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Prince: A Purple Reign

Prince: A Purple Reign (2011)

November. 25,2011
| Documentary Music

Part of BBC Four's Black Music Legends of the 1980s, this documentary explores how Prince - showman, artist, enigma - revolutionized the perception of black music in the 1980s with worldwide hits such as "1999," "Kiss," "Raspberry Beret" and "Alphabet Street." He became a global sensation with the release of the Oscar-winning, semi-autobiographical movie "Purple Rain" in 1984, embarking on an incredible journey of musical self-discovery that continues to this day.


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Well Prince was certainly enigmatic and he was not an artist I quiet knew a lot about but he certainly made a splash in music with his funk/rock/gospel/jazz/pop tinged songs that burned bright for a decade until his contractual disputes with his record company Warner's derailed his ascendancy somewhat.If you wanted to know more about the late Prince, then this hour long programme would be a good introduction. Hailing from Minneapolis, not known for its black music scene, Prince Rogers Nelson quickly learned how to sing, write music and play various instruments at an early age.When he made his nervous television debut in American Bandstand, you would not think that this person would soon craft his showmanship and by 1984 he would be an actor and his film and soundtrack album Purple Rain would launch him towards world music domination. By which time he created an aura of eccentricity, weirdness, deviancy and raunchiness.Commercial success stalled when he changed his name to a symbol in the mid 1990s and would appear on television with his face covered or the word slave printed on his face. Since then Prince was prolific with the release of his albums and looking to distribute them indifferent ways, his shows were sell outs as he amassed one heck of a greatest hits list but I felt he fell down in the public consciousness.No contribution from Prince in this programme but you get to hear from former band members, publicists, executives and celebrity fans.Prince is gone but his musical legacy survives already in the music of today.