Objectively the best cover version.
Frankly it was Harrison founding Handmade Films which makes him the best Beatle In my eyes.
He created a movie studio because he wanted to Monty Python Life of Brian to be finished so he found see it. Mortgaged his house to do it.
Harrison fans. I love you. Can’t wait to *see the Tom Petty inner monologue cut.
By some people, maybe?
It is a very “white guy” thing to think of guitar solos as a “white guy thing”
FWIW, I was not trying to assert that it was the greatest thing that Prince himself ever did — rather, that it’s arguably the greatest guitar solo in mainstream rock and roll history. Prince’s artistry went waaaaaaaay beyond the rock and roll of Tom Petty and the Beatles. I think that’s part of what I love about this performance. Prince is not typically associated with rock music (a notion that’s already ripe with racial connotations), but he shows up here, non-chalantly lets everyone else do their thing, and then steals the show with a sick solo to remind everyone what an incredible artist he is, and how wrong people like 18-year-old-me were to brush him off just because he doesn’t typically play “rock and roll.”
If more Prince music was like this I might have bought one of his albums.
I agree that that’s a funny racialization of guitar solos. I think it’s because guitar solos = rock and roll = white guys? But it pretty clearly seems to come from the Jazz culture of instrumental solos, and Prince riffing and extending the melody, as with any good guitar solo really, is directly continuing the tradition that started to become big the late 40s Bebop era with musicians like Charlie Parker and later Miles Davis (although can be heard as early as the 20s even in Armstrong’s big bands). It’s not a coincidence that the swinging between rapid ascending and descending scales and long hard sustains on bended notes sounds so much like a trumpet or saxophone.
I won’t argue for one minute that the music industry hasn’t systematically exploited Black musicians for over a century. But merely that white men should absolutely not get to own guitar solos.
I wasn’t remotely agreeing what that interpretation. Merely trying to understand why some would think it.
Probably because they’re ignorant of history and have no interest in educating themselves?
Wailing blues guitar solos including theatrics like playing behind the back or with your teeth were part of the delta blues long before guys like Parker or Davis ever touched a horn. People like Charlie Patton and Skip James were doing it before 1920, and the only reason they’re the first we’ve heard is that was the first generation recorded.
Honestly, when I was writing that I went thinking back and listening to my collection, and I couldn’t really think of old guitar solos that sounded like modern guitar solos before the advent of the Jazz age. I own a lot of Charlie Patton and Skip James, and improvisation is absolutely the core of their repertoire, but I couldn’t come up with any “wailing” solos as you describe them.
Obviously there’s a pretty straight lineage through the improvisations of the Blues, but the wailing solo in the style of this one in the article seems to me to draw far more directly from the horn solos of the 50s and 60s.
But I’m happy if I’m missing something and can be educated. (Or it’s just a difference of interpretation whether the parent or the grandparent is the “source.”)
Thats what was recorded. Early blues recordings were limited to 3 minutes and musicians were explicitly made to record solo (despite playing in bands) and lay down a full song in the time. The first full blues recordings didn’t come until after the war – complete with extended guitar solos. The oral history of blues and jazz makes it pretty clear that the style of extended improvised soloing came to jazz from blues and not the other way around
Oh indeed, was never disagreeing with that at all.
I don’t get the impression there are a lot of people who think this is the greatest thing he ever did. But I assume there are a good number of people (like me) who were somewhat aware of his talent, but whose musical tastes didn’t really align with his own music, and needed something like this to cement his status in their minds as one of the most talented guitarists and charismatic performers in history. Even though Prince wasn’t usually associated with “mainstream” guitar-driven rock and roll, this proved definitively that he could do mainstream rock and roll at least as well as (if not better than) anyone they thought of as a “guitar hero” before seeing this. And yes, there are a lot of racial politics involved in that, given the preponderance of white guys in the guitar hero pantheon, and that the entire rock and roll genre rests on a foundation of Black music innovation, and that Prince had been doing face melting guitar solos in other contexts for many, many years before he took this stage. But better late than never.
I, for one, have long appreciated Prince’s talent and charisma, and I bought several of his CD’s in the early 2000s to try to get into his music, but the music itself just never really did it for me. Yet when I saw this performance, I rushed out to buy tickets for a concert (I saw him live in summer 2004–this performance was March 2004). And while the songs STILL didn’t really do it for me, the performance absolutely did. His musicianship and showmanship (and his fans’ ecstasy) were just breathtaking. I’m soooooo glad that I got to see him live, and I don’t know if I ever would have if not for this guitar solo.
that’s because perhaps his best work was under the pseudonym of otis wilbury
I was disappointed to hear George Harrison’s son, Dhani, (seen onstage strumming an acoustic guitar) later describe Prince’s performance as gratuitous and awkward. Listen to his take starting at about 2:15 in the clip below. Absolutely clueless.
I thought this was well known at this point.
Frank Turner wrote a fun song about Sister Rosetta on his most recent album … but there’s a weird like, meta-appropriation level about this white English guy writing a tribute to a Black American woman with lyrics that specifically call out the “white boy hype” of cultural appropriation.
Right? Personally, I do prefer to see people acknowledging and struggling with the truth as opposed to the mindset of just believing in the white-centered mythos of rock that’s been pushed all too often by the recording industry and institutions like the R-n-R Hall of Fame. Tharpe only being inducted a couple of years ago is just wrong on all levels.