Few artists have accomplished what Prince Rogers Nelson has: he has topped the R&B, pop, and dance charts; he has overwhelmed musicians and critics with his seemingly endless wealth of talent; he has outraged; and he has inspired. Using sources unavailable to others, author Alex Hahn has created a page-turning biography/pop culture history/work of musical scholarship on one of the most dynamic, talented, and controversial performers ever to don backless pants on national television.
Hahn unveils the psychology of this tortured, messianic musician whose ceaseless reinventions have at times rendered him a profoundly original artist, while at other times threatened to become a mockery of himself and his music. Recollections and opinions from friends, employees, and industry insiders place readers right in the middle of some of Prince's most awe-inspiring recording and songwriting sessions. They also relate countless and sometimes shocking details about Prince's most publicized relationships (with Kim Basinger, Carmen Electra, Vanity, and many, many more); reveal how Prince allegedly plagiarized band members' musical ideas; and explain why he has become such an isolated figure with a compulsion for total control.
The most up-to-date, full-scale biography of the performer available, Possessed: The Rise and Fall of Prince is a whirlwind of a read that celebrates the artist and examines the man; it's a mesmerizing biography certain to leave readers breathless.
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Alex Hahn, a resident of Boston, has written for the Boston Globe and the San Francisco Chronicle. Also an attorney, Hahn defended Uptown, the leading Prince fanzine, in a suit brought by the artist himself.From Publishers Weekly:
The alien androgyny, the spiritual eroticism, the royal conceit: the outsized persona of the artist currently known as Prince fascinates on numerous levels. In this detailed biography by journalist and attorney Hahn, anecdotes of a personal nature mix with close readings of Prince's musical output, producing few big secrets but plenty of insight. Prince's early days are recounted as a frenzy of musical education, with influences ranging from the funky dexterity of Sly Stone, to the tight perfectionism of James Brown, to the spiritual yearning of Stevie Wonder. (Hahn also names a less obvious influence in Joni Mitchell, whose lyrics Prince apparently purloined sometimes whole cloth.) The young Prince also absorbs the mechanics of the studio like a sponge. When the child prodigy meets with early success, signing to Warner Brothers at age 19, he blossoms into the personality of flamboyant and controlling self-absorption that fans have now watched mutate for over two decades. Constructed from interviews with producers, sound engineers, journalists and publicists, though not as frequently with Prince's inner circle, the book portrays Prince as a kind of outsider artist, eccentric and self-centered to the extreme, rarely leaving the enchanted, Minneapolis garden of his childhood, where he has managed to build himself into a living, protean god. This is a truly American story of cranky self-invention. B&w photos.
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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