Monday, July 19, 2010

Michael Jackson vs. Prince Nelson

"After attending a show by his old friend and rival Prince at the Palms hotel with Will (Will.I.Am), MJ invited him to have breakfast at his house. "We've always been compared to each other, but we are so different," Michael once said of the Purple One, who had made a point of showing off for Will and Jackson, jamming in front of them with his bass guitar. "He was always viewed as the songwriter and I was always the entertainer. But they've never really l acknowledged that I write. I wrote "Billie Jean", "Beat It", "Man in the Mirror". "We Are the World"...big songs. I have so much love for Prince. But why don't they look at me the same way?
--from Vibe Magazine, July 2010

(Side Note: Michael did not write "Man in the Mirror"--Siedah Garrett did specifically for him)

Once in a century do musical greats like Prince (Nelson) and Michael Jackson come about to essentially "own" a decade. Strange, too, that both were born in 1958, both born in the Midwest, both African-American, both have some of the same idols (both own much of their artistry to another great, James Brown), both came from regular families and both were born with amazing talent evident at an early age with a correlating drive for success that included a vocabulary that did not possess the words "no" or "impossible" as an answer for anything related to their talents. There are other similarities, too, but I think everyone gets the point.

However, many people for whatever reasons compare Michael and Prince as musicians. This is a fatal flaw. Aspects of their artistry make these men nearly polar opposites, in my belief. Both are usually lumped into the same genre though both have the tendency to cross genres, be it Pop, R&B, etc. But, beyond that fact, like Michael said from the quote from Vibe magazine and me knowing both of their music and careers well, I think they have basically nothing in common artistically and are not even in the same realms of genius. Both are geniuses, geniuses in their own respect, but it is different. To me, it is like comparing an abstract painter to a realist painter--both are artists, both paint, both may use oil paints but their approach is different and should not be held in the same light.

Both men are dubbed as perfectionists even though early in their careers Prince put out about an album a year compared to Michael's an album once every 4 or so years. Michael was always mainstream and heavily commercialized (which in some ways likely hurt him by clouding his artistry). Prince enjoyed many years as an "underground" artist. Both have a large amount of unreleased music, however Michael's unreleased music has kept itself well-hidden for the most part (for now). Prince's collection of bootlegs, videos and soundboard collections are a part of what makes him so incredible and in some ways respected even by those who do not like his music. You know someone is a hard-core fan and in it for the music when they can name songs upon songs of Prince's that have never found waves on the radio or their names on the cover of album sleeves. Prince's underground music collection is so vast it almost requires another language to explain it to others. I could delve further and also say that Michael's songs were a bit more "family-friendly" and Prince's work, at least early work, is highly explicit and at times X-rated. I have personally always found Michael's lyrics very straight-forward with a few exceptions--Prince's lyrics many times make sense to no one and may not even make sense to him. Prince fans are still guessing at who "Cynthia" is in "Starfish and Coffee" and maybe it is just me but it seems odd that in "Let's Go Crazy" Satan is referred to as the "elevator" and God as "going crazy". Okay Prince, I will take your word on that and admire your creativity. Mind you, this is a man who has said songs come to him while brushing his teeth so maybe he uses some funky toothpaste, perhaps? I want some!

Something very fundamental that separates these men is Prince's instrumental talents and Michael's lack thereof. I am not saying Michael did not or was not capable of playing instruments but he never did so while performing and I would think he would be considered a novice at any instrument he did play. Prince plays just about any instrument so long as it is not a horn (though he supposedly played the saxophone in junior high and does give direction to horn players on his albums). Some may disagree with me but I truly believe Prince has to be one of the top 5 guitarists to ever live--take it or leave it. His chord structures are amazing and the man plays a guitar as easily as he breathes--just watch him live and you will see what I mean. Prince's guitar skills allow him to methodically tune his guitars away from the classic E-A-D-G-B-E structure into tunes even professionals continue to guess at today. Keep in mind, this is a man who is essentially self-taught, too. I had the honor of being included in a discussion with Prince years ago and he mentioned practicing his guitar while in high school--he was happy his teachers allowed him to do so. (I remember him saying he was bad at math, too, but I have a hard time believing that to be honest.)

