Purple Rain



by Drbebop USER (96 Reviews)
August 25th, 2018 | 3 replies

Release Date: 1984 | Tracklist

Review Summary: This is what it sounds like when Doves cry

Fresh off the heals of his smash hit success '1999', Prince was ready to take on the world. And with that, A movie deal came. While the film is a cheesy but entertaining romp, the soundtrack that came with it was arguably Prince's magnum opus. The Revolution, Prince's backing group finally had a full credit (the album is credited to 'Prince & The Revolution'), though this mainly applied to new guitarist Wendy Melvoin and keyboardist and vocalist Lisa Coleman. The result of a tighter knit group and some of Prince's strongest compositions resulted in debatably the greatest album of the 80s. Even today, Purple Rain continues to sell boatloads and is one of the best selling soundtracks (and albums!) of all time. But has it held up today?

The album kicks off with a sermon, delivered by his holy purpleness. The grandiose build up to the opening guitar bursts of 'Let's Go Crazy!' is undeniably a little silly but still unbelievably effective ("Dearly beloved, we are gathered here 2day 2get thru this thing called life" Prince preaches over a church like organ). The song itself is nothing short of spectacular. The joyous synth parts, the crashing electronic drums and the blaring guitar mix together to make one of Prince's finest tracks. The amazingly over the top ending which features a face melting guitar solo and an explosion of noise is another fantastic part and one of the greatest moments in musical history. The poppy duet with then-protégée Apollonia (who starred along Prince in the Purple Rain film) 'Take Me With U' preps a fine string riff and a set of undeniably cute lyrics.

This is followed by the one-two punch Of The melancholic slow burner 'The Beautiful Ones' which delivers an impassioned vocal that devolves into one of Prince's trademark screeches and the futuristic rocker 'Computer Blue' complete with a dominatrix-esq opening dialogue between Wendy and Lisa and a feedback laden soundscape. The first side ends with 'Darling Nikki', a notorious sparse and cold track about a sex fiend which was so explicit for the time it actually helped start the PMRC after Tipper Gore heard her daughter singing it. It's a sharp, paranoid and mildly uncomfortable song which is surrounded by a chugging drum beat and synth line and a blaring guitar riff.

Side 2 begins with the one you all know and love. The iconic 'When Doves Cry', a glorious neo-psychedelic soul track which features some of Prince's finest vocals and an icy minimalist backing with a baroque style key solo and a blazing guitar solo at the start of the song. It's dark, cold, notably bassline less and incredibly powerful. The lyrics detail a ruined relationship and the bitterness and anger seeps through into Prince's vocals which sound furious and simultaneously sorrowful. When Doves Cry is a masterpiece and is one of, if not, Prince's finest songs. The next song is the cute and lovely 'I Would Die 4 U', a soft and romantic synthpop track that delivers a blipping synth line and a bouncy bass riff that swoops into 'Baby I'm A Star' a pounding post-disco jam that hits the listener with a scorching key solo and crescendoing string riff. The grand finale is the title track, 'Purple Rain', an absolutely god like gospel blues track which clocks in at over 8 minutes with intensely beautiful vocals which end in a colossal singalong, a tremendously effective guitar solo and a lengthy string led outro which fades into the cheers of a crowd. It's an unbelievably solid end to a perfect record.

Lyrically, Purple Rain is surprisingly stripped back affair. Prince's first five albums were mainly about one thing: Hardcore ***ing. Dirty Mind in particular was pure unadulterated smut from start to finish with essentially all the tracks being about Prince sticking his dick into anything that moves. Controversy brought in some politics and public image and 1999 brought in themes of impending doom. But these records mostly held their ground in sticky sex jams. Purple Rain however reels it in a bit. The only truly steamy song here is 'Darling Nikki', while the other songs portray themes of get down Partying, emotional breakdowns, fame and regret and moving on. It's a passionate affair and Prince's lyrical game is notably more mature, which he would expand on in his following albums.

All in all, Purple Rain is undeniably flawless. The 9 tracks here are expertly crafted and emotionally and musically perfect. From the glorious rock out of 'Let's Get Crazy', the begging and intense 'The Beautiful Ones', the pained and emotional 'When Doves Cry' to the Grand near superhuman title track, Purple Rain is a pop tour de force and one of the finest albums of all time. An absolute must listen. And remember, if the elevator tries to break you down: Go Crazy - Punch a higher floor!

Standout tracks:

Let's Go Crazy!
Take Me With U
The Beautiful Ones
When Doves Cry
I Would Die 4 U
Baby, I'm A Star
Purple Rain

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Comments:Add a Comment 
August 28th 2018


Album Rating: 5.0

I wud die 4 u

August 28th 2018


Album Rating: 4.5

good review, pos'd. Check out the deluxe edition released last year if you haven't. it's chock full of material I'd never heard before.

August 28th 2018


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