Some say that Prince wrote Purple Rain about the end of the world. Yet the song, album and film undoubtedly marked the beginning of his reign as an esteemed member of pop’s most influential.
More than 30 years have passed since Purple Rain was released and Prince has left us a catalogue that demonstrates his life-long passion and commitment to writing great songs (including the chart-topping Nothing Compares 2 U – as popularized by Sinead O’Connor in 1990).
Genre has never really defined Prince, some of his music translates as 100% pop, but R&B, Funk, Synth, Rock and New Wave have all been applied during his prolific career. Sex has always been a big part of his appeal, many of his songs are the perfect embodiment of a heady, passionate roll in the sack and some of them would make you blush if listening in the wrong company (don’t play his Diamond & Pearls album with grandma in the room).
Prince’s reputation for being a little strange is also well-documented, preferring night to day, high heels to flats, changing his name to a symbol and forcing everyone to refer to him as “the artist formerly known as Prince”. With a physical height of just over 5 feet, Prince Rogers Nelson towered over many others as a giant in the music world. Prince has thrown his fair share of large-scale pajama parties – yet, despite inviting so many people in for a boudoir-inspired event he managed to keep the most personal details of his life away from prying public eyes. You won’t find a lot of his music on websites like YouTube so recommended downloads include: When Doves Cry, 1999, Raspberry Beret, I Would Die For You, Thieves In the Temple, Erotic City, Gett Off, 7, Purple Rain, Darling Nikki, and Let’s Go Crazy. Of course there are many more but that’s a start!
The mystique and charm of a royal Prince, combined with the incredible song-writing of a musical genius – Prince will not soon be forgotten as he is added to the growing list of phenomenal artists that we have lost this year. Eventually we will say farewell to all of the icons who once rocked the 60’s, 70’s and 80’s and usher in a new regime of future legends. Accept newcomers with an open mind, but never forget where they came from – art by nature is reverent – remember these words from Purple Rain:
…times are changing
It’s time we all reach out for something new
That means you too
You say you want a leader
But you can’t seem to make up your mind
I think you better close it
And let me guide you to the purple rain…
When Doves Cry
Let’s Go Crazy