Many feel Michael's sole instrument was his body--his body through the instrument of dance especially. True, many say Michael is one of the best if not the best dancer to live. No one should deny his dancing as true an art form as playing the guitar or piano--all forms mentioned are that of artistic expression. However, I think this aspect of Michael's artistic talent, coupled with his love of magic, fantasy and pure showmanship (he did admire P.T. Barnum the circus magnate) hurt his career and further dealt him a lack of respect at being dubbed an artist or songwriter like Prince or Stevie Wonder. At his core, Michael was a showman like Jackie Wilson whose power and delivery was from his vocals and just his sheer presence and was gloried by his movement and ownership of the perfect body for dance, much like Michael Phelps is said to have the perfect body "engineered" for swimming.

It makes sense that Michael would go for making his shows more than just a show--he saw performers like Jackie Wilson perform since he was a child. Both Michael and Prince idolized James Brown and saw him perform live (Prince has said he got to dance on stage at a James Brown concert as a young child while Michael watched him from the side of the stage before performing himself). I have had the honor of seeing Prince perform live many times and now that I think about it, Prince is not too far off from being some sort of incarnation of James Brown, especially as he has gotten older.

But back to Michael and his dancing, we as a public, should not have expected Michael to be able to dance as he did when he was 20 years old forever and ever. Maybe some of us did not, people who appreciate real art do not hold unreal expectations. However, some fans seemed to never accept the fact that Michael was indeed human and like all of us had to grow up and he had to grow older, too. Some were angry that he even grew up to become a man and could not forever be "Little Michael". Come on people, get real. Maybe even Michael tried to deny the fact of physical aging himself as I figure he did (Peter Pan ring a bell?). Michael needed to shift from that aspect of his talent, the dancing, but what did he have to shift to? His vocal talent is superb, no doubt. I see a lot of people claiming he lip-synced. Well, yes in some concerts he did--but to those people who say that, have you ever tried to dance and sing at the same time? Try, see what happens and let me know. It does not take much to listen to Michael sing as a child or sing acapella and see the man possessed perfect pitch. But, his need to have put on such a show that he had to compromise his vocals for movement and dance is actually an example of his own talents being buried by other aspects of his art and creativity. He put so much emphasis on dance and movement and spectacle and just SHOW that he forgot what got him on top--his vocals and charisma. Anyone who enjoys music, especially Michael's, should have been happy and considered ourselves blessed to just be in the same room with his man and hear him sing anything his heart desired while he sat on a sofa with his feet perched on a coffee table. As Michael got older I wish he has shifted away from the pyrotechnics, the flying around on stage, even the "ups on the toes" and reverted more to focusing on vocals, new music and other creative outlets such as film. Prince has certainly done this in some ways--you will not see Prince doing the splits anymore or sticking a basketball court on stage and we should all be okay with that (though I would LOVE to play him in a game of horse sometime).

There is no doubt that Michael had a firm foundation of rhythm and melody. This may sound odd but I actually enjoyed hearing the "Dangerous" deposition tapes (available on YouTube) because I actually learned a lot about Michael and his method of creating music. One thing I never forget from these tapes is his discussion about the Moog synthesizer. Many times with Prince's music I think of the Linn drum machine, conversely. These men know music and know what makes good music.

Michael's foundation of rhythm is firmly heard in songs like "Billie Jean" and you can hear his construction of melody in "Beat It" from the "This Is It" soundtrack. If you listen to "Stranger in Moscow" you can visually picture Michael beat-boxing the rhythm. The man could beat-box and this was his method of getting the music "out". Michael's beat-boxing reminds me a lot someone that he and I both completely love and admire--Charlie Chaplin. Many do not know that Charlie was an accomplished musician. His most famous song is likely "Smile". Charlie played the violin and cello by actually restringing them and playing them left-handed, no less. I do not know how good Charlie was, but he at least apparently was able to place the bow on the strings (he actually said that Albert Einstein played the violin and frankly, he um, sucked). Anyway, Charlie wrote and composed many classical compositions and even had a company in his early years called "Charlie Chaplin Music Publishing Company".

