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2023/4 Albums Thing 278 - Prince & The Revolution “Music From The Motion Picture Purple Rain”

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Or plain ol’ “Purple Rain” as most people know it. I’m not gonna do some forensic rundown on this one. If you don’t know it where have you been for q the past 40 years ? I’m simply going to relate it to two memories I have of Prince’s (arguably) finest song, the title track.

On the 18th September 1991 I was with The Wonder Stuff in Philadelphia as they began their “Never Going To Memphis” US  tour (I also got arrested and thrown in a Philly jail cell for the night that day but that’s a story best told here https://morrisdancing29.blogspot.com/2014/02/adventures-in-car-removal.html). Eight days previously Geffen Records had released the first single from the album by a band they had picked up from SubPop Records, Nirvana’s “Smells Like Teen Spirit” was out in the wild (I know this piece is about Prince but bear with me). On 11th October 1991 The Wonder Stuff’s tour bus pulled up outside a club called First Avenue at 701 N. First Avenue, Minneapolis. Why am I giving you a geography and history lesson ? Well in my mind The Wonder Stuff, Nirvana and Prince are forever linked by that month in the USA. As we’d driven from Philly to Minneapolis via NYC, New Jersey, Canada, Cleveland, Detroit and Chicago we’d heard “Smells Like Teen Spirit” break right across US radio and on walking into First Avenue on that Friday in October I instantly recognised it as the club where Prince & The Revolution debut the song “Purple Rain” in the film of the same name.

That story I told to my dear friend Merk a few years later. Merk was a huge Prince fan and “Purple Rain” was his favourite of Prince’s songs. Merk tragically passed away a couple of years ago and every time I hear “Purple Rain” I send a wink up to the sky with an eye that inevitably has a tear in it.

Purple Rain - https://youtu.be/TvnYmWpD_T8?si=2eL-vpFTFEYUDrE0

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