Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Let's Go Crazy: Prince and the Making of Purple Rain by Alan Light

The song, album, and film "Purple Rain" epitomize a certain spot on the 1980s timeline, and I was surprised when I read this book was being released for their 30th anniversary. (It seems like just yesterday!)

Written by a former Rolling Stone editor, this book is chock full of memories and stories from the making of Prince's 1985 magnum opus. Unfortunately, very little of the information is from the notoriously press-shy artist himself - but the story stands up pretty well without Prince's input due to the wealth of truly inside information mined from band mates, friends, rivals, and business partners.
Wendy Melvoin and Lisa Coleman participated fully in this book, and their up-front-and-personal insights may be the best look we'll ever get into the operations of Prince's mind; they were friends and collaborators in a way Prince has rarely allowed. The book also does a nice job putting the music and film into historical perspective, with criticism and analysis from the 80's but also delving into the larger context of their legacy.

It's not the kind of book you read if you're not already a fan of Purple Rain - but for those who are already fans, this deeper look at the behind-the-scenes machinations and little-known facts is a fun way to reminisce and revisit a classic.

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