Withering Glance: 'Purple Rain' the perfect '80s soundtrack

  • Article by: RICK NELSON and CLAUDE PECK , Star Tribune
  • Updated: July 31, 2014 - 8:41 PM
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Prince performs in his debut movie "Purple Rain," the 1984 rock opera about a young man's search for artistic accomplishment and love.

Rick Nelson and Claude Peck dispense unasked-for advice about clothing, etiquette, culture, relationships, grooming and more.

 

RN: “Purple Rain” — the soundtrack album — came out 30 years ago. Did it change your life?

 

CP: Baby, baby, baby, yes. From the monosyllabic brilliance of the lyric “let’s get nuts” to the proverbial truth of “the beautiful ones — they hurt you every time,” I have let “Rain” be my lodestar.

 

RN: Me, too. In 2003, Rolling Stone ranked it 76th in its 500 Greatest Albums of All Time. I’m insulted on Prince’s behalf. His Royal Badness deserves way better.

 

CP: I think we all know what Darling Nikki would do with that issue of the magazine. The record has so many great songs, including your personal favorite?

 

RN: That’s like being asked to choose a favorite nephew. Whenever I hear “When Doves Cry,” I’m immediately transported — in a good way, of course — to a Heavy Hands class at our gym, circa 1989.

 

CP: Dig if you will the picture: pastel Lycra shorts, sweatbands, everyone striking curious poses in the wall mirror like a giant confetti cannon. All while Prince offers up a confusing ball of Freudian analytics and family dysfunction on the funky downbeat.

 

RN: If that doesn’t encapsulate the 1980s, nothing does. What sticks with you, “Purple Rain”-wise?

 

CP: Because it’s been played continuously to this day at Anyclub Worldwide, I vote for “Let’s Go Crazy.” I love its mock-serious sermonette opening, and the great guitar-solo whirligig at the end. In between, four minutes of pure dance-floor — or spin-class — heaven.

 

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