Michael Jackson's and Prince's 91 turn to "urban" sounds (R&B, rap, new jack swing...) : Dangerous Vs Diamonds and Pearls

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Listening to Dangerous haphazardly this morning and reading the thread about Prince's post 80s work it occurred to me that MJ and Prince released their "street/urban" albums almost simultaneously at the end of 91.
MJ and Prince both started the 90s with giant record deals but these albums were more or less the last time they really mattered to the mainstream and the critics.
I didn't particularly like these albums at the time but I've appreciated them more over the years.
So who did it better (not commercially of course since Dangerous sold a zillion more) ?

Poll Results

OptionVotes
Diamonds and Pearls 22
Dangerous 18


AlXTC from Paris, Friday, 15 November 2019 11:53 (three weeks ago) link

I listened to Bad a lot as a kid, but Dangerous was just so damn long, I just didn't have the attention for 77 minutes of material, much of it not up to standard, didn't realise it at the time but this was where I got off the MJ bus.

mfktz (Camaraderie at Arms Length), Friday, 15 November 2019 12:04 (three weeks ago) link

Dangerous w/out the slightest hesitation, and it's the MJ album I've heard most often in the last decade.

D&P includes the first travesties of Prince's career. Good to great songs: "Money Don't Matter 2 Nite," "Walk Don't Walk," "Willing and Able," "Cream."

TikTok to the (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Friday, 15 November 2019 12:06 (three weeks ago) link

"Dangerous" is terrible all round, at least the singles on "Diamonds & Pearls" are good

The World According To.... (Michael B), Friday, 15 November 2019 12:07 (three weeks ago) link

"Who Is It" by itself is powerful enough to make D&P look like a Potemkin village of a pop/R&B crossover.

TikTok to the (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Friday, 15 November 2019 12:09 (three weeks ago) link

eheh.
For a veeeeery long time Dangerous didn't click with me but over the last few years I've listened to it more attentively and now it's also the MJ album I go back to the most (reading the Susan Fast 33 1/3 book also helped to recontextualize it).
I don't love it and still think it lacks GREAT songs compared to his previous work (although I also never loved Bad either) but "Who is It" is defnitily one.

Actually, D&P has more and better good/great songs imo.
Still, I prefer Dangerous.

AlXTC from Paris, Friday, 15 November 2019 12:22 (three weeks ago) link

The rap parts on both albums are bad though : no winner there !

AlXTC from Paris, Friday, 15 November 2019 12:24 (three weeks ago) link

"Jughead," "Push," "Gett Off," anything with Tony M -- gross gross

TikTok to the (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Friday, 15 November 2019 12:30 (three weeks ago) link

I kinda like the rappy bits. Is it Tony M rapping on 'My Name Is Prince'? Better than the rap on 'Black or White'?

YOU CALL THIS JOURNALSIM? (dog latin), Friday, 15 November 2019 12:34 (three weeks ago) link

Jam - Odd way to start with this low-key, um, jam, actually not bad, but much too long
Why You Wanna Trip On Me - This one is good, but also too long
In The Closet - Also good, also too long, why is Princess Stephanie of Monaco here?
She Drives Me Wild - Maybe the best thing on here, and not too long for once
Remember The Time - Well put-together, but I just don't care for it
Can't Let Her Get Away - No, this is the best track, Teddy Riley on fire here
Heal The World - Just fucking horrible, and 6 and a half minutes of it!
Black or White - Yeah have to admit this is still good, it was such an event for me when the video was released.
Who Is It - I think I like it, very odd, in a good way I think?
Give In To Me - MJ's hair metal moment, falls flat, goes on way too long, again, think he just doesn't get the dynamics of the genre
Will You Be There - AKA We Are The World Part II, wildly messianic, and nearly 8 minutes?! hard pass
Keep The Faith - Awful motivational dregs, 6 minutes long
Gone Too Soon - If you like mawkish ballads with tasteful cabaret keyboards then guess this is for you
Dangerous - ...and back to NJS, only this is the worst example here, 7 minutes long, sounds like an unnecessary 12" remix

mfktz (Camaraderie at Arms Length), Friday, 15 November 2019 12:34 (three weeks ago) link

Gett Off is better than anything on Dangerous

mfktz (Camaraderie at Arms Length), Friday, 15 November 2019 12:35 (three weeks ago) link

"Heal the World" vs "Diamonds and Pearls" is admittedly choosing between defenestration vs disembowelment

