If there was ever an artist that needed a reissue or remaster of their catalogue, it would be Prince. Well, it seems I’m not the only one who thinks this, so, finally after years of waiting, Purple Rain Ultimate Collector’s Edition has arrived.
For those who have been living under a rock, Purple Rain was Prince’s sixth studio album and was released on June 25, 1984 on the Warner Bros. Record label. To date, the album has sold a staggering 25 million copies around the world. Making it one of the most successful movie soundtracks in history.
CD1 Purple Rain remastered
There seems to be a lot of controversy regarding the remaster. Numerous audiophiles are claiming that Warner Bros. has simply boosted the sound and not actually remastered anything. Although I do agree that this version of Purple Rain does come off louder than the original, this remastered version, to me, is clearer and crisper and heightened the listening experience for me. Besides, Prince oversaw the remastering himself, so if he was good with it, who am I to disagree?
Now, if we’re going to get technical, we have to remember that Prince recorded Purple Rain rather quickly. He used live recordings, edits and overdubs that together brought out the spirit and feel that the music was more important than the perfection in its sound quality. This leads me to believe that Prince was limited on how far he could use today’s technology to remaster the album. I think Prince had to find the right balance of enhancing the sound quality without diminishing the spirit and integrity of the music. Although it may not be the remaster that some of us wanted, this is the best that could be done without changing the album or its essence. Bottom line, The Man himself, and not some third party hack, gave the OK for its release so I don’t think the purple Yoda is rolling over in his grave.
CD2 From the Vault & Unreleased
CD2 is probably the biggest incentive for diehard Prince fans to pick up the remaster. Most fans have been waiting years to hear the material that’s been locked away in the Vault. Now although some songs have been available for years as bootleg releases, it’s great to finally have the full length version of Computer Blue. Be aware however, some songs on this disc may not be for everyone, due to their sexual explicitness. They do, however, bring forward an interesting glance into the creative process of Prince and the Revolution.
CD3 Single Edits & B-Sides
This third disc, is where Warner Bros. really went above and beyond. This disc has all the single edits of the 45’s that were released from Purple Rain. My favourites off this disc are both the edited and extended versions of Erotic City as well as the excellent 17 Days which was the B-side single to When Doves Cry.
DVD Live at the Carrier Dome, Syracuse NY
This is a great concert and Prince is simply electrifying on stage. The only real problem is the video quality. For those of you who love a HD, Blue-ray and 4K image quality, you’ll have have a hard time with this release. Prince has a habit of running into the shadows, leaving the viewer looking at a black screen for a while, which may make it difficult for some viewers. If you can get past the limitations of the DVD, you owe to yourself to watch Prince and the Revolution once in your life.
Personally I thought that the packaging could have been a little better. If you hold it wrong then the DVD can fall out very easily. But the booklet is well done and offers lots of information about the album.
I really enjoyed The Ultimate Collector’s Edition of Purple Rain. Although the set is far from being perfect, it is a great time capsule from one the greatest artists of our generation. If you’re looking to save a few dollars, or aren’t a diehard Prince fan, you can and forego all the bells and whistles and get the 2CD set that is available instead. Both are most definitely recommended.
You can purchase Purple Rain right here at the Aroundtable Store.