Friday, October 26, 2007

FDF Volume 1: Issue 73: Prince & the Revolution - Purple Rain

Album - Purple Rain
Artist - Prince and the Revolution
Key Players - Lisa Coleman - keyboard and backing vocals, Wendy - guitars and backing vocals, Bobby Z - percussion, Brownmark - bass and backing vocals, Matt Fink - keyboards and vocals, Prince - Guitars, bass guitar, keyboards, piano, vocals.
Produced By - Prince and the Revolution

Release Date - June 25, 1984

What caused me to blow off the dust? - There are so many Prince releases that seem to float under the radar. His last two or three alone have struck a chord with fans but they seemed to go ignored. Since many folks have this album figured it was time to have you blow the collective dust off a real gem right along with me.

- This was the sixth release from Prince. This record also introduced the backing band "The Revolution" to the masses. The album would prove to be the biggest selling Prince album and it would win three Grammy awards, and the title track would also win an Academy Award. Four of the songs would go top 10 in the US and in 2007 Vanity Fair voted this the best movie soundtrack of all time.

FDF Comments (aka the songs) - Spoken words over long keyboard notes open "Let's Go Crazy". Prince preaches his gospel and about 40 seconds in the electric drums and back beat kick in. With a patented "Woooo" by Prince the keyboard clunk down and the now almost campy 80's layers of electronica wash over the track. Wendy and Lisa offer a nice high end touch to the vocal responses. The guitar line is terrific and it doesn't take long before you realize the virtuosity Prince possesses on the guitar. It smokes, plain and simple. The song has a great crescendo to the end with yet another smoking guitar solo. Folks probably recall the video where Prince baby steps and covers his body time and time again with his hands..but the solo again smokes. Co-Star in the film Apollonia sings this a duet with Prince on "Take Me With U". For some reason, this has always been a personal favorite of mine. There is a certain way the chorus hits me. The track features some strings (which are not credited in the liner notes) and more acoustic guitars. The track has a happy, bouncing feel to it. A gem of a track. Some form of electric drums or keyboards open up "The Beautiful Ones" before the keyboard dominates. The vocals are delivered in an even higher vibrato than prior Prince tracks. Its a slower track over all until about the three and half minute mark, when Prince digs deep and really shows off his vocal pipes. He grinds the vocals as the keyboards wash over the top. A guitar solo is there as well, but its buried a little in the mix. "Computer Blue" opens with almost the same keyboard effect as "When Doves Cry. The keyboards kick in and its got a little more of the 80's cheesy keyboards but the song has a great underlying back beat. A guitar solo, that is more a run of scales, with some drum changes alters the course of the track, in a good direction mind you, before it comes back around for another guitar solo that is a little cleaner than the earlier one. One of the more infamous Prince tracks ever follows..."Darling Nikki". A song that caused many a blushed face opens with a delayed guitar chord and single keyboard progression. The cd is void of a "Parental Advisory" sticker so be warned of little ears as questions may arise. The vocals are a little more spoken but the overall feel is dark, dirty and downright magical, a standout Prince track and well worth the attention it gets. This also has a reverse vocal portion (called backmasking) and shows a very opposite direction of the song. If the portion is played backwards it says: "Hello, how are you? I'm fine, 'cause I know that the Lord is coming soon. Coming, coming soon.". One of the most well known tracks follows in "When Doves Cry". There is some great guitar work, a bunch of the patented Prince yelps, and an instantly identifiable keyboard solo. "I Would Die 4 U" is heavy on the keyboard. Musically it sounds like something out of the film "Blade Runner". If you are not looking as the cd changes track it is almost as if "Baby I'm a Star" is the same track. It has some great musical urgency yet has that great "Prince and the Revolution" feel. Its a strong lost track from the album. The "epic", covered by a million other bands, lighter waving, hand swaying "Purple Rain" closes out the record, need I really say anything?

Where are they now? - Brownmark (aka Mark Brown) took a short break from music and his back performing. (see links). Wendy and Lisa would join forces to score television and films. Wendy has been active as music producer as well. Bobby Z (aka Robert Rivkin) has also been working a producer and launched a record label. Matt Fink (aka Dr.Fink) has just begun work with a new organization (see links) which hopes to "write and produce cutting-edge pop-music for major markets." Prince continues to write, record and perform. Since 2005 alone he has done (to name but a few) released two new albums, performed at the Superbowl, done a major world tour, written and recorded for movie soundtracks and the list goes on and on. In February of 2004 Prince was inducted in to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

FDF Personal Comments (aka the Live experience) - File this under one of the top 3 "still active bands/performers I still need to see live". There was a chance on his 3121 tour to see him for a mere $10.00. To this day I have NO idea why I didn't go.

FDF Overall Take - Its hard to really add anything that hasn't already been said about the album. This is probably the first, or one of the first Prince songs/albums people ever heard. He is one of the most under rated guitar players of all time and has a vault of unreleased material that, if were ever to see the light of day, would push his total number of albums in to the 100's released. Prince has a ravenous and very passionate fan base. He pays the fans back with a constant string of live shows, releases and VIP fan club membership perks. Some fans found him to be "too weird" with the name change and the not nearly as successful stream of releases, but he appears to be coming back strong and more focused than ever. I'll be here for the next round with open ears.

Brownmark on myspace
Wendy and Lisa - Official page here
Dr. Fink - Official page here and a myspace page here.
Prince - Official site here and a fantastic fan page is here.

***mp3's have been removed Nov 21, 2007 11:28 am ET***
Curious? Check out some MUSIC!
Take Me With U
Darling Nikki
Baby I'm a Star

You can get the cd here for starters.

This weeks special download a few tracks....

Paisley Park Studios, Minneapolis MN
December 31, 1987

mp3s have been removed

Let's Go Crazy
When Doves Cry

This was an FM broadcast or TV feed. Sounds good with slightly altered, heavier on the horns versions.

Disclaimer - For the most part songs listed you can find on iTunes or your local cd shop. The idea is to give you a little taste of the music. Please support the artist buy purchasing some of their work. Songs are posted for about 1 week but can and will be removed at the request of the artist, band, band management etc. If you are one of those persons contact me via the email link in the profile and they will be removed as soon as we are made aware of the request.


At 12:59 PM, Blogger Ello said...

I loved this album! Let's go crazy was my anthem in the 80s. Thanks for nostalgia lane, I need to go listen to Doves cry now...

At 9:05 PM, Blogger JamieSmitten said...

I've been driving everyone nuts by playing this cd constantly since I bought it a few weeks ago. I can't believe I went this long without it. Baby I'm a Star has always been my favorite track. I can't wait to see what you dust off next Friday!

At 10:05 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...


March're the greatest!


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