Late last month, New Power Generation Records and Warner Bros. Records released Prince’s Academy Award and Grammy Award-winning RIAA diamond-certified masterpiece ‘Purple Rain’ in new deluxe and deluxe expanded edition formats.
The two-disc ‘Purple Rain’ deluxe set includes the official 2015 Paisley Park Remaster of the original tapes from the 1984 soundtrack to the film of the same name, presenting an unheard vision of the album overseen and sanctioned by Prince himself before his untimely death last year. The ‘From the Vault & Unreleased’ disc boasts eleven gems unearthed from the depths of Prince’s storied vault.
Six tracks that have never been released or distributed in the collector or bootleg community include “Possessed,” the 1983 Prince solo version, which hasn’t been heard before. “Electric Intercourse,” the studio version not known to exist before it was discovered at Paisley Park is also included, as is “Father’s Song,” a full, five plus minute version that prior to this fans could only find a minute and half snippet of in the movie. The provocatively titled “We Can [Expletive],” a track that has never circulated as the full, 10 minute version with lyrics and “Katrina’s Paper Dolls” in a finished master of the song, which has previously only circulated as a demo. Additionally, all of the material is taken from the source and mastered by Bernie Grundman, the mastering engineer who worked on the original album.
In addition to the original album and ‘From the Vault & Unreleased,’ the ‘Purple Rain’ deluxe expanded edition presents a third disc of single edits and B-sides, as well as the concert DVD of Prince and The Revolution live at the Carrier Dome Syracuse, N.Y. on March 30, 1985. The audio and video was restored from the original production master tape, it offers an exclusive vignette into the passion and power of Prince’s legendary live performances during one of his most celebrated eras.
When the set was released, both editions of ‘Purple Rain’ immediately soared to the Top 10 of iTunes overall Top Albums, Top Soundtrack Albums and Top Pop Albums charts worldwide. According to Billboard, Purple Rain made it to No. 4 on this week’s charts with 52,000 units in the tracking frame − 48,000 of which were in traditional album sales. The set collected a 3,633 percent gain in units for the week, and a 4,767 percent leap in album sales. Back in 1984, it topped the charts.
The re-release were preceded by three previously unheard anthems “Electric Intercourse,” “Our Destiny/Roadhouse Garden” and “Father’s Song.” In just one month, “Electric Intercourse” quickly approached one million Spotify streams.
Even without all the bells and whistles that come with a typical expanded set, ‘Purple Rain’ remains a timeless body of work filled with smash hits like “Let’s Go Crazy,” “When Doves Cry,” and the epic title track. It was a high watermark for Prince, changing the worlds of film and music.
In its initial run, the theatrical musical generated over $220 million worldwide at the box office against an estimated $7.2 million budget, while receiving the Academy Award for “Best Original Song Score.” Minted Diamond by the RIAA for sales exceeding 13 million, the record stands out as the sixth best-selling soundtrack album in history, moving more than 22 million copies.
Posthumously, it was honored as “Favorite Soundtrack” at the 2016 American Music Awards. The album won two 1985 Grammy Awards in the categories of Best Rock Vocal Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocal and Best Album of Original Score Written for a Motion Picture or Television Special.
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