To the point, Charlie, being unable to skillfully play the piano or any instrument in a way to get the music "out" had to hum songs from his head to composers who then helped him construct his compositions. Sometimes it took hours and days to finally get one song "right". Some pianists would just quit, but some toughed it out, including Eric James who wrote a book about working with Charlie. My point is, even though Charlie did not play an instrument well enough to be considered "accomplished" he is still considered in the art world to be a spectacular musician. The same principle should apply to Michael even if he, too, was not an accomplished instrumentalist. He did write many of his own songs lyrically and did construct the melody and rhythm to many of them, too. In fact, Michael is included in the Songwriters' Hall of Fame:

Shockingly enough, Prince is not a member. A protest may need to occur if this is not some type of error.

Even though Michael is in the Songwriter's Hall of Fame (and rightfully so) Michael was right when he said many do not look at him as a songwriter or even musician as I have pointed out before. People lump him into the likes of many of the "singers" today that are just up there flashing skin while be it yelling, auto-tuning, etc.--these people are merely puppets of a dying music industry that really ought to go back to its roots and seek out talent rather than commercially appealing actors and actresses. I admit that at a time I myself was not aware of Michael's artistry though I know it very well now as anyone who loves music should be aware and at least acknowledge Michael's talent whether they like his music or not. While Michael may be hailed as a performer he does not get much of the musical genius he deserves by those who are not fans and something should be done about this. He is admired and idolized by his fans but those who are not fans typically dismiss him as a musician or even an artist and this is wrong. Michael's role in the development of his music, his choreography, how you viewed him on stage, what you viewed in his "short films" aka music videos--that was all him or a good part of him. I remember Janet saying much of her guidance came from Michael, be it music or acting--he was the consummate artist from a young age.

It is sad, I sit here thinking that one of Michael's likely most precious hidden talents lay behind the camera, not in front of it or an audience. He knew what people wanted (more feet when James Brown danced), he knew what the audience would prefer to see (he spoke about how he used 6 cameras and chose what he wanted people to view), he knew how to act, maybe not in a movie so much as on stage (see his dramatic delivery of "You Were There" to Sammy Davis Jr. available on YouTube). I think Michael could have been one hell of a Broadway performer, too. But, more than anything I believe Michael had the potential to be known as one of the most superb directors (and writers) of our time (like Charlie) had he not gotten so entangled with drama from outside sources that created the beginning of the downfall of his career. I also believe these malicious and almost always baseless attacks are perhaps the most pivotal reason his artistry is either not respected or not known by many across the globe. It is my hope that someday people will know the truth about Michael, his talent and most of all his life.


  1. Just wanted to add that Michael actual did play Piano and drums. While he was very good in his early 20s, it is rumored that he got better in later years. His one problem was that he couldn't read notes, hence he could only play by hear.
    This probably made it easier for him to use his vocals as his instrument of choice, then try to play the song on an actual instrument.
    Also, Michael's voice is among the top 15 best ever vocalists (11th place I think), a list made by Rolling Stones magazine.
    In addition, many of the background sounds you hear on his records are actually his voice, not a musical instrument.
    I believe he said he liked singing ballads more then any other songs. Also, he was working on a classical music record in the past 2 years.
    Prince and Michael are both geniuses, but from a very different angle.

  2. I did know about him playing piano and percussion, wasn't if it were drums or the bongos. I wonder how good he was as I hear differing thoughts. Where did you hear the account of him good? I personally think that if Michael were to have played an instrument piano would have been a great choice because of his love for classical music. It also would have allowed him breaks from dancing as he could sit at the piano and play while in concert...

    Didn't know that about him being ranked in Rolling Stone. That is awesome and rightfully he belongs there! Who was number one, I wonder?

    I actually have been told that Prince cannot read music notes, either. I know he plays by ear (he kind of expects everyone who plays for him too, too). As a young child, like 5 or 6 years old, he taught himself how to play various theme songs that he heard on television, be it themes to Batman or the Addams Family. :-)

    Yes, Michael did say he loved singing ballads best. I have actually thought of re-dubbing him the "King of Ballads" rather than the King of Pop as I really don't feel his music was all that poppish. I think it was called pop because it was so mainstream.

    I would love to hear some of Michael's instrumental compositions. Some that are reported to be his are available on YouTube.

  3. I also heard different things about Michael's talents as an instrumentalist. Some said he was not that good, others like Teddy Riley that he was really good and they told him "Why don't you do that on stage?".

    I think Michael was just not confident or comfortable enough to play a music instrument on stage.

