MJ vs. Prince: Let's really get down.

babykinsilk05

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I Know this topic is TIRED AS HELL (and you can completley ignore it if you want) but unfortunatley, I still see people (mostly Prince fans) completley disrespect Michael Jackson and his contributions to music...and they do it in a way that, quite frankly, disgustingly uplifts Prince. Let me be clear... I love Prince, but this fuckery needs to stop. So lets get down to it.

These are two completley different artist, that much is clear. They both have had a major impact on culture (though MJ's is OBVIOUSLY greater) and have made some outstanding contributions to music...In all honetsy, I hate that people compare them, but if they are going to do it...do it right.

Lets talk about Musicality...

Oh...and let me say it now...if your going to throw in the fact that Prince plays 1,000 different instruments cool, but please...please, do NOT try and use that as your basis for your opinion (if it is your opinion) that Prince is "better". That argument is as tired as this debate and DEAD WRONG. In short, You gotta come better then that...

I hope this is lively, informative, without ugly and disrepectful comments and most of all FUN!
 

SolidStateSurvivor

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Its always been interesting to me that these two are compared so often - I mean its sensible; they both are the same age, became tremendously popular at about the same time, shared a strong visual element and are among the only people in that stratosphere of raw talent. That being said I think the kind of music that each man makes is very different. Prince's music if more firmly grounded in funk - just listening to his songs you can hear that he writes the rhythm section first and then fleshes everything else out around it. One thing ive always loved about his song writing is that when he finds a really driving rhythm to go with he can make a song 8 or 9 minutes long and it just sounds so perfectly natural - you enjoy it the whole time and it never feels forced. Michaels song writing on the other-hand tends to be more varied. Though its also very much rhythm based the other elements seem more independently developed while in princes case those elements just seem like organs of the rhythm.

I think the main point that Prince fans would bring up is that he really totally wrote every part of mos of his music (sometimes playing every instrument on an album). The early Michael Jackson classics are mostly written by other people. On Off the Wall for instance he only has sole credit for Dont Stop Till You Get Enough and has co credit on just one other song. He did write about half the songs on Thriller (most of the good ones!) but there is an undeniable mark of Quincy Jones, Rod Temperton and others on this work. Starting with Bad Michael does write just about every song but often enough (espeically later on) there is another collaborator. In my personal opinion Michael's music benefits from the collaborative spirit with which it written - I can readily identify the sounds of Quincy Jones, or Teddy Riley in his songs and think that it adds to his music. Prince's music on the other hand can at times become a bit more homgenous but theres no questioning that hes the sole architect of that work.

As far as performing goes both men are fantastic but I have to give it to Michael. Michael does in my opinion have a better more developed singing voice where Prince sort of swing between using difference archetypes (such as the falsetto he uses). Michael is unquestionably the better dancer although Prince really could move in a show. Both had amazing live shows - in Prince's case he always had a ton of stunningly talented people on stage with him and gave each a chance to shine. At a Michael Jackson concert on the other hand even with all the dancers, and singer, and musicians its always clear who your attention is focused on.

