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Let's Go Crazy: Prince and the Making of Purple Rain Hardcover – December 9, 2014


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Atria Books (December 9, 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1476776725
  • ISBN-13: 978-1476776729
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 1.1 x 8.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (39 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #80,763 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"Everything you ever wanted to know about the making of the popular Prince movie—and much more.Beyond the minutiae of moviemaking and who was sleeping with whom, the book is particularly incisive in providing context, showing how video technology and black crossover artists were changing the marketplace. A few of the revelations are real howlers...But mainly, Light commemorates an anniversary that might otherwise have passed without much notice. A must-read for the Prince die-hards who have remained devoted through the musical meanderings of the last three decades." (Kirkus Reviews)

"Drawing on interviews with musicians and filmmakers involved in the making of the title song, the album, and the movie, Light provides not only a portrait of a musician compelled to share his musical vision, no matter the cost, but also a cultural history of the times in which the film and music debuted." (Publishers Weekly)

"Alan Light gets inside Prince’s mind palace in Let’s Go Crazy—a history of the making of his historic, semi-autobiographical musical masterwork, Purple Rain." (Vanity Fair)

“In all, Light’s 300-page reassessment of Prince’smagnum opus is a revealing study in cinema and sound, not to mention afascinating look at the dynamic young performer behind the songs (and image).” (Cleveland Music Examiner)

“Light’s behind-the-scenes look at a rock classic offers an enticing glimpse into its charming yet enigmatic creator.” (Booklist)

Praise for The Holy or the Broken

"Thoughtful and illuminating... [Mr. Light] is a fine companion for this journey through one song’s changing fortunes." (The New York Times)

"A combination mystery tale, detective story, pop critique and sacred psalm of its own." (The Daily News)

"Brilliantly revelatory... A masterful work of critical journalism." (Kirkus Reviews (starred review))

"A deeply researched mixture of critical analysis and cultural archaeology." (Los Angeles Times)

"Keeps the pages turning... A well-constructed, consistently enlightening book, which should have Cohen devotees and music fans alike seeking out their favorite version of the song." (The Boston Globe)

"Fresh and compelling." (Entertainment Weekly)

"Reverentially details every stage in the [song's] evolution—and along the way, he reveals the compelling stories behind some of its most iconic interpretations." (The Atlantic)

"Absorbing…Eloquent... Light expertly unpacks the song's long, strange journey to ubiquity." (The Village Voice)

"A must for music fans." (Booklist (starred review))

About the Author

Alan Light has been one of America’s leading music journalists for the past twenty years. He was a writer at Rolling Stone, founding music editor and editor-in-chief of Vibe, and editor-in-chief of Spin magazine. He has been a contributor to The New Yorker, GQ, Entertainment Weekly, Elle, and Mother Jones. He is the author of The Skills to Pay the Bills, an oral history of the Beastie Boys; The Holy or the Broken: Leonard Cohen, Jeff Buckley, and the Unlikely Ascent of “Hallelujah”; and cowriter of the New York Times bestselling memoir by Gregg Allman, My Cross to Bear.

Customer Reviews

Very well-written and enjoyable.
SDC
Beautiful time for music, and an amazing time to showcase his highness, Prince.
Erik Moriel
Highly recommended for Prince fans everywhere!
Amazon Customer

