"Purple Rain" may be Prince's most famous song ever. It is the final track on the soundtrack album to the motion picture Purple Rain. Recorded with his then band, The Revolution, "Purple Rain" became the album's third global single.
The song was recorded live in August of 1983 at a popular nightclub in Minneapolis, MN called First Avenue. Also recorded there were "Baby I'm a Star," "I Would Die 4 U," and "Electric Intercourse." The song was later edited to remove a solo and a verse at a Hollywood studio later that year.
It was unlike anything I'd ever heard on the radio in 1984. Prince's voice vibrated through my speakers calling me to to let him guide me to the purple rain. It is a sad, borderline-spiritual song that calls out to anyone with a heart. "Purple Rain" is an apologetic love song where he is saying "I'm sorry, baby," without actually saying sorry. It is a masterpiece.
23 years later, Prince played this epic song at the Super Bowl XLI. Like the professional that he is, he played through a wind storm while getting soaked by rain. When he closed out with "Purple Rain," the crowd went crazy. The guitar solo was otherworldly. I can't imagine that he left without gaining new fans as well as pumping life into the veins of his old fans. It was fantastic to watch and that type of energy and love for music is and will continue to be sorely, sorely missed.
Check out the performance at the 5 minute mark.
Not one song from any other artist has ever hit me like this song has. Not. One.
It is said that Prince created approximately 100 songs for the film. Imagine sifting through 100 or so songs and still coming out with a wonderful set like the Purple Rain soundtrack? That's crazy! The songs are a personal journey through the mind of The Kid, but also based loosely on Prince's own life. It was so personal, so intimate that it made you feel like you just took at look into his diary.
The music blends so well with the film that it views as one helluva concert that only ends when he tosses in the purple towel. It's hard not to tie in the movie with the title track because the song definitely definitely makes the movie and the movie would not make sense without the song.
33-years later and the single, the movie, and the album is still going on strong. In fact, in March of 2017, the song held up at a strong #5 on the iTunes "All-Time Essential Albums" chart. Now that's an accomplishment to be remembered.