I would probably say the PRIMARY difference between the two has to do with the model each took to making and releasing music. Id like to make the analogy of the different forms of sculpting - adative and reductive. In adative sculpting, such as with clay the sculptor will start with a a form and add and shape more and more clay until the sculpture is complete. In reductive sculpting, such as with stone, the scultpor will chip away at the work until until every crevice is as desired. I like to think of Prince as an adative sculptor - on every work he tends to add more; his songs go on for longer with plenty of wonderful embellishments, there tend to be more songs on each album (often pushing the record to be double or even triple disc) and overall there is a much larger body of work to look at. Not only did prince create a prodigious number of albums under his own name with a ton of great songs on each but he also created a vast body of work for others being a primary creative force writing and playing on albums for Sheila E. , the New Power Generation and countless others. Michael on the other hand is definately a reductive sculptor; on every track he chisels away all the excess and leaves you with a remarkably concise pop song. You can really hear his perfectionism by comparing final versions to his demos - he always sharpens everything to a tee and is never affraid to cut or completely rework a tack to make it the best song it can be. This philosophy applies further out to how he handled albums - on each album theres just a handful of tracks of everything that had been written. He would cut away tracks - even amazing tracks like Sunset Driver or Serious Effect that are just as good as anything on their corresponding albums - because they just wouldn't fit into the flow of the album the way Michael envisioned it. Michael released albums much more sporadically usually taking 5 years between albums to ensure each one was a masterpiece. So I think that really what it comes down to with Prince theres so many more great albums (although having bought 1994's "Come" I can vouch that not ALL of them are great) with so many more great tracks each embelished with so many great elements; his body of work is so immense that its really astounding that as much it as as great as it is. With Michael on the other hand theres less songs and less albums but each and every one is razor-sharp with its precision. Every album is a masterpiece and every song has a concise sense of purpose. Each artist works by his own technique and have given the world truly remarkable sculptures to behold.
 
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MattyJam

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The better musician?

Prince without a doubt.

The better vocalist?

Michael by miles.

The better songwriter?

Hmmm, that's a tough one. Prince is obviously a hell of a lot more prolific and experimental than Michael, but Michael's songwriting seems so true to who he is and not at all pretentious (which Prince can be at times). I would say they're equal on that front.

The better live performer?

Michael without a shadow of a doubt. From Victory - Dangerous tour Michael was untouchable.
 

SolidStateSurvivor

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I probably shouldn't dismiss it out of hand like that. I just recall that when I purchased it I gave it a whirl and then within a few days I really recall very much from it. I dont think it was terrible or anything just that not much stuck out to me.
 
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MattyJam

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It's a very different album for Prince, and there is some stupid stuff on there, like Orgasm.

But you should definately give it another shot, it's definately his weirdest album, which is why I like it so much.

But then I like weird things. lol.
 

BONGANI

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Both artists have what the other doesn't have. Prince is brilliant musician but Michael on the other hand is a world class dancer. It's debatable as to who's the better songwriter between the two.
 

ASIS

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Other than looks i really don't think they can be related in any way. They're musical sense is always different. I personally am far more familiarized with MJ's material that I can't really give a proper opinion. But I really want to ask this question, WHY THE HELL ARE THEY ALWAYS COMPARED TO EACH OTHER?!!!
 

Moonwalker91

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They're both equal if you could compare them at all. Michael and Prince have their individual great style in everything so I wouldn't say one of them is the best.
 

loveforever

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I have no idea why people always compare Michael with others. Michael vs the Beatles, Michael vs Elvis, Michael vs Prince, Justin Bieber...:doh:
 

Grand Master S

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Other than looks i really don't think they can be related in any way. They're musical sense is always different. I personally am far more familiarized with MJ's material that I can't really give a proper opinion. But I really want to ask this question, WHY THE HELL ARE THEY ALWAYS COMPARED TO EACH OTHER?!!!

Same era, they're black, musical geniuses, and both have kind of a... feminine style I guess. Maybe flamboyant is a better word.
 

ASIS

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Same era, they're black, musical geniuses, and both have kind of a... feminine style I guess. Maybe flamboyant is a better word.

That's all well but they're musical style are vastly different. The reasons you have posted suggest we compare their commercial success, nothing more. I just don't see the similarities between the two other than the fact they both wore make up.
 

Grand Master S

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^ Nah, I agree. Totally different artists. Just pointing out the reasons they're compared.
 

Spin My Ego

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Two vastly different artists that's almost silly to compare the two. but for the sake of it.

I agree for the most parts of with Marty Jam

Prince is the better musician

Michael is the better vocalist

It's apples an oranges when it comes to songwriting


but where i disagree with that poster is on a live performer

This is where Michael and Prince are the most different.

