Interesting discussion here on a prince fan website.
Must admit I'd always thought Sheena's work with Prince was good for her career. Thought 101 and arms of orion were two of her best songs although not over keen on eternity or sugar walls.
But do you think a lot of her original fans were put off by her new 'sexy' more risque image/lyrics.
She lost her adult contemporary fans but won new ones. He just opened up new avenues. And Sheena was always up for a challenge. So ot was good for her. Agree about 101.
A little unbelievable that anyone would think His Royal Purpleness killed Sheena's career. Au contraire, Our Gal HAD a career in the second half of the '80's thanks to Prince. Sure her sexy image put off her more mature fans but really who knows if they would have stayed with her for the long run ? Sheena would have gotten lost in the middle of that yuck hair metal that dominated from '86 onwards if she had continued with her adult style of music. Nobody can ever say she played it safe artistically. She went out there, tried everything and made music history in the process. She lost fans who didn't deserve to be her fans IMO.
It was no coincidence that all the hot R&B producers worked with Sheena AFTER her Prince collabo. Prince gave Sheena something that even in the early heady of her career she never had. (No, no that naughty people;)). He made it COOL to like Sheena Easton.
Prince did for Sheena what the late Michael Hutchence (of INXS) did for Kylie Minogue as in changing her from a sweet little songstress to a sexy bombshell. To this day , Kylie owes her still strong chart/touring career in no small part to that image change. As for Sheena, her sexy image got her those Bally commercials which a fan told me had EVERYBODY talking at the time. No doubt the link up of her name with Prince put her out there in the public consciousness and maybe helped her get that career milestone role in MIAMI VICE.
Nobody ever asked "Sheena Easton who" after her Prince hook-up.
Sheena dabbles with Prince made her more successful and he taught her alot about writing music. I just wished she would have wrote her own music that would have put her more on the musical map than just being a vocalist. When Sheena image changed her music changed right along with it and that is growth for an artist and Sheena was just like all the other female solo singers even today. They all start out innocent and then when they start to seem like they are going away they come back sexed up, older and ready for a new image and Sheena was no different.
The only difference is that Sheena could actually sing. Not like the other female entertainers out there. If you think about it, there were not many other female solo vocalist in the 80's that could sing aside from maybe Aretha Franklin, and Whitney Houston that had chart success and Sheena Easton was lucky enough to have that success. I think because Sheena did not do drugs or party she was not considered a proper pop star for this reason but folks who think that are wrong, because it is not about being messed up or getting in trouble to sell records and Sheena Easton is proof of this.
I will never know why Sheena did not or has not gotten the credit she deserves but for me that is no reason to stop recording for her fans and that is where I feel she has dropped the ball. I am a fan and will be till the end but we deserve an album of new music every now and then and it does not even have to be a chart success because she has done that. She just needs to be better at showing her true fans that have been with her since her beginning alittle love. It still baffles me that she has not even put out any live material or her video collection of her songs because she can if she really wanted to and I think alot of us fans feel the same way.
I know this comment took a turn for the worse but I had to get off my chest. I will still be a faithful fan and love my fellow fans so please do not be offended. She is still the diva in my eyes..
So, Let me change the subject for a second. Would anyone be willing to help me out to find a cd quality version of the 12' inch for "Jimmy Mack" and "No Deposit, No Return" and "Swear" they would be willing to share with me? I need them to complete out my collection and cannot find them any where.
You guys are the best. Shout out to Sabeha!
Yes, I must admit I was surprised by the idea. Agree it was very much the same scenario as Kylie transforming into Sexy Kylie.
Agree re Sheena recording an album, even just for the fans, but to be blunt she doesn't really seem to demonstrate any loyalty towards her fans. The lack of Christmas message is the most obvious sign of that, it wouldn't cost her anything to spend half an hour once a year to update us but she can't be bothered to even do that.
I'll always be a sheena fan because I love her voice and songs, but not always impressed by her attitude to her fans.
You guys are right. Sheena is a free agent not signed up with any record company so I agree Robert, what indeed is stopping her from putting out a live concert DVD or a CD of original or live concert material ? Even a CD of her hits re-recorded and remixed for the current music climate would be good. Anything. Amazon for one facilitates print on demand media so it's not a big deal to put out something.
Isn't it detrimental to her if she wishes to continue her career longevity not to issue some kind of product ? This non availability of DVDs and current music is ruining her musical legacy. How much longer can she successfully last out there in concert without gaining new fans and keeping old ones interested ? But alas, as Joe said Sheena doesn't feel inclined or have the time to even write a Xmas message to her fans so.....
Don't think Sheena is either on Facebook or Twitter which are easy non intrusive ways to connect with fans without getting physically close.
