technical precision matched with soul and speed, a combo you rarely get (my personal favorite-ever guitar player, David Gilmour, plays precisely and soulfully, but even he says he can't play fast; somebody like Malmstein--shudder-plays fast and precise but with the emotional depth of a fish--one found in a supermarket on ice).

Prince goes from the famous chunky riff of the original to a Hendrix-esque ecstasy seamlessly. Listen to the way he runs the fretboard on the arpeggios, those sweet bends. That's a helluva lot of sweetass musicianship right there. Who gives a crap what he looks like, look with your ears. Gawd, I cannot believe I just wrote that, but I'm not even kidding.


Nathan Wednesday, April 14, 2010 at 9:24:00 AM EDT  

I don't think you can ignore the race card in this instance. I don't recall all that much outrage at David Bowie and his created personae.

Jeri Wednesday, April 14, 2010 at 1:17:00 PM EDT  

Hmmm... the chunky riff part was fine. The Hendrix-esque ecstasy has always been a bit over-the-top for me, although I can admire the talent that goes into that type of playing. And the vocals? Meh. Although I realize that lyrics & vocals are a minor part of this particular number.

And yeah, this one does score on the not-overproduced side - as do most quality live recordings. :)

I'll respond to you and Michelle's pop-trivia & nature of art musings on my own blog. Yeah, blog fodder! :)

flessen: to elegantly consume an airline meal, without visible disgust.

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