Prolific Prince Remembered for Quality over Quantity

As far as pop musicians go, none seemed to get bigger than Prince. He was an icon and a wunderkind, getting signed to a record contract when he was just 17. He was one of his generation’s most beloved musicians, which is why it came as such a shock to find out that on Thursday, April 21st, Prince had died in his home at Paisley Park. He was only 57 years old.

Prince’s life may have been cut short, but his career was anything but. Something Prince rarely gets credit for is how much material he put out in his lifetime. He released his first album, For You, in 1978. He continued to release albums at a steady pace of about one per year and had a tour for almost every single one of them. By the time he died, he’d released 39 studio albums and toured for 39 years.

But the quantity of his output isn’t why people loved him — it was the quality of it. Next to Michael Jackson, he was the defining pop musician of the 80’s. But where Jackson had two huge albums in the 80’s (Thriller and Bad), Prince had six (Dirty Mind, 1999, Purple Rain, Parade, Sign o’ the Times, and the Batman soundtrack). He was also one of the first people to have explicit lyrics in their songs. In fact, it was his song, Darling Nikki, that caused Tipper Gore to found the Parents Music Resource Center, which led to the “Parental Advisory” sticker you see on album covers (for better or worse).
He may be gone, but Prince has left a huge legacy behind him, one that will live on long into the future. He will be missed.