62 of 69 people found the following review helpful
Question: Is this Prince 3-CD collection, comprising the Hits 1, Hits 2, and the B-Sides, the latter of which is available only in this three-pack, worth it for the Prince fan? Well, yes!
This collection aptly gathers the multitude of hits accumulated by the Purple One from 1978 up till 1992, when his [Symbol] album heralded a change in things to come, such as his name from 1993 to 2000. This was also Prince at his most potent.
In glancing through, one can tell by the number of singles per album which was considered his weakest--Parade, LoveSexy, and Graffiti Bridge boast only one song. Albums like Dirty Mind, 1999, Purple Rain, and Sign 'O' The Times are thought to be the notable peaks in the Prince mountain range. Around The World In A Day would definitely be the most colourful. The importance of Dirty Mind is brought to light here with the number of songs from it included here. Not one of his best sellers, but it did define Prince as an artist in his own right instead of being a second-rate Stevie Wonder.
This collection is an asset in several ways. One, it has the single edit of songs like "1999," "When Doves Cry," "I Could Never Take The Place Of Your Man," "Controversy," and "I Wanna Be Your Lover." Mix tape makers, rejoice! Second, there are a few new songs scattered on the first two discs, such as "Pink Cashmere," the hard-driving "Peach," and "Pope." His rendition of "Nothing Compares 2 U," originally done by his project group The Family, (Sinead O'Connor fans take note and pull out your hair, if you have any) unfortunately does not compare to the original.
Most of my favorite songs made it here except for "Mountains" from Parade. Minor complaint really. However, here's an experiment: program the first CD so that it plays in this sequence: "Soft And Wet," "I Feel For You," "Uptown," "1999," "Let's Go Crazy," "Pop Life," "I Could Never Take The Place Of Your Man," "Alphabet St.," "Thieves In The Temple," and "7." Notice the shift in styles, especially from "Crazy" to "Pop Life?" The man, like David Bowie, keeps on evolving!
It's the B-Sides material that is the real treat. Many of these could have become singles in their own right, such as "17 Days," "Gotta Stop Messin' Around," the naughty "Erotic City," and the rockabilly "Horny Toad." "How Come U Don't Call Me Anymore" should be familiar to fans of Stephanie Mills and Alicia Keys, both of whom covered this B-side to the "1999" single. "4 The Tears In Your Eyes" is different from the version he did on the We Are The World album. "200 Balloons" is the only representative of the Batman soundtrack to make it here.
Face it, material like Emancipation, Chaos & Disorder, and the Crystal Ball were released merely to get out of his contract with Warner Bros. and is hence substandard Artist material compared to the treasure trove found in this definitive compilation. Final note: one or two A-sides from the Batman soundtrack may have helped, but all three CDs are brimming to the max, so...
38 of 42 people found the following review helpful
on August 26, 2004
Couple of things to mention here.
First, the set is GOOD. Buy it if you are looking for a decent Prince hits (read mainstream) compilation.
Second, although it is satisfying, it does miss the mark for one main reason. It is simply unfair to limit a man with hundreds of great songs to only three discs. Darned if I could figure out how Warner's managed this feat. Why do I say it is unfair? Frank Sinatra's box set is 6 CDs long. Stevie Wonder's is 4. Smokey and the Miracles is 4. Temptations is 4. Why does Prince only rate 3 discs.
Also, there were some missing B-sides that are really worth having. Alexa De Paris? Love or Money? Violet the Organ Grinder?
On the Hits side, no Batdance, and no Partyman -- what gives? No Partup or Let's Work.
Oh, and no "specially remastered demos" or other such surprise goodies. No fair!
So, I say this is a good set to buy because it's all that's really available. But, hopefully, in the near future, Warner's will buy a clue and make a REAL box set in a long fancy box with at least 6 - 8 CDs on it.
47 of 54 people found the following review helpful
on April 18, 2000
Listen, I can tell you that I am a 100 percent Prince fan, but I think many of my other Prince counterparts can agree, every song on here is truly great..but, IT CAN'T BE SENSATIONAL IF MOST OR EVEN ALL OF THE SONGS ARE CUT! One thing I have always appreciated from Prince's music is the whole version of his songs. The fantastic endings to When Doves Cry,1999,Little Red Corvette and..need I say..the incomparable ADORE. As one reviewer wrote how can you leave out that great ending.." WITHOUT YOU THERE IS NO ME, WITHOUT YOU THERE IS NO SEA, THERE IS NO SHORE, LOVE IS TOO WEAK TO DEFINE HOW MUCH I ADORE..." well if your a true Prince fan, you know the rest. Absolute GENIUS lyrics, and they were cut out of this box set. And that's just to name a few! To cut these masterworks in half is truly a crime, which is the only reason why I can only give it 3 stars (it would have been 2, but even if they were cut, they still stand up way BETTER than most of the 3 minute songs out there, HANDS DOWN! ). But I will say if you don't mind the short versions this is still by far one of the best investments you can make in a CD package.
