Purple Rain is the sixth album by American pop/rock musician Prince. The album was the first to have him co-billed with his backing band the Revolution (which would persist until the band's dissolution in 1986) and was the soundtrack to his 1984 film debut. Widely considered Prince's Ziggy Stardust, it stayed on the Billboard Top 200 for 122 weeks, won the Grammy Awards for "Best Rock Vocal Performance by a Duo or Group" and "Best Score Soundtrack for Visual Media," the Academy Award for "Best Song Score," and in 2012 was inducted into the Library of Congress' National Recording Registry in 2012. It is the third biggest-selling soundtrack of all time and is regarded by the broad majority of fans, critics, and music analysts as Prince's masterpiece. It was ranked #76 on the Rolling Stone: 500 Greatest Albums of All Time, behind Star Time, a box set by one of Prince's heroes, James Brown.
The album produced five singles: "When Doves Cry", "Let's Go Crazy", "Purple Rain", "I Would Die 4 U", and "Take Me with U". While not released as a single, the track "Darling Nikki" did gain just as much notoriety thanks to it being a favorite of Kareana Gore Schiff, daughter of senator and later vice president Al Gore's daughter. Al's wife, Tipper, caught a then eleven-year-old Kareana singing along to "Darling Nikki", and, horrified that her child was singing along to such a blatantly sexual song, co-founded the Parent's Music Resource Center in 1985 with the aim of imposing an MPAA-like rating system on music releases. While the plan didn't work out due to accusations of censorship from the music industry, which came to a head in a court hearing in August that featured counterargument testimonies from the likes of Frank Zappa, Dee Snyder, and John Denver, the PMRC did succeed in forcing the music industry to start applying warning stickers to the packaging of albums with explicit lyrics.
So, to put a long story short, this album indirectly caused the creation of the Parental Advisory sticker. Ironically, to this day Purple Rain has never received one.
As usual, you can find the basics at Wikipedia.
- "Let's Go Crazy" (4:39)
- "Take Me With U" (3:54)
- "The Beautiful Ones" (5:13)
- "Computer Blue" (3:59)
- "Darling Nikki" (4:14)
- "When Doves Cry" (5:54)
- "I Would Die 4 U" (2:49)
- "Baby I'm A Star" (4:24)
- "Purple Rain" (8:41)
"I only wanted to see you troping in the purple rain":
- All Women Are Lustful: "Darling Nikki""I knew a girl named Nikki I guess you could say she was a sex fiend"
- Break-Up Song: "When Doves Cry"
- Color Motif: Purple, of course. It's right there in the title.
"Let's reach for the purple banana until they throw us in the truck."
- From "Let's Go Crazy":
- Cool Bike: It's right there on the cover.
- A Date with Rosie Palms: "Darling Nikki", to the point where it caused a government hearing."I met her in a hotel lobby masturbating with a magazine"
- A God Am I: "I Would Die 4 U""I'm your Messiah and you're the reason why"
- Gray Rain of Depression: "Purple Rain"
- The Grim Reaper: Mentioned in "Let's Go Crazy""Better live now before the Grim Reaper comes knocking on your door"
- "I Am" Song: "Baby I'm A Star"
- In the Style of...: Prince and Bob Seger's tours tended to be intersecting at the time. Prince didn't understand his appeal but tried to write a song in what he thought was Seger's style, resulting in "Purple Rain."
- Let's Duet: "Take Me With U", with Appollonia.
- Longest Song Goes Last: The album closes off with the 8:41 Title Track.
- One-Woman Song: "Darling Nikki"
- Power Ballad: "Purple Rain," "The Beautiful Ones."
- Purple Is Powerful: It's in the title, it's a Prince record, it comes with the territory.
- Rhymes on a Dime: "Let's Go Crazy""Pills and thrills and daffodils will kill"
- Rock Star Song: "Baby I'm A Star"
- The Shrink: Type 2 in "Let's Go Crazy""So when you call up that shrink in Beverly Hills
You know the one, Dr. Everything'll-Be-Alright"
- Siamese Twin Songs: "I Would Die 4 U" —> "Baby I'm A Star"
- Silly Love Songs: "Take Me With U," "Purple Rain," "The Beautiful Ones"
- Title Track: "Purple Rain"
- Xtreme Kool Letterz: "Take Me With U"
- Letters 2 Numbers: "I Would Die 4 U"