Let's Go Crazy: Prince's 'Purple Rain' Turns 30
By Lisa White in Arts & Entertainment on Jun 25, 2014 3:00PM
Thirty years ago today Prince and The Revolution put on their paisley pantsuits, made some doves cry and put Minneapolis rock club First Avenue on the map with the release of what many consider to be one of the best rock albums of all time.
Purple Rain was Prince's sixth studio album but his first full recording with The Revolution, giving his music a more lush and full sound. It was also his first soundtrack, released just a little over a month before the iconic film of the same name. Clocking in at just under 45 minutes, the album includes fan favorites such as "Let's Go Crazy" (one of, in our opinion, the best opening tracks on an album), "Darling Nikki," "When Doves Cry" and the spotlight ballad, "Purple Rain." The album melded Prince's love of funk with rollicking guitar solos and pop flourishes, a perfect compliment to the dramatic over-the-top film that told the story of dueling musicians mixed in (of course) with a love story which ended up netting Prince an Oscar for Best Original Song Score. Of course in typical Prince fashion, he accepted the award in a sparkly purple cape flanked by The Revolution band members Wendy and Lisa:
Besides the Oscar nod, both the film and album were majorly successful with the movie bringing in over $68 million and the album itself going platinum 13 times over, pissing off Tipper Gore (Gore referenced the song "Darling Nikki" when she formed the PMRC, her group that lobbied to have warning labels placed on explicit albums) and landing the album on numerous "best of" lists not only for best albums of the 80s, but of all time. Even the Library of Congress added Purple Rain to their National Recording Registry in 2011, a list of recordings deemed "culturally, historically, or aesthetically important, and/or inform or reflect life in the United States."
So queue up your turntable, hang that sweet poster you got with the album in your cubicle and grind away to "Darling Nikki" during your lunch break when everyone else leaves the office. If you left your Prince collection at home, at least wave your hands in the air and sing along during the dramatic climax of the movie as Prince brings the house down with "Purple Rain."