Prince Rogers Nelson (born June 7, 1958) is an American musician. He performs under the mononym of Prince, but has also been known by various other names, among them an unpronounceable symbol, (rendered in ASCII as O(+>) which he used as his name between 1993 and 2000, during which time he was usually referred to as The Artist Formerly Known as Prince.
Prince is prolific, having released several hundred songs both under his own name and with other artists. He has won seven Grammy Awards, a Golden Globe, and an Academy Award. He was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame the first year he was eligible in 2004. Rolling Stone ranked Prince #28 on its list of the 100 Greatest Artists of All Time.
Prince's musical palette covers many musical genres including R&B, soul, funk, rock, blues, new wave, psychedelia, folk, jazz and hip hop. Some of his influences are Jimi Hendrix, James Brown, Sly & the Family Stone, Curtis Mayfield, Parliament-Funkadelic, Stevie Wonder, Carlos Santana, Joni Mitchell, the Beatles, Duke Ellington and Miles Davis. The distinctive characteristics of his early-to-mid 1980s work, such as sparse and industrial-sounding drum machine arrangements and the use of synthesizer riffs to serve the role traditionally occupied by horn riffs in earlier R&B, funk and soul music, were called the "Minneapolis sound" and have proved very influential.
Purple Rain 1984
Purple Rain is an album by Prince and The Revolution, the soundtrack to the film of the same name.
Purple Rain regularly is ranked among the best albums in rock music history. Time magazine in 1993 ranked it the 15th greatest album of all time, and it placed 18th on VH1's The Greatest Rock n Roll Albums of All Time. Rolling Stone magazine ranked it the #2 best lp of the 80's and then 72nd greatest album of all time and Zounds magazine 18th greatest album of all time. The album was 4th in Plásticos y Decibelios list The Greatest Albums of All Time. In 2007, the editors of Vanity Fair labeled it the best soundtrack of all time and by Tempo magazine it was named the greatest album of the 1980s. 
The 1000th issue of Entertainment Weekly dated July 4, 2008 listed Purple Rain at number one on the Top 100 Best albums of the past 25 years. The RIAA lists it as having gone platinum 13 times over.
It was released by Warner Bros. Records on June 25, 1984, and was Prince's sixth album. Prince wrote all of the songs on the album, some with the input of fellow band members. Some of the tracks had portions recorded live when Prince performed on August 3, 1983, at the First Avenue club in Minneapolis. This show was a benefit concert for the Minnesota Dance Theater. It was also the first appearance in Prince's band "The Revolution" by Wendy Melvoin, his guitarist in the Purple Rain film and for a few years afterwards.
Purple Rain was the first Prince album recorded with and officially credited to his backing group the Revolution. The resulting album was musically denser than Prince's previous one-man albums, emphasizing full band performances, and multiple layers of guitars, keyboards, icy electronic synthesizer effects, drum machines, and other instruments. Musically, Purple Rain remained grounded in the electro-funk and R&B elements of Prince's previous work while demonstrating a more pronounced rock feel in its grooves and emphasis on guitar showmanship. As a soundtrack record, much of the music had a grandiose, synthesized, and even—by some evaluations—a vaguely psychedelic sheen to the production and performances. The music on Purple Rain is generally regarded as the most pop-oriented of Prince's career, though a number of elements point towards the more experimental pop/psychedelic records Prince would record after Purple Rain. As with many massive crossover albums, Purple Rain's consolidation of a myriad of styles, from pop rock to urban R&B to dance, is generally acknowledged to account in part for its enormous popularity.
In addition to the record's breakthrough sales, music critics noted the innovative and experimental aspects of the soundtrack's music, most famously on the spare, bass-less "When Doves Cry", which was frequently identified as pop at its most avant-garde. Other aspects of the music, especially its synthesis of electronic elements with organic instrumentation and full-band performances (some, as noted above, recorded live) along with its landmark consolidation of rock and R&B, were identified by critics as distinguishing, even experimental factors. Stephen Erlewine of Allmusic writes that Purple Rain finds Prince "consolidating his funk and R&B roots while moving boldly into pop, rock, and heavy metal" and identifies the record's nine songs as "uncompromising...forays into pop" and "stylistic experiments", echoing general sentiment that Purple Rain's music represented Prince at his most popular without forsaking his experimental bent.
"Take Me with U" was originally written for the Apollonia 6 album, but was later pulled for Purple Rain. An unfortunate result of this addition was making crucial cuts to the suite-like "Computer Blue", which circulates amongst collectors in a superior, though unreleased extended version (a portion of this second section of "Computer Blue" can be heard in the film Purple Rain as Prince walks in on the men of The Revolution rehearsing). The song "Darling Nikki" is notable for its lyrical content, which eventually led to the use of Parental Advisory stickers and imprints on album covers by ways of Tipper Gore and the Parents Music Resource Center.
Prince won three Grammy Awards: for Best Rock Vocal Performance by a Duo or Group, Best Album of Original Score Written for a Motion Picture or TV Special (Purple Rain), and Best R&B Song (songwriter) (Chaka Khan's "I Feel for You") and was nominated for Album of the Year (Purple Rain). "Purple Rain" also won an Oscar for Best Original Song Score in 1985.
Purple Rain sold 13 million units in the United States, earning a Diamond Award from the Recording Industry Association of America. According to Billboard magazine, the album spent 24 consecutive weeks at #1 on the Billboard album charts (August 4, 1984 to January 18, 1985) becoming one of the top soundtracks ever. Purple Rain traded the #1 album chart position with Bruce Springsteen's Born in the U.S.A. twice, during 1984 and 1985. Two songs from Purple Rain, "When Doves Cry" and "Let's Go Crazy", would top the U.S. singles charts and were hits around the world, while the title track would go to number two on the Billboard Hot 100. The album has sold more than 20 million copies worldwide.
1. "Let's Go Crazy" – 4:39
2. "Take Me with U" – 3:58
3. "The Beautiful Ones" – 5:17
4. "Computer Blue" – 3:56
5. "Darling Nikki" – 4:13
6. "When Doves Cry" – 5:52
7. "I Would Die 4 U" – 2:49
8. "Baby I'm a Star" – 4:24
9. "Purple Rain" – 8:41