Retro Spins: Purple Rain

Is it a studio album? Is it a soundtrack? Is it both? I don't know, but it's shear perfection!

Take a richly-human story of survival and triumph, a now soundtrack by some of the hottest bands around and the startling, brooding presence of 24-year old rock superstar Prince - the man who lived the music - and you've got Purple Rain, which according to Rolling Stone, "may be the smartest, most spiritually ambitions rock-'n'-roll movie ever made."

This is the passionate behind-the-scenes stuff that rock-'n'-roll dreams are made of, a pulsating, slice-of-rock semi-autobiographical film starring Prince as "The Kid", a Minneapolis club musician known for his lightning guitar riffs and flash-fire vocals. As alienated as he is talented, The Kid struggles with both a tumultuous home-life and his own smoldering anger while taking refuge in his music and his steamy love for sultry Apollonia Kotero (lead singer of the camisole-chic Apollonia 6).

The turbulent, gutsy film sizzles, seethes and rocks in a way few rock films ever have. Hot-blooded Prince and his band The Revolution give electrifying performances of songs like the exhilarating "Let's Go Crazy", "I Would Die 4 U', the plaintive classic "When Doves Cry" and, of course, "Purple Rain" and other hits from the best-selling Warner Bros. Records soundtrack album of the same name.

Hailed by Newsweek as "the new Prince of Hollywood" PRINCE and PURPLE RAIN will reign over rockdom for some time to come. - Back cover of the original VHS

Well, I guess, based on the above, it's a soundtrack.

Long winded back covers of VHS tapes aside, I have to say, Purple Rain, the album, is spectacular. From start to finish, for me, there's not a bad song among the nine tracks. It's woven together as a true masterpiece of my lifetime, and stands out as one of the very few epics I've ever heard. It's the album that for many, myself included, turned attention towards Prince, serving as a segue into his music and massive discography to come throughout future decades.

I'd list out all of my favorite tracks, but quite frankly I'd just be listing out all nine from the entire album.

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