Purple Rain: Prince’s Masterpiece in Music & Film.


Noah Norville

One of the most prominent artists of the 1980s was the artist Prince. Prince Rogers Nelson had cemented himself as one of the top musicians of the time with his iconic albums Dirty Mind, Controversy, and 1999. However, on July 29, 1984, Prince and his band The Revolution released the album Purple Rain. The album debuted at number 11 on the Billboard 200 chart and Received outstanding reviews from critics. Like Elvis Presley and The Beatles, Prince simultaneously had a number-one album, single, and film in the United States. Singles to Purple Rain included “When Doves Cry,” “Let’s Go Crazy,” “Purple Rain,” “I Would Die 4 U,” and “Take Me With U.”

July 27, 1984, saw the release of Purple Rain, the movie. The film starred Prince in his acting debut as The Kid. In the movie, The Kid is an artist struggling with his home life, which consists of his father and mother in an abusive and unhappy relationship. At night, The Kid and his backing band, The Revolution, perform at the First Avenue nightclub in Minneapolis. Another band that performs, known as The Time, is the rival to The Revolution. At the film’s beginning, we are also introduced to the character Apollonia, an aspiring singer. She takes a liking to The Kid, and they begin to hit it off. However, Apollonia decides to join The Time, which angers The Kid, and they grow apart. And so, The Kid must battle between gaining back the love of Apollonia while also needing to dominate his performance against The Time.

Purple Rain was a critical and commercial success, garnering nearly $70,000,000 at the box office and winning awards such as an Academy Award and a Grammy. And with that, Prince had become a household name both musically and in film.