The companion album to the 1985 concert film Prince and the Revolution: Live has finally been unlocked from the vault. Stream it below via Apple Music or Spotify.
The recording was made on March 30th, 1985 at the Carrier Dome in Syracuse, New York, as Prince and his famed backup band The Revolution toured in support of 1984’s Purple Rain. The set included all nine tracks off of Purple Rain, as well as a smattering of hits and B-sides from 1999, the Controversy cut “Do Me, Baby”, and even a “Yankee Doodle Dandy” interlude. Sheila E., who opened for Prince, joined him on “Baby I’m a Star”, and the concert ended with an 18-minute rendition of “Purple Rain”. To capture the performance in all its luscious glory, the tapes have been remastered by The Purple One’s longtime engineer Bernie Grundman.
In a Rolling Stone oral history of the “Purple Rain Tour”, The Revolution’s keyboardist Lisa Coleman revealed that while the set was tightly rehearsed, Prince also included moments of improvisation to keep the band on their toes. She said,
“The fun part was watching him, because a lot of things didn’t happen unless he gave us visual cues. It was like a game watching him run around the stage, and he would do a slight move of his hand, which would cue a riff or something. You’d have to watch pretty darn closely. Every once in a while, to cue the end of a song, he’d throw a hankie into the air, and when the hankie hit the ground, that’s when we would stop. So you had to be able to see the ground, and if you’re backed up on a riser behind keyboards and cymbals, sometimes it was hard to see, like, ‘Oh no! The hankie disappeared!'”
You can look for those hankies yourself, as the actual footage of Prince and the Revolution: Live is streaming on YouTube through this weekend. During the broadcast, Prince’s estate is soliciting donations for the COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund, with Google pledging to match up to $5 million.
If you’re a loyal subject of Prince, you’re not alone; Bernie Sanders has a Prince drum head hanging in his office. Earlier this week, the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame uploaded hundreds of video clips from past inductions, including that of his Purpleness.
Prince and the Revolution: Live Artwork:
Prince and the Revolution: Live Tracklist
01. Let’s Go Crazy
04. Little Red Corvette
05. Take Me With U
06. Yankee Doodle Dandy
07. Do Me Baby
08. Irresistible Bitch
10. How Come You Don’t Call Me Anymore
11. Let’s Pretend We’re Married
12. International Lover
14. Computer Blue
15. Darling Nikki
16. The Beautiful Ones
17. When Doves Cry
18. I Would Die 4 U
19. Baby I’m a Star
20. Purple Rain