Michael is visual artists and solo performer

Prince is a musical performer and is the leader of a BAND... People tend to forget Prince often isn't a solo artist.. He's the front man/ and band leader of his band.... Which has gone by several names most notably Prince & The Revolution as well Prince & The New Power Generation

and that's where they are most different and can not be compared with each other


Michael Jackson will give you a eye popping visual concert that has breath taking passion and energy


Prince will give you a mind blowing musical experience with unbelievable awe-worthy musicianship from Prince and his band.


Some of the best tours EVER in my opinion are Michael Jackson's "Bad Tour" (88'/89')

and Prince's "One Night Alone" ('02)


You won't see two concerts better the that... nor will will you see two different type of concerts!
 

CatherineChicago

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A vocalist IS a musician. His instrument is his voice. Just like a poet is an artist. It is not correct to say 'artists andwriters'.

Is Pavarotti not a musician? Please. For me, my favorite instrument is the voice.

MJ is also a composer and arranger, as well as a song-writer.

I care about who the person is and what they are singing about. Michael wins there. Improved recently, but I have always found Prince a bit of a di*k. I often find his work lacking in heart.

This is getting to be like Madonna (not a musician) and Gaga though. They are both women with make-up and bras so everyone feels compelled to compare them. White men do not get compared like this as a rule.
 

OnOurWay

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I Know this topic is TIRED AS HELL (and you can completley ignore it if you want) but unfortunatley, I still see people (mostly Prince fans) completley disrespect Michael Jackson and his contributions to music...and they do it in a way that, quite frankly, disgustingly uplifts Prince.

pot-kettle-black.jpg



23ib09u.gif
 

babykinsilk05

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A vocalist IS a musician. His instrument is his voice. Just like a poet is an artist. It is not correct to say 'artists andwriters'.

Is Pavarotti not a musician? Please. For me, my favorite instrument is the voice.

MJ is also a composer and arranger, as well as a song-writer.

I care about who the person is and what they are singing about. Michael wins there. Improved recently, but I have always found Prince a bit of a di*k. I often find his work lacking in heart.

This is getting to be like Madonna (not a musician) and Gaga though. They are both women with make-up and bras so everyone feels compelled to compare them. White men do not get compared like this as a rule.
I totally agree...
 

PurpleThriller

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I Know this topic is TIRED AS HELL (and you can completley ignore it if you want) but unfortunatley, I still see people (mostly Prince fans) completley disrespect Michael Jackson and his contributions to music...and they do it in a way that, quite frankly, disgustingly uplifts Prince. Let me be clear... I love Prince, but this fuckery needs to stop. So lets get down to it.

These are two completley different artist, that much is clear. They both have had a major impact on culture (though MJ's is OBVIOUSLY greater) and have made some outstanding contributions to music...In all honetsy, I hate that people compare them, but if they are going to do it...do it right.

Lets talk about Musicality...

Oh...and let me say it now...if your going to throw in the fact that Prince plays 1,000 different instruments cool, but please...please, do NOT try and use that as your basis for your opinion (if it is your opinion) that Prince is "better". That argument is as tired as this debate and DEAD WRONG. In short, You gotta come better then that...

I hope this is lively, informative, without ugly and disrepectful comments and most of all
Are we really comparing apples to oranges?:/
 
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PurpleThriller

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The better musician?

Prince without a doubt.

The better vocalist?

Michael by miles.

The better songwriter?

Hmmm, that's a tough one. Prince is obviously a hell of a lot more prolific and experimental than Michael, but Michael's songwriting seems so true to who he is and not at all pretentious (which Prince can be at times). I would say they're equal on that front.

The better live performer?

