From the look, sound and album design, Prince worked tirelessly to make sure Purple Rain would be the album that would turn him from a well respected songwriter and performer into a worldwide superstar.
With 5 albums already behind him, Prince took his funk and R&B roots, and melted them with pure pop and rock perfection when he recorded Purple Rain. With nine brilliantly written songs, the album was, and is, a ‘slam dunk.’
One after another, the album’s songs deliver. The unconventional, and bass-less “When Doves Cry” is a masterpiece; the slamming “Let’s Go Crazy” is a full on blend of hard rocking guitars and funk backbeat; the title track “Purple Rain” is an anthemic ballad filled with amazing vocals, and without doubt, Prince’s finest guitar solo to date.
Even though Prince’s songs and writing were at an all time high, the added dynamic of his band, the Revolution, gave the album a tougher, more aggressive lilt. Add the influence of Wendy and Lisa and the album started to hint at the psychedelia style that’s was to come with Prince’s future albums.
What shows Prince’s genius is that although Purple Rain was his most pop album to date, the ‘Purple One’ didn’t abandoned the funk train that he rode in on. In fact, Prince took pop to the next level.
Along with the album, came the movie too. The film went on to earn around $70 million at the box office. It made a staggering ten times what it cost to make.
The album was No. 1 on the Billboard Album Chart for an unbelievable 24 consecutive weeks. It spawned two No. 1 singles with “When Doves Cry” and “Let’s Go Crazy”. To put it into perspective, at one point, Prince had the No. 1 single, No. 1 album and No. 1 movie in the country!
Purple Rain, to this day, remains one of the most iconic albums ever recorded.