MUSIC: Born Again

Years after Prince suppressed it, his fabled Black Album appears

In the 1980s Prince -- yes, he now goes by an incomprehensible glyph, but we're old-fashioned -- became a huge star by ingeniously weaving together two powerful strands of pop music: the guitar-based rock of Jimi Hendrix and the rhythm-heavy funk of George Clinton. With a great gift for melody and a protean instrumental talent, Prince released such commercial and artistic triumphs as Purple Rain and Sign o' the Times. In his persona, meanwhile, he presented himself as a sort of pansexual sprite. Tiny, mascara wearing, lubricious, he gave erotically charged performances and bestowed on his records titles like Lovesexy.


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