Prince: Purple Rain
One of the most demoralizing news stories I’ve heard lately is not about Haggard or Foley, Bush or Hussein. It’s about Prince and the fact that the de-symboled one has sold out and — shudder — gone Vegas on us. So let’s remember Prince’s prime … when he still had integrity and produced great albums.
For me, it’s Purple Rain. That first organ note of “Let’s Go Crazy,” and I’m back in the summer of 1984 — a steamy, sultry, sexy summer for me. We won’t go into those details, but trust me when I say it was one helluva summer.
I first became a Prince fan with “I Wanna Be Your Lover,” way back in 1979. Judged purely on the songs, Purple Rain isn’t my favorite. I prefer his first few albums for the funk, and “My Name Is Prince” may be my favorite from his oeuvre. But for passion and memories and just plain fun, I always come back to Purple Rain. And aren’t the memories associated with a song or album as important as the musicology of it?
The Prince sellout spreads. Morris Day is now doing television commercials for a local Toyota dealer. Seems it’s time to buy or something.
Some of Purple Rain sounds dated, I guess, but it also rocks the rafters, thanks to Wendy and Lisa. Maybe he needs to call them again.
“Let’s Go Crazy” kicks off the album — maybe a bit too theatrically, but I’ve always loved its energy.
“I Would Die 4 U,” along with “Take Me with U,” is the pop highlight. Yeah, I know I should say "When Doves Cry" ... but it just got played to death ... although Renae does a fabulous job reenacting the video.
Forget all the Tipper Gore brouhaha over “Darling Nikki.” And forget about the magazine-related activities. It’s a damn fun, balls-to-the-walls rock tune. And that backward stuff at the end is still neat. C’mon; can your hips stay still when Prince sings about Nikki starting to grind? Mine can’t.
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Go home. Pull out your Purple Rain and relive the eighties.
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