29 years ago today, on June 25th, 1984 an album was released that changed the landscape of music. That album is “Purple Rain” by Prince & The Revolution.
“When Doves Cry” was released on May 16, 1984 and dominated radio becoming the song of the summer and giving “Purple Rain” the album and movie, the promotion it needed with just that one song. It helped that the album had immensely strong material.
But what if “Purple Rain” was something like a relationship? How would it go?
From the beginning of “Let’s Go Crazy” to the follow-up of “Take Me With U” this album starts off like a hot relationship. You go crazy when you first meet them, then you want to put them on the back of your bike and take them with you. Then out of nowhere, things get more serious than you expected and the thought of seeing “The Beautiful Ones” or one with anyone else makes you think of marriage and other things that you never thought you would do. This relationship is hot, sweaty, romantic, and intense!
Then you question everything. Do you really know about Love? Is your “Computer Blue” or is there something wrong with you/U? Love is confusing at times, is it not? Then you want to go back to where everything first happened. Where things were so intense and hot that your imagination runs wild and you explore fantasies in hotel lobbies that may not have happened but it sure sounds good. You dream of those first nights of hanging out when your Lover did things to you no one else did. The girl doesn’t want to go back to that moment, liking where you are now, as are you, but you just want those desires back is all. It plays in your mind like a backwards message talking about “The Lord Coming Soon” but why doesn’t she hear it as easily as you do?
Then comes the main impasse of the relationship. “When Doves Cry” is just that. Thinking about those first times, the man makes it more sensual than carnal this time around. You still get the butterflies all tied up doll, don’t you understand? He wants to give way more Love to his woman than his dad gave his mom, he wants her to understand him in ways his mother couldn’t understand his father, to be satisfied. He wants more for both of them. Can she relate?
She finally gets it. He whispers “I Would Die 4 U” and she understands. He wants to be her all and now she finally accepts it. There is no longer any reason to worry or cry, for both of them. They are in this. Together. She accepts. Yet, she wants more. She wants to know what his plans are for the future. The future, baby? Why, to be a star!
“Baby, I’m A Star” was Prince letting everyone know he knew he was bad. For years. In this context though, it is Prince proclaiming his future is bright. She has nothing to worry about. He will succeed in ways he hasn’t before. I’m not gonna settle girl. I’m gonna reach the top. Don’t you wanna come?
Then comes the climax. “Purple Rain” in all it’s glory. He reflects. The pain I caused you is never gonna happen again. It is going to be never-ending happiness and laughter. He expresses from the moment he met her he knew it was not going to be a weekend bang. It was more. He wanted to be her friend but something more. He could never take her from another and hopes that no one could make her happier than he could. If so, this friendship, or whatever they had is over. In every relationship, a time has changed. He has they changed. They have changed. He is ready to be different. When he asks her to let him guide her, is he also taking her hand in a different way on bended knee?
“Purple Rain” is a hot relationship. It is a hot album. One that changed people’s lives. Just like that girl or boy you keep going back to you and each time you play it, it brings a smile to your face. Like real true Love, it is timeless. Like real True Love, it is rare and only comes around about every 30 years or so.
I hope you guys see what I was going for here. Was trying to make this a different kind of view. In the comments, please share your experience if U would like….
Much Love 2 Prince, Wendy Melvoin, Lisa Coleman, Bobby Z., Brown Mark, Dr. Fink, and U.-DocFB
Diagnosis: May U Live 2 C This….