By Jake Rossen
By Jesse Marx
By Michelle LeBow
By Alleen Brown
By Maggie LaMaack
By CP Staff
By Jesse Marx
Happy birthday, Prince. You're gonna need it. You've created yourself and you've created us in your own image, and you've got the hardest job in the world.
Greg Linder, June 13, 1984
Dylan pretty much invented the singer-songwriter genre...and that's still what he does best...when he observes he "put a stop" to the songs manufactured out of Tin Pan Alley, your first reaction is to write that off to ego, but when you think about it, it's just fact. After Dylan's pop success, a group or soloist that didn't write their own material didn't have much credibility.
Tony Glover, October 20, 1985
Sex is supposed to be the driving obsession at the heart of Prince's records, but it's really always been community: how to belong, how to overcome loneliness. Sex is just part of that equation. The prodigious urge to merge in his early music may have sounded like hedonism pure and simple--sometimes it was--but more often it was a matter of struggling to get outside one's own skin for a while.
Steve Perry, August 22, 1990
Prince's post-show party at Paisley Park, "A Lovesexy Affair," provided a beautiful example of the kind of dichotomy common to the music business. On one hand, the gala was a full-on, star-studded bash; a place to eat, drink, gawk, and rock. On the other hand, it was a bunch of people standing around in a parking lot in Chanhassen in the middle of the night. (The Muppets were using the sound stage, so the party was set up in tents.) I never saw Miles Davis, but people said he was there....Chaka Khan never made it to the stage either, but George Clinton and his lime-green wig did, which was a blast, and Mavis Staples took command when she strolled up. The guy I went with says he danced with Sheena Easton and while I didn't see that either I did see many women wearing their underwear as outerwear and lots of music business biggies getting really drunk and trying to pick them up.
Michael Welch, September 21, 1988
Clearly, Automatic for the People would make a more honest title for Crystal Ball, which marks the ultimate downsizing of Prince's community-building worldview--from the mythic, all-inclusive "Uptown" in 1980 ("White, black, Puerto Rican/Everybody just a-freakin'"), to the blockbusting First Ave., the impenetrable fortress of Paisley Park, the ill-fated Glam Slam and NPG stores, and now, finally, his sweatshop mail-order outlet and Web site peepshows.
Rob Nelson, March 18, 1998
May....The month in 1980 when a 19-year-old kid by the name of Paul Westerberg came into Oarfolk and dropped off a tape of his band for [Peter] Jesperson, who was DJing at the Longhorn Bar and managing Oarfolk...."He came back into the store a time or two and asked if I'd listened to it, and I said I hadn't gotten around to it yet....And one day when I was feeling particularly guilty, I took a pile of tapes back in the office with a boombox and was just putting them in one after the other while I was doing paperwork, and the 'Mats tape came on. 'Raised in the City' was the first song and...[f]or me it was as magical as anything'll ever get. I didn't even get through the first song before I stopped the tape and called three of my best buddies and said, 'Get down here right now. Either I'm nuts or this is the coolest thing.' I called Paul back and I go, 'Were you thinking of a single or an album?' And he goes, 'I was just trying to get a job opening for somebody at the Longhorn. Do you think this is worth recording?' And I was like, 'Absolutely.'"
Jim Walsh, July 14, 1993
They don't give a wee particle of fecal matter. They dismiss people and situations with profound concepts like "fuck," "goddamn," and "shut up."...They're the Replacements--they stand against the few, the stupid....The 18-song album represents the recorded debut of this young Twin Cities band...."Johnny's Gonna Die"...conjures up grim prophecies concerning ex-New York Dolls guitarist Johnny Thunders, saying, "Johnny always takes more than he needs...Johnny always needs more than he's got." You get the sense, though, that the band members themselves are aware that they are not immune to their own tale of excess and that the song could become a self-fulfilling prophecy.
Jimi Nervous, September 10, 1981
There are many useless schools of thought for what motivates the Replacements to commit all these supposed acts of self-defeat. The Class Clown Theory is self-explanatory. The Drunken Fuck-up Theory is now rooted in past history turned pop mythology.
Too melodramatic is The Freudian Theory...that the 'Mats want or need to fail and their self-sabotage is poetic.
"I can't explain what we do," Westerberg offers. "We find it difficult to suppress it if we feel like doing something."
Eric Lindbom, October 16, 1985
I am a fan of spectacle, not a music critic. So the following is a list of the coolest shows to look at in 1987....Soul Asylum: Doing Meat Loaf's "Paradise by the Dashboard Light" with Chris Osgood and Heather from Heathen. Flying bodies, thrashing guitars, and Pirner a demon puppet with gut strings. A true spectacle. I wanted a smoke when we were done.