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Book – Prince by Matt Thorne

| 2 March 2013 | Reply

Publisher: Faber & Faber
Released: October 2012
Reviewed by Shayne McGowan

Book - Prince by Matt Thorne

I am a big fan of a good biography.  There has been so many that have been great lately, with Duff McKagan, Dave Mustaine and Steven Tyler being the picks of the bunch for me.  The thing that those three books have in common is that they are all written by or at least written with the subject of the book.  Because of that, they are full of anecdotes from their careers and a touch of humour, as well as all of the factual information you need, making for an overall enjoyable read.

This is not the case with “Prince”.  It reads like a text book about the man, with a full 60 pages of footnotes at the back of the book to cap it all off.  I am a fan of Prince, but it turns out that I am not enough of a fan to enjoy this book.  I enjoy the music (although not all of it..) of Prince, but I never felt the need to know as much about his career as I now know.

More than a year after reading Duff McKagans book, I can recall certain stories, or facts from it.  Mere weeks after reading the Prince book, I honestly cannot recall much at all, and I think that the cold, textbook format of “Prince” versus the feel of Duffs book is very much responsible for that.

Don’t get me wrong here.  An absolutely devoted fan will love this.  It has all of the information you could ever want.  Detailed descriptions of every song he’s ever written, including those which he has written for others, his many protégées and his many side projects, plus insights into his foray into films, the multiple name changes and the reasons behind them, and his personal life.

The thing that I found most interesting was the information it offered me, on the absolute multitude of unreleased material that Prince has recorded.  Love him or hate him, you simply cannot argue the fact that he is one of the most prolific artists of all time.

Overall, I don’t regret reading it, or feel like I have wasted my time in reading it, but I have gone back and re-read several biographies over the years, and I can all but guarantee you that I won’t re-visit this one.

Category: Book Reviews

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