Results for Purple Rain

specials

Remembering Prince

Prince Remembered

"Life is just a party, and parties weren't meant to last." Yet the party ended much too soon for music legend Prince, who died on April 21 at the age of 57 at his Paisley Park home and recording studio in Chanhassen, Minnesota. Volumes have been said about the late Prince Rogers Nelson in the past week, but Jim and Greg draw attention to aspects of his music and career that aren't acknowledged enough. Growing out of the Minneapolis funk scene, Prince refused to be boxed into a single genre, fearlessly blending funk, pop, rock, soul, new wave, and R&B to create a sound all his own. He was known as a guitar god, but could really play any instrument he touched and often was the only musician on his recordings. Prince carried on the Marvin Gaye and Al Green tradition in R&B of mixing the sacred and the profane, sex and salvation. On records like The Black Album, he created some of the most lascivious music ever, but at the same time, Jim and Greg argue he showed a deep respect for women. Not only did he mentor and collaborate with up-and-coming female stars, but he also was eager to help out his idols like Chaka Khan and Mavis Staples.

Prince was unafraid to explore psychedelia, especially in the crucial three album run of Purple Rain, Around the World in a Day, and Parade in the mid-80s. He spent the rest of his life toiling away at Paisley Park, churning out recording after recording – not without quality control issues. But in the past couple decades, Prince was defined by his unpredictable and often transcendent live performances. Prince was ahead of his time in recognizing the internet as a way to sell music directly to his fans without a label. But his greatest legacy will of course be his music, and his influence on generations of artists is immeasurable.

Go to episode 544

Desert Island Jukebox

Frequently at the end of Sound Opinions, Jim and Greg add songs to the Desert Island Jukebox. This jukebox is filled with tracks that Jim and Greg would take with them if stranded on a desert island. They‘ve posed this same age-old rock question to many of their guests. In this episode you’ll hear the music that these artists say they can't live without:

  • Saul Williams: James Brown, Live at the Olympia
  • Alex Kapranos of Franz Ferdinand: Leonard Cohen, The Songs of Leonard Cohen
  • Nick McCarthy of Franz Ferdinand: Neil Young, "Ohio"
  • Peaches: Prince, Purple Rain
  • Laurent Brancowitz of Phoenix: Serge Gainsbourg, Histoire de Melody Nelson
  • Thomas Mars of Phoenix: D'Angelo, Voodoo
  • Craig Finn of The Hold Steady: The Replacements, "I Will Dare"
  • Tad Kubler of The Hold Steady: Led Zeppelin, Physical Graffiti
  • Franz Nicolay of The Hold Steady: American Music Club, Mercury
  • Scott Hutchison of Frightened Rabbit: The Hold Steady, Stay Positive
  • Grant Hutchison of Frightened Rabbit: Bob Dylan, Planet Waves
  • Wayne Coyne and Steven Drozd of The Flaming Lips: John Lennon, "(Just Like) Starting Over"
Go to episode 213
classic album dissections
Purple Rain (Deluxe)Purple Rain available on iTunes

Prince Purple Rain

It's hard to believe, but Prince's blockbuster album Purple Rain is now celebrating its 25th anniversary. To honor this occasion Jim and Greg conduct a Classic Album Dissection. They talk to former Revolution members Wendy Melvoin and Lisa Coleman about their relationship with Prince and the making of the album. Wendy & Lisa are now a musical duo, and also score music for TV shows like Heroes and Nurse Jackie. But back in 1984, they were part of Prince's recording and performing team — Wendy on guitar and Lisa on keyboards. As Jim and Greg explain, it was unique for Prince to be collaborative. He even shared songwriting credits with The Revolution. Jim and Greg also credit Wendy and Lisa with opening Prince up to new music and new sounds.

To cap off their dissection Jim and Greg talk about two specific songs from Purple Rain. Jim plays "Darling Nikki," one of the only songs on the album written solely by Prince. It was targeted by Tipper Gore and the PMRC for its suggestive lyrics, but Jim sees it as a love/lust story similar to "Norwegian Wood." Greg plays "When Doves Cry." With no bass line, multiple guitar parts and a multi-tracked voice, it's an example of Prince's modern and avant-garde side.

Go to episode 191
Purple Rain (Deluxe)Purple Rain available on iTunes

Prince Purple Rain

Believe it or not, Prince's blockbuster album Purple Rain turns 30-years-old this month. To mark the occasion, Jim and Greg give Purple Rain the Classic Album Dissection treatment. They talk to former Revolution members Wendy Melvoin and Lisa Coleman about their relationship with Prince and the making of the album. Wendy & Lisa are now a musical duo, and also score music for TV shows like Heroes and Nurse Jackie, which won them an Emmy Award in 2010. But back in 1984, they were part of Prince's first major recording and performing team — Wendy on guitar and Lisa on keyboards. As Jim and Greg explain, it was unique for Prince to be collaborate on this level. The auteur even shared songwriting credits with The Revolution. Jim and Greg also credit Wendy and Lisa with opening Prince up to new music and new sounds.

To cap off their dissection, Jim and Greg talk about two specific songs from Purple Rain. Jim plays "Darling Nikki," one of the only songs on the album written solely by Prince. It was targeted by Tipper Gore and the PMRC for its suggestive lyrics, but Jim sees it as a love/lust story similar to The Beatles' "Norwegian Wood." Greg choses "When Doves Cry." With no bass line, multiple guitar parts and a multi-tracked voice, it's a perfect example of Prince's modern and avant-garde side.

Go to episode 449
reviews
Piano & a Microphone 1983Piano & a Microphone 1983 available on iTunes

Prince Piano & a Microphone 1983

Prince's estate has released a new album, titled Piano & a Microphone 1983, which aptly describes the sparse quality to the recording. Greg notes that this is a demo, just Prince singing and playing the piano, recorded to a cassette tape in 1983. Greg says that the album is valuable because its a glimpse into Prince's artistic process, recorded on the cusp of his breakthrough album, Purple Rain. He adds that, for a Prince fan, this is“manna from heaven.”Both Jim and Greg agree that the album has a couple of revelatory songs, "Cold Coffee and Cocaine" and a cover of the classic spiritual "Mary Don't You Weep;" but ultimately, Jim wonders whether Prince would have wanted this recording released. Prince is no longer with us, but his extensive vault of unreleased material promises that we'll keep seeing new material from him for a long time.

JimGreg
Go to episode 673
news

Music News

In the week's most unexpected news, Prince has reconciled with Warner Music after a two-decade split. Fans may remember their public kerfuffle in 1996, when the star scrawled "SLAVE" across his face, changed his name to the unpronounceable Love Symbol, and otherwise acted out until the label released him from his contract. But independence wasn't quite the salvation Prince expected, and his album sales faltered. Now Prince has the promotional power of Warner Bros. back on his side. Plus, he regains control over his catalog, just in time to reissue a 30th-anniversary edition of Purple Rain. It's a shrewd business move—or, as Jim suggests, maybe a form of Stockholm syndrome.

Over the years, Sound Opinions has witnessed endless battles over pop music piracy, from the Pirate Bay to Limewire to the aforementioned Purple One. Now digital theft has spread to the theatre. Wicked composer Stephen Schwartz and other prominent Broadway writers have learned that thousands of fans are downloading their sheet music illegally, thus keeping them from thousands of royalty dollars. But instead of rushing to file copyright lawsuits (à la the RIAA and so many record labels), the composers have taken a more compassionate route, emailing downloaders one-by-one to let them know how piracy hurts them. To that, Jim and Greg cheer: "Bravissimo!"

Go to episode 439