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Prince's masterful 6th album...,
This review is from: Purple Rain (Audio CD)
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)