Tag: Purple Rain

February 5, 2017 / / Main Slate

In the days following Prince’s death, a series of memes made the rounds comparing the songwriting and guest-appearance credits on the fallen icon’s albums to those of Beyonce’s recent release Lemonade. These charts reinforced the rockiest belief that artists who write their own songs and play all their instruments are true artists, where pop singers who collaborate with songwriters to achieve their vision are puppets in thrall to their record companies.

If Prince were alive to see these memes, he would probably respond with the same shady expression immortalized in so many reaction gifs. Though he wrote all his songs, played many of the instruments on his albums, and produced much of his recorded output, he had a strong interest in collaboration—particularly with accomplished female artists who had strong perspectives. Esperenza Spalding, Misty Copeland, Sheila E., and—yes—Beyonce worked side-by-side with Prince at different points in his career.

December 9, 2016 / / Main Slate

In 1987, Prince was coming off a three-year creative high. His feature film debut Purple Rain was a critical and popular success, and the film’s title track became a rock standard. In the wake of Purple Rain’s runaway success, Prince recorded two albums with his backing band The Revolution; wrote, directed, and starred in the ambitious narrative feature Under the Cherry Moon; and mounted a pair of world tours. Not all of his brainchildren endured, however. Under the Cherry Moon lost money at the box office and was nominated for several Razzies, and The Revolution were starting to experience some internal tension. After disbanding his legendary Purple Rain ensemble, Prince put together a supergroup of friends and associates, recorded an album that would be the best LP of any lesser artist’s career, and directed a concert film featuring music from that album.