Prince had a meteoric rise as a solo career artist and performer. This is the soundtrack to the film of the same name (i.e. Purple Rain) and was a huge success at the time, reaching #1 on the charts in the USA and selling many millions of copies. This also kickstarted the Parental Advisory: Explicit Content stickers on the front of albums by Tipper Gore, who said that some of the lyric work here was unsavoury. Still, a great album considered by many, so let’s hear it.
We begin with Let’s Go Crazy which has an eerie keyboard intro and a Prince prayer of sorts. It’s interesting to hear, all right. It quickly goes into a cyber melodic piece that sounds very 1980s. It is catchy, original and top quality. A strange piece of music to listen back to today, it is nonetheless quite good. A song about the concepts of life and death, this is excellent. Interesting listening, this is superb. The guitar playing here is wonderful and top, and this whole thing sounds really wonderfully different. Good song to begin this album with. The screaming guitars here are really amazing, and very different. Top song, the outro is insane.
Next is Take Me With U which begins with keyboards and cut up drumrolls. This song is rather more mellow, particularly in the intro. Sounding somewhat Michael Jackson esque, Prince does a majestic ballad well done here. It sounds like post-Disco Disco music, and suits the music of the 1980s very well here. An excellent piece of melodramatic music, this is definitely different to everything else out there. Beautiful and majestic, this is great music by Prince. Excellent song. A grand sonic piece, sounds amazing, even today.
The Beautiful Ones begins with some cyber beats and infectious melodies. Shortly into it, Prince sings an awesome falsetto and we get underway in this song. It is a strange and rather tripped out piece that is best described as sleazy Funk music. The instrumentation here is awesome and lovely, and this piece of majestic beauty is a lovely one. The guitar parts, drumbeats and melodies, along with the vocals, are perfectly placed here. A brilliant epic journey in the realm of music, this sounds beautiful and incredible. A great song with some urgent sounding wailing throughout the second half, this is really amazing. The screaming towards the end is very James Brown. Nice effort, a killer song.
Computer Blue is next, and has a weird and interesting introduction to it. Shortly into it, it kickstarts into an excellent groovetastic piece that sounds very P-Funk. A great piece of music that is very 1980s, but very futuristic all the same. Ironically, 1984 was also the title of George Orwell’s seminal novel of future dystopia, the year this album was released in. Regardless, the computers here make this piece uplifting and interesting. The cut up guitar parts are really top here. It’s not a raw, one take Punk style recording, it is carefully crafted and well done. Excellent song, the guitar towards the end is pretty cool. Some Yoko Ono style screaming ends this one (mind you, arguably a lot better than what she could do), before going into the next song.
Up next is Darling Nikki which is a very explicit and sleazy tune. It begins with awesome beats and melodies, before revealing a very dirty story indeed. It’s rather humourous really, but is really awesome. Very out there, especially at the time, the song and the singing here are really top. Interesting listening, and musically top, this is different. The screaming by Prince throughout is somewhat Syd Barrett era Pink Floyd style. There is a brilliant combination of sonic pastiche and melodies in the second half, before going into a strange piece of musical singing that sounds ghostly. An interesting listen, all right.
Following is When Doves Cry which has a great guitar based intro, before going into another sexy, sleazy beat style piece. It really does sound awesome here, and the instrumentation is clever and precise. A strange piece of music about relationship issues, it sounds like it could have been made today and would have been just as wonderful and successful now, too. Very catchy and interesting, and is a cool song to hear. Prince deserves a lot of credit for this wonderful music, and the dark and sexual imagery here is captivating. Sensational listening, this is really timeless. The yelping style screaming towards the end is brilliant, and some strange Oedipus Rex sort of sexual imagery is on this song. Weird and wacky, but good listening all the same. Brilliant song.
I Would Die 4 U is a shorter song, but very sweet. It has some picture perfect singing and lovely melodies that sound really good. A wonderful and amazing listening experience, this has a very 1980s feel to it, but is really good to hear. Great song to hear, even today. The instrumentation here is really top. It must have taken many hours to perfect. Solid gold regardless. Nice song, the outro is cool.
Baby I’m A Star is next, and has some funky bass to begin with, before launching into a really excellent piece of spacey sounding 1980s music. It is a good song, but seemingly a little weaker than the others here. But hey, that is okay as the album is pretty amazing throughout. It sounds pretty quirky and good listening, and is really fun to hear anyway. Prince puts in a passionate performance throughout, sounding like a soul singer that is wonderfully expert at what he does. Quirky 1980s music, still this is incredible. Some incredible melodies are here in the second half, and this is a great piece of music. Apparently a live performance added to this album as well.
The title track Purple Rain begins with some clanging guitar chords and enters slowly into this album. Prince delivers his defining moment here, and he delivers this song beautifully and melodramatically. Some violins enter here, and this amazing performance is here. Prince sings with his heart on his sleeve, and the song is lovely. A fine listen, and something nice to hear when the mood strikes. It is very reminiscent of a guy who has done his musical homework and listened to many musical greats. This song definitely confirms that. Very much a piece of melodic music that kicks ass, this is really wonderful listening. The guitar solo here sounds insanely good in the middle, showcasing a true talent. Prince does super well here. The whole song is very majestic, and inimitable. A sort of U2 style sung melody is in the second half here. A great song, without question. Towards the end are some fantastic guitar lines, whilst a keyboard melody plays. Fantastic sounds flow in and out of consciousness at the end here, namely string melodies for the most part. A great song to hear, with a crowd cheering and clapping in the background to finish. Nice.
Prince cemented his long term reputation with this album. Deservedly so, this is his finest moment. Oozing attitude, style and sexuality, he never looked back. He did have other great moments on other recordings, but this is his finest. Fans may want to check out later re-releases with added goodies for those who wish to hear it.