Monday, November 28, 2022

When Purple Reigned: A New Life Found at the 1985 Prince of Concert


NEW YORK—The first thing you hear is a familiar voice over the sound of thousands of screaming fans.

“Hello, Syracuse and the world. My name is Prince and I’m here to play with you.”

The Purple One soon arrives, rising up through the stage — wearing an animal print jumpsuit with a ruffled white frock, a guitar slug on his back — as “Let’s Go Crazy” begins. “Dear dear, we have gathered here today…” he says.

It is the electric debut of a high-energy concert held in New York more than three decades ago, reworked and re-released at its peak on video and audio Capturing Prince and the Revolution.

“It was as amazing as I can remember,” says Lisa Coleman, a Revolution member who was singing and playing the keys that night. Adds drummer Bobby Jade: “The next generation needs to see this because that’s what it was all about.”

On March 30, 1985, a concert at the Carrier Dome in Syracuse, New York featured the songs “Delicious,” “1999,” “Little Red Corvette,” “Take Me Home,” “Let’s Pretend We’re Married.” Computer Blue,” “When Doves Cry” and “I’ll Die 4 U,” etc.

It closes with a sensual, knock-out “Purple Rain”, in which Prince delivers a solo in a shimmering cloak that lasts several minutes and features an immensely talented guitarist.

“You can tell he knows what he is doing out there – he is lighting up the world. He always played it like there was no tomorrow. But he is especially moving,” says Bobby Z .

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“Prince and the Revolution: Live” will be released on June 3 in various formats, including a digital streaming platform, a three-LP vinyl version, a two-CD version, and a Blu-ray of the concert film.

Three color LPs, two CDs, Blu-ray videos, a 44-page book with never-before-seen photos of the Purple Rain Tour, and also a limited edition box set featuring new liner notes written by all five members Is. revolution.

“I was so proud of him and the band we put together and everything in that moment and the fact that it lives on and this beautiful project is coming out is something special,” says Bobby Z. Prince Friends met in 1976 “That band is cooking like a freight train.”

Prince fans have one more reason to rejoice this summer: “Prince: The Immersive Experience” makes its worldwide debut on June 9 in Chicago. It offers visitors the opportunity to explore their wardrobe, musical influences and hits.

The Syracuse concert came at the end of a 100-odd date tour and Prince and the band are a tight and greasy machine by this time, piggybacking on the huge success of the film “Purple Rain”.

“I felt like it was a pearl in the middle of a really great necklace,” says Wendy Melvoin, guitarist and vocalist at Revolution. “The only difference was that it was being broadcast across the world. And there was a little more pressure on us to up our game.

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During the performance, Prince makes several costume changes, jumps around the set’s loft, strips just to pants and necklaces, suggests in a bathtub and drives the crowd crazy with lines like this: “Do you want me?”

The gig was an early pay-per-view event and was nominated for a Grammy Award for Best Longform Music Video. The concert was later aired on VHS but the audio and visual quality was poor.

“I’m really excited for the next generation of Prince fans to see what it was all about. He wasn’t, you know, just some average guy. This one seriously talented, incredible dancer, singer, bandleader.” There was a showman, a musician, a musician. It was a man in a billion,” says Bobby Z.

Melvoin says die-hard Prince fans may have already seen the bootleg versions, but hopes the new album and film can inspire other artists.

“I think the people I want to watch are people who want to learn how to put on a really great show,” she says. “Other artists should see it.”

Melvoin and Coleman say they recently re-watched the two-hour concert and found themselves “Wow!” found saying From time to time.

“We were sitting next to each other and watching a big-screen version of it, and we both forgot parts of it, and it was really quite a lot to watch,” says Melvoin. “I think one of the things I said to Lisa was, ‘Jesus, we were really good!'”

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