on 20 May 2010
Purple Rain [Explicit]
I was shocked to find when listening to this that the MP3 download contains the heavily edited 'radio' version of the track "Purple Rain".
The album is a triumph, and it was fantastic to hear it again after so many years, but I feel somewhat cheated having wasted the monety to download it when I am going to have to buy it again on CD to get the full version of the album.
Very disappointed :-(
This is where I came in. I still remember when I first heard "When Doves Cry" - a Thursday night, lying on my parents' lounge floor, watching "Top Of The Pops". A short snippet of the song was played in the "top 40 breakers" (new entries to the chart) section and I was transfixed: it sounded like nothing I'd ever heard before. Two days later I bought the album on cassette, and if I close my eyes I can still see myself lying on the same floor, listening to it on my Walkman, my life in music changed forever. That was it - I was a Prince fan, some may say a fanatic.
As a Prince album it could be argued that "Purple Rain" is a failure, simply because it isn't that varied, every track a rock song, with very little of the variety which has become his trademark. Some fans actively hate the album for this reason, describing it as "one note" simply because all of the songs are in the same broad style, but in my opinion when the songs are this good, does it really matter?
By now, most of the tracks will be familiar, with the exception of a few on the first half. The album starts with the electrifying "Let's Go Crazy", its distinctive sermon-like opening still sending shivers down my spine twenty-five years after I first heard it. The album then shifts into rock-ballad territory with the hugely enjoyable duet, "Take Me With U", but then things take a darker turn with "The Beautiful Ones", "Computer Blue" and "Darling Nikki" - three superb songs, and probably the three least-known tracks on the album outside of the fan community. Of these, "Darling Nikki" is the dark and sleazy tale of a night with a prostitute, its X-certificate lyrics the reason why this album was one of the first to feature a "Parental Advisory - Explicit Lyrics" sticker.
The second half is a triumph. Opening with "When Doves Cry" it doesn't put a high-heeled pixie boot wrong. "I Would Die 4 U" and "Baby I'm A Star" merge together into one huge adrenalin rush, the full-length version of "Purple Rain" their finale. By the time the album ends you'll be exhausted, but desperate to hear it again.
A classic - pure and simple. Every home should have one.
on 21 November 2003
In 1984 Prince released what would come to be his biggest selling album: 'Purple Rain'. The soundtrack to his highly successful film of the same name; the album catapulted him to superstardom.
'Purple Rain' isn't just a movie soundtrack though, but a collection of some of the most electrifyingly impressive songs you will ever hear from this decade , or any other for that matter.
Crammed with highly distinctive melodies and sharp hooks; 'Purple Rain' remains one of Prince's most accessible albums, yet it still manages to surprise the listener on multiple playing, and it's the more unorthodox and intriguing songs, such as 'Computer Blue', that impress the most.
Every track on the album is brilliantly crafted, with many of the songs building from gentle openings to fiery climaxes, tracks such as 'When Doves Cry' and 'The Beautiful Ones' have an incredible amount of emotion poured into them and reach heights rarely reached in other Prince songs.
Picking a greatest track is impossible, EVERY song stands out.
The 4 singles taken from the album ('When Doves Cry', 'Lets Go Crazy', 'I Would Die 4 U', and the title track) still impress, but the real masterstroke of the album is with the threesome of 'The Beautiful Ones - Computer Blue - Darling Nikki'.
These three tracks complete what is possibly the greatest sequence of songs on any Prince album ever.
'The Beautiful Ones' is a phenomenal ballad with an outstanding vocal delivery from Prince. The song builds from a wonderfully gentle opening to a conclusion of keyboard bursts and screaming vocals. The song has been a fan favourite since its release and it remains Prince's greatest ballad ever, which is quite a feat considering the quality of his slow jams.
'Computer Blue' has to be the most un-noticed song on the whole album when it comes to critics, which is such a shame because, other than 'The Beautiful Ones', it is probably the strongest song on 'Purple Rain' and deserves much more attention then it gets.