Just wanted to let you guys know I agree with what you said but like you all I will remain a fan and be happy with what we have.
Sadly, I have to agree with all of you about Sheena not really caring for us fans. I too, am and always will be a loyal fan because of her voice and songs.
I agree with all of you 100%!!: Will be a fan forever BUT it is kind of shame she's given up recording new material...
Although I've been a Sheena fan since the beginning, I have always been disappointed at how little she gives back to her fans. I, too, will remain a fan forever, but I can't believe that she can't even take a few minutes a year to share with her fans. Apparently, the private gigs make her feel like she doesn't have to bother keeping her fans around, but it does send a bad taste to those who have supported her over the years.
Also, to get back to the original thread, I don't think Prince hurt or helped her career. He only penned "Sugar Walls" on her "Private Heaven" album and it wasn't even the lead off single. "Strut" paved a whole new image for Sheena which I think was the way she wanted to reinvent herself.
I believe Prince helped Sheena's career... giving her a new audience as someone mentioned but also giving her a new confidence to showcase her own writing and celebrate her sexiness a bit more.
I was watching her Tokyo Music Festival performance this weekend and was struck by how different her performance style was on that tour (Lover in Me). Sheena knows she's no great dancer, but she added that into her act after working on You Got the Look. And it was fun to see, but the star of any Sheena show is that voice and her personality and wit.
I am not sure why she does not really seem to appreciate her fans... maybe a reaction to scary stalker types from years back.
But I really believe she has given up on herself as far as ever being a successful recording artist again. Three years ago, I tried to give her a song (that Babyface wrote for someone else) that would have been perfect for her voice. Not only did she refuse to take the disc, she said she had no plans to record again in the future. I could not have been more disappointed if she had slapped me in the face.
She then refused to allow me to take a picture, though I was one of two people who waited for her after her show. But she did sign a photo I had brought.
She could definitely use some pointers on how to deal with people who obviously love her as a performer. And I think a big problem is with her manager (is Harriett still doing it?). Perhaps she kept her so long because she doesn't push Sheena too hard. Sheena is definitely the one in control of her success/failure, as she pointed out when she did her Cover Story for USA. She's not a wilting violet.
If she wanted to record, act, or perform more, she would do it. So any lack of greater professional success is her own fault (as it is for anyone who does not continue to push themselves in life).
She grew up without a dad and saw her mom struggle to provide for her family. Perhaps once she achieved a level of success that she was able to provide for herself and her kids, that was enough.
While voices like Donna Summer's and Whitney Houston's have been silenced by death, it's sad to think Sheena's has been relatively silenced by her own choice.
I would love to see her give Prince a call and get back in the studio with an album from her more mature perspective as a 50+ single woman. The lady can write and sing... Prince knows that or he wouldn't have worked with her again and again. Maybe together they could both come back to prominence. Or if not that, at least put out a hell of an album!
No one ever knows...
Scott, I couldn't agree with you more on your points about Sheena and Prince. That would be a dream come true. Somehow, when they get together, their chemistry just smoulders!
As for Sheena's refusal to get back in the limelight, I can only sigh in resignation to her decision. Perhaps she's just doing what other successful folk choose to do... step off the treadmill (in her own words) and take time to smell the flowers. We can only keep our fingers crossed that she'll come round to recording or acting or even voicing in the future.
I, too, wonder why she doesn't seem to treat her loyal fans better. She's intensely private, yes. But how difficult is it to set up a Facebook account and just connect there? You don't have to put up private photos or information about yourself. At least, respond to us fans!!! Rather than just keep silent.
Yes, facebook and twitter seem like pretty easy ways for Sheena to keep fans informed and yet only share what she wants to. But I really think some fans in the past must have scared her (probably regarding her kids) so much that she seems to think if she gives nothing they will forget her and go away. Unfortunately, so will everyone else!
Again, a good manager would urge her to get back "out there" once in a while doing something more than oldies shows and high dollar private one-off shows. That will never re-establish her as the amazing vocalist she was and still is.
But if it doesn't start from within her, it will never manifest through the fans or a manager or anyone else.
Maybe "full-time mom" is enough to fulfill her life. If so, God bless her. But I suspect a part of her would love another taste of the "Big Time."
My opinion is Nile Rodgers killed her career with DO YOU. DO YOU is an odd ball after A PRIVATE HEAVEN. I wish Prince would have produced an album for her after HEAVEN than Rodgers. DO YOU just tanked because the lead single was not good after STRUT and SUGAR WALLS. And the casual jeans and t-shirt look just doesn't work after her sensous look she had established with HEAVEN.
So, I don't think Prince is to be blamed, it's more Nile.