    If you want to hear some of Michael's "classical" compositions, you can watch again the movie "Ghosts" and this time pay special attention to the soundtrack which he co-composed with Nicholas Pike (although I think he's not credited for it). Michael is also credited for classical or orchestral arrangements on some of his songs (see "Blood On The Dance Floor" booklet). We can imagine that he often had to give instructions by humming, like Chaplin did.

    And here is an interesting article about the instrumental album Michael was working on at the time of his death:

  4. I have to say, I don't think it's MJJ's lack of musical knowledge or ability to play instruments that harmed his 'credibility'.

    Elvis, Sinatra, Fred Astaire all get their dues - and sometimes extra.

    From my observations over the years/decades it simply seems to me that there is a concerted intent and desire to repeatedly and continually mitigate MJJ's abilities, contributions, talent, etc.

    After all, exactly which performer can you point to that started their career at 5 and kept going through childhood, adolescence, and adulthood and whose adult career was BIGGER and BETTER.

    And ask yourself how many artists abound with a level of hype that doesn't fit their ability/talent. Or who are given the level of hype MJJ SHOULD HAVE BEEN given with a micro of the talent?

    I don't think there was anything MJJ could have done to receive 'credibility' he had it in spades - THAT WAS THE PROBLEM. He was too good, for some, and so they withheld his due with all manner of excuses for lack of crediblity - and this before getting around to the antics of the media circus who never focussed on this music and succeeded in making his name synonymous with everything but.

  5. Hi Anon,

    I agree with you. I have to say, when I look at Michael's career, especially later on, dance became such a massive part of his work, probably even overshadowing his vocal talent. I have even read articles that say he was not an exceptionally good vocalist to which I laugh at the stupidity of such a claim. I did find it odd that I recently ran across some old "Soullll Trainnnn" videos where his singing, not dancing, was the main focus and this was highlighted in one interview. But, later on, dance became pivotal again. I could be very content with Michael only singing, but would some fans be upset with the lack of his dancing, or a watered-down version? Some people are angry Prince no longer does the splits. At 52, I think it is fair to say we do not want to see him do the splits again!

    I cannot help but think of when Michael said sometimes fans would come up to him for an autograph. He would be honored, but then they would ask him for a pen. He would tell them he did not have one to which they would get angry and tell HIM to go get one! I'd told them to go get a pen and shove it up their....yeah, you know. I just cannot imagine someone being that rude but I believe Michael. These kinds of fans, I think, would have been angry if Michael did not perform up to their standards, standards that may have been impossible.

    You make such a huge point that I think so many overlook. So many child performers do not go on to have successful careers as adults. Michael beat the odds on this, no, he stomped them. I have come across articles that say Michael had a successful adult career from "luck", that he should have been performing in Las Vegas in small venue dive bars, etc. Wow, I do not think so. Michael was successful because he worked for it and he worked hard, oh, and he was talented beyond belief.

    Because of so much of the lies, the propaganda, all that junk, Michael's art has gotten lost in it. There are probably more reasons, too. No artist dances like he did. No artist makes "short films" like he did. No artist has such a musically-drive imagination as he did. He really made fantasy a reality through music. It makes me horribly sad that his artwork has suffered from all the bullshit he endured in life. It is more than just "Thriller".

  6. Nikki,
    I'm glad you pointed out how raunchy some of Prince's early songs were. In fact, he's the reason why there are Parental Advisory warning labels on CDs! In 1984, Tipper Gore heard her young daughter listening to "Darling Nikki" (what a coincidence, huh?), and she was so offended that she formed the Parents Music Resource Center, and she lobbied Congress for stricter laws against offensive music.

    This would make a nice trivia question, huh? "Who is the artist that is responsible for the warning labels on CDs?" Most people would assume its a rapper!

  7. Hahahahahaha! Yes, I did know that about Tipper/Prince. I boo her on TV, too, still. I am actually embarrassed by "Darling Nikki"--why of all the names THAT one?! Funny how we go from Prince's sexually charged lyrics to now dealing with music that degrades women and tells stories about men beating their women, killing women, calling women "bitches". Makes Prince look like a saint! Did you know Prince was on the "Muppets Show" back in 1996? He has cleaned up his act (he no longer cusses but does still sing about sex, sometimes). I have to admit, some of the raunchy songs are my favorites. I will probably lose followers after declaring two of my favorites are "P. Control" and "Erotic City". :-/

  8. Nikki, I have a question for you about Prince, since you know so much more about him than I do. Why do you think that Prince was able to avoid scandal and controversy throughout his career?

