Purple Reign

It's easy to look back on some films and just make fun of them for sport. Times and styles change, we grow up, the acting's bad, there are lots of easy outs.

When Beth wrote her tribute to Prince's Purple Rain album, I thought it was time that I finally get around to the dvd I'd picked up some time ago of the film.

I've always been a sort of sidelines fan when it comes to Prince. I've liked the singles but pretty much avoided the drama, the costumes and the machinery. When he changed his name to that symbol, I was sure he'd sealed his fate.

Of course, that was not the case at all. He went right on write great songs for himself and other artists and he's still making music today that sounds great.

Seeing the film 20 odd years after it debuted makes for some fun viewing but I'm acutely aware that it makes no sense to try and tear apart the man's talent. Along with his songwriting, stunning guitar work and showmanship, possibly the biggest testament to Prince's ability is immortalized for all time -- he got everyone in the film to sport the same fucking hairdo he had whether they should have or not. Now that's power.


Bubs said...

It's a cross between the most powerful mullet ever and a Jheri curl.

Anonymous said...

6/20/2004, Hartford Civic Center. Most excellent concert. I've always said he's under rated. Close your eyes and listen to him play his guitar, he's perfection. It was one of the best concerts I've been to, and trust me I've been to MANY. Prince is the funk. Have you ever heard him do the Sinead's cover of "nothing compares" with Rosie Gains? If not I must send.


Bre said...

I am, sadly, to young to remember Prince as being anything but that creepy guy with the buttless yellow outfit that everyone talked about. I never saw the allure.

Beth said...


I'm still sportin' that 'do.

My favorite Purple Rain moment: When Appolonia gets out of the lake after a lovely swim, and those tight leather pants slip on easy as silk.

Coaster Punchman said...

I was The Artist Known as Prince for a brief period, when he wasn't using the name. Just thought you'd like to know.

Anonymous said...

I find him amazingly talented and fascinating. I sincerely believe if he did not have music as an outlet he would be a serial killer. His madness defines his art.

Old Lady

Dale said...

And it's almighty isn't it Bubs? That's why you wear the hat isn't it?

Hey Bluez, send it over, I'd love to hear it.

Luckily Bre, I'm old enough to have forgotten what you're talking about. Buttless? That doesn't sound pretty.

Beth, you can rock any 'do you want. And you know what else? I would dye for you. Couldn't resist.

Poor Apollonia with the killer rack. I wonder if she's off teaching the amazing leather trick to someone right now?

You're a star in New York, you're a star in L.A. CP. He took the name back because he knew you'd end up bigger than him.

I absolutely agree Old Lady! He's one intense mofo but he went with good, as far as we know.

Tenacious S said...

Wendy? Yes, Lisa.... Is your Jheri curl dripping wet? Yes, Lisa.

X. Dell said...

This post brings back memories. As a young musicologists, I was trying to compare blues usage from the 1910s to the (then) present day. I must have wrecked my ears trying to trascribe the lyrics of some of the earlist stuff. But no matter how scratchy the record, no matter how snarly and inarticulate the singer, I managed to get all of those words on paper.

But then, I got to a song on the Purple Rain album titled "Let's Get Crazy." I couldn't make heads or tails of the words no matter how hard I tried. And back in the early-1980s, you couldn't just go on the Internet and look up the lyrics. I had to find two people who (a) liked the song, and (b) could understand what the #@#! he was singing.

Ben said...

Looking back he was for me the image of the 80's. The hair, big shoulder pads, make up and camp style.

If he didn't make some great music he would have been derided by everyone.

larry h. said...

I remember racing home, for two miles or so, after afterschool lessons to see the premiere of Purple Rain on HBO in the 80s. Wait, is this going to be seen by the rest of the public? Bollocks.

justacoolcat said...

Amazing powers indeed.

What do Prince,James Brown, and MJ have in common?
This moment

Let's go crazy.

Tumuli said...

