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Prince's Masterpiece 'Purple Rain' | For The Record
With Prince's Purple Rain came some of his most memorable hits, his first GRAMMY wins and (of course) the classic movie.
The iconic GRAMMY-winning artist released Purple Rain, his sixth studio album, and the first one to feature his band The Revolution, on June 25, 1984. While the Prince created an astonishing amount of music in his lifetime, Purple Rain is often regarded as one of biggest classics.
Prince's fifth studio album, 1999, released in 1982, was his first Top 10 charting album, peaking at No. 9 on the Billboard 200, shooting the star into the public eye and earning him his first GRAMMY nods. Yet Purple Rain claimed his superstar status, gaining him his first No. 1 album and No. 1 songs, as well as his first three GRAMMY wins. The film, Purple Rain, released in 1984 along with the album, was Prince's acting debut and showcased him as a multi-talented star in the semi-autobiographical role.
Prince took home his first three wins at the 27th GRAMMY Awards, receiving Best Rock Performance By A Duo Or Group With Vocal and Best Album Of Original Score Written For A Motion Picture Or A Television Special for Purple Rain. His third win that year came for his songwriting credits for Best R&B Song, for Chaka Khan's cover of his "I Feel You." Purple Rain also received an Oscar for Music (Best Original Song Score) in 1984 and is the third best-selling movie soundtrack of all time.
Out of its nine songs, the album had five singles, all of which charted: "When Doves Cry," "Let's Go Crazy," "Purple Rain," "I Would Die 4 U" and "Take Me With U." "When Doves Cry" was the first single released from the album, gaining Prince his first No. 1 song status, followed by the second single and No. 1 hit, "Let's Go Crazy." The latter song, the first track on the album, sets the tone with his memorable opening words.
"Dearly beloved, we are gathered here today to get through this thing called life. An electric word, 'life.' It means forever…and that's a mighty long time. But I’m here to tell you there’s something else: the afterworld. A world of never-ending happiness, you can always see the sun, day or night," he famously says.
While "I Would Die 4 U," "Take Me With U" and "Purple Rain" didn't quite reach No. 1 status, they all spent time on the charts, with each making waves and offering the world a dynamic taste of that special Prince sound in new packages. All of the singles from the album would follow Prince throughout his life, and are often the go-to songs fans think of as their favorites.
With "Purple Rain" we saw the more melancholy side of Prince, as he sings, "I never meant to cause you any sorrow/I never meant to cause you any pain/I only wanted to one time to see you laughing/I only wanted to see you/Laughing in the purple rain."
Even after his heartbreaking passing, Prince will live on forever in our hearts, through his music, and even on the charts. Purple Rain was inducted into GRAMMY Hall of Fame in 2011, celebrating it as a "recording of lasting qualitative or historical significance." The album also made a comeback on the charts, both after the artist's death and when the album was rereleased in 2017, when it reentered the Billboard 200 at No. 4. It is safe to say there will never be another star quite like Prince.