TikTok to the (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Friday, 15 November 2019 12:36 (three weeks ago) link

Nobody died in the Third Defenestration of Prague so I'd probably choose that

mfktz (Camaraderie at Arms Length), Friday, 15 November 2019 12:41 (three weeks ago) link

Heal the Worm is only good because you can call it that and it makes it mildly amusing. Diamonds and Pearls has a nice hook and isn't as cloying

YOU CALL THIS JOURNALSIM? (dog latin), Friday, 15 November 2019 12:55 (three weeks ago) link

"Black or White" : I've always found this Rolling Stonesy track terrible (also the video).
and "Remember The Time" : yeah, I get why many people consider it's among his best tracks... but it just doesn't do it for me.

AlXTC from Paris, Friday, 15 November 2019 12:58 (three weeks ago) link

Actually, thinking about it, I only really like 2 of the 9 singles from Dangerous.

AlXTC from Paris, Friday, 15 November 2019 16:14 (three weeks ago) link

NINE singles... Blimey

YOU CALL THIS JOURNALSIM? (dog latin), Friday, 15 November 2019 16:15 (three weeks ago) link

yeah, I just realized that too and was about to emphasise it but then I found out there were also 9 from Bad (and 7 but out of 9 tracks from Thriller) !

AlXTC from Paris, Friday, 15 November 2019 16:18 (three weeks ago) link

Dangerous sounded fantastic to me whilst driving around in my car the other week. D&P not nearly as consistent imo

one charm and one antiup quark (outdoor_miner), Friday, 15 November 2019 16:28 (three weeks ago) link

Dangerous is the more compelling work.

At the time, I reckoned I had never heard a cornier song by anyone than "Diamonds and Pearls," tho "Black or White" felt pretty close.

temporarily embarrassed thousandaire (Eric H.), Friday, 15 November 2019 16:35 (three weeks ago) link

I love his screamy vocal on My Name Is Prince, it's like this rage of pure ego.

change display name (Jordan), Friday, 15 November 2019 16:44 (three weeks ago) link

I prefer Dangerous tbh. Prince was better with the Revolution, even if NPG as a collective had more chops

Tho i did like most of Prince's 90s output

Jordan Pickford LOLverdrive (Neanderthal), Friday, 15 November 2019 16:47 (three weeks ago) link

I love Prince forever and consider him to be my favorite musician.

The answer to this is so clearly and obviously Dangerous that I'm amused this is a poll.

brigadier pudding (DJP), Friday, 15 November 2019 16:47 (three weeks ago) link

I've been wtf-ing since this morning'g coffee.

Come, The Gold Experience, especially Emancipation >>>>>>>>> D&P and MJ's subsequent work. Hell, even most of Love Symbol is.

TikTok to the (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Friday, 15 November 2019 16:51 (three weeks ago) link

What DJP said.

temporarily embarrassed thousandaire (Eric H.), Friday, 15 November 2019 16:51 (three weeks ago) link

Come rules

Jordan Pickford LOLverdrive (Neanderthal), Friday, 15 November 2019 16:54 (three weeks ago) link

uh

TikTok to the (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Friday, 15 November 2019 16:57 (three weeks ago) link

Come regulations

temporarily embarrassed thousandaire (Eric H.), Friday, 15 November 2019 16:59 (three weeks ago) link

This is the problem with that album title.

11 minute opening track ftw.

Never got why this was panned other than it confused people by being under the Prince name while he was also recording as the symbol.

I remember "Letitgo" getting radio play

Jordan Pickford LOLverdrive (Neanderthal), Friday, 15 November 2019 17:01 (three weeks ago) link

Gold Experience has some cringe worthy stuff too. Like "Now". I guess "Pussy Control" is cool for the lyrics but it's clumsy.

But "Gold" is great.

Jordan Pickford LOLverdrive (Neanderthal), Friday, 15 November 2019 17:03 (three weeks ago) link

"I Hate U" is my favorite post-80s Prince song, I think.

temporarily embarrassed thousandaire (Eric H.), Friday, 15 November 2019 17:26 (three weeks ago) link

"Shy" is also great, as are "The Human Body" and "Black Sweat"

brigadier pudding (DJP), Friday, 15 November 2019 17:36 (three weeks ago) link

"The Human Body" and "Sleep Around" are excellent dance-floor fillers.

temporarily embarrassed thousandaire (Eric H.), Friday, 15 November 2019 18:02 (three weeks ago) link

I love Prince forever and consider him to be my favorite musician.

