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Sunday, June 25, 2017

Currently Booming: 'Purple Rain' Was Released 33 Years Ago Today


 "I never meant to cause you any sorrow
I never meant to cause you any pain
I only wanted one time to see you laughing
I only want to see you laughing in the purple rain."

I was in 7th grade during the summer of Purple Rain and I remember it well. It was that rated R movie that none of us were allowed to see so we absorbed every possible detail from television, MTV and magazine articles. Back in the 80's (you know, when everything wasn't just the click of a mouse away) we cut everything about our favorites out of the newspaper or any magazine that we could find. My friends and I were divided down the middle, either you loved Prince or you loved Michael Jackson- it couldn't be both. I was a Prince girl and built my magazine cut out scrapbook accordingly. And the music truly did directly influence everything back then. If you loved Prince then you represented with your purple on the daily. Most Prince fans loved Madonna equally, especially when they toured together so it was a mix of purple lace hair bows, crosses and purple jelly bracelets all summer long.

That summer ended up being the very best one of my childhood and the Purple Rain was always part of the soundtrack. My friends and I spent hours at the kitchen table together glued to a boom box waiting for a chance to call in to Q-102 (THE station to listen to) to try and win a copy of the soundtrack. None of us won a Prince album but we did score the Boss, Steve Perry, Chaka Khan and a few others. Music was absolutely everything back then, especially when you were at the mercy of a DJ or MTV to play it for you.

It took me years to really understand that Prince was more than the freaky guy in purple with perfect eyeliner, that he was a musical genius. I had a friend absolutely obsessed with him and he spoon fed me various Prince facts while we worked together. By the time "Batdance" came along I understood what I was really listening to and came to expect nothing short of amazing-ness from him.

In the last 30 years so many other artists have come and gone as my taste has shifted and changed over the years. I can honestly say that I like a little bit of everything (minus country) but so few bring to the table what Prince has. I mean, how many on Billboard's charts can play 27 instruments?  Yeah, none. How many currently rocking in the top ten will be relevant in 30 years? Maybe 1 or 2 right, maybe? Or maybe none at all.

Today's artists aren't built for the kind of longevity like Prince, David Bowie or even Glenn Frey. They don't bring all of those elements to the table and that has only made the loss of these icons feel that much heavier on our hearts. Prince himself confirmed years ago that there really is a vault filled with his unreleased music. There are albums from Prince & the Revolution and also a few with The New Power Generation. Perhaps part of what makes him so iconic is the fact that he was thinking beyond his life here. He was not only making sure that he wouldn't be forgotten, but he left new music behind so that his presence would be felt in a new way after the fact.

Check out the full Purple Rain soundtrack below.


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