“Purple Rain”, Prince’s seminal album turns 40

“Purple Rain”, Prince’s seminal album turns 40
“Purple Rain”, Prince’s seminal album turns 40

“Purple Rain”the album released 40 years ago, found Prince cementing their funk and R&B roots while boldly moving into pop, rock and heavy metal with nine gorgeously crafted songs.

The title track, which gives the album its name, is a majestic ballad full of brilliant guitar flourishes. Although Prince’s songwriting was at its peak, the presence of The Revolution -band that accompanied him from 1979 to 1986- focuses the music more clearly, giving it a harder and more aggressive touch.

Even their best-known songs did not tread conventional territory: “When Doves Cry”without bass, is a haunting and spare neo-psychedelic masterpiece; “Let’s Go Crazy” It’s a furious mix of steel guitars, stone riffs and a hard funk rhythm.

Prince did not abandon funk, and the robotic improvisation of “Computer Blue” and the threatening noise of “Darling Nikki” They are among his best songs.


Purple Rain’s success in numbers

In 1985, Prince won two Grammy Awards in the categories of best rock performance by a duo or group with vocalist and best soundtrack album for a visual medium, he was also nominated for album of the year. A year later, he received a third Grammy in the category of best R&B song for his collaboration on “I Feel for You” with Chaka Khan.

Purple Rain sold 13 million copies in the United States, 1.5 million of them in its first week on the market, later receiving diamond certification from the RIAA. According to Billboard magazine, the album was at the top of the general chart for 24 consecutive weeks, from August 4, 1984 to January 18, 1985, a milestone not recorded by any other soundtrack.

The album sold around 22 million copies. Following the artist’s death on April 21, 2016, the album sold 62,000 copies in the week immediately following, returning it to the Billboard 200 chart count at second position.

The five singles from the album achieved international success. Prince entered the top ten of the Billboard Hot 100 list four times: “When Doves Cry” and “Let’s Go Crazy” They reached first place, “Purple Rain” the second and “I Would Die 4U” the eighth. The fifth and last single, “Take Me with U” It reached position 25, but reached the top 10 in the United Kingdom, which meant the success of all Purple Rain singles in the world.

TIME magazine named it the fifteenth -15th- best album in history in 1993 and VH1 placed it eighteenth -18th- in its list of “the best rock & roll albums in history.” Rolling Stone magazine named him the second best album of the eighties and placed it in the seventy-sixth – 76th – position on his list of the “best albums of all time.”

Taken together, all the stylistic experiments add up to a striking statement of purpose and make “Purple Rain,” four decades later, one of the most important rock & roll albums ever recorded.

Purple Rain, the movie

The film, which was released on July 27, 1984, was co-written and directed by Albert Magnoli. Loosely inspired by Prince’s life, the film grossed more than $70 million worldwide and won an Oscar for best original score.

The film sees Prince play the role of The Kid, a young musician struggling with his inner demons and relationship with his alcoholic father, which is reflected in his music. This autobiographical portrait of Prince was not only a success at the box office, but also established the musician as a global star from a very young age.

Source: Ambito

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