The answer to this is so clearly and obviously Dangerous that I'm amused this is a poll.

― brigadier pudding (DJP), Friday, November 15, 2019 11:47 AM (yesterday) bookmarkflaglink

Co-sign. I haven't spun Diamonds and Pearls since high school, though I'll still cue up "Walk Don't Walk" now and then.

Maria Edgelord (cryptosicko), Saturday, 16 November 2019 18:44 (three weeks ago) link

I really really hated “Diamonds and Pearls” (the song) when it came out.“Love is meant for two.” Oh shut the fuck up, Prince. Is this the album with “7” on it? That’s a good one.

“Black or White” is abominable.

Mr. Snrub, Saturday, 16 November 2019 19:42 (three weeks ago) link

dangerous is too long but its great tracks are great enough to make up for it

dyl, Saturday, 16 November 2019 19:49 (three weeks ago) link

i found "heal the world" quite moving but i was a v young child

dyl, Saturday, 16 November 2019 19:49 (three weeks ago) link

Is this the album with “7” on it? That’s a good one.

No, the follow-up, Love Symbol, which is much better.

TikTok to the (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Saturday, 16 November 2019 19:51 (three weeks ago) link

Okay, if the genius website is to be believed the album version of “Diamonds and Pearls” has a rap verse. “D to the I to the A” etc. Yikes. I definitely need to do a deep dive into Prince’s discography one of these days. I tried a couple of his early records and gave up. The self-titled LP was pretty good, though.

Mr. Snrub, Sunday, 17 November 2019 01:08 (three weeks ago) link

That isn't a rap verse

Jordan Pickford LOLverdrive (Neanderthal), Sunday, 17 November 2019 01:10 (three weeks ago) link

Good ol’ Mr. Snrub

brigadier pudding (DJP), Sunday, 17 November 2019 20:08 (three weeks ago) link

I tried a couple of his early records and gave up

what the

TikTok to the (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Sunday, 17 November 2019 20:09 (three weeks ago) link

Maybe he was listening to 94 East

mfktz (Camaraderie at Arms Length), Sunday, 17 November 2019 20:20 (three weeks ago) link

And For You isn't his strongest work

mfktz (Camaraderie at Arms Length), Sunday, 17 November 2019 20:22 (three weeks ago) link

No matter what their individual attributes (or flaws), I don’t think it’s possible to have an opinion on Prince based solely on his first four albums.

Maria Edgelord (cryptosicko), Sunday, 17 November 2019 20:27 (three weeks ago) link

Ahah that Mr. Snrub post.
I've been listening to D&P over the weekend and it's actually better than I remembered.
Beside the hits there are some typical Prince heavy funk jams, a typical slow jam. It's not that far from his previous stuff.
Unfortunately there's A LOT of Tony M who ruins tracks that would have been OK otherwise.

As for Dangerous, basically, for me the following tracklist would have made a very good album (including tracks I don't love but that are good enough) :

Jam
Why You Wanna Trip On Me
In The Closet
She Drives Me Wild
Remember The Time
Can't Let Her Get Away
Who Is It
Will You Be There (the single version w/o the Beethoven part)

8 songs, around 40min of funky/sexy/paranoid tracks(+ a gospel final).

AlXTC from Paris, Monday, 18 November 2019 09:31 (three weeks ago) link

Dangerous is solid through track 10.

billstevejim, Monday, 18 November 2019 21:48 (three weeks ago) link

otm

TikTok to the (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Monday, 18 November 2019 22:05 (three weeks ago) link

even Heal The World?

mfktz (Camaraderie at Arms Length), Monday, 18 November 2019 22:49 (three weeks ago) link

over the years I've come to see Dangerous as sort of a bloated masterpiece, I could almost be convinced its his best album though lol @ it being so fucking long

frogbs, Monday, 18 November 2019 23:30 (three weeks ago) link

I love "Why You Wanna Trip on Me" so much

Jordan Pickford LOLverdrive (Neanderthal), Monday, 18 November 2019 23:30 (three weeks ago) link

my brother and I liked "Who Is It?" cos we liked to imagine Michael Jackson answering the door to that song

Jordan Pickford LOLverdrive (Neanderthal), Monday, 18 November 2019 23:31 (three weeks ago) link

eheh. now that's paranoia !

