Welcome to the latest edition of Masterpiece Reviews. Once again, we’ve thrown on our favorite velvet robe, turned up the fire, and are here to regale you with stories of the greatest and most classic albums of all time. It’s a fresh, new perspective on why these albums are filed under “M” for masterpiece.
In the summer of 1984, Purple Rain dropped as a soundtrack to the cult film of the same name and instantly cemented the status of one Prince Rogers Nelson as a superstar. Having already tasted crossover success with 1999, it is with Purple Rain that Prince made his full-fledged foray into the worlds of rock and pop by fusing them with funk, r&b, and even a touch of heavy metal. From the creepy organ solo at the beginning of “Let’s Go Crazy” to the bass-free dance floor hit “When Doves Cry”, Purple Rain is an album that defies convention. After all, the most lascivious song on this sensual album ends with a backwards coda containing the hidden message of the Lord’s imminent return. Ambition and genre-bending weirdness aside, Purple Rain is also memorable for its infectious hooks and riffs that represent pop music at its most delightful. 32 years later, Purple Rain still sounds fresh and gripping and remains the greatest soundtrack of all time. – Frank Mojica