The suite-like 'Computer Blue' is a magnificently structured funk-rock song, containing amongst other things, some fantastic guitar work from Prince.
Introduced by a monologue between Wendy & Lisa the track begins with a clean, crisp drum loop (the drum programming, as with most Prince records, is excellent throughout) and descends it to a frantic clash of synth-bursts and screaming guitar riffs as the song progresses. It's the most fascinating track on the album and completely blew me away when I first heard it. The version found on 'Purple Rain' though is in fact an edit of the full length 11 minute version...the song was cut down to make room for 'Take Me With U' and 'When Doves Cry' at the last minute. As impressive as the album cut is, the extended version is quite magnificent and stands as one of Prince's greatest tracks from the 80's.
'Computer Blue' segues almost seamlessly into 'Darling Nikki'; the only song on the album that caused some controversy upon its release due to its masturbation reference.
The track is wonderfully raunchy featuring some (as usual) excellent synth & guitar work, and is easily the funkiest song on the album.
The rest of the tracks on 'Purple Rain' including the anthemic title tune, the frenzied 'Let's go Crazy', and the pop-perfect 'Take Me With U' impress just as much as the previously mentioned songs and shouldn't be overlooked.
One thing that is always notable about 'Purple Rain' is how raw, yet fresh the music sounds. Prince never bettered the guitar work on this album and only his 95' album 'The Gold Experience', comes close to showing why Prince is as rated on guitar as he is.
Prince's 1984 album isn't his best ('1999' or 'Sign O' The Times would get the credit for that) but no other album quite sounds like it and it's essential buying...I mean it's what made me a Prince fan. ;o)
on 20 January 2006
Can I give this 10 stars?
You know that famous question people always enjoy asking? "If you were stuck on a desert island and could only have one music album with you, what would it be?" Well, 1984's "Purple Rain" LP is my desert island album! I can no longer listen to many of my past favourite albums anymore because I have listened to them so much I'm actually too familiar and a little bit tired of them. This never seems to happen with the "Purple Rain" LP. No matter how many times I've listened to it, it never loses its effect on me. It is the kind of album you have to listen to all the way through and in its proper order (not on random/shuffle mode).
"Let's Go Crazy" is an all-time classic, "Beautiful Ones" is Prince showing all kinds of musical styles and singing in one magnificent track, "Computer Blue" is an amazing guitar adventure, "Darling Nikki" is downright dirty, "I Would Die 4 U" has great lyrics and an unforgettable tune, "Baby I'm A Star" is Minneapolis funk at its strongest and is a great song to hear before going on a night out. "Purple Rain" closes the album in gobsmacking fashion, Prince's guitar playing skills on this track are fabulous and it is epic stadium rock at its finest. There is something about this album that works so well, so cohesive - you can't get that effect from hearing "Let's Go Crazy" or "When Doves Cry" on some off-the-shelf Prince greatest hits album. Prince's performance of these songs in the Purple Rain movie make it all the more memorable, I highly recommend seeing that as well.
In short, this album is as close to a perfect cohesive rounded album that is tight enough it doesn't outstay its welcome, and leaves you wanting to hear the whole thing again as soon as it comes to an end. There is no filler. No b-side tracks. Every track is an absolute gem, and totally unique.
This is one pop-rock album that everyone needs to own. If I'm ever stuck on a desert island, I hope this CD is with me (and a stereo to listen to it on of course).
on 13 October 2011
This album covers a range of themes, some romantic/sexual and some more general, such as going crazy/nuts, but Prince puts his characteristic energy and passion into every song. His voice soars on songs like The Beautiful Ones, or you might say he screams like a lunatic. Either way, singing like that is beyond most mortal men. His songs are delicately crafted, even when they're also very in-your-face, with many creative bridges and interludes which you wouldn't necessarily expect. This guy doesn't write songs by the book - he writes his own book! If you like songs which are sexy and full of passion as well as lots of fun, this is an album you absolutely don't want to miss. Whether you're looking for a song to have a good time to, or a song to capture the depths of your romantic angst, this album has it all!