AlXTC from Paris, Wednesday, 20 November 2019 09:35 (three weeks ago) link

xp that's going straight on my 'Open That Door' playlist

https://open.spotify.com/playlist/7kqiCbf7fB27DuvIu7fDao?si=cx1BqaIFQbGF6QH6a1ETKQ

YOU CALL THIS JOURNALSIM? (dog latin), Wednesday, 20 November 2019 10:17 (three weeks ago) link

Automatic thread bump. This poll is closing tomorrow.

System, Friday, 29 November 2019 00:01 (one week ago) link

The 4 singles on D&P are **miles** better than anything on Dangerous, and the filler is not as boring as the filler on some of Prince's later records. Plus Strollin' is great! It's like a Prince version of a Ringo song.

Thunder has some similarities with Black or White in being great-but-naff-but-great

Chuck_Tatum, Friday, 29 November 2019 12:11 (one week ago) link

"Who Is It" and "Remember the Time" >>>>>>>> "Gett Off" and "D&P"

TikTok to the (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Friday, 29 November 2019 12:32 (one week ago) link

Let's agree to not agree at all

Chuck_Tatum, Friday, 29 November 2019 12:34 (one week ago) link

Automatic thread bump. This poll's results are now in.

System, Saturday, 30 November 2019 00:01 (one week ago) link

the pearls have it.
wonder how this might've faired in the pre-MJ-is-cancelled era or even before prince died.

Fuck the NRA (ulysses), Saturday, 30 November 2019 00:41 (one week ago) link

"I Hate U" is my favorite post-80s Prince song, I think.

It's absolute genius.

Dangerous is dreadful, right down to the horrible rococo cover art. Black Or White is like a six-year-old's idea of a rock song.

does it look like i'm here (jon123), Saturday, 30 November 2019 02:51 (one week ago) link

I suspect an American vs Brit divide

TikTok to the (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Saturday, 30 November 2019 02:53 (one week ago) link

Dangerous shits all over this album, and i am a huge Prince stan

Jordan Pickford LOLverdrive (Neanderthal), Saturday, 30 November 2019 03:13 (one week ago) link

Mj has been, in my mind, a paedophile since around the time dangerous came out. I voted how I voted because I dont like that album

#FBPIRA (jim in vancouver), Saturday, 30 November 2019 06:52 (one week ago) link

Wait WTF

I'm one of those weirdos who actually likes Diamonds and Pearls. I've been convinced MJ was a pedo for at least a decade. These results are still bullshit.

thewufs, Sunday, 1 December 2019 04:58 (one week ago) link

I feel like everyone who voted for D&P forgot what "Jughead" sounds like

brigadier pudding (DJP), Monday, 2 December 2019 20:59 (one week ago) link

nah, it's just that Dangerous is THAT BAD

Οὖτις, Monday, 2 December 2019 21:00 (one week ago) link

Except... it isn't

brigadier pudding (DJP), Monday, 2 December 2019 21:11 (one week ago) link

It does have filler but the highs are pretty damn high

Jordan Pickford LOLverdrive (Neanderthal), Monday, 2 December 2019 21:13 (one week ago) link

I feel like everyone who voted for D&P forgot what "Jughead" sounds like

― brigadier pudding (DJP),

And "Push." And "Live 4 Love."

TikTok to the (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Monday, 2 December 2019 21:26 (one week ago) link

aw cmon, "thunder" "strollin" "Get off" "Insatiable" and "willing and able" are all tops and i could listen to "money don't matter" all day
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AmGVAu9lk6I

Fuck the NRA (ulysses), Monday, 2 December 2019 21:52 (one week ago) link

I EVEN LIKE "JUGHEAD." Dangerous is still a way better record. It's improved with age, too.

thewufs, Sunday, 8 December 2019 06:24 (three days ago) link

Love Symbol > Dangerous > Diamonds & Pearls

I dunno if I'm ever gonna listen Michael Jackson again, but objectively speaking Dangerous is better than D&P, though obviously both are very uneven. "Cream" is one of Prince's best singles, but so is "Who Is It" with MJ, and the other good songs on Dangerous are just of higher caliber than the other good songs on D&P.

Tuomas, Monday, 9 December 2019 09:08 (two days ago) link

Tuomas completely otm

TikTok to the (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Monday, 9 December 2019 11:18 (two days ago) link

I dunno if I'm ever gonna listen Michael Jackson again

I do.

temporarily embarrassed thousandaire (Eric H.), Monday, 9 December 2019 13:16 (two days ago) link

yeah, except that part

TikTok to the (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Monday, 9 December 2019 13:20 (two days ago) link


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