Artist – Album: Prince and the Revolution – Purple Rain
Released: 25th June 1986
Sounds Like: Prince’s crowning glory
In Purple Rain the film, "The Kid" (Prince) is a damn good musician but also a bit of a douche. He has a band which is close to mutiny and a relationship in which he has become jealous and abusive. A couple of his bandmates cut an instrumental demo called ‘Slow Groove’ that the Kid is a bit meh about. A dodgy performance of ‘Computer Blue’ at the club only makes things worse and the Kid is in a bit of a state when he heads home to find that his father is down in the basement attempting to shoot himself. Naturally the Kid takes to his piano and sorts out ‘Slow Groove’. Back to the club, everyone’s keeping out of the Kid’s way. He gets on stage, but doesn’t initially do anything for a while. Finally, he announces that they’re going to perform a new song by his bandmates. It turns out that he’s turned ‘Slow Groove’ into ‘Purple Rain’, and everyone loves it. His father gets better in hospital, he patches things up with his girlfriend, and they all live happily ever after.
But nobody really cares about the film...
In Purple Rain the soundtrack album, the kid Prince is a damn good musician. Combining typically Prince genres like funk and R&B with more ambitious styles such as pop, soul and rock, the album is the pinnacle of the little genius’ career. Despite being a huge commercial success – it boasts two US no. 1s in ‘When Doves Cry’ and ‘Let's Go Crazy’ and has gone platinum a whopping 13 times over – the album is also refreshingly experimental. ‘When Doves Cry’ is the first one people talk about, with its stunning spacey gospel funk, but there’s also the psychedelic pop of ‘Take Me With U’, the metallic soul of ‘Computer Blue’ and the epic rock of ‘Purple Rain’. On the infamously sexual ‘Darling Nikki’ he also pushes the boat out lyrically. Every song promises something new and special.
Little wonder then that this is the Purple Rain that people care about.
Albumaday... rating: 9/10
1. Let’s Go Crazy – 4:39
2. Take Me with U – 3:54
3. The Beautiful Ones – 5:13
4. Computer Blue – 3:59
5. Darling Nikki – 4:14
6. When Doves Cry – 5:54
7. I Would Die 4 U – 2:49
8. Baby I’m a Star – 4:24
9. Purple Rain – 8:41
Listen to ‘I Would Die 4 U’: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=li9ffoLxNqk