There are those albums you cling onto in your formative years (although I am terrified to think that many people of today will be considering a Britney Spears album as a formative musical experience for them) and for me, even though I was most definitely swept up in the Michael Jackson phenomenon of the time, this particular album has such a profound and hugely influential part of my completely insignificant existence.
PURPLE RAIN was released as a soundtrack to the rather hysterical film of the same name that featured Prince in his first film role. The 9 track album, yep back then 9 tracks constituted an album, hit music stores on June 25, 1984. It was Prince’s 6th studio album, of which he wrote all the songs and introduced his band ‘The Revolution’. The result is an album fuller than Prince’s previous outings – it’s full band stuff, loads of musical layers and technical production. Portions of the finished product are live recordings taken from a live gig Prince did on August 3, 1983 in Minneapolis at the First Avenue Club.
The album hit the billboard charts and sat at #1 for 24 weeks (August 4, 1984 to January 18, 1985 – thanks Wiki). It boasted such classics as LET’S GO CRAZY, WHEN DOVES CRY and the epic, indulgent and achingly magnificent PURPLE RAIN. It has sold more than 20 million units globally and is still getting airplay up to today.
So why does Aza love it? The album is dateless. It doesn’t age. I also look at it like this – How do you know a good album? My litmus test is that when you crack on a song, you’re already lining up the next one in anticipation… PURPLE RAIN does that, from the moment the album opens with LET’S GO CRAZY to its close with PURPLE RAIN the whole experience works as one complete unit. The fact that I still crack the album out to this day and listen to it is a testament to its datelessness. And maybe I wanted to be Prince for a while there… I dunno..
From LET’S GO CRAZY, TAKE ME WITH U, THE BEAUTIFUL ONES, COMPUTER BLUE, DARLING NIKKI, WHEN DOVES CRY, I WOULD DIE 4 U, BABY, I’M A STAR, PURPLE RAIN – there’s no gaps – it’s just 44 minutes of pure gold!
If you’ve never experienced it – PURPLE RAIN awaits. It’s an album that showcases what a genuine talent Prince is, why he’s still selling out concert tours to this day and is a definitive musical experience of the 80’s – GET INTO IT! You’ll Love It – Trust Me! (and some of it is a li’l naughty!)
Below is a mixture of the album versions, film sequences and live versions.
PURPLE RAIN: THE MOTION PICTURE SOUNDTRACK is available now on all formats