When someone told me it is the 25th anniversary of Purple Rain, I went screaming into the street in denial could not believe how time has flown by. Seems like just yesterday I smuggled the album (yes people, a vinyl disc) into the house only to have BougieMom find it, break it in pieces and declare it "the devil's music." I think I bought it about three times before I wised up and slid it into a Barry Manilow – Live! album cover. (BougieMom loved her some Manilow).
Since most of my fellow Methodist Youth Group members were having the same issue getting the record into their houses, I set up a little hustle where I taped (precursor to burning CDs, youngsters) it onto 60 minute TDK cassettes and sold them for $10 a pop after choir practice on the church parking lot… mea culpa!
Moving on… before Purple Rain, I thought Prince was interesting but I didn't really get it. We both loved the same color and lusted after the same shoes but I couldn't really understand the screaming and panty-throwing of it all. I remember at one point you had to choose whether you were a Michael Jackson fan or a Prince fan. It was considered fickle to swear allegiance to both. After Purple Rain came out, I didn't care. I was in both camps. How could you deny Thriller OR Purple Rain? It couldn't be done. Between Michael and his videos and Prince and his movies, I was awash in sight and sound and sensation. Music was a vibrant force and Prince's seemed to speak to my inner rebellious child.
Michael had the gloves, the jacket, the socks and the shoes but Prince brought the sexy. I still can't listen to Darling Nikki without blushing. Thanks to the movie, we knew all the hand movements to I would die 4 U (and wasn't he a pioneer in the pre-texting lingo – ha!). My first Prince concert was quite the eye-opener. I'll admit it, I was sheltered and nothing in the Bougie household prepared me the bumping and grinding funky spectacular that was a Prince concert.
After Purple Rain, I stayed with Prince through Wendy, Lisa, the Revolution, Sheila E, Vanity, Sheena Easton, Under the Cherry Moon (not good), the Power Generation, the Diamonds and Pearls and the funky no name period before he got so prolific with the albums that I had to take a break. My re-introduction to His Purple Badness came when I moved to San Francisco and briefly dated a banker who was President of the Bay Area Prince Fan Club (I canNOT make this stuff up). I recall spending one weird and long afternoon in a park with 200 hundred people that were dressed in purple velvet, sporting raspberry berets, surrounded by purple balloons, eating purple cake and air guitaring to Let's go Crazy. My relationship with Prince was revived, but the banker was cut shortly after seeing him rock lavender velvet leggings tucked into boots (how many relationships could survive that?!).
Listening to the CD now, the music still holds up and there is not a sub-par tune to be found. When was the last time you could slide in a CD and not press "Skip" once? Well, may his purple reign continue… I gave up jamming in four-inch heels years ago.
I embedded an MP3 player with the soundtrack on the sidebar. Enjoy! What's your favorite Prince tune?