Prince’s “Love Symbol” Album, 30 Years Later

Morris Hayes didn’t know what to expect. In early June 1992, a flashy keyboard player was summoned to a hotel suite in Munich, Germany. Mercury Music Superstar Prince.. For the past few months, Hayes has been out as a member of Prince’s former Muse band, Carmen Electra, On the European legs of the Diamonds and Pearls tour. The opening act was almost forgotten. However, Haze turned the head of Royal Badness in one of the star’s legendary after-show jams. Arkansaw natives have found that they are arguably the most talented musical act of his generation, as well as the presence of certified rock stars.He didn’t expect to be added to the artist soon New power generation line up.

“The prince’s suite was banana,” Hayes tells POPSUGAR. “He wanted a grand piano in the room wherever he went. But at this particular hotel, he had to take a crane and lift it out of the window to get into the penthouse. I asked him. The piano says “Damn U” in addition? And he said, “Oh, that’s the name of the song on the next album.” And I’m “the next album?” I’m currently on the Diamonds and Pearls tour. [laughs].. I didn’t think he completed the whole album. “

“He told me,” I’m no longer a prince. I don’t expect people to understand it. It’s cool. They don’t understand it. It’s my own journey. … it’s my own. “

Prince Rogers Nelson’s 14th Studio Album — Released October 13, 1992 — Ignite a crucial time in his endless and sometimes confusing career. By the summer of 1993, a restless and visionary person — died in 2016 at the age of 57 From accidental overdose — Legally change his name to the title of the album: an unpronounceable combination of male and female glyphs. By that fall, Prince had declared war on his label, Warner Bros., over the artistic control of his work, supported by a new contractually non-obligatory Monica.

People called him angry. Warner Bros. executives were shocked and Prince’s companions were embarrassed. Was the Grammy and Oscar-winning icons self-destructive? Even the people in Prince’s camp were totally stunned.

“In other words, I thought the name change was strange,” Hayes laughs. “I jokingly asked the prince,’Man, what are you doing now?’ He told me because he heard about the name change in the press like everyone else. “I’m no longer a prince. I don’t expect people to understand it. It’s cool. They don’t understand it. It’s me My journey … myself. But I expect people to respect my wishes. “

Before the “The Love Symbol” album, Prince was on fire. He had just released his best-selling studio work “Diamonds and Pearls” (1991) in a few years. Million copies worldwide.. Most guitar gods in his high heels have toured the world for over two years and enthusiastically took the winning rap. Still, the meticulous multi-instrumentalist and composer who made the 80’s his personal, bohemian, state-of-the-art playground was the famous landmark “Dirty Mind” (1980), ” It was emphasized by “1999” (1982) and “Purple Rain” (1984). ), And “Sign o’the Times” (1987) —There were other ideas.

Prince dreamed of a fantasy rock soap opera concept album inspired by NPG member and future wife Mayte Garcia. In the accompanying movie, “Three Chains of Gold,” Cheers actress Kirstie Alley appeared as a journalist and Garcia as a princess in Cairo. Thankfully, unnecessary plot lines aimed at creating an album (Alley’s invasive reporter Vanessa Bartholomew asks Prince about the temptation of the Egyptian royal family). Edited To include more music.

The 18-track “Love Symbol” checks out more genre hopping boxes compared to the laser-focused R & B in “Diamonds and Pearls.” The 9-piece New Power Generation never reached the experimental bliss of Prince’s most famous backing band, Revolution, or the ferocious momentum of his Love Sexy outfit, but of his breakneck spontaneity. Proved to be a more powerful live conduit for. They were able to “absolutely realize what he envisioned,” said NPG keyboard player Tommy Barbarella. Explained to Rolling Stone In 2016.

Music in the early 90’s has undergone major changes, moving away from the bland pop ballads that choked the radio. Grange Rock was still rolling, but the Nirvana-led counterculture revolution was about to be overshadowed by gangsta rap. And R & B was months away from taking over the mainstream altogether. So, in “Love Symbol,” Prince responded by balancing his timeless funlock soul excursion with a more prominent nod to hip-hop.

He skillfully bypassed MTV with an adult “sexy midfielder.”Instead, he sold his filthy stuff 10-minute video for fans for $ 9.95.. “Nocturnal emission comes out of my ears / the wind blows in Cologne near me and it hardens,” he constantly wraps in the subject of horny desires. Prince had a complex relationship with hip hop. He disbanded the genre on the 1987 track “Dead On It”, advocated for Public Enemy, and cartoonized NPG rapper Tony M with songs like the heart-pounding single “My Name Is Prince.” Was promoted.

Despite the ever-changing musical landscape, no one could control the genius carrying cards. Spiritual “7” “Love Symbol” blockbuster song (Ironically, it peaks at number 7. Billboard Hot 100), its trippy Middle Eastern guitar riffs and funk-up samples 1967 classic “playing cards” A powerful case study of Prince’s stunning production ingenuity. Prince also invited Hornheads (a 5-piece horn section act on the Diamonds and Pearls tour) to “Love Symbol”. In one session of the mid-tempo pop soul cut “Morning Papers”, the brilliance of Prince was fully demonstrated.

“We saw the prince teach [“Morning Papers”] When I go to the rhythm section, I still feel chills when I hear him sing for the first time, “recalls hornheads leader and trombone player Michael B. Nelson. It’s a part, but like all the songs on this album, it’s mostly a Prince arrangement. “

The “Love Symbol” album doubled in platinum and was successful in most acts. But for the prince, Reportedly signed a $ 100 million transaction At Warner Bros. in 1992, greater rewards were expected.That is he 18 year old child in 1977.. By 1984, Prince had become a global megastar, driven by the culturally-changing box office hit “Purple Rain” and its ingenious soundtrack, which sold 13 million copies in the United States alone. This was a set bar — and it was very expensive.

A few years after Prince’s huge success with “Purple Rain,” Prince and Warner fell into a stalemate. Label demanded that his flagship action reduce his musical output, Prince told reporters. 18-month interval between releases.. After announcing his name change, “an artist formerly known as Prince” refused to release new music and instead chose to edit the song from his famous vault and wrap it around. I did.

The battle intensified when the artist demanded master recording rights in 1995 and crawled across the cheeks to “slaves” in protest. After splitting with Warner in 1996, Prince regained his name and remained a frank change agent. By 2014 He resigned with Warner In an unprecedented deal he saw him regain full ownership of his catalog. And a year before his death, Prince removed his music from other streaming platforms, Signed an exclusive contract with JAY-Z’s TIDALAccording to, movements motivated primarily by black empowerment His comment To USA Today.

For Hayes, the longest-serving member of the NPG, he looks back on the era of “symbols of love” as a catalyst for Prince’s awakening as a maverick mess in the music industry.

“I think this record represents an important change in the prince’s world,” says Hayes. “Prince wasn’t afraid to tell the truth to empower these people. He wasn’t afraid to tell someone like Taylor Swift and what she was about streaming and fighting to own her master. I’m definitely grateful for your strength. I remembered Prince’s lesson. “

Prince’s “Love Symbol” Album, 30 Years Later

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