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Music from the Motion Picture "Purple Rain" Soundtrack

4.8 out of 5 stars 1,147 customer reviews

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Audio CD, Soundtrack, October 25, 1990
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Product Description

Gospel, rock, funk...it's all here on this soundtrack to the film loosely based on Prince's life. He grabbed an Academy Award and two Grammies for these gems and you'll know 'em all: Let's Go Crazy; When Doves Cry; I Would Die 4 U; plus the title track and more!

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Maybe this music by Prince & the Revolution will never quite sound as, well, revolutionary as it did in 1984 (and nothing else has ever sounded like the extraordinary cooing and fluttering of "When Doves Cry"), but it's a pop landmark in Prince's Artist-ic career. The hit movie was really just a big-screen showcase for Prince to perform these songs (some of them in tear-the-roof-off "live" versions set in a Minneapolis club). I don't know why that warped sermonette introduces "Let's Go Crazy" (one thing you've got to love about Prince: he's always been weird), but somehow I'm glad it's there. Other highlights include the sexual scorcher "Darling Nikki" (with its crazy backwards coda) and that anthemic title tune. Don't you miss Wendy and Lisa, too? --Jim Emerson
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (October 25, 1990)
  • Original Release Date: July 27, 1984
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Soundtrack
  • Label: Warner Bros.
  • Run Time: 111 minutes
  • ASIN: B000002L68
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1,147 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #62 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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By Daniel J. Hamlow HALL OF FAME on January 26, 2003
Format: Audio CD
If 1999 was a warmup for Prince's stardom, it hit him like a bolt of purple lightning from the heavens, followed by an earthshattering thunderclap, for Purple Rain was Prince's supreme moment. And Prince introduced a sound that incorporated a snarling guitar that owed a nod to Jimi Hendrix.
The organ and Prince's monolgue heralds "Let's Go Crazy", then comes the drum machine and that snarling guitar. The song goes into full drive here and like "1999", is a song that brings life to any party. The fiery guitar solo at the end is well worth the song. There's a stab against psychiatrists who prescribe pills to their patients instead of real solutions. "Instead of asking him how much of your time is left, ask him how much of your mind."
The lush string-oriented "Take Me With U" is a mid-paced duet between Prince and his Purple Rain co-star Apollonia. Her vocals are really prominent when the two sing "I don't care if we spend the night at your mansion" and the other four verses of the bridge, as well when they repeat the title line toward the end of the song. Unless one has a copy of Apollonia 6 and her solo album, this is the closest one'll have of hearing her.
"The Beautiful Ones" about how the most beautiful women aren't necessarily the happiest, starts out as a slow ballad in Prince's falsetto, before he raises the power adrenaline several notches when screaming out "Do you want him, or do you want me, 'cause I want you." Matt Fink's piano- and later organ-sounding synthesizers provide a lush backing to this wonder. It comes to a quiet close, with only Fink's and Bobby Z's drums. Mariah Carey covers this on her Butterfly album to no avail.
"Computer Blue" starts out with a suggestive conversation between Wendy and Lisa. "Wendy?" "Yes Lisa?" "Is the water warm enough?
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Format: Audio CD
I was in seventh grade the year Purple Rain came out. It was a time of making out with girls, riding my bike around the neighborhood after dark, hanging out with my best friends in our clubhouse, and just generally trying to gain more freedom from my parents. But the one thing that really stands out about this formative year is how much my friends and I utterly loved Purple Rain and its accompanying soundtrack. Stretching an extension chord from the garage to our clubhouse, my friends and I would watch the movie and listen to the soundtrack just about every Friday night for that summer. While probably somewhat of a bizarre thing to admit now, it was truly a great time which I'll never forget.

As it stands today, the Purple Rain Soundtrack is still one of the best albums I've ever heard. The nostalgic qualities it possesses after just a few notes into "Let's Go Crazy" are very powerful to me and remind me of those days camping out in the backyard on weekends. And I could even care less if Prince ever made another album after Purple Rain. It's the one! Sign of the Times was a fair effort, granted, and his first couple albums have charming appeal, but everything after Sign of the Times just missed the boat or ventured too far into insipid R&B territory.

So what exactly is it that makes Purple Rain so much more enjoyable than the rest of his catalog? What makes it the indisputable stand-out? For me, I think it has a lot to do with the Revolution's sound. They had a huge influence on the aesthetic of Prince's early albums, particularly from the input of Wendy Melvoin and Lisa Coleman (a/k/a Wendy & Lisa). Furthermore the production and instruments used by this group of musicians were less polished than what you'd hear from Prince today.
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Format: Vinyl
This album is one of those that is so iconic, it's hard to imagine the music world without it. I am a huge Prince fan, and while this wasn't my first Prince album (that would be 1999), and while it's not my all-time favorite Prince album (that would be Sign 'O' the Times), this was the first Prince album that I wore out multiple copies of from repeated listening.

Album Review:

Beginning with the first track, "Let's Go Crazy," when that woozy, pulsing keyboard comes in and the robotic preacher intones, "Dearly beloved, we are gathered here today to get through this thing called life..." you know you're in for something special. You probably already know this song, but if, for some reason, you don't, it is an propulsive funk/rock/new wave hybrid that dares you not to move. It also boasts one of the all-time greatest guitar solos ever captured on tape. At this point, if you aren't impressed, you never will be. In fact, if you've never heard Prince before, and you're thinking of downloading one single song in order to figure out whether or not you might like him, this is the one.

From there, you move through the sexy, sleek and slinky "Take Me With You," the slow, sultry and seductive "The Beautiful Ones," the bizarre head-trip and genre-defying "Computer Blue," and the nasty funk of the X-rated "Darling Nikki." Then, it's on to side two.

Another ubiquitous song starts this side: "When Doves Cry." A song that somehow manages to still sound ahead of its time some 25+ years later, this song rides a robotic, hypnotic groove that burrows into your head and can get stuck there for days at a time, all without the help of a bass-guitar (Prince removed it from the song at the last minute, giving it its stark, skeletal feel).
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