Michael without a shadow of a doubt. From Victory - Dangerous tour Michael was untouchable.
Agreed:D
 
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analogue

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Michael was the better dancer and vocalist. And Prince was the better instrumentalist. As writers and composers they're both equals. There's a difference between a musician and an instrumentalist. Michael was not an instrumentalist but he was a 100% musician.
 

mjprince1976

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I absolutely LOVE both of them and Michael is way up there with me. Michael eclipses Prince in his singing and dancing skills, Michael is a much better and more versatile performer, he has had more hits and comes across as a much nicer person. Also Michael knew how to market his sound better, his music would please a more diverse crowd and crossed many boundaries, whereas Prince apart from some mid 80s albums has a much more niche fanbase.

BUT.....

Musicality, Prince wins - all those instruments and its not like he just strums or keeps the beat, but he is a God on the instruments, listen to his guitar solos, his bass playing, his piano and keys skills. He plays all those synthesisers and his singing, although not at MJ levels is still great - amazing falsetto, a good growl, melisma and multitracking. Plus Prince produces and songwrites like no one else (Even if he was uneven in his quality compared to the tight excellence of Michael's songcraft and musical competency). On the other hand Michael could strum a few chords and I suspected he knew some Piano.

Prince's musical ear and sense were unique, an alchemist of styles and yet making it his own sound. I mean for me its hard to pick a winner between albums like Bad and Sign o the Times, as both are masterpieces for different reasons.

Also I feel, Prince could make deeper songs, okay I know there was a lot of sex and poorly conceived jams, but there was the guitar solos, the Lovesexys, Condition of the Heart, Crystal Ball, Dream Factory and then all the Madhouse and side projects. Michaels music as brilliant as it was, was mostly simple and funky dance pop and his songwriting for others was hook laden, but basic (Like Centipede, love that song - but its about some guys penis poorly metaphored as a snake or centipede getting loose!).

Still its apples and oranges and comparing them is so different and unfair, too many people lump them together as both were black, ultra talented, strange to many people and yet crossed over to global audiences. Michael pushed the door down definitely, but Prince blew it off its hinges!

I know back in 14/15 it was Prince, Prince with me, but I have grown up and appreciate both were geniuses that died too soon. Prince is an acquired taste and can reward well, but I can see why many people would be put off by him and his music which comes across as pretensious at times, Michael's did not, it was accessible, catchy and would grab you. In that way Michael did have an edge over Prince and Prince's catchiest and poppiest songs like When Doves Cry, 1999, Kiss have a Michael like accessibility to them!
 

Michaelsherry59

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Prince for me, Michael Jackson's music went downhill after Thriller and he was too repetitive.

That said from 1969-1984 Michael was brilliant
 

AChanceToDance

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Michael Jackson's music went downhill after Thriller and he was too repetitive.
How was his music repetitive? I do agree that the theme of his songs were a bit repetitive (most of his songs were either about love, saving the planet, tabloids and cheating) but he always wanted to reinvent a new sound on each era, you can even tell what song belongs to which era by the sound.
 

Michaelsherry59

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How was his music repetitive? I do agree that the theme of his songs were a bit repetitive (most of his songs were either about love, saving the planet, tabloids and cheating) but he always wanted to reinvent a new sound on each era, you can even tell what song belongs to which era by the sound.

I meant his performances were too repetitive not his songs.
 

mjprince1976

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I have to agree, it was a stock show and setlist. I am sure seeing every HIStory concert would be boring after a while, but this was because the MJ concerts were structed with a story being told, dance sequences built around songs and a lot of stage craft. Plus since many of MJ's fans were children and families, most would only attend one or two concerts per tour at most. Not until This Is It would MJ play dozens of dates at the same venue unless it was somewhere like Wembley, The Forum or Madison Square Gardens. Many shows were one or two offs and Michael did some more international places than Prince who mostly toured the US and then Europe.

This varies hugely with most Prince tours except maybe Lovesexy and Nude which were complex - the rest was Prince playing a mix of hits and new material at parts of the show and the highlights was his band members soloing or songs being jammed out more. With Michael, there was a setlist and every person on stage had a very defined role and no doubt exact timing to do it in.

Nothing wrong with that.
 
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