“Dearly beloved…we have gathered here to get through this thing called life…”
And so begins a classic soundtrack album for the eighties and for all time. Prince’s collection of songs from his semi-autobiographical movie, Purple Rain, had the whole country singing along and loving it after its release in 1984. Many of the tunes became radio stalwarts throughout 1984-85 and beyond, and garnered the star many industry honors (*see below). The innovation and wonderful production of this album and film cemented Prince’s place into the annals of music entertainment lore.
Jerry Lewis Cinema, Lake Ronkonkoma, Long Island, New York, August 1984
– Twenty five years after seeing this movie for the first time, I still remember the experience as clear as day. The first couple of songs from the album were already popular and the theater was sold out. Inside, the atmosphere felt more like being at a concert than a film. The buzz was unmistakable. As the movie started to roll, the first lines of “Let’s Go Crazy” blared from the speakers and mayhem ensued. The next two hours, we fans of the singer soaked in all of the complexity and bliss of the screenplay and soundtrack. Indeed, this was something special.
Purple Rain was the sixth studio album for Prince, and his first as a headliner to a group known as “The Revolution”. The first single, “When Doves Cry”, was released in May 1984, and it embodies Prince’s unique brand of rock, funk, and psychedelic sounds with a steady rhythm and hypnotic vocals. The song went to number one on Billboard Magazine’s Top 100 charts and was the first of five tunes from Purple Rain to reach the top 25.
Pop hits aside, even the non-single tracks on Purple Rain are quality tunes produced in classic Prince-style. Some notable tracks include the rip-roaring “Let’s Go Crazy” and “Baby I’m a Star”, the sultry and seductive “Darling Nikki”, the lighthearted and sunny “Take Me with U”, and the poignant title track. The finale, “I Would Die 4U” is a fun song that kept satisfied movie-goers dancing and singing their way out of the theater.
Since his entry onto the pop music scene just seven years earlier, Prince had slowly risen to the pinnacle of his trade as a multi-faceted, multi-talented artist whose music was seemingly ahead of its time. With each new foray into the music world, Prince improved upon the former and garnered himself more attention with each new release. His fifth studio album, “1999”, put Prince’s name on the pop culture radar with hits like “Little Red Corvette” and the title track. “Purple Rain” far surpassed its predecessor and cemented Prince’s prowess at hit-making for the ages.
“…and if the elevator tries to bring you down, Go Crazy…”
So dig out that old CD, cassette, or maybe even a record, dust it off and have a listen. If you can’t seem to find it or you’re looking to expand your collection with a new CD, grab yourself a new copy of “Purple Rain” here:
Amazon – http://www.amazon.com/Music-Motion-Picture-Purple-Rain/dp/B000002L68
Target – http://www.target.com/dp/B000002L68/sr=1-24/qid=1236652380/ref=sr_1_24/181-9136067-7228451?ie=UTF8&frombrowse=0&rh=k%3Apurple%5Frain&page=1
cdUniverse – http://www.cduniverse.com/search/xx/music/pid/1100001/a/Purple+Rain.htm
Deep Discount – http://www.deepdiscount.com/Purple-Rain_stcVVproductId5786415VVviewprod.htm?extid=df00029&src1=voltage
Barnes and Noble – http://music.barnesandnoble.com/search/results.asp?qsrch=A&WRD=purple+rain
*Purple Rain sold 13 million units in the United States, earning a Diamond Award from the Recording Industry Association of America. According to Billboard magazine, the album spent 24 consecutive weeks at #1 on the Billboard album charts (August 4, 1984 to January 18, 1985) becoming one of the top soundtracks ever. Purple Rain traded the #1 album chart position with Bruce Springsteen’s Born in the U.S.A. twice, during 1984 and 1985. Two songs from Purple Rain, “When Doves Cry” and “Let’s Go Crazy”, would top the U.S. singles charts and were hits around the world, while the title track would go to number two on the Billboard Hot 100. The album has sold more than 18 million copies worldwide. (Source: Wikipedia, Purple Rain (album), 3/8/09, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Purple_Rain_(album) )