See Prince's Original, Unedited 13-Minute Performance of 'Purple Rain' - Rolling Stone
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See Prince’s Original, Unedited 13-Minute Performance of ‘Purple Rain’

The artist would later cut verses and add strings to the recording, which appeared on the album’s soundtrack as well

Footage of the August 1983 concert that served as the basis for Prince‘s performances in his 1984 film Purple Rain has leaked online, showcasing the original 13-minute cut of the song “Purple Rain” as heard on the album of the same name. The artist and his band at the time, the Revolution, played Minneapolis’ First Avenue venue under the guise of a benefit for the Minnesota Dance Theatre so he could debut songs from his follow-up to the 1982 album 1999. The performance contains Prince’s original vision of the song, including a lost third verse about money.

‘Purple Rain’ and 24 More of the Greatest Soundtracks of All Time

As Prince and his bandmates play, the video’s creator has superimposed various facts about the performance, Pop-Up Video-style, for the song’s duration. One Revolution revelation is that this concert was guitarist Wendy Melvoin’s debut. Also, one of the engineers did not know whether the performance would end up in a movie or on a record, and the Purple Rain soundtrack versions of this song, “I Would Die 4 U” and “Baby I’m a Star” were all sourced from this concert. The video shows various places where Prince later edited and overdubbed the song, including spots where strings were added and the various points where Prince amended the track’s iconic guitar solo.

Prince celebrated the legacy of the Purple Rain film and album on the 30th anniversary of its release this past June, when he planned a surprise concert in his Paisley Park studio that featured a guest appearance by his Purple Rain costar, Apollonia Kotero. “My heart still skips a beat,” Kotero reportedly wrote on a since-deleted Facebook post about seeing Prince again. “Paisley Park is a fun place. He showed me all my images painted on the walls. ‘Hey that’s me!!!’ I said. He just laughed in that cool way he that does.”


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