Prince: 30 Years Of Purple Rain

With today being the 30th anniversary of Prince’s iconic Purple Rain soundtrack, instead of giving you my track by track breakdown, I want to give you a little background on how that record affected my life at the time. The summer of 1984 was a strange time for me. I was 10 years old, and my Mom had unexpectedly passed away a year before. I was still trying to pick myself up and move forward with my childhood, no matter how difficult it was. As always, music provided me a fantasy world where I could escape, but it was more important than ever at that time.

I was already well aware of Prince from the radio singles off of the 1999 record. The release of the first single “When Doves Cry” caught my ear, but when I first heard “Let’s Go Crazy,” I was hooked. Sometime very shortly after the release of the full soundtrack, I gathered up some crumpled up dollar bills, and a bunch of change to make up the difference, and rode my bike to my local record store. I walked up to the counter where some vinyl copies were displayed, and emptied my pockets onto it. I meticulously counted out the change after I was given the total as the clerk chuckled. I rode home carefully carrying what would become my best friend for the rest of ’84, well into ’85 and beyond.

Those songs spoke to me in a way no ther songs had before. I listened to all the intricacies with the utmost attention. I recorded myself singing the lyrics into my tape recorder, convinced that my voice could mirror all the different voices Prince could muster. In short, when I needed someone or something to help me through a difficult time, Purple Rain was there for me then, and still is 30 years later. I have many favorite records, but I have an emotional connection to this record like no other. Happy 30th anniversary from both my 10 year old self, and my 40 year old self!

Mike