For The Record – ‘Purple Rain’

On this day in 1984, Prince assumed the Number One album slot with his masterpiece ‘Purple Rain’. The record had been released at the end of June and in six short weeks sold nearly one million copies. It spent 24 weeks in the top slot and has sold, to date, more than 13 million copies.

Later that same year, Prince became the first singer to achieve three simultaneous Number One positions with the Number One album (‘Purple Rain’), Number One single (‘When Doves Cry’) and the Number One film (‘Purple Rain’).

In 1985, he scooped up awards everywhere he went including, the Grammy for Best Rock Vocal Performance, the Grammy for Best Album of Original Score Material and an Oscar for Best Original Song Score – all for ‘Purple Rain’, of course.

Although Prince wrote all of the songs, he credited his backing group, known as The Revolution, for the first time on this record. From the avant-garde feel of ‘When Doves Cry’, which did not contain a bass line, to the psuedo-psychedelic, hard(ish)-rock riffs in ‘Let’s Go Crazy’, Prince and The Revolution combined electronic elements/effects with full-band performances to produce an album that crossed and conquered almost every single genre of music. Today, ‘Purple Rain’ is consistently regarded as one of the best albums of all-time.

Interestingly, after the massive success of ‘Purple Rain’, Prince chose to release his next album, ‘Around The World In A Day’, in 1985 without any publicity or the promotion of an official single. However, his success continued when the album went to Number One and ‘Raspberry Beret’ reached the Number Two position on the Billboard Charts in America.

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