Music from the Motion Picture Purple Rain

Music review by
Barbara Schultz, Common Sense Media
Music from the Motion Picture Purple Rain Music Poster Image
Inventive fusion of genres sets hit-filled soundtrack apart.

Parents say

age 18+
Based on 1 review

Kids say

age 13+
Based on 2 reviews

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this music.

Positive Messages

The apparent ego and highly charged sexuality that pervade Prince's songs for Purple Rain send a confused message to listeners. Whereas romantic songs like the title track, "Take Me With U," and "When Doves Cry" are fairly straightforward love songs, "Darling Nikki" glorifies an intense one-nighter, and "I Would Die 4 U" suggests that Prince, or his persona, is some sort of love messiah.

Positive Role Models & Representations

In his music, and in person, Prince has always exuded a strange blend of sensuality, gentleness, and conceit. These songs feature a romantic point of view ("Take Me With U," "When Doves Cry") but also set a strange example with the objectifying, super-sexual "Darling Nikki" and the weirdly religious "I Would Die 4 U," which sets the singer up as a kind of messiah and suggests that a lover should be willing to die for another.

Violence

"I Would Die 4 U" suggests that one lover would die for another, but there's no specific violence in any of these songs.

Sex

Not all the songs on Purple Rain have sexual content -- a few have none -- but "Darling Nikki" has enough for the whole record. This song is about a "sex fiend" whom the singer finds "masturbating with a magazine" in a hotel lobby. The singer goes home with Nikki, who has "so many devices," "everything money could buy." The song repeatedly refers to the girl's "grind, grind, grind." "Take Me With U" says someone's eyes turn the singer on, and refers to spending the night together. In "The Beautiful Ones," the singer asks, "Don't my kisses please you?" and "Can't you stay with me tonight?"

Language
Consumerism
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

The opening track, "Let's Go Crazy," says "pills and thrills and daffodils will kill."

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.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byChrisLacy1990 March 14, 2016

PURPLE RAIN is a Musical Masterpiece

This was more than just an album; it was a cultural phenomenon that very few artists have ever experienced. Sonically, it pressed forward as it continued to cr... Continue reading
Teen, 13 years old Written byPrinceLover April 23, 2017

An Ingenious Master Piece with Some Sexy Lyrics

This is an AMAZING album and contains beautiful songs. But has some strong sexual messages. The only song that is explicit is "Darling Nikki", the lyr... Continue reading
Teen, 15 years old Written byCooltiger37 September 4, 2018

Fantastic album has one edgy song

OK, first of all, let me just say that I find it really ironic that after all the graphically sexual tracks that Prince did over the years, it's ONE refere... Continue reading

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?

Music details

For kids who love sondtracks and '80s music

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