THESE ALBUM REVIEWS ARE FAVOURITES FROM MY OWN VAST AND VARIED ECLECTIC COLLECTION! I AM A FAN OF THESE ARTISTS SO MY OPINIONS MAY NOT BE ON A PAR WITH YOUR OWN BUT PLEASE ENJOY AND MAYBE THERE ARE SOME ALBUMS YOU MAY LIKE TO SAMPLE FOR YOURSELF OUT OF CURIOSITY :)
It is no surprise to regular readers of my blog that Prince features for the fourth time in an article, also to fans that this album is finally getting a review. After the success of my "Sign "O" The Times" review on New Music Ear I return to the legend's back catalogue. Much has been said about this album and I won't bore anyone with the usual things, this is my experience of this iconic set. I had been hooked a little by Prince's music ince "1999" and "Little Red Corvette" but when "When Doves Cry" came it was inspirational, so unique, so different, I had never heard anything like it before. Then of course came the film, one of the best Rock movies ever made. The music, the settings, the mysterious sexual, sensitive but traumatised Kid battling through to be finally called a "star" among his peers and his band. The enigma that was Prince had took hold of me and lasted until the day he died. This album just brought home what a genius this guy was and how far ahead he was of te rest of the music world
"Purple Rain" the album reached a peak of number 7 on the UK album charts, which pretty much proved how the British people really didn't know what to make of Prince or his music. The whole world knew and understood him but as with some other global artists, here we were behind the times. This album was added to the Library of Congress's National Recording Registry, sound recordings that were "culturally, historically or aesthetically important". The first single "When Doves Cry", the one that really made a breakthrough reaching number 4 in the chart. The song was unique, a kind of 80s Dance song but with no bass line, was it Rock? Pop? nobody really knew, it was just one of those songs that sounded brilliant and nobody really knew why they liked it! It was Prince's creativity and inventiveness to do the things nobody would have tried, genius. The title track was the second single released and reached a creditable 8 placing on the chart in 1984 and reached number 6 in 2016 after his death. "Purple Rain" is an epic, this is Prince's "Bohemian Rhapsody" moment, nearly 9 minutes long on the abum, totally emotive, even more now he is gone. A pure Rock ballad of gargantuan proportion. The guitar extended guitar solo will make a grown man weep, it is one of the best solo's you will ever hear on record. It always used to annoy me, that on the radio they would cut the song off just before the solo, blasphemy! "I Would Die 4 U", the third single could only manage a paltry number 58 on the chart. It is an upbeat Pop Rock track that is just under 3 minutes long, if you can find the extended version of this, it is a mega jam and vastly superior. The final single from the album was the opening song, "Let's Go Crazy", reaching number 7, (also released as a double A side with "Take Me With U") which considering most people had the album already, some achievement. It's memorable opening line, "Dearly beloved, we are gathered here today..." well you all know the rest! A powerhouse of a track, blistering guitar solos and a backdrop of spiritual spoken words about God and all things religious. Just a superb track which has many "air guitar" moments for the wannabe Rock stars, even though by their blinkered standards he was never thought of as a Rock guitarist....hilarious really.
"Take Me With U" is a sultry Pop ballad sung with Apollonia Kotero. Jill Jones, Wendy and Lisa sung on backing vocals to add "sexy fullness" to Apollonia's vocal. It was released as a double A side with "Let's Go Crazy" and was often played on the radio as an alternative. Allegedly it was going to appear on an Apollonia album. Romantic, sultry and sexy, all in the best possible Prince taste!
"The Beautiful Ones" is a harsh, sometimes angry song about the anguish of a boy wanting a girl to choose between him and her. Lots of things going on in this very experimantal, falsetto based track. The vocals becoming more and more intense until Prince is positively screaming to the target of his affections.
"Computer Blue" is another song with a bit of everything, searing guitars, throbbing drumbeats. The spoken intro between Wendy and Lisa was like some weird Dominatrix leanings. After the initial dark overtones it drives into a mega guitar and keyboards Rock fest. Add some Electronic effects and this is just an awesome song. The guitar solo was based on a piano piece by his father John L. Nelson.
"Darling Nikki" is a track I always used to play a little quietly when my mum and dad were home! I used to giggle at the lyrics but now I don't bat an eyelid. At the time it was known only for its explicit lyrics and masturbation references. This song was the forerunner of Tipper Gore and the PMRC (Parents Music Resource Center) placing Parental Advisory stickers on records. Today it is nothign compared to some of the rappers's lyrics, but then it was a major thing. The song is quite dark, sensual and unnerving at the first listen and tells of "sex fiend" Nikki. After following Prince for years, this kind of unusual, sexy, sensual, romantic imagery is nothing new!
"Baby, I'm A Star" is the song that everyone realises that Kid is definitely a "star" at the end of the "Purple Rain" film. It's fast, bright, an ego trip for a rising star and danceable. Played live so many times and it always gets the crowd on their feet. The almost jam like quality of the guitars, keyboards and brass make it a raucous positivity laden smash.
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