Inside the making of Purple Rain

When I was 10, Prince’s Purple Rain came out, and while I’m not sure whether it came out a few years later on TV or at the same time, I remember seeing it on the slightly-older-than-me HBO. I also remember fawning over the song “When Doves Cry”, dancing in my own 80s way to “Let’s Go Crazy” and daring to learn all the words to “Darling Nikki”. My friends and I thought we were pushing the elementary school envelope by learning that song on the playground. At that time, we’d all decided that we wanted to grow up and fall in love with someone whom we would die for, hoping that it would last and that we’d never be left in a world so cold; but also realizing we didn’t want to ever hear doves crying because that meant we were in a bad relationship.

We didn’t know shit about sex and love, but we sure as hell knew there was something our parents did not want us to listen to in that Purple Rain album.

Thirty years later, Purple Rain is a cult classic and while I’m not sure I can sit through the movie, I know every time I hear any of the songs from that album, my pre-teen self wants to get up and dance as I’ve never danced again my entire life. The whole contradiction of a 10-year-old girl dancing with reckless abandon in a completely non-sexual way to an incredibly sexual soundtrack doesn’t escape me now.

There’s what looks to be a wonderful new book called Let’s Go Crazy: Prince and the Making of Purple Rain by Alan Light which has just been released. I’m not sure if its a book I’d read, because I’m not sure I want to see behind the curtain; but if you have musicians in your life, this might be a cool gift for the holidays.

Read more: Let’s go crazy: Inside the making of Purple Rain

Prince’s Purple Rain turned 30 this year. Both the incredible rock-opera movie and its soundtrack are still every bit as amazing in 2014 as they were when first created in 1984. Today, an entire generation of listeners has a shaky relationship with Prince, because Prince has a shaky relationship with the internet.

In an age where fans expect direct relationships with the artists they love, Prince has turned himself into a reclusive legend. But 30 years ago, he was still a young artist on the cusp of releasing his greatest record — and former Vibe and Spin editor-in-chief Alan Light’s Let’s Go Crazy: Prince and the Making of Purple Rain documents how the record and film came to be. This is an exclusive excerpt from the first chapter of the book, which goes on sale today.

This article was written by: Rachel Baker – Click to Become a Patron or to follow on Twitter.

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