Album of the Week: Purple Rain

Album of the Week: Purple Rain

Maddox Wolfgram, Staff Writer

On April 21st, 2016, Prince passed away from an overdose. In memory of Prince and the unfortunate anniversary of his death last Friday, I decided to cover his (and his backing band The Revolution’s) 1984 album/soundtrack Purple Rain. The album was made for a film with the same name, starring Prince himself. The film’s plot mirrors Prince’s own rise to stardom. Most of the time when I hear the word “soundtrack,” I don’t expect an excellent album. However, this album stands by itself insanely well. It is hard to classify this album into a genre, but if I had to, it would be psychedelic punk or psychedelic pop. The album is densely layered with all kinds of instruments, including guitars, keyboards, drums, and synthesizers. Each song flows perfectly into the next, while managing to stand by themselves as well.


The first track, “Let’s Go Crazy,” is an excellent intro for what’s to come. The song is insanely high in energy. It makes you want to stand up and just “go crazy” (see what I did there?). It features a spoken word-intro along with some synthesizers, before transitioning into the high energy chorus/verses. The chorus has an excellent guitar section, performed by Prince himself, of course. The vocals are sung beautifully. The song comes to an epic finale with a riveting guitar solo. This song has a mixture of everything Prince was good at, and it proves his talent to be endless.


“When Doves Cry” was the lead single for Purple Rain. The song features an ICONIC synthesizer riff. Even if you haven’t heard the full song, you have definitely heard those synth notes.”When Doves Cry” opens up with a spectacular guitar solo, and it has another one in the mid-section. The song has easily some of my favorite Prince vocals of all time, especially towards the end, where his lead vocals mix with his own backing vocals. I love this song, and as hard as it is to rank the songs on this album, it is at least in the top 3 for me.


The album comes to a cinematic close with the title track “Purple Rain.” Easily Prince’s most popular song, the song is an 8 and a half minute masterpiece. The song is much slower than the other tracks on the album, which sets up an epic finish. The vocals are sung in a delicate, melodic tone. It has one of the catchiest chorus of all time. Even if you are hearing the song for the first time, the chorus will immediately stick with you. It also features an epic guitar solo in the middle. The end section is all instrumentals, broken up by “who who who who’s” by Prince. In my opinion, this is the greatest album closer in all of music. Most of the time, I feel albums are “front-heavy,” which means that artists put their best work toward the front to keep you intrigued. However, Purple Rain is the complete opposite. It only gets better as it goes, leading up to a finale like no other.


Overall, Purple Rain is incredible. It solidifies Prince’s legacy, and will keep him alive in many hearts around the world. I would give this album an EASY 10/10.