Prince & The Revolution’s “Purple Rain”

Released: June 25, 1984

Label: Warner Bros.

Genre: Pop ・rock ・R&BSynth-funk

Producer: Prince and the Revolution


Prince was truly one of the greatest musicians of his generation. He was and will always be the versatile and iconic singer in my eyes. Known for his wide vocal range & flamboyant persona, Prince changed the sound of music in the earlier years, for which he is often credited for being the pioneer of the Minneapolis sound. It was rare for an artist like him to write and produce ALL of their work. Just a true genius.

After singing a record deal with Warner Bros at 19 years old, Prince’s career was going to higher heights after the releases of his first five albums For You (1978,) Prince (1979,) Dirty Mind (1980,) Controversy (1981) & 1999 (1982).

Prince’s sixth album Purple Rain is truly a cinematic masterpiece amongst his ostentatious discography. Ironically the album served as the soundtrack to the homonymous 1984 film of the same name. The first album to feature his backing band (The Revolution,) Purple Rain ties into the film musically and the songs are performed on the album by Prince’s character “The Kid” and his band.

Released June 25, 1984 by Warner Bros, Purple Rain was an innovative and experimental record from Prince, compared to his prior works. With elements of rock, pop, R&B, synth-pop/funk, new wave, gospel and soul, Purple Rain will forever be one of the best albums of all time. The album pushed Prince as a figurehead for pop music in the 1980s and propelled him into further stardom.

The album debuted at number eleven on the Billboard 200 chart, and after four weeks on the chart, the album shot to number one (his very first) and spent 24 consecutive weeks on the charts from August 4, 1984 to January 18, 1985. Selling over 25 million records worldwide, the album is one of the best-selling albums of all time. The album has since been certified 13x platinum by the RIAA, and has won numerous awards for Purple Rain, including Grammy Awards for Best Rock Vocal Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocal and best Score Soundtrack for Visual Media & also won the Academy Award for Best Original Song Score.

You know what is ICONIC about the Purple Rain album?!!! The album/soundtrack & the film was number one at the exact time!! Just legendary OKAY!

Ladies & Gentlemen, I present to you Prince’s Purple Rain

Let’s Go Crazy

Written by Prince Nelson

Dearly beloved, we are gathered here today to get through this thing called “life….”

Prince, Let’s Go Crazy, 1984

The album opens with the immaculate Let’s Go Crazy. The song starts with an eulogy-style sermon, and leads into a funky rock-like affair. From a lyrical perspective, the song says to rise above temptation. Let’s Go Crazy is one of Prince’s most popular songs, and was his second number one single on the! The song has been sampled and interpolated by artists like P.M. Dawn, 2 Chainz, Public Enemy & Eazy-E.

Take Me with U

Written by Prince Nelson

Take Me with U was the last single from the soundtrack, and interesting enough: was originally intended for Apollonia’s album. It was a top 40 hit for the singer, peaking at number twenty-five.

The Beautiful Ones

Written by Prince Nelson

Although it was not released as a single, The Beautiful Ones has become a fan favorite and has been deemed one of his greatest ballads. From a lyrical perspective, the song has the singer expression the passion he has for an unrequited love. The song has been covered by Mariah Carey & Sisqo of Dry Hill for her sixth studio album Butterfly. The song has also been sampled and interpolated by artists such as Jazmine Sullivan, Chrisette Michele, Teena Marie & Marsha Ambrosius.

Computer Blue

Written by Prince Nelson ・John L. Nelson ・Wendy Melvoin ・Lisa Coleman ・Matthew Robert Fink

Computer Blue is a wonderful song with elements of synth-funk. The song was lyrically about Prince’s character in the film feeling some type of way about the budding relationship between Morris Day and Apollonia, and he performs the song in front of the two with the goal of making them upset. The song was heavily edited to be included on the album after Take Me with U was added to the album at the last minute. Computer Blue also contains a guitar solo from Prince’s father John L. Nelson, which was originally conceived from a piano instrumental that Prince & John wrote together.

Darling Nikki

Written by Prince Nelson

Darling Nikki is a masterpiece. It’s definitely one of my favorite Prince songs ever. Like my ultimate favorite song of all time. From a lyrical perspective, the song explores the singer’s sexual experience with “Nikki.” In the film, the song is directed towards Apollonia’s character when she decides to The hard rock influenced song’s themes of masturbation, S&M, signing disclosures before sexual activities landed the song at number one on the Filthy Fifteen list (see my post The Filthy Fifteen,) due to Al Gore’s daughter being caught listening to this naughty tune. Darling Nikki is the reason why we have parental advisory stickers on explicit records to this day. Super iconic.

The song has been sampled or interpolated by so many amazing artists.

Side two

When Doves Cry

Written by Prince Nelson

When Doves Cry was one of Prince’s most commercially successful records, and is actually his first number one record on the Billboard Hot 100 (which had a five week run as well). From a lyrical perspective, the song is directly tied into the film where it intermingles parental difficulties and a love affair. The music video to the song gained controversy for its sexual nature, and that it was too explicit for tv. The song has been sampled and covered by artists like MC Hammer, Ginuwine & Audio Two.

I Would Die 4 U

Written by Prince Nelson

I Would Die 4 U is definitely a gem on the album. With new wave and synth-funk influences, the song was a top ten hit for Prince..peaking at number eight on the pop charts.

Baby I’m a Star

Written by Prince Nelson

Baby I’m a Star is a mf BOP OKAY! The song is a funk rock record that Prince’s character in the film performs at the club with his band. The song has been covered by Tina Turner.

Purple Rain

Written by Prince Nelson

The album ends with the definitive power ballad Purple Rain. With elements of rock, gospel, orchestral and soul music, the title track has been stated as “pertaining to the end of the world and being with the one you love and letting your faith/God guide you through that process. The song is considered to be one of his signature songs, and was a successful hit for the purple one, peaking in the top 3 on the pop & R&B charts during the time the song was released and at the time of his death. The song has been covered by the legendary songstress Etta James.

Prince has an amazing catalog that spans almost 40 years, but it is something that is very addictive about Purple Rain. Although there are albums from this legend that rank higher than PR, it’s something very nostalgic about it as well.

A lot of the records that Prince is known for rests here, so I think that’s why we are so attached to this album as a collective, but it was proof that Prince’s legacy was cemented and will always go down as one of the best albums of all time. We truly miss you Prince. -MW.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s