On June 25, 1984, Prince released Purple Rain, the soundtrack to the semi-autobiographical film of the same name which hit theaters that July.
Now Spin magazine has dedicated its July 2009 issue to the 25th anniversary of the Purple One’s masterpiece. A lengthy article by Brian Raftery strings together snippets from new interviews with many of the folks involved in making the album and film (sans Prince, not surprisingly). Included in this oral history of how Purple Rain came to be, are several eye-opening quotes about Prince from Revolution-alums Wendy Melvoin and Lisa Coleman (Wendy & Lisa). (Prince’s current feelings toward Wendy & Lisa are especially upsetting today, as Chicago gears up for this afternoon’s Gay & Lesbian Pride Parade.)
But back to the music of Purple Rain, which remains an oustanding collection. To celebrate the anniversary in a big way, Spin is offering a free* tribute album, Purplish Rain. Taking on the soundtrack’s nine now-classic tracks are Of Montreal, Sharon Jones & The Dap-Kings, Riverboat Gamblers, Chairlift, and others. Even Apollonia, who co-starred in the film as Prince’s love interest and sang on “Take Me With U,” joins the cover bash, teaming this time with Greg Dulli’s Twilight Singers for “When Doves Cry.” Hear here:
*Well, nearly free, anyway. In order to download Purplish Rain, you’ll need to know the second-to-last word in the SPIN article. But casual or committed Prince fans alike will find it a cool read indeed, definitely worth the cover price (or at least a lengthy browse at your local bookstore or newsstand).
Guess we’ll have to wait ’til 2015 to see if SPIN gives Purple Rain-sequel Graffiti Bridge a similar tribute treatment.