My attempt to blog all of the entries from the book 1001 Albums to Hear Before You Die
It was time for a break from the ’60s acid rock, so my random pick was Purple Rain. It’s fitting as it was released 30 years ago on June 25, 1984
Brief Background: Purple Rain was recorded in a period from the summer of 1983 through March of 1984. Three of the songs were recorded live at First Avenue in 1983 (“I Would Die 4 U”, “Baby I’m a Star” and “Purple Rain”), with overdubs and edits taking place in a studio. It has sold 20 million copies world wide.
What I think: This album has everything on it.. rock, pop, R&B, it’s experimental,there is a mix of live and studio recordings, backwards music and lyrics. It’s all shaken up and it works wonderfully. It’s solid, one of the best of all time, in my opinion “Computer Blue” is the only weak link. There are four huge singles here in “Let’s Go Crazy”, “When Doves Cry” (with one of my favorite lyrics ever “You’ve got the butterflies all tie up” which runs through my head more than it probably should), “I Would Die For You” and “Purple Rain”. The running order of the second half of the album is crazy and probably the greatest string of songs imaginable with “Doves” to “Die 4 U” into “Baby I’m a Star” and ending with the almost nine minute “Purple Rain”. It is simply an amazing run. Then you have the raunchy “Darling Nikki” that got Tipper Gore’s panties in enough of a bundle to get the PMRC going. A young me even reversed the backwards vocals at the end to find an assurance of the 2nd coming of Christ.
My favorite song here is “Take Me With You”, which is the perfect pop song, that gives me chills every time I hear it. The only song I haven’t mentioned yet is “The Beautiful Ones”, which is no slouch either, it’s just that up against the rest it sort of blends in.
In the end, let us give Prince credit he always kept moving forward never trying to reproduce this album even if it meant he was never again able to replicate his dominance of pop culture as much as he did in 1984.
Do I agree or disagree with the writers as to this being an album you must listen to? One of the best of all time… certainly top ten.
Rating (Out of 5):5
Amazon Review (Out of 5):4.5
Is this my first time hearing this album? No (20/90)
Percentage of Albums that are new to me: 78%