on 7 January 2008
This is a classic and includes alot of singles. Before he turned to poppy aswell and had an awesome look. I would have liked to see a few more tracks on there though but oh well. The track Purple Rain is probably one of the best from the 80's, really unique but then again he is. It is also his highest selling album selling nearly 20 million units sold but he's sold over 100 million so don't think his other ones are bad and unsuccesful too. Other highlights for me were "Lets Go Crazy" (a great opening to) I may grow on you, "When Doves Cry" which is beautiful, "I Would Die 4 U", "Baby I'm A Star" is pretty good to and then obviously the perfect ending to a great album. The instrumental is at a very high standard and I love Prince's guitar and hopefully will get to see him live someday. He is a great preformer.
Although I'm sure Prince is not everyones taste this album will give you a good taster of the musical icon, then a phycodelic pop/rock, great guitar player, genious song writer lyrics-wise and a bit of a nutter before he had a downfall and changed is name to a symbol. Anyway he's back now. If your looking for more poppy stuff than the samples if there are any, then look at his later stuff. By the way I would like to add he seems like a cross between Micheal Jackson and Pink Floyd. I like many big artists in different groups like Micheal Jackson to Marilyn Manson to Eminem (3 favourites in different groups) and I can say we have another king. I hope we see some more material like this in the future from you Prince.
on 5 June 2014
Do you remember how good this sounded back in 1984? That's how good it sounds now.
Prince was a frustrated creative genius, looking for an outlet. In 84 he got into a flow state, and pumped out this whole album of winners. And made a movie around them. He never did anything comparable again.
There's so much here to enjoy. From the unhinged sermon at the start of Let's Go Crazy, to the red-hot guitar solo at its end. The simple, youthful freshness of Take Me With You. The smouldering, gritty heat of When Doves Cry, with its arresting opening soundscape. The pained, neurotic falsetto of The Beautiful Ones. We could go on and on...
In an era when everyone else was making synth pop, Prince was doing something much, much earthier, more creative and original. There is real diversity of styles here, and yet the album is a convincing unity. The title track is an extremely ambitious ballad - whether on not you think it a success. Personally I do.
It's hard to compare Prince here to other artists, he's so individual. I reckon his main influences are his own earlier work!
I like to listen to this album right through. By the end, I feel completely satisfied.
on 30 November 1999
A Forgotten Favorite!!! It's been forgotten, this 1984 classic album has almost been erased from the minds of those in the mainstream - maybe because the artist has undergone a name change. But, no matter what the reason, the time has come to reacquaint yourself with the Purple Prince himself. This album is all of your old favourites and will send you right down memory lane. "Purple Rain" contains his top hits from the eighties such as: "Let's Go Crazy", "When Doves Cry", "I Would Die 4 U", "Baby I'm A Star" and the ever popular, title track, "Purple Rain". It is a must have for any music collection and will be enjoyed from now through years to come.
on 14 January 2006
Still probably best known for its relationship with the film of the same name (which I haven't actually seen), Purple Rain continues the pop-direction that Prince had been moving towards with 1999, with songs like Little Red Corvette and Lady Cab Driver being taken to their logical conclusion with songs like Let's Go Crazy, the first track on the album, and that perennial favourite, When Doves Cry. I love the way the album begins, with that slightly gospel sounding synth-organ and Prince preaching the opening lines "dearly beloved, we are gathered here today to get through this thing called life... electric word life means forever and that's a mighty long time, but I'm here to tell you, there's something else... the after world" before the whole thing takes off in a shimmering burst of production-heavy pop.