    Do you think it's because the tabloid press didn't go after him because he wasn't as successful or revolutionary or popular as MJ?

    Do you think that by living in Minnesota he didn't run into the snakes and fakes that infest Hollywood?

    Do you think that by not having a large and dysfunctional family to deal with it helped keep him out of the press?

    When you compare the personal lives of MJ and Prince, they just went in opposite directions after 1993. In a way, Prince represents what MJ could have been had it not been for the phony baloney allegations: someone who is universally respected as both a musical pioneer and a great person!

  9. You know, Prince has not been able to completely avoid it, especially in his fan community, but yeah, most people do not hear too much about him. Some people do not even know he had a son in 1996 that passed away shortly after birth.

    I think he has mostly been able to avoid it because a) he pretty much had a "fuck you" attitude with the press especially when he was younger, b) embraced and even toyed with being "different" (was he black or white, was he straight or gay--"Controversy", c) rarely gave interviews and when he did he basically said nothing (especially when younger), and d) he is, to me, a bit of a loner and real recluse (unlike MJ who always got branded as such) and that helped keep him from getting close enough to people to be hurt. Prince actually said that he rarely gives interviews because even then, they will take your words and twist them to get an agenda so he just rather not say anything at all. Everyone I know that he associates with is or was in the business, including his best friend Larry Graham. Now, I don't know how he has not had all these women not write tell-all books about being with him romantically, I do know many sign confidentiality agreements, and I guess they must be serious enough that people don't break them. I guess they just never took MJ seriously, and TBH, I think most people around MJ were not breaking agreements, they were just bold-face lying about events that never took place.

    I don't think Prince ever cared if he was popular or not. He just wanted to make music. He began as an "underground artist", was pulled from that with "1999"/"Purple Rain", then started his fight with Warner Brothers has has since gone back "underground" pretty much and I think he likes it there.

    YES! Prince even said himself that Minnesota's cold weather keeps the "mean people out". I have been to his recording studio a couple times and seriously, his neighbors, they do not even know what the building on Audubon Road and 78th Avenue is! It has only been there over 20 years! They just don't care. Paisley Park used to be out in the middle of "nowhere" but the town has since grown around it. People in Chanhassen could care less that Prince lived there. I mean, he did have fans that followed him to chruch, some tried to sneak a peak of him at Byerly's (a grocery store) and see him at MPLS clubs. Sometimes he would rent out the movie theater--they didn't seem to mind that late night call to open it up (I went one time!). I think that is what Michael needed to do--was move somewhere where people do not care who you are and that initial "OMG" would have worn off and he could go about his business and had somewhat of a normal life. Neverland was too isolated yet too close to LA. Las Vegas is nothing but an extension of LA.

    I think another thing is, with Prince, his fans love him but know him well enough to leave him alone (most of them, anyway). He hasn't given anyone an autograph since the 1980s (says he doesn't promote idol worship). Prince is almost too distant at times to where MJ was too close. I know some fans may not agree with me when I say this but MJ needed his space and needed people to remember he was in fact human and then TREAT him as such. He did not need people fainting at his presence, trying to tear his clothes off, he did not need people following him outside of his house, stalking. When he went out, especially with his children, people should have respected him and gave him personal time with his family and just let him be a dad with his kids out enjoying the day. I don't think MJ did enough to tell these people to please leave him alone. I think he was afraid of hurting their feelings so in return he allowed himself to be hurt by it.

  10. Prince's family isn't perfect. They just manage to stay out of the spotlight unless you read the Minnesota papers or are a fan. ;-) He pretty much distanced himself from his family and for years (ran away as a teen to his friend's house) and struggled to fix his relationship with his father. I am happy to say that I think when his father passed away, they were on good terms. I think he loved his mother very much but hated his step-father (there is a hilarious prank phone call to his step-dad that you should listen to sometime!). His sister Tyka actually released an album or two. Thing though with MJ was his entire family was famous from the beginning, Prince's was not. I do think that helped Prince. I know Prince has had some problems with one of his sisters suing him.