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Duane Tudahl on December 11, 2014
Format: Hardcover
There are a lot of books out there about Prince: some good, most average and some not worth your time. This book is worth your time. Unlike many other books about Prince, this one actually did research the topic. Alan interviewed members of The Revolution as well as many others in Prince's inner circle (as well as Prince himself for other projects) and it shows. There are new perspectives and it is great to read what others remember about something that occurred 30 years ago, without getting too Roshamon on us. Purple Rain is one of the greatest albums in my lifetime and deserves to be examined properly. This book does that. Well worth your time if you are a fan of the music, the movie and of the era. I would rank this up there with Per Nilsen's DMSR, Alex Hahn's POSSESSED and UPTOWN Magazine's THE VAULT.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on December 27, 2014
Format: Hardcover
"Purple Rain" is practically synonymous with the man who is Prince and this book offers excellent insight into the inner workings of what would become one of the most popular and simply one of the best things to happen in the history of music. Unlike Toure's "I Would Die 4 U", which made for a relatively un-insightful disappointing amateur read, Alan Light's book takes you right into the heart of the 1984 phenomenon. For those who remember when Purple slowly built up momentum to reign over the 1980s, I imagine this book will create a wonderful sense of nostalgia, as well as allows you to be a fly on the wall to history in the making. For those of us born too late to witness the release of "Purple Rain", Alan Light effortlessly provides the vicarious experience of a lifetime with his imagery and storytelling, not to mention fantastic insights from those who were actually there--like Wendy, Lisa, and Dr. Fink to name a few.
With an entertainer like Prince, whose lack of Internet presence on sites like Youtube makes him increasingly inaccessible to the younger generation of 20-somethings and under, this book offers great insight to one of the world’s most popular and elusive musical geniuses. Until Prince is ready to tell his own story, this is the next best thing. Highly recommended for Prince fans everywhere!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By BAT71 on January 4, 2015
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Excellent book. Any die hard will appreciate. A lot of behind the scenes information not before known. Most interesting the description of the tension that existed between the band and Prince as he encouraged them to be part of his grand vision only to simultaneously distance himself as he became a superstar. Former manager Bob Cavallo provides some of the most interesting insights as does production coordinator Alan Leeds. These guys were able to assess the dynamics of what was going on with intelligence and detachment even while admitting that Prince ultimately, when it came to the vision of the movie, knew better than everyone. However, it's also interesting to see, as a lifelong Prince fan, that Prince clearly was never able (or willing) to again put that much focus into any other subsequent project. He was obviously frustrated with the among of time and energy it took to bring the entire plan to fruition, including the subsequent touring, which he cut short after 6 months, never taking the obvious step of taking the tour to Europe, which would have extended the whole Purple Rain period for another 6-12 months. Light does a great job of illustrating the awe and frustration of everyone in the camp at that time and it makes for a fast, engaging read. Highly recommended.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Ginger on January 9, 2015
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
With the exception of Per Nilsen's "Prince: the first decade (DMSR)" (http://www.amazon.com/Dance-Music-Sex-Romance-Prince/dp/0946719640), this is, without question, the most detailed and insightful Prince book I have ever read. With new interviews from literally EVERYONE involved in this period of his career except, of course, Prince, you truly come to realize what a gamble this movie was, how everything aligned to make it work, how it pushed Prince to the pinnacle of his musical creativity, and how Purple Rain's success ultimately changed his personality and his relationships with everyone who helped get him to this point (for the worse, sadly). Written by an author who experienced the phenomena of the Purple Rain movie, album, and tour while still a teenager (as I was when it came out), this is a page turner even if you only have a passing interest in Prince. An absolute MUST READ for any Prince fan.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Thomas Moody on December 30, 2014
Format: Hardcover
I don't know who it is that's more pitiable, the folks who continue to write these "Making of" and "insider" tomes about Prince or me, the continuously intrigued "follower" (I suppose that's what I'd consider myself now...I've covered the gamut since I bought 1977's "For You" on vinyl way back) who continues to read them. Listen, when we one day get a trusted music journalist with true inside access to Prince and who is then allowed to challenge and prod him for not only unquestioned truths about the zillion things we want to know about him but also the profound and evocative insights he may have into the many music shaping and cultural ground-breaking occurrences that he caused and who then gets to elucidate about it, unchallenged and unedited, in a many-paged volume, THEN we will know things like the true "Making of Purple Rain."

But now having ranted about that, and realizing that there is virtually no insight from the actual subject (I know but let's not split hairs here...this book is, yes, technically about the movie but it's really about Prince) of the book included, author Alan Light is to be commended for covering a wide swath of everything else in this sort of expanded Rolling Stones article/where are they now exposit about that marvelous 1984 movie. Including contemporary interviews of all of the Revolution band members, all of the top movie moguls involved with the production along with the multitudes of interspersed players involved (The Time, movie actors, even Apollonia Kotero, tour crew, girlfriends...), Light presents this motion picture phenomenon as if it were occurring again today. He lays out a complete timeline from when the band essentially ended touring from their smash "1999" album and takes readers throughout the abrupt end of the Purple Rain tour in late 1985.
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Let's Go Crazy: Prince and the Making of Purple Rain
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