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Thursday, April 21, 2016

Purple Rain

For as long as I can remember - in fact, I would reckon the first fourteen years of my existence on this planet - my ears would be filled with the sounds of Prince.

I'm not going to lie.  Prince was a huge part of my formative years, and I have to admit that most of his music catalogue still holds up years later.  I can't believe it's been thirty-four years since he released "Little Red Corvette"!

I have to say that I don't really know what the first Prince song that I remember hearing was.  For some reason, I want to say that it was "Raspberry Beret".  It certainly makes sense.  I was four years old when that song came out, and my mother loved (and still loves) that song.  I do admit that it's a fantastic piece of pop music, but there are other songs that I remember liking just a little bit more.

"Little Red Corvette" was a classic tune.  "1999" certainly made you look towards the future - even though my own experiences of the year 1999 were kind of meh.  And, the colour purple was forever synonymous with Prince, as one of the biggest hits of his whole career was "Purple Rain".

I guess that's why I decided to do this blog post entirely in purple today - as a little bit of a tribute to a man many loved, but few really understood.

It still shocks me to type out the words - that Prince Rogers Nelson has died at the age of 57.  It's just the latest in a long line of music legends who have passed away in 2016.  It certainly has not been a kind year for music, that's for sure.

But Prince's death shocked me.  The last time I was shocked by a musician's death was David Bowie back in January.  And the reason why it shocked me was because none of us knew that he was even sick...and really, that's the way he wanted it.

Perhaps the same thing happened with Prince.  As of this writing, we've no idea what happened, and at this point, it's hard to say if we will ever find out.

It's just so hard to think that a man who had so much influence in the music industry is now gone. 

Certainly anybody who ever worked with Prince knew just what kind of a man he was.  He was a longtime collaborator with Sheena Easton, and they even recorded a duet together in 1987 called "U Got The Look".  By the way, do check that song out.  It's quite fantastic.  And if it's unreleased songs that you're into with Prince duets, check out the collaboration he did with Madonna called "Love Song".  It appears on her 1989 album "Like a Prayer", and it's also quite good.

Oh, and remember doing the "Batdance" right around that same time?  Yep, Prince was responsible!

The one thing I liked about Prince was that he was never afraid of controversy.  Certainly his flamboyant sense of style had tongues wagging, but really, was it any different from any of the other artists that were huge in the 1980s?

And yes, there was that brief moment in time where he changed his name into that funky looking symbol that nobody ever really knew how to pronounce.  But I have to say, the fact that he had a custom made guitar in the shape of said symbol - that was the pinnacle of coolness.  And besides, it was during this time that he released two of my all time favourite Prince songs - "7" and "The Most Beautiful Girl In The World". 

Now, by the time I entered high school, Prince was seldom heard on the radio - well, unless you listened to Backtrax USA or some retro 1980s station.  And I always found that really sad, as Prince recorded dozens of albums during the 1990s and 2000s, and they were more than deserving of getting airplay.  But I think that with the legacy he left behind, I don't think he'll ever be forgotten.

Rest in peace, Prince.  I certainly hope there's lots of diamonds and pearls where you are now...

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