    I would have loved to have seen MJ take more of an approach to how Prince has done it. I just think Michael was afraid, though. He felt like he had to do better, had to out do what he did last time, that really hurt him. He was trying it again with TII. No, talent is what made Michael who he was. He didn't need anything but a good pair of shoes and a stage with good lighting to wow a crowd and make lasting memories. I think in all the magic and spectacle some of Michael's talent was lost from the masses. Most people, even if they hate Prince, they at least respect him as an artist. I want people to respect Michael and know that he is an artist just like Prince. I honestly had no idea that Michael wrote many of his own songs, not only the lyrics but also the rhythm. He had massive input in his short films. Many of his TV performances were not rehearsed ahead of time--his dancing was spur-of-the-moment. I want people to know that about Michael--he was not a music-business puppet! They need to know he wrote his own songs! But yes, the allegations, they really ruined everything, IMO. They ruined more than just his career, they ruined his life.

    1. Hi Gatogirl277, i appreciated Michael and Prince too during the eightees.In my point of view Prince was a musician and Michael more showman and singer. But, let me say, who could compose and make Purple Rain, Parade, Sign of the times, Diamonds and Pearls, 1999? So different music style albums? A great mix of pop, jazz, rock, soul, not just pop and dance songs. I , recentely, checked on Wikipedia, Michael songs credits, well he co- composed maybe 15 songs in his whole career,most of them are credited to Quincy,and during Jackson 5 period no one! Consider him a songwriter is maybe too ambitious, and remember there are many levels in music to play instruments and Prince on most of them is on the Stevie Wonder once said: " Nothing compares to Him"

  11. Nikki, I just thought about something. You mentioned to me on FB how Prince doesn't sign autographs or pose for photos with fans because he doesn't want to promote "idol worship", and it really got me thinking: if he thinks that signing autographs and posing for photos promotes "idol worship", does he ALSO think that fans buying his albums and concert tickets is idol worship?

    I can't fathom a celebrity of his stature NOT doing those simple things for his fans, the very same fans who made him who he is in the first place! After thinking about this, it really disappoints me, as I'm sure it is disappointing to those fans who asked for autographs and photos. I think that, to a certain extent, it's arrogance on his part. Did he act like this in the early 80's, when he was trying to make a name for himself in the music industry?

    Can you IMAGINE MJ not signing an autograph or posing for a photo, especially for a child? Of course not! In fact, he once said that he doesn't wear jewelry for fear that a child might ask to have it, and he couldn't say no.

    Here is a photo of MJ while visiting a wounded soldier at Walter Reed in 2004. Look at the joy on his face, and (I assume) his mother's face! Just imagine how happy you would have been to get a photo with him when you attended his event with other fans!

    What do you think about this, Nikki? Personally, I feel that the day when you don't want to sign autographs or pose for photos with fans is the day that you should RETIRE!!! I don't mean this as disrespect to him or his beliefs, but I just can't wrap my head around it?

  12. Hey Nikkie, I found this 7 part youtube series on the rivalry between Prince and MJ. Unfortunately it is in another language, but it has English subtitles. I haven't watched it, so I can't say how good or bad it is, but I'll get to it eventually. Just thought I'd run this by you in case you were interested in watching it. :)

  13. Man this post made me sad.Because you proved me that those who say that Prince is better than Michael are right. And you proved me that Michael might have been overrated. Sad but true. And i am a Michael fan not a Prince one. Damn, that was a hard truth.

    1. Michael maybe can play instruments, but you asked yourself, people, which level? Ask to Stevie WONDER or Herbie Hanckock, ask Miles Davis what really does means the word " so used " genius and you'll find the thruth. In my opinion , it is too much, that word describing Michael despite he was an amazing showman. Geniuses in music are just a few.. Burt Bucharach, Stevie, Miles,Hendrix.. to play instruments doesn't mean you are a top player, and Prince is , unlikely for most people who hate him, one of the best musician of all time.

