25 Essential Prince Songs

The best of the Purple One's world-changing, genre-defying hits

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"Purple Rain" (1984)

In an interview with Mojo in 2013, Stevie Nicks revealed that Prince had originally given her a demo of "Purple Rain" and asked her to contribute. She turned him down, saying, "Prince, I've listened to this a hundred times, but I wouldn't know where to start. It's a movie, it's epic." The entire genre of power balladry met its match with "Purple Rain." The title track of Prince's signature album, it's performed at a climactic point in the film, which lends it even more gravitas. As if it needed it. Cradled in strings, echoes, and a gospel chorus, then topped with a sky-splitting guitar solo, it's a culmination of all the influences Prince had been absorbing throughout his rise to fame in the early Eighties, from rock to pop to soul.

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