21 of 24 people found the following review helpful
on July 6, 2004
I have written quite a bit on Prince's Warner Bros. dispute,its aftermath and all the problems with their handeling of his music catalog however, things only got worse with the release of The Hits/The B Sides.I originally purchased this on its release date in 1993 and was looking forward to getting the Bsides I was missing on CD. Back then it was a little tougher getting a decent collection of his B-sides unless you had the original singles on vinyl. I've been a Prince fan for at least 20 years and have collected his work on vinyl (albums, maxi singles and 7 in. singles) so, this package was a treat a the time however, I couldn't say the same about the A sides (the Hits) after one listen. Most of the tracks are the single edits and therefore rather unattractive since they fare lighter than their original full length counterparts. The sequence is also rather off since it begins with When Doves Cry and somehow works its way into earlier Prince. I wasn't thrilled to find out that WB skimped out on his better work from albums like PARADE,SIGN o THE TIMES,THE BATMAN SOUNDTRACK (Batdance was a #1 HIT)as well as some of his ballads. Instead, we get complete throwaway stuff like Peach and Pope which are great songs but when were they hits???? I would have rather liked the inclusion of Scandalous, Batdance, Mountains, and Money Don't Matter Tonight. The liner notes for the collection offered a great deal of information and great pictures but that does not excuse WB from missing out on some of his better stuff. Listening to some of the B-sides such as Power Fantastic,For the Tears in Your Eyes and How Come U Don't Call Me Anymore? is the only real reason I have kept this disc set for over 11 years now. If you are really into Prince I would recommend this set for the B-sides and push for the original full length albums instead. The full length songs are best when left unedited for the listener experience, musical genius and overall appreciation of the music itself.
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on January 15, 2000
This box set is the bomb! I had already bought the Hits 1 and 2 seperately but I knew the B-sides were excellent, so I shelled out 50 bucks anyway. It was well worth it. Since I got this, I've listened to the B-sides non-stop. Just like all other Prince/Artist material, these songs are wonderful.
Prince has always had a knack for making excellent songs. All his albums are works of art even when they don't make the critic's lists. I HIGHLY recommend this box set to all Prince friends/fans. If you enjoy funk, slow ballads, or straight-up rock and roll, you cannot EVER fail with Prince. He covers all genres on every album he makes. This set will not dissapoint. "May you live to see the dawn"
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on July 6, 2000
I put off buying this for the longest time. I grew up with Prince, and though I rolled my eyes a little bit when he changed to T.A.F.K.A.P., I understood. I never considered myself a fan, because, although I loved almost everything I had heard him do, I didn't think of myself as fanatical about it. I don't even own most of his albums-- who could without giving him total devotion. So a friend and I are walking through a CD store, and she tells me that she has it, and she loves it. She's no music person-- you know that friend who never buys anything and can't understand why you have a 3-digit collection, and they've only got 20. She knows that I like Prince, and tells me that I'll love it. "Drop the cash on it!"
I must tell you that there are few purchases of music that I have made in my life that I have felt euphoric about...this is one of them. It's not just the music. It's the memories. Reading the liner notes about how he has risen to where he is. Thinking of when my parents bought "Contreversy," and then worried that we'd learn the words. Recently, I lost a best friend to cancer, and although I never had a romantic relationship with him, I thought of him when listening to "Adore"-- he was a huge fan of Prince. It's amazing to me. This is the body of work of a real artist. I'll say this now, and hope that you'll know in the future that he is the Mozart of our times. To miss the opportunity to hold a work like this is truly unthinkable.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on April 4, 2003
This 3 CD Greatest Hits Compilation has it all. Slick and slipery Rhythm & Blues, Edgy Rock N Roll, Happening Hip Hop, Passionate Ballads, and even a touch of jazz. Its goes beyond styles as Prince delivers a fresh approach to many of the 56 songs. Some songs he does the high pitched falsetto, others a resonant baritone, and still more with a medium pitched tones.
Some of the songs are edited but at least they are tasetful edits like I Could Never Take The Place Of Your Man and 1999. The B sided CD is truly Grade A. The Tears In Your Eyes and God are touching ballads. The first two discs are loaded with suprises. Enjoy hearing the original versions of I Feel For You which was written for Chaka Kahn and When You Were Mine which was performed by Cindi Lauper. Pop Life is quite delightful and Nothing Compares To U is a stunning duet. I'm especially fond of Gett Off and Cream in spite of their sexual explicit lyrics. Its the music that does it for me with many funky twists.
Whereas casual fans might prefer the single CD set, this 3 CD package is truly fully loaded with excellent music. In this case, it may be best to hold out for this more comprehensie set as it stands strong on both depth and style.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on June 24, 2006
This set collects two discs of Prince's greatest hits, plus a bonus disc of "b-sides" which were previously unavailable on album. The hits speak for themselves; "When Doves Cry", "Kiss", "1999", "Little Red Corvette", etc. But what's really interesting to Prince fans is the "b-sides" disc. These songs were previously hard to find (unless you owned his original singles), and it's great to have them all on one disc. Some of these songs are as good as his hits. The disc even includes my personal favorite Prince song, "Erotic City". So, even if you already own all of Prince's albums, this collection is worth getting for the "b-sides" disc.