  14. Hey, here is Raven Woods' 2 part piece on MJ vs Prince! Her research and knowledge is amazing! And so is yours, of course! :)
    Part 1

    Part 2

    Here is a post she did on MJ's Native American heritage:

  15. Anonymous,

    I wasn't trying to prove anything, other than to compare these two geniuses is basically impossible. Michael was by no means overrated--he was underrated! Sure, his albums, his entire career blows away almost anyone's (including Prince's when you look at album sales) but people are quick to see him as a product of the entertainment world rather than just a raw genius. Michael was a raw genius, though! He was the one behind so much of his creation. A good testament to this is his new album "Michael". Though some songs blow one away, the songs that have been edited by others by the extremes do not fit his style. I was a hardcore Prince fan, a casual MJ fan before he passed and I will say personally, as a whole, Michael's stuff is better than Prince's music because Michael is about quality, Prince, quantity. Prince blows anyone away on guitar in my book--he owns that realm and always will, IMO, though some will disagree with me.

    1. HiGatogirl, i appreciate you was a Prince fan but , believe me you are making a mistake. Sign of the times, Parade, 1999, Purple Rain, Diamonds and Pearls have no quality?From Dirty Mind Prince is considered an innovator, and a guitar player at a Hendrix level, be honest you like most Sign of the times or Dangerous? How many groups Prince invented ?The Time, The Family, Apollonia 6, Vanity 6 and more... after Thriller, Michael was unable to record a " different- style" album, he waited Quincy to make money 'till 1987 on Bad and he called obviuosly " The Purple One" who refused....and don't forget the PLAYBACK at Michael's concert in Bucharest on History Tour on 1996.. i ask myself sometimes,, United States have the greatest artist of the Century living AT their home.. and they don't mind or people are blind.. from Italy.

  16. Hey David!

    About autographs--no kidding, many fans are very hurt by him not giving such. Some just agree with it. I think it is dumb, personally. He can create a symbol that represents himself (kind of like Christ and the cross???) yet can't sign a simple piece of paper to make someone happy--to me, autographs are not a big deal, just like signing a yearbook is not a big deal, they just capture a time in history. Yeah, some people sell them but that is just dumb and their loss--people will sell anything! He even at one time controlled his own ticket sales to prevent scalping (which yeah, scalping sucks but can you REALLY stop it?).

    You know, I don't know for sure when Prince stopped signing autographs but I think it was in the mid-1980s because I did, a long time ago, see a letter that he had written to a fan that I think was from the "1999" era (1982 or so).

    I also think a bit of it is because of a lack of control (and yeah, arrogance)--Prince probably wouldn't like for someone to sell something he signed and not be able to have say in it, I know, a bit too much, right? But after that hoopla over the baby dancing to one of his songs in a YouTube video (the song was being played on a radio in the background) I was very hurt by such need for control. Michael, on the other hand, would have been so happy to see a baby dancing to his music and probably invited them out to Neverland. Prince has done awesome things for his fans, like open up his recording studio--but then cancels it out by doing crap like suing that mom!

    Prince has recently also alienated a LOT of his fans. Prince used to be very much about freedom--he embraced his white fans, black fans, gay fans, straight fans, etc. But, over the past 10 years of so he has really alienated some white fans but to a greater extent his gay fan base and that is a shame because many of his fans are gay (I will also say Prince's fans are some of the smartest, most artistic people I have met, too). Some got so fed up they will no longer go see him live.

  17. Hey Nikki! I found another blog that did a comparison between MJ and Prince!

    By the way, Raven's All For Love blog is currently down, but it will return in a week or two. She's having personal issues, so in case you've tried to read her series on MJ and Prince but were unable to access the site, that's why. I'll let you know when she returns!

  18. Sweet! I will have to check this out! I was just thinking about these two guys last night (and Madonna, LOL). They ruled the 80s in my book, however, Prince and Madonna really used sex to sell even though Prince is so talented and did not need to, Madonna, er, not so much, she is not that talented, just charismatic. But, Michael sold on pure talent, yes, he had sex appeal but he did not portray an image of pure sex like Prince. I am really shocked it did not backfire on Madonna and Prince. I think that today a lot of artists lose ground from trying to be so sex-driven. Even if talented, it hurts them, it makes them appear to be nothing but image and no talent. If acts were more seductive rather than being so overboard with hype and sex, maybe they would have longer shelf lives!

    Oh no! I hope Raven's blog is up soon! No, haven't had a chance yet, was so busy with side projects and been playing a lot of tennis lately--trying to get ready to win a tournament this weekend!

  19. Actually Michael did write MAN IN THE MIRROR. Not the whole song but even Siedah Garrett herself has said that Michael's name should have been included in the credits but Michael didn't want it.