Prince was the God of Rock!! Here are 10 amazing facts about Purple Rain
The God of Rock is no more. Prince Rogers Nelson who we fondly knew as “PRINCE”, the incredible musical icon who made the 80s come alive with mind-blowing music died at 10 am yesterday on 21st April 2016, succumbing to prolonged illness and dehydration.
‘Purple Rain’ the hit album and the movie by the same name went on to win an Academy Award for the category of Best Original Song Score. The number itself performed during the heyday of Prince and the Revolution became a cult phenomenon that is praised for its fantastic theme, music composition and awesome guitaring. While the world mourns for the man who gave us the most profound number of ‘Purple Rain’, here is a list of 10 amazing facts about PURPLE RAIN.
1 Prince First Approached Stevie Nicks to Write the Lyrics
Prince had first approached Stevie Nicks, female singer and songwriter of Fleetwood Mac fame to pen the lyrics of Purple Rain. Stevie found it too overwhelming and scary to the point of refusing as she might not do justice to such a track. Prince then wrote it himself and a legend in music was born.
2 Wendy Melvoin, Who Debuted With Purple Rain Wrote the First Chords of the Song
The first recording of the song was performed at the first avenue nightclub in Minneapolis, being a benefit concert for the Minnesota dance theater. It was also the debut chance of female guitarist Wendy Melvoin of Wendy and Lisa fame. Both Wendy and Lisa Coleman were part of Prince’s band “The Revolution”. It was Wendy who wrote the first chords of music to the song.
3 Wendy and Lisa Stayed Together For 20 Years
At the time of debuting with Prince, Wendy and Lisa were already a couple and remained together for 20 years. Lisa Coleman stated that the song ‘Purple Rain’ symbolized a new beginning. Purple, the sky at dawn; rain, the “cleansing factor.”
4 Jennifer Beals Turned Down the Role of the female protagonist in Purple Rain
The sexy model that you see in Purple Rain is yes!! Apollonia !! Everyone knows that. But she wasn’t Prince’s girlfriend; Prince in fact offered the role to his girlfriend Vanity who left him just before filming. Prince’s second choice was Jennifer Beals of Flashdance fame and she turned it down! It was then that Apollonia was chosen and rightly so!
5 Purple Rain Won an Oscar in a Category Which Is Now Defunct
Purple Rain won Prince an Oscar for best original song score in 1984. A category that is now defunct. Purple rain went on to sell 13 million copies grossing $80 million in the US alone. It stayed as No.1 on the billboard charts for 24 weeks and was put on Time magazine’s list of best 100 albums of all time. Made with a budget of $7 million, the movie Purple Rain raked in $ 68, 392, 977 US
6 At His Gig in the First Avenue Nightclub Prince Used a $ 200 MADCAT Guitar
Just like knowing every part of the guitar anatomy (which is impressive), this is interesting for guitar geeks. A die-hard Prince fan, Chopin Gard stated that at the gig at First Avenue, Prince played a Hohner MADCAT guitar which he purchased for $ 200 at a local guitar shop named the Knut Coupe in Minneapolis. The guitar was actually a copied version of the Fender Telecaster and the company is contemplating a suit even now. Incidentally the first avenue nightclub was home to quite a number of Prince’s initial performances
7 Wham’s Wake Me Up…Managed to Stay At No.1 for 2 Weeks Ahead of Purple Rains Debut
The only song which managed to stay one step ahead of Purple Rain for two weeks on the US charts was Wham’s Wake me up before you go go. Can you believe that?
8 Darling Nikki, a Song from the Album Has a Verse Recorded Backwards
The strange sounding distortion of vocals heard during a rainstorm in the song ‘Darling Nikki’ which formed part of the Purple Rain album was actually an extra verse. It was recorded backwards using a vinyl player. These are its eerie lyrics
Hello, how are you?
I’m fine ’cause I know that the Lord is coming soon
Coming, coming soon.”
9 Prince Even Carried Around a Purple Note Book
Prince was in the habit of carrying around a purple notebook which contained entire notes, sketches, suggestions and ideas for the script of Purple Rain during his 1999 tour. Imagine him losing that.
10 Fans Still Try to Interpret Purple Rain but For Prince It Was Apocalyptic
The most amazing fact about Purple Rain was its theme. For ages now, fans have been mystified about the true meaning and theme of Purple Rain. Some feel it’s apocalyptic, some feel it was about his life but in Prince’s own words
‘When there’s blood in the sky – red and blue = purple… purple rain pertains to the end of the world and being with the one you love and letting your faith/god guide you through the purple rain.’
I never meant to cause you any sorrow
I never meant to cause you any pain
I only wanted one time to see you laughing
I only want to see you laughing in the purple rain
R.I.P Prince, Thank you for Purple Rain!