Produced and arranged by Prince Rodgers Nelson. That kind of liner note only hits a generation once, and since 1984’s sleeper soundtrack, “Purple Rain,” they’re few and far between. By every law of music and time, Prince is bonafide rock royalty. But in the summer of 1984, Prince was just a “Kid,” gearing up for his first major semi-autobiographical screen debut hitting theaters, and a soundtrack that would put him in a sphere with his already legendary peers. While Michael Jackson prepared to hit the road with his brothers for the “Victory” tour, and Bruce Springsteen‘s “Born In The U.S.A.” scorched the charts while the accompanying tour sold out stadiums, the Purple enigma dropped a silent giant move on the industry. It hasn’t forgotten him since.
As “Purple Rain” turns 30 today, we take a look back at the original reviews of the soundtrack and film. Even without the lens of nostalgia, it’s clear that critics and fans alike where already under the shy entertainer’s rock-tinged spell.
New York Times: Prince Creates A Winner With “Purple Rain”
By Robert Palmer
Published: July 22, 1984
“For the first time, Prince has stepped beyond the image he so obsessively constructed for himself on earlier records, and the result is exhilarating. What the film critics will make of all this remains to be seen, but the album ”Purple Rain” is a winner, creatively and commercially. It may lack the Jacksons’ multiformat sophistication and Bruce Springsteen’s single-minded vision of America’s hopes and failures, but this listener suspects that long after this summer’s hits are forgotten, and the Jacksons and Springsteen albums are packed away, ”Purple Rain” will still be remembered, and played, as an enduring rock classic.”
Read the full interview here: http://www.nytimes.com/1984/07/22/arts/prince-creates-a-winner-with-purple-rain.html
New York Times: “Purple Rain,” With Prince
By Vincent Canby
Published: July 27, 1984
“‘Purple Rain,’ which introduces Prince, the rising young rock performer, to theatrical films, is probably the flashiest album cover ever to be released as a movie. However, like many album covers, ‘Purple Rain,’ though sometimes arresting to look at, is a cardboard come-on to the record it contains.
Prince’s soundtrack recording has already become one of the summer’s big sellers, while the almost confessional single, ‘When Doves Cry,’ is at the top of the charts. The movie, which opens today at the Criterion and other theaters, may also become a hit, but it’s of a different caliber entirely…”
Read the full interview here: http://www.nytimes.com/movie/review?res=950CE4D9143AF934A15754C0A962948260
Rolling Stone: “Prince Reigns”
By Kurt Loder
Published: August 30, 1984
” In the view of Warner Bros., it marked the long-awaited point at which Prince’s seamless fusion of white rock & roll and black dance-funk became commercially undeniable; and it was seen as setting the stage for Prince’s next album to create the kind of cultural explosion that traditionally heralds the arrival of a true superstar.”
Read the full interview here: http://www.rollingstone.com/music/news/prince-reigns-19840830