Prince - Planet Earth (given away free with UK Sunday paper prior to release)


Jul 15 2007, 17h49

Prince - Planet Earth : got it!! Got a cup of earl grey tea, been listening to Parade and Purple Rain today. I'm ready.

First track - Planet Earth - Very rock-y. Veers cheekily over to Earth, Wind & Fire and references Could It Be Magic about half way through. I like the beginning. The first thing you hear is just piano, a one-hand simple melody (or so it sounds to me).

It's encouraging. His standards are as high as his earlier masterpieces. Compares well so far. Not just saying that because I'm fan, I can be very critical when need be. No need today.

Guitar - his first single and the one he gave away free as mobile phone downloads. Great fun - my party Prince is back!

*volume slowly creeping up*

Somewhere Here On Earth - slushy Prince. Slow, jazzy, blues-y, seductive. Ooh, I can hear George Michael covering this and doing well. No one else is good enough. Very, very good track, love that lone trumpet, love Prince's vocals, I don't think I've ever heard him sound so good. He was always confident, but here, he has raised his game.

The One U Wanna C - Cheery rock! Bouncy, bubbly fun! :D:D:D <- how it makes me feel. What does this remind me of? Early 70s glam rock I think. Bet he wears a feather boa round his neck if he does a video for this.

Future Baby Mama - slushy Prince again. I'm not really big on funk/soul, but I'll always make time for him. Slow groove. Sexy, I'll give it that.

Mr. Goodnight - Nice how the previous track melts into this one. Nice transition. Stays with the style, Prince raps in the most seductive manner! Very Barry White! I'd happily have him whispering all this in my ear. It's a bit bling. Hope he doesn't do one of those trashy videos with bikini-clad ladies draped all over the place. I'll be disappointed if he does that.

*plays it again, just to make sure*

Yep - music for grown-ups.

All The Midnights In The World - very sweet after the seduction above. Radio-friendly, this will be everywhere. Pop Prince.

Chelsea Rodgers - what on earth is this? It's come out of nowhere! Wow! Funky Prince. The kind of funk I like - . I'm happy. Oh wait - that's Joss Stone on there. For the first time ever, she sounds good. Usually, nobody tells her to hang back and she always overwhelms and dominates the music. She's in balance now, so much so, I didn't even recognise her till second or third play.

*volume getting higher, can't sit still any longer*

Lion Of Judah - penultimate track, begins with classic Prince guitar, aaah I can hear Purple Rain. How lovely. Just references, he's not recreating it. Back to rock and juicy guitar work. (more guitar solos for me to learn! yayyy!)

Last track - Revelation - awww, is it over already? Pop/rock cheerful, sunny bouncy music, light-hearted and lovely, leaning towards Police style reggae here and there, contrasting with lyrics mentioning war and bombs. I have to play this again, just to be sure he said what I thought he said. Beautiful music, I must say, gorgeous how it ends.

I'll have a go at transcribing the lyrics:

Lyrics - Revelation

The main problem with war
Is that nobody ever wins
The next generation grows up
Learns how to do it all over again

No matter who started the argument
Just matters how each one ends
How many people really want resolution?

The main problem with people
Is they never do what they say
One minute they want peace
To do everything to make it go away
Dropping bombs on each other
In the act of saving face
Tell me now people: how is that resolution?

Either you do or you don't
Either you will or you won't
Making amends is a difficult pill to swallow

What can we use if we try?
With no water a flower dies

With love and belief resolution will follow
Oh yes it will

Love is like a circle
No beginning and no end
A broken heart will mend
If you love it like your best friend
Handle your heart with care
It's as delicate as the wind
When the storms come again
Pray for resolution

Either you will or you won't
Either you do or you don't
When you want revolution
Come on everybody all over the world
All over the world
Tell me: how many people really want resolution?

I'm glad I had time to get the lyrics down. It's typical Prince in preachy-mode, giving us a message in music. Not as strong as the messages in Sign O' The Times, kind of skirts the topic of war and makes it more generalised. The same way Madonna sanitised global warming in Hey You. I'd have hoped for more from Prince if he really was going to write about war, but ok, maybe he wanted to keep his nose out.

