Purple Rain ~ Prince

Prince is a singer, songwriter, musician, and actor. He has been known under the unpronounceable symbol , which he used between 1993 and 2000. During that period he was frequently referred to in the media as “The Artist Formerly Known as Prince“, often abbreviated to “TAFKAP“, or simply “The Artist“.

According to Robert Larsen in his book, History of Rock and Roll, Prince is “one of the most talented and commercially successful pop musicians of the last 20 years”, producing ten platinum albums and thirty Top 40 singles during his career. Prince founded his own recording studio and label, writing, self-producing and playing most, or all, of the instruments on his recordings.[2] In addition, Prince has been a “talent promoter” for the careers of Sheila E., Carmen Electra, The Time and Vanity 6  and has written songs for these artists and others (including Chaka Khan, The Bangles, and Sinéad O’Connor).

Prince Rogers Nelson was born June 7, 1958, in Minneapolis, Minnesota, to John L. Nelson and Mattie Shaw.  Prince’s father was a pianist and songwriter and his mother was a jazz singer. Prince was named after his father, whose stage name was Prince Rogers, and who performed with a jazz group called the Prince Rogers Trio. In a 1991 interview with A Current Affair, Prince’s father said, “I named my son Prince because I wanted him to do everything I wanted to do.” Prince’s childhood nickname was Skipper.

In a PBS interview Prince told Tavis Smiley that he was “born epileptic” and “used to have seizures” when he was young. During the interview Prince also said that “my mother told me one day I walked in to her and said, ‘Mom, I’m not going to be sick anymore,’ and she said ‘Why?’ and I said ‘Because an angel told me so.’ ”

Prince’s sister Tika Evene (usually called Tyka) was born in 1960.  Both siblings developed a keen interest in music, and this was encouraged by their father.  Prince wrote his first tune, “Funk Machine” on his father’s piano when he was seven.[18] Prince’s parents then separated when Prince was ten years old. Following their separation, Prince constantly switched home: sometimes he lived with his father, and sometimes with his stepfather.  Finally he moved into the home of a neighbor, the Andersons, and befriended their son, Andre Anderson who later became known as André Cymone.

Prince and Anderson joined Prince’s cousin, Charles Smith, in a band called Grand Central while they were attending Minneapolis’s Central High School. Smith was later replaced by Morris Day on the drums. Prince played piano and guitar for the band which performed at clubs and parties in the Minneapolis area. Grand Central later changed its name to Champagne and started playing original music influenced by Sly & the Family Stone, James Brown, Earth, Wind & Fire, Miles Davis, Parliament-Funkadelic, Carlos Santana, Jimi Hendrix, and Todd Rundgren. Prince also played basketball in high school.

Purple Rain

The song was recorded live at the Minneapolis club First Avenue in 1983. The performance was the live debut of Wendy Melvoin, and also netted the final three songs of the Purple Rain album, although the songs would undergo studio overdubs later. “Purple Rain”‘s original lyrics contained an extra verse about money, which was edited out, as it diluted the emotional impact of the song.

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I never meant to cause you any sorrow.
I never meant to cause you any pain.
I only wanted to one time see you laughing.
I only wanted to see you laughing in the purple rain.

Purple rain, Purple rain
Purple rain, Purple rain
Purple rain, Purple rain

I only wanted to see you bathing in the purple rain.

I never wanted to be your weekend lover.
I only wanted to be some kind of friend.
Baby I could never steal you from another.
It’s such a shame our friendship had to end.

Purple rain, Purple rain
Purple rain, Purple rain
Purple rain, Purple rain

I only wanted to see you underneath the purple rain.

Honey I know, I know, I know times are changing.
It’s time we all reach out for something new,
That means you too.
You say you want a leader,
But you can’t seem to make up your mind.
I think you better close it,
And let me guide you to the purple rain.

Purple rain, Purple rain
Purple rain, Purple rain

If you know what I’m singing about up here.
C’mon raise your hand.

Purple rain, Purple rain

I only want to see you, only want to see you.

  • Audio from the 1984 album, Purple Rain:

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About DJ Allyn

DJ Allyn is a burned out radio guy who went on to become a burned out sound engineer for a few Seattle area grunge bands in the 1980s and 1990s. Left the madness of worldwide tours with bands, cleaned up my act and went into the relative sanity of sound engineering for television series. Currently working as the Director of Sound for a television series being filmed in North Vancouver, British Columbia. I am always on the lookout for interesting videos, old music, and fun.

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