I Would Die For You!
“You…I would die for…YOU!” LIKE if this was your jam!
In February 2014, Prince performed concerts with 3rdeyegirl in London. Beginning with intimate shows, the first was held at the London home of singer Lianne La Havas, followed by two performances of what Prince described as a “sound check” at the Electric Ballroom.
On April 18, 2014, Prince released a new single entitled, “The Breakdown”. Along with the surprise release, news came that a new album was in the works, an expanded edition of Purple Rain would be released for the 30th anniversary, and he has re-signed with his former label, after an 18-year split. He also gained the rights to his master recordings from the 1980s, which had been a point of contention for his initial split with the major label.
In addition to the record’s breakthrough sales, music critics noted the innovative and experimental aspects of the soundtrack’s music, most famously on the spare, bass-less “When Doves Cry”. Other aspects of the music, especially its synthesis of electronic elements with organic instrumentation and full-band performances (some, as noted above, recorded live) along with its landmark consolidation of rock and R&B, were identified by critics as distinguishing, even experimental factors. Stephen Erlewine of Allmusic writes that Purple Rain finds Prince “consolidating his funk and R&B roots while moving boldly into pop, rock, and heavy metal” and identifies the record’s nine songs as “uncompromising…forays into pop” and “stylistic experiments”, echoing general sentiment that Purple Rain’s music represented Prince at his most popular without forsaking his experimental bent.
“Take Me with U” was written for the Apollonia 6 album, but later enlisted for Purple Rain. The inclusion of that song necessitated cuts to the suite-like “Computer Blue”, the full version of which did not earn an official release, although a portion of the second section can be heard in the film Purple Rain, in a sequence where Prince walks in on the men of The Revolution rehearsing. The risqué lyrics of “Darling Nikki” contributed to the use of Parental Advisory stickers and imprints on album covers that were the record labels answer to complaints from Tipper Gore and the Parents Music Resource Center.
“There’s every emotion from the ballad to the rocker,” observed Jon Bon Jovi. “All the influences were evident, from Hendrix to Chic.”