A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this music.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Prince and the Revolution's Grammy- and Oscar-winning soundtrack to the film Purple Rain blends R&B, with 1980s synth-rock and psychedelic styles. The unique sound and Prince's compelling voice and personality propelled this album to No. 1 when it was released in 1984. The album includes some relatively tame love songs, such as the title track, "Take Me With U" and the No.1 single "When Doves Cry," as well as the clever, up-tempo lead track, "Let's Go Crazy." The song "Darling Nikki," however, contains explicit sexual lyrics, portraying an intense sexual encounter. The song "I Would Die 4 U" carries a strange message blending romantic love with religion.
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What's the story?
MUSIC FROM THE MOTION PICTURE PURPLE RAIN by Prince and the Revolution is the soundtrack to the 1984 rock musical film, starring Prince, Apollonia Kotero, and Morris Day. Prince plays a musician in the movie, and he performs some of the songs in concert sequences in the film. The film and soundtrack were critical and popular hits when they were released. The soundtrack won an Academy Award for Best Soundtrack Album and two Grammy Awards -- Best Rock Vocal Performance by a Duo or Group and Best Album of Original Score Written for a Motion Picture or TV Special. Purple Rain also went to No. 1 on Billboard's album chart and remained there for 24 weeks.
Is it any good?
What sets Purple Rain apart is the inventive blend of musical styles that Prince brought to this rock musical, and to all of his music at that time. Few songs are straight-ahead arrangements in any one genre; the artist blends synth-rock with funk, R&B, and metal. This not only creates variety but impressive dynamics both within the songs and track to track. Standouts include the anthemic title track, the No. 1 single "When Doves Cry," and the up-tempo pop dance number "Let's Go Crazy."
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about how this soundtrack may differ from other film soundtracks. How are the musical style and the way the music relates to the action in the film different from typical musical soundtracks?
What is the singer suggesting in the song "I Would Die 4 U"? Talk about the lyrics and what they mean.
"Darling Nikki" was a shocking song when the Purple Rain soundtrack was released in 1984. Does it seem shocking to you now?