"Without music, life would be a mistake!"
Thus spoke Friedrich Nietzsche.
Twenty-six years ago, rock star Prince set the world on fire with his epic semi-autobiographical movie musical "Purple Rain." The film (and the album) spawned giant hits such as "Baby, I'm a Star," "Let's Go Crazy," "When Doves Cry" and, of course, "Purple Rain."
The high-heeled genius never looked back and never had to, through all his incarnations. Remember when he was The Artist Formerly Known as Prince? He has set the standard for funk, pop, soul and new wave sounds.
Now, at age 52, we are told that Prince is definitely planning to film a sequel to "Purple Rain." (We are assured this "definite" is more definite than past definites.)
Once again, the movie will touch on his experiences. The ambitious character he played in the original, "The Kid," is now a famous 50-year-old without a record contract who's forced to compete with younger artists in an unrecognizable music industry.
If this is gonna happen, it better start filming . . . yesterday. Prince wants an Oscar for his score, and already he is talking about how he'll knock 'em out performing at next year's Academy Awards.
Good news for fans of a real star. On May 15, in Boston, Diana Ross kicks off her "More Today Than Yesterday" national tour.
The supreme Supreme will hit Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Chicago, Cleveland, Canada, Tennessee, Georgia, Missouri and California.
I don't have to urge Ross' devoted fans to make sure to see her, but let me try to convince those of you who aren't so sure.
This woman puts on one hell of a show. Like Cher, Diana gives the audience what it wants. Glamour! Costumes! Big hair! And . . . hit after hit after hit. The Supremes' songs, the solo smashes, the disco era, the "Lady Sings the Blues" medley -- you want it, Diana is more than happy to oblige. And, her show doesn't drag on forever. At least it didn't last time I saw her in New York. It's like, 100 minutes of POW! and then she's gone in a movable feast of glittering tulle.
I hate to phrase it this way, but -- remember k.d. lang? The great singer seemed to have vanished from the public eye until she popped up singing an exquisite version of Leonard Cohen's "Hallelujah" at the opening of the Winter Olympics in Vancouver. (Our k.d. is Canadian. In fact, she is an Officer of the Order of Canada.)
So what happened to k.d.? Nuttin. She has never enjoyed the glam aspects of the biz; she's no social butterfly. She prefers a quiet life of vegetarianism and Buddhist contemplation. She remains a determined activist for people's rights -- gay, straight, whatever. Animal rights, too. Her vegetarianism didn't endear her to country music fans. They were willing to look the other way on the lesbian thing, but please don't tell them how they shouldn't breed cattle!
Anyway, k.d. has a new album out, "Recollection" from the small Nonesuch label -- an offshoot of Warner Records. The Nonesuch people don't require k.d. to hit every talk show. What would be the point? This three-CD/one-DVD set is sensational. It contains her greatest hits remastered, and a collection of rare tracks. (You've never really heard the Beatles' "Golden Slumbers" until you listen to k.d.)
k.d. lets her art speak for itself, and it's shouting mightily on "Recollection." This is a masterpiece.