Prince's most iconic band: The Revolution or The New Power Generation? | The Tylt

Prince's most iconic band: The Revolution or The New Power Generation?

Prince always surrounded himself with unparalleled musicians, but his most iconic bands were the Revolution and the New Power Generation. The Revolution is famous for its "Purple Rain"-era all-stars: Wendy & Lisa, Dr. Fink, Brown Mark, and Bobby Z. But NPG featured Rosie Gaines, Tommy Barbarella, Sonny T, and Michael Bland, and fans say they were Prince's tightest, funkiest outfit. Both were brilliant, but which was truly Prince's best band? 💜 ☔ 💜 

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Prince's most iconic band: The Revolution or The New Power Generation?
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Prince's most iconic band: The Revolution or The New Power Generation?
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The Revolution backed Prince on his breakout crossover hits "1999," "Little Red Corvette," and "Delirious," and famously played themselves in the semi-biographical music film "Purple Rain." They helped bring a new wave/pop/rock sensibility to Prince's R&B stylings, and were actually given co-writing credits on the "Purple Rain" album. 

Watch just a bit of this live concert of Prince and the Revolution below—hands down, one of the greatest bands of all time. 

#TeamNPG

After disbanding the Revolution, Prince saw the New Power Generation not just as a harbinger of his musical evolution and spiritual growth, but of a mass movement. NPG featured a horn section, dancers, and even an MC. Prince’s first LP with the NPG, "Diamonds and Pearls," showed a more polished, mainstream sound—from the anthemic romance of the title track to the dark funk of “Gett Off” and the tongue-in-cheek humor of “Cream.”

Watch the music video to the classic "Diamonds and Pearls" below, and you'll understand how Prince reinvented himself with NPG.

#TeamTheRevolution

Revolution fans say Wendy & Lisa, Dr. Fink, Brown Mark, Dez Dickerson, and Bobby Z were all essential to the fusion of styles that made him a superstar. Dez played that famous solo on "Little Red Corvette." Lisa arranged the gorgeous string outro on "Purple Rain." There are many amazing moments like these from those early records that we owe to members of the Revolution.

#TeamTheRevolution
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But others loved the '90s neo-funk, hip-hop sound of the New Power Generation.

Rosie Gaines' incomparable voice was a particular standout in NPG, and as she said:

"We were his first Black band, and our thing was to help him get his audience back."
#TeamNPG

For many fans "Diamonds and Pearls" is the peak of Prince's output. And people loved the positive, uplifting message of the record and the concept that they could be part of the New Power Generation.

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Certainly Prince thought NPG was his best band ever.

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The truth is, just about everyone in Prince's bands were brilliant, and could have had their own breakout music careers.

But as Prince super-fan Anil Dash points out:

"What was amazing was how so many talented people saw the potential for something even greater in teaming up with Prince's genius."  
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FINAL RESULTS
Entertainment
Prince's most iconic band: The Revolution or The New Power Generation?
A festive crown for the winner
#TeamTheRevolution
#TeamNPG