Certainly, the production is a little dated in many places, particularly on a song like Take Me With You, with Prince and his band relying heavily on dreamy keyboards, synthesisers, drum machines and a dominant bass, with interweaving female harmony vocals (in the case of Take Me With You, curtsey of Purple Rain co-star and Prince-protégé Apollonia, but also iconic turns from Wendy and Lisa, most notably in the intro to Computer Blue) and the odd stab at the guitar breaking through the 80's slush. As a result, it may sound a little anachronistic to listeners weaned on more recent acts, though certainly, from a rock and pop perspective, if you can overlook similarly dated arrangements of certain albums from Madonna, The Cure, Kate Bush or any early electro-act, then you can probably over-look the production/instrumentation here.
Prince elevates at least three of the songs to a more epic, cinematic sphere by adding string arrangements, sometime organic, sometimes synthetic, but always adding a further layer to the songs and the overall mood of the piece. The Beautiful Ones is a great ballad that has a much more organic sound that the previous tracks, and features a fine falsetto vocal from Prince and some great instrumentation, whilst Darling Nikki, at the time the album's most controversial moment, is a great grinding, seedy, sexed up vignette that finds a libidinous Prince playing every instrument himself and, in the process, creating a remarkable album high that manages to sound humours and edgy simultaneously. This brings us to When Doves Cry, one of the three or four solid classics on the album and easily one of the purple one's defining moments.
When Doves Cry seems like a more personal song for Prince, or perhaps he's just expressing the themes and ideas of the tie-in film (I don't know... I'm not that familiar with the man's biography), but regardless, his vocals are fantastic, his range of instrumentation (once again, a track that Prince played every instrument on) is peerless, as he creates a contrasting drum/keyboard hook to complement the lyrics, and adds some outstanding heavy-metal style guitar playing. Certainly, this could be considered one of the greatest American pop singles of the 1980's (...or, of all time) and really, hasn't dated in the slightest. Baby I'm A Star is a nice bit of fluff, nothing remarkable, though it does act as a nice coda to that other great single, I Would Die 4 U (I fell in love with a cover version of this from a few years back... and then discovered Prince's original), an up-tempo pop song with lyrics that seem culled from the most heartbreaking of ballads.
Speaking of which, we then have the closing track... eight and a half minutes of searing emotion, fantastic playing and a great overall performance from Prince and the Revolution. Along with Let's Go Crazy, Darling Nikki, When Doves Cry and I Would Die 4 U, Purple Rain is another fine reason to buy this album. The vocals are impassioned, the instrumentation minimal and in keeping with the emotion at the heart of the song, and, if that wasn't enough, the storming (and decidedly epic) guitar solo during the last few minutes is perfectly judged and shows that Prince's musical influences go beyond pop, funk and old style R&B, to embrace rock bands like Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd and (if we recall the other guitar solo on When Doves Cry) early Van Halen.
As I said before, I tend to prefer more stripped down and personal music, in which we can hear the songwriter really expressing something personal... a style that Prince doesn't necessarily favour. Regardless, if you can overlook the occasionally 80's style production and look beyond the bombastic arrangements, you'll find a great, up-tempo pop album, with some absolutely astounding (and really quite beautifully created) pieces of music.
on 20 August 2011
Another classic Prince album the forth in a row coming after Dirty Mind, Controversy & 1999. This run continued with Around The World In A Day,Parade and he hit his creative peak with Sign Of The Times.
This album was his commercial peak(24 weeks at No 1 on U.S charts)and every track is a killer. The B sides for the singles are every bit as good, 17 Days, Erotic City and Another Lonely Christmas and if this album was remastered they would be a great addition along with the unreleased Electric Intercourse.
Many of these tracks have been edited down to make room for new material that was added later,(when Doves Cry was last track recorded)which means Computer Blue is significantly cut.It's still wonderful but the long version is unbelievable.
When Doves Cry is Prince at his stipped down best,still nothing else sounds like it.
It topped the U.S singles charts for 6 weeks. Let's Go Crazy reached No1 and Purple rain made it to No2.