I was practically reared by the Purple One -- my father owns practically every album; I still recall hearing the pulsing throb of "Controversy" emanating from our record player in the mid '80s. Having been suffused in his work at an early age, I didn't seek it out again until college, when I bought two of his best-known records.

Everything said is true. He's a virtuoso, and a legend.

Anonymous said...

I never made sense out of the plot of Purple Rain. Isn't Prince like four feet tall in real life? Sadly, that's about all I remember about the guy.
Are you renting Under the Cherry Moon next?

Grant Miller said...

You sexy motherfucker.

wonderturtle said...

That movie kicks ass.

Saviour Onassis said...

Im not your lover
Im not your friend
I am something that youll never comprehend

No need 2 worry
No need 2 cry
Im your messiah and youre the reason why

cuz u - I would die 4 u, yeah
Darling if u want me 2
U - I would die 4 u

Anonymous said...

I'm totally with you on this one, Dale. I can't look at Prince's costumes, face, mustache, hair ... or watch is attitude... but his talent is pretty enormous. Can't argue with that.

But don't anyone make me look at him!!! haha!

chelene said...

The hair? How can you see anything past the ruffles on the shirt?? Ah, the 80's...how I miss ye. My favorite part of that movie is when Prince sings Darling Nikki and Apollonia goes running out of the club because she's so humiliated. DRAMA!

Anonymous said...

My Dad took me to see Prince, The Time and Vanity Six when I was just a wee monkey- that left an impression on me that I can never forget. Prince is a GOD- he is such a talented little bugger! Now acting skills- no he has none, but musician he is a GOD!

love it!

Anonymous said...

oh my god i remember seein that movie when i was really little at my babysitters house. :p it was instant love at first sight with the man in the bellbottoms. :p

ya know his speaking voice is deep and sexy... and.. and.. *faints*

Anomie-Atlanta said...

I still remember my babysitter letting me watch Purple Rain and making me swear that I wouldn't tell my parents. Ah Rhonda, you introduced me to the concept of lying to my parents and it came in handy later when I started doing really bad things.

Dale said...

Tenacious S! I love that comment so much!

And you still probably ended up with some funky lyrics X. Dell. I always think he's saying How we gonna let the elevator break us down oh no let's go but the internet says wrong.

Ben, could I please see an 80's photo of you? Just checking. I absolutely agree that he would have been derided.

Larry, no flying away on this one to hide. We see you in all your purple funky glory.

How you got the 3 Stooges / Muskateers / Amigos in one room like that Coolcat is beyond me but thanks. It stopped just when it was getting good!

Sounds like you had a legendary soundtrack growing up Tumuli, cool dad.

I believe he's just under 4 feet CL, you're not recommending ...Cherry Moon are you?

Yes I am Grant Miller!

You mean it smelled like that WT?

Dale said...

What kind of a Saviour would U B if you weren't willing to die for me?

Funny little fellow isn't he Zed?

Apollonia's finest moment Chelene, next to the taking off of her top!

Wow, another really cool dad! Good going Shroomy!

He's speaking to you right now isn't he Yas?

Help me Rhonda! Cool babysitter, even cooler that she started your lying career A-A.

Zed said...

Dale, I came back here tonight just so I could gaze lovingly at Prince's purple jacket on the opening page of this post. It's mesmerizing.

The rest of him is a mess, but that jacket ...


Dale said...

Zed baby?

I never meant 2 cause u any sorrow
I never meant 2 cause u any pain
I only wanted 2 one time see u laughing
I only wanted 2 see u laughing in the purple rain



Zed said...

Prince!! hahahaaa! Love your jacket hon!!

My life experience is now complete. ... (DROPS DEAD.)

lulu said...

I adore Prince, but I can't see him as sexy. He's like 5'0" and weighs 100 pounds. I could kick his scrawny puprple-clad ass.

Anonymous said...

yes dale... yes he is. *drools*

Dale said...

So do I get to say it? Zed's dead baby.

Lulu, I thought you to be a woman of taste and distinction. And now I know you are. He would cry 4 U.

It's the hair isn't it Yas? You're wearing it right now aren't you?