Prince's 'Purple Rain' soundtrack turns 30


Media outlets and fans of Prince celebrated "Purple Rain," Wednesday on the 30th anniversary of the movie soundtrack's release.

Observances extended to the nation's Capitol building, where Congressman Keith Ellison was inspired to strum a little tribute to his fellow Minnesotan.

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Mostly filmed in Minneapolis – including such locations as First Avenue in downtown – "Purple Rain" wasn't released in theaters until July 27, 1984, but the soundtrack came out a month earlier. The album spawned several hits including the title track, "When Doves Cry," "Let's Go Crazy" and "I Would Die 4 U," and the film earned the Minnesota music icon an Oscar for Best Music, Original Song Score.

The soundtrack also earned Prince two Grammy Awards – for Best Rock Vocal Performance by a Duo or Group and Best Album of Original Score Written for a Motion Picture or TV Special – and it also earned a nomination for Album of the Year.

According to Billboard, the "Purple Rain" soundtrack spent 24 weeks at No. 1 on its Top 200 Albums chart, and more than 13 million copies were sold in the U.S. alone. "Purple Rain" is tied for third place with "Saturday Night Fever" on Billboard's 10 best charting soundtrack list, behind the soundtracks for "West Side Story" (54 weeks at No. 1) and "South Pacific" (31 weeks).

Yahoo! is noting the 30th birthday of the soundtrack's release with 10 facts about the release. Among the more interesting tidbits, the Purple One reportedly asked Fleetwood Mac singer Stevie Nicks to write the lyrics to the instrumental that would become the song "Purple Rain."

In an interview with the Star Tribune in 2011, Nicks said Prince sent her a cassette tape with a 10-minute track, and she "listened to it" and "just got scared."

"I called him back and said, 'I can't do it. I wish I could. It's too much for me,'" Nicks told the Star Tribune. "I'm so glad that I didn't, because he wrote it, and it became 'Purple Rain.'"

Billboard is commemorating the release with a track-by-track review of each of the album's nine songs. The Current features Prince's former longtime drummer Bobby Z, sharing his memories of each of the songs.

“I think he was really ahead of what the ‘80s were about to become,” said the musician, whose real name is Bobby Rivkin.

In April, Prince announced that he signed a new deal with Warner Bros. Music, which includes a deluxe, digitally remastered reissue of the "Purple Rain" soundtrack.

In an interview with the Star Tribune this week, Prince said a song on a forthcoming album, "This Could Be Us," was inspired by a meme of he and "Purple Rain" co-star Apollonia Kotero on a motorcycle, clearly taken from a scene in the film.

Prince is also connected to another landmark anniversary this week. Director Tim Burton's superhero movie classic "Batman" – which featured a song soundtrack by Prince – turned 25 on Monday, Wired UK says.

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