The Technodrome Forums

Go Back   The Technodrome Forums > General Forums > General Discussion > Music

Notices

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 09-12-2021, 03:52 PM   #1
The Great Saiyaman
Stone Warrior
 
The Great Saiyaman's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2018
Location: The Netherlands
Posts: 639
Prince's "Purple rain" Myth debunked

First up, let me bring forth THIS show Prince and the Revolution played at First avenue, which was the first show they played with Wendy Melvoin as their guitarist.

This is the show which according to the credits on the "Purple Rain" album, four key tracks which appeared on the album were recorded "Let's go crazy", "I would die 4 U", "Baby I'm a star" and "Purple rain" itself. The way they were recorded was via a live feed from the mixing console into a 24 track machine, which allowed for each instrument to be recorded separately with minimal bleed from the rest of the band.

For years that was assumed to be the case, because Prince had a habit of recording shows where he premiered new songs, so he could see how the audience responded to them and then tweak those songs for maximum impact.

BUT, not that long ago, a podcast on how "Purple Rain" the album and the movie came to be started telling a different story.

This is Susan Rogers who had been Prince's recording engineer from almost day one, according to Prince, she was the only one capable of actually putting his musical vision on tape.


And this is David Rivkin, AKA David Z. Brother to Revolution drummer Robert "Bobby Z." Rivkin. David Z. much like Susan Roger was Prince's regular to-go studio hand, producing for Prince, the Time, Masarati, The family and other Prince affiliated acts. But he also produced albums for bands like the Fine Young Cannibals and was the producer and guitarist for Lipps Inc. smash hit "Funky town"

Now in that podcast both Rogers and David Z said that very little of the actual recordings made at the First Avenue show were used.

Stating that certainly in the case for "Let's go crazy" and "Purple rain" the majority was tracked not at the show but rather in what is now known as the "Basement rehearsal sessions."


After which the full thing was overdubbed at Prince's studio with him replacing almost everything. Which when you take the "Let's go crazy" from the First Avenue show and compare it to what ended up on the album, makes perfect sense.
- The first avenue version has different lyrics
- Prince's solo is different and his guitar feedbacks a couple of times.
- The extended jam session with the dissonant piano chords isn't there.
- The Organ sound in the intro is different.

This guy also makes a compelling argument that it's very likely that BrownMark and Wendy didn't even play on the final version, let alone the rest of the Revolution.

So how about "Purple Rain" then? Well compare the First avenue version with the final recorded version and you will find that there are some very striking differences.
- Wendy's guitar was out of tune, so she was brought in to overdub her part, you can also tell that she used the neck pickup of her Rickenbacker rather than both pickups, from the resulting sound.
- Prince removed a lot of the keyboards played by Doctor and Lisa, using real strings to add texture.
- According to guitar builder Dave Rusan, Prince began using the White Cloud guitar at the overdub sessions and played the solo on the Cloud, while keeping the riffs he played on the Hohner for the rest of the track. The Live in Syracuse performance of "Purple rain" corroborates his account, as Prince switches from his Hohner to the Cloud and the difference in sound is striking and it's unmistakably the same sound on the recording.


So, while it was a really cool piece of folklore that those songs were straight form that show onto the album, it's simply not true and it's revealed by the people who were there.
__________________
"I reject your reality and substitute my own."
- Adam Savage, "Mythbusters"
The Great Saiyaman is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-12-2021, 04:43 PM   #2
IMJ
Foot Elite
 
IMJ's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Midwest, U.S.A.
Posts: 3,620
Interesting stuff here! I never knew any of this about the recording sessions either way, but it's a great album. I'm listening to again now just because of this post.
IMJ is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-12-2021, 05:07 PM   #3
The Great Saiyaman
Stone Warrior
 
The Great Saiyaman's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2018
Location: The Netherlands
Posts: 639
Quote:
Originally Posted by IMJ View Post
Interesting stuff here! I never knew any of this about the recording sessions either way, but it's a great album. I'm listening to again now just because of this post.
You're welcome, I live for all that "Fly on the wall" stuff.

Here's footage of the "Dirty Mind" tour which was the first album where Prince started incorporating the members of the Revolution in the studio. But this footage is also notable because of it being the first tour where Prince started using the cheap Hohner guitar as his main instrument.

What is also very apparent with this song is that fully fuzzed out sound that "Let's go crazy" is based on, was already there.

Eagle eyed watchers will see that there's no lead coming from Prince's guitar, which was because of it having a built in wireless.
https://www.tdpri.com/attachments/ho...ce-jpg.454350/
Prince's actual guitar as it survives today, the backplate covering up the cavity where the wireless sat.
__________________
"I reject your reality and substitute my own."
- Adam Savage, "Mythbusters"
The Great Saiyaman is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -6. The time now is 04:30 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2021, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.