Parade: A La Recherche De Nouveaux Sons

Coley, S. (2020) Parade: A La Recherche De Nouveaux Sons. Spectrum: A Journal on Black Men, 7 (2). pp. 63-82. ISSN 21623244

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Abstract

By 1986, the Prince-pioneered Minneapolis sound had become increasingly co-opted by copycat musicians and was a familiar presence on US radio. Yet Prince had already shifted focus, relocating the sonic home of his eighth release to Continental Europe; arguably creating his most diverse album in the process. This paper explores how Parade was the first Prince record to consciously embrace a more international fan base. I discuss how the use of French language and ambience throughout the album draw on the ‘prestige’ associated with the Gallic lifestyle, adding a cosmopolitan flavour which helped Parade connect with European audiences. I argue that Prince capitalised on the cultural currency of France and its language to create a more elevated style of music, and purposely distance himself from the Minneapolis sound. The paper contextualises Parade against the musical backdrop of 1986 and considers the subsequent critical responses of the music press and biographers. I contend that the album was part of a strategic move to reach beyond traditional US notions of ‘rock and roll’ stardom and establish himself as a truly global performer. In achieving this goal, Prince willingly sacrificed some of his American fan base, yet secured his credentials as a bona fide international artist in return. Parade marks a pivotal point in Prince’s career, ultimately shaping his future output and forever altering how the world viewed him and his music.

Item Type: Article
Identification Number: https://doi.org/10.2979/spectrum.7.2.04
Date: 10 June 2020
Uncontrolled Keywords: Popular music, Eighties pop, Prince, Minneapolis Sound
Subjects: P300 Media studies
W300 Music
Divisions: Faculty of Arts, Design and Media > Birmingham School of Media
Depositing User: Samuel Coley
Date Deposited: 02 Jul 2020 10:06
Last Modified: 02 Jul 2020 10:06
URI: http://www.open-access.bcu.ac.uk/id/eprint/9409

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