Album Review: Prince and the Revolution – “Purple Rain” Soundtrack

The Purple Rain soundtrack is the sixth album released by Prince, and it features The Revolution as his backing band.  The album was released on June 25, 1984, and it spent twenty-four consecutive weeks at the top of the Billboard album chart.  The Purple Rain soundtrack is considered one of the best albums in rock music history, and it’s also considered to be one of the best soundtracks ever.

The soundtrack opens with “Let’s Go Crazy,” which was released as the second single from the album.  The song opens with an organ solo, with Prince delivering a spoken part which sounds like a eulogy.  As Prince’s spoken part ends, a drum machine pattern kicks in, and is quickly followed by the sound of the full band.  Not only is this one of Prince’s most popular songs, but it also ranks up there as one of my personal favorites from the album.

This is followed by “Take Me With U,” which is performed as a duet with Apollonia Kotero.  “Take Me With U” was released as the final single from the album, and it features a drum solo and finger cymbals that open the song.  “The Beautiful Ones” tells a tale of unrequited love that starts out as a slow falsetto ballad, and builds in intensity; admittedly, this one of the songs on the soundtrack that I don’t listen to very often.

The next song on the Purple Rain soundtrack is “Computer Blue,” which opens with a spoken intro by Wendy and Lisa.  It then becomes a song that features the guitar as a very prominent instrument, and Prince delivering some rock music screams.  This is followed by the notorious “Darling Nikki,” which has lyrics that helped inspire Tipper Gore to found the Parents Music Resource Center.

“When Doves Cry” was the first single released from the Purple Rain soundtrack, and it became Prince’s first number one single.  A notable feature of “When Doves Cry” is the fact that there is no bassline.  “When Doves Cry” is my favorite track on the soundtrack.  This is followed by “I Would Die 4 U,” which was released as the fourth single from the soundtrack.  It’s an uptempo dance song, and it was the last top ten hit from the album in the United States.

“Baby I’m a Star” is a song about a rising star in pop stardom.  It’s a dance number with drum machine patterns, understated bass, and synthesizers.  The soundtrack closes with “Purple Rain,” which is a power ballad that was released as the third single from the album.  The song was recorded live at a Minneapolis club, and it clocks in at almost nine minutes in length.  Sonically, it’s the perfect album closing song.  It’s also another song that I really enjoy on the album.

While I may not personally enjoy all of the songs on the Purple Rain soundtrack, I can still say that the album has a very strong sequence, and that the album flows together well as a whole unit.  After listening to this soundtrack, you can easily hear why it’s considered to be such a classic soundtrack and why it continues to be considered one of the best albums in rock music history.

I wrote this review after listening to a copy of the Purple Rain soundtrack that I purchased.

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