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on May 27, 2006
After purchasing the 3121 album, i was jonesing for some old Prince, i had some of the major hits already i've downloaded throughout the years, but wanted more. After doing a little research, everything i wanted, was in one set...the hits/b-sides! Im not even a huge Prince fan, just like some of his stuff, but i have to say, after paying this 3 disc set, WOW, this man could be a genius! Not only does it have all the hits i wanted, and have grown to love, the b sides cd is just as good! My surprise hit...Another Lonely Christmas! I love that song!!
I'm a fan of music, and in this 3 disc set, is the best collection of music and songs anyone could ask for. Prince is the man, plain and simple! If you don't think so...go buy this album, and see for yourself!!
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on July 3, 2015
I never believed in my life that a greatest hits album would be released by Prince. His catalog was so large, and his songs were just too good and complex. As a matter of speaking, this is why this collection was for the true Prince fan. Some of those complex songs were presented in single versions, which is an A+, as many of the songs on this collection were not in album form. You might be saying how are you making sense? Well I will tell you: to own Prince songs in single versions, is just as magical and cool as owning them in album versions. To have the single versions on CD is something I never thought would be possible. To here "1999," "Do Me Baby", "If I Was Your Girlfriend," not even mentioning "When Doves Cry", in their original 7' form is a super treat. The track list was arranged perfectly, since Prince and Warner Brothers want sales. If you didn't have the money to fork out for this collection, (which I did not, I bought it 8 months after its release when it came out in 1993 because the money aspect), you would have the option of buying the Hits 1 or Hits 2, or both. Real Prince fans knew not to touch those. They are perfect marketing ploys. The Hits 2, without a doubt sold more, since it had more top 20 hits on it such as "Raspberry Beret", "Kiss", "Cream", "Little Red Corvette", "I Would Die 4 U" , "Delirious", "U Got The Look" and "I Wanna Be Your Lover". The Hits 2 disc also has the songs that are more explicit in tone, such as "Head", "Gett Off" and "Sexy M.F.", for example. But any casual buyer will realize after buying this that Prince's first 2 #1 singles in the states, "When Doves Cry" and "Let's Go Crazy" are missing. So are the hits "1999", "Sign of the Times" and "Diamonds and Pearls." They are all of the Hits 1. You better just save your money and buy this collection, with the B sides. And you will realize that his less commercial stuff (if you are a true Prince fan) is better than the commercial stuff. You can find a lot of those on the first disc. "I Feel For You" and "Why You Wanna Treat Me So Bad?" from 1979, were the living proof that this genius was going to explode in the up coming decade. "Pop Life" is better than "Raspberry Beret" on disc 2, just like "Sign 'o the Times" is better than "U Got The Look" on disc 2. Songs that sell better do not mean they are better. The first disc of this artist shows anyone there was no one like him. You get the single version of "Diamonds and Pearls", which is still better than the faster selling song "Cream" on disc 2. Yet, I still admire disc 2. I'm not forgetting disc 3 either.. "I Love U In Me", "17 Days", and "She's Always in My Hair" for example are just as powerful, or better, from the side A singles they came from. No collection after can come close to this. Big deal if "The Very Best of Prince" has big selling hits together minus Batman songs. That is for beginners. The same applies to the Ultimate Prince. That is only worth buying just to get the film version of "Let's Go Crazy" in Purple Rain and "U Got The Look" which is semi-similar to the film/video version from Sign 'o' the Times. Other than that, Ultimate Prince is even worse. You want to hear an extended version of "Kiss", his most overrated song, or a weak extended version of "Thieves in the Temple", one of his most underrated songs. Don't even mention the extended "Cream".
Believe me my friends, The Hits and B sides are the way to go if you are a true Prince fan. You virtually have the single versions: "When Doves Cry", "Uptown", "1999", "I Could Never Take the Place of Your Man", "Sign 'o' the Times," "Diamonds and Pearls" and an edited version of "Adore." On the second disc, you have 7' singles of "Controversy" (which to me is the best edit around), "Dirty Mind", "I Wanna Be Your Lover", "Do me Baby", "Delirious", "If I Was Your Girlfriend", and "Kiss". The third disc has original 7' B sides. Don't ever be afraid in buying this. Even better, we don't get the the original single versions of "Little Red Corvette" and "Let's Go Crazy", which were the worse single versions released from his catalog. We get the flawless album versions. You will be a great Prince collector because you have 12 of his single versions on discs. And there is at least one song from every album he came up with from 1978 to 1992, except Batman material, most likely for copyright problems. Yet, no one is crying about that, as that was one of his weakest albums to date up until that time. Oh yes, this is really for the true collector from a guy whose virtually every album since he was 19 years old stated: "Produced, Arranged, Composed, and Performed by Prince".
Thanks for reading, Joseph