Per Nilsen – Prince: The First Decade (DanceMusicSexRomance)

This book wasn’t exactly engrossing, despite being exhaustively written. Seriously, the minutiae is here. Prince fans would rejoice in having so much so easily to hand.

But for me? It was a bit of a war of attrition, turning pages felt like wearing the damn thing down bit by bit.

Don’t get me wrong. I like Prince, and I can appreciate what he did. But this was waaaaay more than I needed to know about interpersonal relationships and drama in the bands he created, and all the little bits about what songs got played live where, and blah blah blah.

Let me try to sum it up for you:

Prince was a genius.
He worked crazy long hours.
He worked to the exclusion of many other things.
Prince was a genius.
He was sometimes misunderstood in his time.
He often took credit for other peoples’ contributions.
Prince was a genius.
He was restlessly creative.
He shunned media and social contact.
Prince was a genius.
He had trouble with relationship commitment.
He alienated and overworked many people.
Prince was a genius.
The more he created, the further he went inward.
He was (mostly) a control freak.
Prince was a genius.
He responded to mounting pressure by recording more music than ever.
He disbanded his best line-up for the wrong reasons.
Prince was a genius.

There. Now you don’t have to read it.


Posted on April 16, 2017, in posts by aaron and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink. 15 Comments.

  1. Thanks, I wondered if Prince was a genius… lol
    Seriously, I would likely not read a book on Prince, so I enjoyed your Coles notes version very much. 😊

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Sarca! Oh there’s no question, he was a man waaaaay ahead of his time and waaaaay more talented and interesting than a lot of his contemporaries.

      I was curious enough to try this book, but they only way I got it finished was by being stubborn. It’s lovingly and completely researched, but it’s so much stuff I found I didn’t care about! The only stuff that caught my attention was the brief moments when they talked about what/how he did things in the studio. I like reading about how the music actually got made.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Mr Books reign’s Supreme! This is the Greatest Book Review EVER!


  3. Yeah. I dare say I’d leave this one alone. I think I know everything I need to know about Prince. I don’t know if the book covers it, but apparently he was a genius.


    • Haha yeah I don’t know why I stuck with it. Glutton for punishment, I guess. Fair play to Nilsen, though, it’s obvious the guy is a fan and absolutely definitely did a bang-up job on filling this thing with every conceivable detail. Other artists would be so lucky to have such a complete record of their work.

      The word genius isn’t used all that much in the book (if at all), but that was the general tone. 😉


  4. I think the quirks that made him crazy and nearly impossible to work for were a huge chunk of what made him a genius. Often that’s how it goes.


    • I disagree. His creativity, energy and vision were what made him a “genius.” The rest is just poor social skills and rick star behaviour. Too often people like this get coddled and they lose touch. Honestly, it’s a wonder his band didn’t quit on him looong before, except that they knew there was no better gig in Minneapolis.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I feel like I’ve read the book now, well summarized!


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