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In a purple sky

Prince – Purple Rain

#quotefromthe80s
I never wanted 2 be your weekend lover
I only wanted 2 be some kind of friend
Baby I could never steal you from another
It´s such a shame our friendship had 2 end
#Prince #PurpleRain #WendyAndLisa

When we talk about the greatest artists of the 80s, however difficult, there is always a song that represents them more than any other song. Through dozens of albums and hundreds of songs, there is almost always one that becomes the signature song. It’s not always the one that sold the most or was the most successful, but in the end a song really becomes the signature of a singer or a group.

In Prince’s case, this song is most likely “Purple Rain”. Prince did dozens of unforgettable songs, from “Let’s go crazy” to “Kiss” to “Sign o’ the times.” And yet he will always be bound to the memory and notes of “Purple Rain”. This song gave the title to the album of the same name, which was then the title of the film in which Prince played a character inspired by himself.

Musically, the song is a mammoth work. Not only for the length between eight and nine minutes (reduced to just over four in the single version), but above all for the richness of the sounds and the various sections that make up the song, as well as for the energy that comes out of every note played by the electric guitar.

The concept of “Purple” has always been very intimate to Prince; in his interpretation, it represented the almost apocalyptic union of heaven and blood. When the blue of heaven is tinged with the red of blood, along with the person you love, you wait for your faith or your God to let you out of the purple rain. It became his symbol color, and the color of his clothes and performances.

The song is about reconciliation, albeit in different contexts between film and album. The song clip is perhaps the highest point of the entire movie, when The Kid (Prince) and his group have to play the last song for the competition against their opponents. Prince introduces himself by dedicating the song to his father, and saying that the song was composed by Wendy and Lisa.

Probably the song is dedicated or at least inspired by Prince’s great ex, Vanity. A story without winners, only losers. It certainly wasn’t written by Wendy and Lisa, although they still played an important role in the song’s development. It seems that Prince had clear ideas about the song from an instrumental point of view, but that he was more confused about the lyrics. He had turned to Stevie Nicks, but after several weeks the Fleetwood Mac voice had given up saying “it’s just too much, for me”, perhaps intimidated by the length of the song.

And so during a rehearsal session, Prince tells Wendy and Lisa to help him find the right text. The two girls didn’t hold back, and practically in that session they played the song for six hours in a row, and at the end they have more or less the final lyrics. In addition, Wendy made her debut in The Revolution exactly in the session where “Purple Rain” was finally recorded. By the way, it’s probably the first song with lyrics where words like “to” and “for” are replaced with numbers. At the time of the movie release, Wendy and Lisa were part of The Revolution.

Prince and Wendy are also the protagonists of one of the most talked about moments by fans, towards the end of the video, when Prince kisses Wendy and she reacts with a grimace that probably betrays emotion, but apparently seems due to some disgust. Fans have been debating for years why Wendy’s grimace.

I have two great memories related to Prince and Purple Rain. The first memory is that when the film came out I was fifteen years old, and I was waiting for the day that would come out in the cinemas of my town. The first Saturday after the release I would definitely go to there to see “Purple Rain”. And I’m still waiting.

The second memory is sadder. In April 2016 I landed in New York, and noticed that the Hard Rock Cafe near Times Square had an all-purple light sign, under Prince’s name, and the window had been decked out with memorabilia and photos of the Minneapolis genius. In short, all the bright screens remembered him and the whole of New York clutched him in a hug. One of the greatest artists of the 80s had died a few hours earlier. He had held his last concert a week earlier in Atlanta, and the last song performed in front of his fans in his last concert was of course “Purple Rain”, the song he used to clos all of his concerts.

Prince on Wikipedia

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