The Noble Reign Of Music’s Prince

Download Audio

Musical icon Prince is back. With two new albums. We look at the life and music of the Purple One.

In this 2014 photo released by NPG Records, Prince performs in Birmingham, England. (AP)
In this 2014 photo released by NPG Records, Prince performs in Birmingham, England. (AP)

The artist formerly and currently known as Prince got big in a huge hurry in 1979.  Platinum within a year of his first album.  Shocked and delighted and moved the world with his wiggle and musical power and emotion.  Had us partying like it was 1999 for a long time.  Dropped his name.  Took it back.  Gave us the Minneapolis sound.  He’s 56 now, and back big again. This hour On Point:  all about the once and future Prince.
-- Tom Ashbrook


Alan Light, author and music journalist. Author of the upcoming book, "Let's Go Crazy: Prince and the Making of Purple Rain."

Billy Johnson, Jr., senior editor at Yahoo! Music. (@billyjohnsonjr)

From Tom's Reading List

Los Angeles Times: Prince dazzles and baffles on two new releases — "Never let it be said that Prince doesn't retain the capacity to both dazzle and baffle. Through 36 years in the spotlight and one of the most influential of his generation, the man born Prince Rogers Nelson still pushes like he's gunning for fresh fame and acclaim."

The Daily Beast: Prince Returns From the Wilderness and, Thankfully, Is as Restless as Ever -- "Neither Art Official Age nor PlectrumElectrum rank among Prince’s all-time best, but they’re far too compelling to ignore. Given their predecessors, it may not mean that much to call them his best work in years, but both set a high bar for any future Prince album wanting to claim that title and make the prospect of more Prince albums sound inviting again. Nobody said respectability had to sound boring."

Rolling Stone: Preview the Definitive Book on Prince's Hit Film — "Everyone involved in the production uses the same words to describe Prince during the filming process: focused, driven, absorbed, confident. 'It felt as inexorable as the progress of a train,' says engineer Susan Rogers. 'It just felt steady; a slow, steady progress. There was never any doubt in those sessions, not on the movie set, not in the recording studio, not when we were doing the album or when we were doing the incidental music, not when we were doing post-production. He would've been a great general in the army; he has this extraordinary self-confidence, coupled with extraordinary self-discipline and tempered by a really clear self-critical eye.'"


This program aired on October 3, 2014.


More from On Point

Listen Live