Prince: A Thief in the Temple
  • Prince: A Thief in the Temple
  • Prince: A Thief in the Temple

Prince: A Thief in the Temple

by Brian Morton
     
 

From the basement studios of Minneapolis to the top of the Billboard charts and his bitter battle with Warner Bros., this honest and sometimes startling account of one of the world’s premier musicians examines his missteps and celebrates his recent reemergence. Since the explosive success of Purple Rain (the album, the single, and the film) more than

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Overview

From the basement studios of Minneapolis to the top of the Billboard charts and his bitter battle with Warner Bros., this honest and sometimes startling account of one of the world’s premier musicians examines his missteps and celebrates his recent reemergence. Since the explosive success of Purple Rain (the album, the single, and the film) more than twenty years ago, Prince has scored Top Ten hits, won Grammys and an Oscar, and finally been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of fame. He’s inspired protest and devotion, and provoked as many questions as he has commendations. BBC Radio’s Brian Morton mines Prince’s oeuvre, unmatched for breadth and excellence, to figure out just what Prince has created. Investigating his many feuds with old friends over songwriting credits and royalties owed, Morton also reveals the shrewd and sometimes cunning businessman within the man who has dared his listeners to think differently about sexuality, love, recording contracts, and assless chaps. Prince: A Thief in the Temple is a look behind the scenes and in the studio with the innovative, fearless, and iconic Prince.

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Editorial Reviews

Kirkus Reviews
Cogent analysis of The Artist Currently Known as Prince. Scottish arts journalist and broadcaster Morton (The Penguin Guide to Jazz Recordings, 2006, etc.) traces the Purple One's musical evolution over the course of a remarkable yet strangely unresonant career. Neither a standard linear biography nor show-biz tell-all, the book is steadfastly focused on the music and the psychological and sociological conditions that informed it. Morton proposes that Prince's music is uniquely biracial, borrowing heavily from both black R&B and soul tropes and white rock and pop styles; two of his largest influences are identified here as Jimi Hendrix and Joni Mitchell. Convincingly, if at times a bit baroquely (his enthusiasm and verbal facility can lead him down some baffling rabbit holes), Morton develops the idea that this is one of a host of dichotomies that lie at the heart of Prince's work and mystique. Others include the tension between sacred and profane themes in his lyrics, his aggressive androgyny and ambiguous ethnicity and the unusual racial dynamic of his hometown, Minneapolis, a city whose overwhelmingly white population has historically enjoyed relative social harmony with its tiny black community. Morton's analysis of each album is impressively nuanced and erudite, scrupulously avoiding sycophantic apologies for weaker entries in the canon, and he makes a convincing case for his subject's status as a profoundly significant musician. And yet, Prince's infamous insularity (if not outright paranoia) also defines his work: For all his success and dazzling musical accomplishments, he's a bit of a closed loop; unlike other artists of his stature, he strangely lacks imitators or disciples. Thetrails he blazed were personal, inward and, in the main, left fallow by succeeding generations of musicians. This self-contained, self-indulgent quality is simultaneously Prince's most fascinating and frustrating characteristic-not to mention, another dichotomy. It's lonely out there for sui generis eccentric geniuses-luckily, gifted writers like Morton are able to bring them a little closer to us.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781841959160
Publisher:
Canongate Books
Publication date:
10/10/2007
Pages:
224
Product dimensions:
5.80(w) x 8.20(h) x 0.90(d)

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