Weekend Listening: Purple Rain by Prince and the Revolution

22 April 2016 by 11 Comments


weekend listening Weekends are an amazing time to go record shopping or to go for a long drive with the windows down and the radio loud. Weekend Listening gives you music for all of your upcoming adventures.


PrincepurplerainAlbum: Purple Rain by Prince and the Revolution

Released: 25 June, 1984 by Warner Bros.

Recommended if you like: Music in general.

Notable Tracks:  Every single one, this album is damn near perfection.

It is early afternoon on Thursday, April 21st as I sit here writing this.  I’ve spent the last half hour sobbing near uncontrollably in my laundry room because we have only just learned that Prince died this morning. It was in the 80s and sunny just yesterday, but today the whole world mourns, and the sky follows suit.weather

I’m trying to form coherent thoughts about this, and all I have is a jumble of memories.  Last year when we did the Purple Rain drinkalong, a younger friend of mine didn’t seem to get it.  He came of age, he said, in an era where Prince was already a punchline. How weird that is for me.  To know that I have friends for whom this brobdingnagian talent wasn’t an integral part of their personal history.

My dad took me to see Purple Rain in the theatre when it came out.  I was far too young, but he never cared.  It was just us, so I went with him to see everything.  He covered my eyes during the “mushy bits” and held my hand during the sad/upsetting parts. He put a CD player in his truck sometime in 1985.  This soundtrack was one of the first CDs he bought, and we’d listen to it on mornings when he dropped me off at school.  Dig, if you will, the picture of first grade aged sj being driven up to the crosswalk with “Baby, I’m a Star” blaring.

I stole the CD from my dad at some point during my teenage years and never gave it back.

When my oldest was a teeny tiny little thing, he became obsessed with this album for a while.  He’d listen to “Let’s Go Crazy” and “I Would Die 4 U” over and over.  And just yesterday I was singing the latter to my daughter while dancing around the living room.  The fact that this just happened YESTERDAY is filling me with all kinds of feelings I’m having a hard time putting words to.

I wasn’t ready for this.  I’m still not ready for this.  It’s too soon to have to write this post.  I just had to write about losing David Bowie and Alan Rickman.  Abe Vigoda died this year.  Fucking Doris Roberts died this week and Richard Lyons from Negativland lost his battle with cancer just a few days ago (and when I read that he had to settle for Nesbitt’s Orange Soda because they were OUT OF LIME, I had another breakdown).  I cannot with this.  It is too much.  It is too soon.  There are too many to mourn properly.  I’m legitimately angry that I’m having to do this all over again right now.

Someone come hold my hand and cry and sing “Take Me with U”  and “When Doves Cry” with me?


Sad that it’s already a cliche, but Prince wrote his own eulogy more than 30 years ago.

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.

Thank you for everything, sir.  I’mma go cry a little more, I think.


sj (never SJ) hates everything. Except books and music. Sometimes she hates those too. Ask her about drinkalongs.

11 thoughts on “Weekend Listening: Purple Rain by Prince and the Revolution

  1. I know how you feel. Prince was an integral part of my life all through high school. I didn’t have a shit load of posters on my wall, but Prince and Billy Idol (huge posters, I might add) were the two prominently displayed. I was a cheerleader and at cheerleading camp the summer before my junior year, Purple Rain was IT. We even learned a routine to When Doves Cry. Senior year, when Raspberry Beret came out, my best friend and I watched the video over and over again until we got that dance down so we could do it at the dance that night…and we did. In the nineties, my friends and I did the Electric Slide to 7. So yeah, to say I was devastated is an understatement. I too am angry about these losses….and David Bowie…don’t even. His death almost killed me. I had been a fan of his since 6th grade. My boys felt the impact too. I have exposed them to Bowie and Prince since they were very young. I said, “Death happens. I guess we have to accept it.” It still doesn’t get any easier. :(

    • I am so glad you brought up 7, Michelle. I restricted this to just the one album, but THAT SONG, MAN. I have had the chorus running through my head all weekend and it keeps catching me unaware.

  2. I have been a little rabid at people who have been saying “I don’t get the whole Prince thing” these past two days. STFU. I’m not entirely sure who didn’t break and had to put themselves together again, over and over, during adolescence, but only that rare and odious breed would say “I don’t get the whole Prince thing”. As I said to another more understanding friend, Prince and Bowie were bookends in the story of “It’s ok, awkward teenager. We got you.” And now they’re gone. How, then, do I look at my own kids, when they’re in the breaking and re-making period of their adolescence, and say “sorry kid, I’ve got nothing but dead people for you, and Beaver and Swift ain’t gonna give it to you.”

    • I am lucky in that mine are willing to be guided toward stuff that I think they will like and that is ALSO really good. There are some modern artists who are amazing (I think Chris Thile will be remembered in this way) that I’m glad I get to share with them.

  3. Prince. I thought that beautiful, talented, pervy little bastard would last forever. For as far back as my memories extend, Prince’s carefully preened beard-stubble was present. I remember watching video hits on saturday mornings and being confused as hell by “Cream”, I remember my sister cranking “Little Red Corvette” in her bedroom & I remember “Seven” giving me the one of the earliest inklings that women were indescribably attractive.

    In the mid 90s he faded for a while, when both he and MJ took the brunt of “the embarrassing 80s” reactionary cringe we all suffered from while we rocked cargoes and oversized Tees.

    But around 2000 my Sis bought me “Diamonds and Pearls” on a whim. After a single play, it fell into high rotation and for the next two years it became the album I’d put on before going to sleep.

    Shortly after, I became fast friends with the biggest Prince fan I’ve ever met. Getting stoned in his rent-controlled apartment, Lovesexy blaring away while he talked loudly about how hi fi cassettes were a far more interesting textural medium than CD. I remember him forcing a copy of Purple Rain into my hands the first time I visited and demanding I watch it alone and with the lights off.

    When I heard the news the other day, I realized that yet another chapter of my early years had been closed forever and I was saddened to think that this giant of a man whom I’d taken for granted my entire life was no longer walking alongside me, no longer drawing breath.

    There are so many of my memories that have been touched in some way by Prince – In some ways I’m glad I never saw him live. He remains larger than life that way, untouchable.

    • Prince. I thought that beautiful, talented, pervy little bastard would last forever.

      Even after all of the other losses that have hit me so hard this year, I don’t think I’d ever even considered the possibility of Life After Prince. It was just one of those things that was so inconceivable as to be laughable, you know?

      ps. Thanks for stopping by, Dex. <3

  4. Pingback: Under the Cherry Moon Drinkalong | Boozy Shoes Drinkalongs

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