Purple Rain is a song, an album, and a film - each one a commercial success and cultural milestone. How did this semi-autobiographical musical masterpiece that blurred RB, pop, dance, and rock sounds come to alter the recording landscape and become an enduring touchstone for successive generations of fans? Purple Rain is widely considered to be among the most important albums in music history and often named the best soundtrack of all time. It sold over a million copies in its first week and blasted to #1 on the charts, where it would remain for a full six months and eventually sell over 20 million copies worldwide. It spun off three huge hit singles, won Grammys and an Oscar, and took Prince from pop star to legend. Acclaimed music journalist Alan Light takes a timely look at the making and incredible popularizing of this once seemingly impossible project. With impeccable research and in-depth interviews with people who witnessed Prince's audacious vision becoming a reality, Light reveals how a rising but not yet established artist from the midwest of America was able not only to get Purple Rain made, but deliver on his promise to conquer the world.
Alan Light has been one of America's leading music journalists for the past twenty years. Light was a senior editor at Rolling Stone, founding music editor and editor-in-chief of Vibe, and editor-in-chief of Spin Magazine. He is also author of The Skills to Pay the Bills, an oral history of the Beastie Boys.