October 27, 2016 • Martyrs', Chicago, IL
Purple Rain. It was a movie. It was an album. It was a song. And together, they transformed a moderately successful R’n’B singer into an international sensation.
The man knew the power of image. As the era of MTV dawned, Prince’s video for “Little Red Corvette” helped break down racial barriers on the network as it broke his music to legions of new fans. (Who can forget his dance moves complete with those effortless splits?) Seeing the potential of creating an entire movie to go with his songs, Prince instructed his managers to find someone who would help him create a film to go with his next album…or he would find new managers who would.
It was a demand that paid off handsomely. Purple Rain earned back its $7.2 million investment its first weekend and went on to gross over $80 million worldwide. The accompanying soundtrack album Purple Rain sold 1.5 million copies its debut week and has racked up sales of over 22 million copies to date. And the song? “Purple Rain” has been heralded by Rolling Stone as one of “The 500 Greatest Songs of All Time,” championed by Q magazine as one of “The 100 Greatest Guitar Tracks,” and honored by Pitchfork Media as “The Best Song of the 1980s.”