In terms of musical loss 2016 will go down in the history books as being one of the cruellest 12 months ever. That year we lost David Bowie, George Michael, Glenn Frey, Rick Parfitt, Both Emerson AND Lake, Leonard Cohen, Merle Heggard, George Martin…and this amazing man whose album I present today.
The term ‘Genius’ has been dropped into my album summaries a few times over the past 36 days, on this occasion I can place my hand on heart and double confirm the fact that the man behind this album is indeed the purist definition of this word and a proper certified owner of the title.
The level of talent that this guy possessed still completely amazes me. From playing pretty much every instrument on his first five releases, through to being the ultimate in stage presence, dancer, producer and songwriter – such a multi-talented artist was virtually unheard of before this chap landed on the scene.
It was this album that properly launched Prince into chart orbit and the eyes of the world. ‘Sign “O” The Times’ would be a close second for me personally as I love how raw and organically funky it sounds in comparison and how beautifully subtle it is. For out and out power of songs and production though ‘Purple Rain’ stands proud for me.
What an album this is too. From the get-go the warbled off pitch organ and sermon intro on ‘Let’s Go Crazy’ launches this LP on a rocket into space and paves the way for some of the finest commercially viable funk songs ever created. ‘I Would Die 4 U’ slots in graciously straight after the massive anthem ‘When Doves Cry’ and is a beautifully uplifting turbo charger before the self-indulgent, feel good ‘Baby I’m A Star’ kicks in and keeps momentum at perfect level.
Then, to cap off this sparkling rollercoaster ride, the beautiful ‘Purple Rain’ takes this all-time classic album to pure anthemic, sing-along power ballad heaven. One of the finest endings to one of the finest albums in history.
This 37 year old masterpiece is right up with the best as being one of the finest albums ever written.