Purple Rain: How The Songs Look In The Script

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On this day in 1984, the film that elevated Prince in the pop-culture firmament from above-average R&B singer-songwriter to, well, Prince, premiered in Hollywood. Purple Rain was a box-office hit, while the soundtrack went on to win an Oscar for Original Song Score and become one of the biggest-selling albums of the 1980s.

Purple Rain has long been one of Rocks Off's favorite music movies, for two very different reasons. First, there's the music. Prince & the Revolution's songs ("Let's Go Crazy," "Take Me With U," "Darling Nikki") rank among our favorites in the diminutive Purple One's funk-rock/erotic-pop catalog, but there's also two killer cuts from Morris Day & the Time, "Jungle Love" and "The Bird," and even Apollonia 6's "Sex Shooter," which was nominated for a Razzie for Worst Original Song around the same time the rest of the soundtrack was competing for an Oscar.

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The other reason we've grown to love Purple Rain so over the years is more along those lines: Besides the first-rate concert sequences shot mainly at Minneapolis' First Avenue, the movie also contains some of the campiest dialogue and most overheated acting we've ever seen, from people who were pretty much playing themselves. The early scene where Morris Day's flunky/bodyguard Jerome dumps one of Morris' female castoffs into a Dumpster never fails to bring us to tears.

Poking around on the Internet today, Rocks Off discovered a copy of director Albert Magnoli's script, adapted from William Blinn's "Dreams" - they received co-credit onscreen - on the INFlow Screenplay Repository. Purple Rain underwent quite a bit of tinkering before reaching the screen, apparently.

For one thing, the draft we found has Prince as "Prince" instead of "The Kid," and the role of his love interest is written for Vanity (and her group "Vanity 6") and not Apollonia. We thought it would be interesting, and perhaps instructive, to see what such indelible musical moments looked like on the page.

Check 'em out before you go purify yourself in the waters of Lake Minnetonka.


"JUNGLE LOVE"

MORRIS and The Time rip into a funk tune called "Jungle Love." Their stranglehold on the audience is instantaneous. Morris struts across the stage like a panther, playing to the audience with a relish. His eyes fastened on Prince - his pride unmistakable.

PRINCE watches Morris a moment, then eyes Vanity again. The heat between them is apparent. Vanity's heart is pounding, she's not sure what to do. She keeps her eyes on Morris, hoping that a Solution will present itself.


"SEX SHOOTER"

INT. THE TASTE - NIGHT

Wearing sexy lingerie and moving seductively to the beat, the Girls launch into "Sex Shooter" with complete abandon. The MUSIC is slick and fierce, the Girls sexy and sure. Wearing black bikini panties, black tails and boots, Vanity dances center-stage and begins SINGING. She's mesmerizing, her look so alluring, so profound that the audience sits slack-jawed in amazement. The SPOTLIGHT is hers and she soaks it in, radiating a sexiness that has the audience at her feet.

The entire concept - dress, dance, music and staging -- is overwhelming, with just the right degree of playfulness to allow the Crowd easy passage into the fantasy world the Girls create. Brenda and Susan play off her wonderfully, sharing secret looks with the Crowd, balancing the wickedness of the act with an innocence that is enticing. They're working strongly as a unit now, the AUDIENCE roaring their approval...



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5 comments
PrinceFan4Ever
PrinceFan4Ever

@Kid_a_ok_computer you have GOT to be kidding! Prince was a mini legend even before 1999 or Purple Rain! Try "International Lover". "I Wanna Be Your Lover". "Still Waiting". CLASSICS! Along with like 5 or 6 hits that he produced, arranged, composed, produced, created, played all the instruments on, hits of The Time, Cool, Girl, 777-9311, Gigalos Get Lonely To, The Bird, Jungle Love, ALL hits that Prince created . He only hired the band to front for his new music. Prince created it all just didn't sing it, well background. And that doesn't even touch 1999 or Purple Rain or Pop Life or Rasberry Beret or etc etc etc. And that doesn't even touch all the hits and I do mean hits that he created for other artists during that time, all either #1 or top hits, Nothing Compares 2 U, Seneau O'Connor, Manic Monday, The Bangles, U Got The Look, Sheena Easton, just...HITS! Bam, bam, one after the other, all over the place, he even made classics out of B sides, like the UNFORGETTABLE "Erotic City" which I MUST rotate every now and then. Especially the extended version just nirvana dude. If 1999 and Purple Rain are the only songs or albums you know from Prince, you are missing a WEALTH of GOOD music. And I do mean GOOD! Although Purple Rain is my FAVORITE cd of ALL time! Thank me later dude.

PrinceFan4Ever
PrinceFan4Ever

@ Kid_a_ok_computer you've GOT to be kidding! By Purple Rain he was already a legend. With true CLASSICS! Try "Internaltional Lover".  Try "Do Me Baby". Try "I Wanna Be Your Lover". Try all of the many hits by The Time that Prince created the music from scratch, composed, arranged, produced and oh yeah played all the instruments on. Yes, all. And when you hear them, you'll want to call and kiss me, but don't worry, I got ya! The Time were just people Prince hired for a cover for his new music. Their, I mean -Prince's music through the time is so legendary from when I was a kid. "777-9311", "Gigalos Get Lonely To", "Cool" , "Girl", "The Bird", "Jungle Love", "Ice Cream Castles", I can recite them all! The same for Sheila E's monster hit "The Glamorous Life", that's Prince's music, he composed, created it, all but played drums. All of this but G Life was before 1999 with it's monster hits and definitely before Purple Rain which was world wide. Even his B sides were monster hits. Erotic City, the B side, is a bonafide CLASSIC that I MUST hear every so often. It was said that when Micheal Jackson and Quincy Jones went into the studio to do his next album after Off The Wall, Quincy, the legendary mistro of musicians told Micheal, to be the best, you've got to surpass this one. And whipped out 1999. Theres a WEALTH of good, EXCELLENT, music that you are missing from Prince if all you know is Purple Rain. And "Purple Rain" is my favorite album of ALL TIME!

PrinceFan4Ever
PrinceFan4Ever

@ Kid_a_ok_computer  You've GOT to be kidding! Prince was already a legend before Purple Rain AND 1999! You are missing a WEALTH of GOOD music and a BUNCH of hits! Not to mention so many hits he gave to other artists. All either #1 or top 5 hits!

PrinceFan4Ever
PrinceFan4Ever

@ Kid_a_ok_computer  You've GOT to be kidding! Prince was already a legend before Purple Rain AND 1999! You are missing a WEALTH of GOOD music and a BUNCH of hits! Not to mention so many hits he gave to other artists. All either #1 or top 5 hits!

Kid_a_ok_computer
Kid_a_ok_computer

Other than "Little Red Corvette" from 1999, this movie was my intro. to Prince. I am immediately transported in time back to my first viewing of the film in the theater that summer of '84 whenever I hear "The Beautiful Ones."

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