Conclusion: After releasing some fine dross to piss off Warner Bros through most of the 90s, Prince has returned to his usual high standards. It's almost as if he was saving all this for later. I am so glad he survived and made it through. Giving it away free with a UK Sunday paper is admirable. It's his kick in the groin to the music industry and making it just about a connection between him and us. Direct. Good. It's fine for artists who want to make money from their talents, I'm not knocking that, but when you really are gifted, you give your stuff away with pleasure.


  • LittleJoeII

    Nice summing up there. Although Im not as enthusiastic about It as you but then again im not as big a Prince fan as you appear to be! I love Guitar, I wish Prince would play his guitar like that more often especially if he loves it so much :P The other track that I love after an initail listen is Chelsea Rodgers I love that bass line! The rest of the album suffers from unforgivably bad lyrics and a really cheesy sound imo, I can't stand the slower R'n'B tracks at all especially Mr Goodnight. More rock less slush for me!

    Jul 15 2007, 22h46
  • 2Serenity

    I have not listened to the entire album but thanks for giving a great review. So far, I have enjoyed Prince because for me -- he is the only one who is keeping it old skool! We have to wait until July 24 here in the states for the album, and I am dying to read the liner notes to see what he is yapping about. Keep up the transcribing and I will tune in! =P

    Jul 15 2007, 22h58
  • Babs_05

    News item today: [quote][b]Prince album set free on internet[/b] Copies of Prince's latest album have flooded the internet after being given away with a newspaper in the UK. Planet Earth is easily accessible to fans around the world - despite plans for a full commercial release in countries including the US. The album is freely available to download after an estimated three million copies of the CD were distributed with the Mail on Sunday. Hundreds of the CDs have also been put up for sale on auction site eBay. Planet Earth is not being sold in record shops in the UK because of the Mail on Sunday promotion. But it is still due to be sold as normal elsewhere, including a release in the US and Canada on 24 July. One blogger who posted the full album on the web wrote: Seeing at it was free anyway... we decided to stick it up here for anyone who didn't get it. [/quote] Full story: BBC News

    Jul 16 2007, 13h37
  • Babs_05

    [quote]The first reviews of rock star Prince's latest album, which was given away free with a Sunday newspaper in the UK, have been fairly positive. The star's decision not to charge for copies of Planet Earth was criticised by the record industry, although it is available both online and in shops in other countries. Here are extracts from some of the UK's music critics: [/quote] Source, extracts, links to reviews: BBC News

    Jul 17 2007, 13h47
  • Babs_05

    [quote]... Prince was reportedly paid $500,000 over and above the royalties for each CD — typically around 10%. Considering that his last album, 3121, sold only 80,000 copies in the U.K., this deal may have earned him more than eight times as much. Plus, Planet Earth — which has gotten fairly good reviews so far — is now in the hands of thousands of people who may never have thought to buy it. For its part, the Mail on Sunday printed, and sold, an extra 600,000 copies in addition to the 2.3 million they usually sell every week. Advertisers find it hard to resist those kinds of sums. And according to managing director Stephen Miron, his office has been flooded with calls from other artists wanting in on the action (as for who, he won't tell). They are saying they think this is a much more effective and efficient way of building up their business. There's no ignoring this bigger, stronger breed of freebie, but there's also no reason it has to signal the death of the music industry. Thanks to the rise of digital distribution, the business of making and selling music has been in flux for years, with labels, lawyers and retailers constantly forced to adapt. In the record industry, you can barely hear yourself think for the sound of the business being dismantled and the paradigms being broken, says Conor McNicholas, editor of music weekly the New Musical Express. Those who can't keep up are flailing — last month, HMV reported its annual profits have more than halved — or already fallen: last year, retail giant Tower Record sclosed its stores and in June the U.K. music chain Fopp shut up shop. Meanwhile, record labels are looking for solutions in mergers and takeovers — any day now, British firm EMI could be bought out by investment group Terra Firma. Says McNicholas: With the pace of change, you just have to be very quick on your feet and rework your business model every six months — that's the challenge. [/quote] Source:

    Jul 19 2007, 13h13
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