Purple Rain (song)

Purple Rain (song)

Infobox Single
Name = Purple Rain

Caption = U.S. 7" single
Artist = Prince and The Revolution
from Album = Purple Rain
B-side = "God"
"God" (Instr.) (UK 12")
Released = September 26, 1984
Format = 7" single
12" single
Recorded = Live, First Avenue, Minneapolis, Summer 1983
Genre = Rock, Pop, Gospel
Length = 7" edit: 4:05
Album/12": 8:45
Label = Warner Bros. Records
Writer = Prince
Producer = Prince
Certification = Gold - (5 December, 1984)
Last single = "Let's Go Crazy"
This single = "Purple Rain"
Next single = "I Would Die 4 U"
Misc = Extra chronology
Artist = Prince (UK)
Type = singles
[ Background = #ffff00 ]
Last single = "When Doves Cry"
This single = "Purple Rain"
Next single = "I Would Die 4 U"
Extra tracklisting
Album = Purple Rain
Type = studio
prev_track = "Baby I'm a Star"
prev_no = 8
this_track = "Purple Rain"
track_no = 9
next_track =
next_no =
"Purple Rain" is a power ballad by Prince and the The Revolution. It was his third US single (second UK) and title track from the 1984 album of the same name, which in turn was the soundtrack album for the 1984 film of the same name. The song is an emotional combination of rock and roll, pop and gospel music. It reached #2 in the U.S., and is widely considered Prince's signature song.

The song was recorded live at the Minneapolis club First Avenue in 1983. The performance was the live debut of Wendy Melvoin, and also netted the final three songs of the "Purple Rain" album, although the songs would undergo studio overdubs later. Purple Rain's original lyrics contained an extra verse about money, which was edited out, as it diluted the emotional impact of the song.

ong structure

"Purple Rain" opens with a lone guitar quickly followed by live drumming and a prominent organ, evoking images of church gospel music. Three verses are followed by a chorus, with a building emotional delivery. After the final chorus, a guitar-solo takes over the song. The song ends with a piano solo and orchestral strings. Some speculateFact|date=July 2008 that Prince (whether purposefully or otherwise) lifted Purple Rain from Journey's song "Faithfully," as the point of the song from the guitar solo in the "Purple Rain" onward bares a strong similarity in chord progression to that from the point of the guitar solo outro onward in "Faithfully."


The emotional lyrics have multiple meanings; on the surface, they seem to be an apology from a man who has been carrying on an illicit love affair with a woman; though on a deeper level, they become more of a spiritual allegory. It is a theory that "Purple Rain" is a metaphor for heaven, inspired by the testimonies of a woman who died on the operating table that the afterlife is full of falling purple rain.Fact|date=May 2007


The song is a staple of Prince's live performances. He has played it on nearly every tour since 1984, except for a period after his name change when he avoided his older hits for a few years. At Super Bowl XLI's halftime show, in which he was the featured performer, "Purple Rain" was featured as the last song of his set and was, appropriately, played during a downpour at the stadium, which combined with the purple stage lighting created the song's signature image. Prince performed the song as the opening of a medley of his hits with Beyonce at the 2004 Grammys, and also at the 2006 Brits.

As a single

In order to be released as a single, the song's duration was shortened from 8:45 to 4:05.

The B-side, "God," is a much more overtly religious number (Prince's most religious to date), recalling the book of Genesis. The song also features extensive vocal experimentation. Towards the end, Prince mentions "The Dance Electric," which was a song given to former band member André Cymone. In the U.K., the 12" single also included an instrumental of "God," also known as "Love theme from "Purple Rain"," from which an edited portion appears in the film.

Chart performance

Awards and accolades

In March 2005, "Q" magazine placed it at number 40 in its list of the 100 Greatest Guitar Tracks. Rolling Stone ranked it #143 on their list of the 500 Greatest Songs of All Time.

It's also a well-known favorite song of singer and guitarist Eric Clapton.


"Purple Rain" has been covered by many artists, including Tori Amos, Meriwether, Ani DiFranco, LeAnn Rimes, The Waterboys, and The Hollies, in addition to jazz and orchestral versions. The band Phish did a rendition of "Purple Rain" with Fishman playing a vacuum cleaner. [ [http://home.earthlink.net/~getwild/prince/covers.html Prince covers] ] Swedish performer, Stina Nordenstam, also recorded a reworked rendition for her LP of covers, "People Are Strange". Serbian punk rock band KBO! recorded a version on their 2001 cover album "(Ne) Menjajte Stanicu" ((Do Not) Change The Station).

One parody cover was "Coleman's Train," played by a Detroit radio station just after "Purple Rain" was released. It referred to the controversy over Mayor Coleman Young's plan for the Detroit People Mover. Comedian Rodney Carrington performed his rendition of the chorus of "Purple Rain" on his live CD "Hangin' With Rodney."

Cultural references

In the "Mortal Kombat video game series", the character Rain wears a purple outfit; "Mortal Kombat" co-creator Ed Boon is a known Prince fan

In Digimon, the Digimon Prince Mamemon has a special move called Purple Rain.

The Bizzy Bone song "Murdah Me" heavily samples "Purple Rain."

The backing track of the 2007 Alicia Keys song "Like You'll Never See Me Again" is based on the final section of "Purple Rain."

A Brazilian Singer called Danni Carlos made a cover of Purple Rain in 2007.

A traffic sign featured in "National Lampoon"'s "True Facts" column and compilations thereof (e.g., appearing on Page 107 of "National Lampoon Presents True Facts: The Big Book") points to the locales of Princeton and Prince -- the caption for this photograph is "Beware of Purple Rain."

External links

* "Purple Rain" [http://www.dtt-lyrics.com/albums/purple.html#rain lyrics]


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