The Prince Estate made quarantine a little more tolerable this week when they announced that Prince and The Revolution: Live, the 1985 concert film reissued as part of the Purple Rain deluxe package in 2017, was receiving a limited stream on YouTube, to raise money and awareness for the World Health Organization's COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund. Though the concert will eventually disappear from the video service, the memory will live on thanks to a surprise digital-only premiere of the concert's audio.
As noted by Prince scholar and Minnesota Public Radio host Andrea Swensson in a pre-premiere Q&A with Prince drummer Bobby Z., the current stream of Prince and The Revolution: Live features newly remastered audio by Bernie Grundman. That audio serves as the latest digital drop from the estate, following the streaming release of a rare live sampler to promote the Live At The Aladdin Las Vegas DVD in 2003 (and the forthcoming Up All Nite With Prince box set due out in two weeks).
And what a show it is: as the first official release of a Prince show some 35 years ago, this set, recorded at The Carrier Dome in Syracuse, NY on March 30, 1985 - toward the end of the Purple Rain tour and less than a month before the release of follow-up Around The World In a Day - is an excellent intro to Prince's purple power in concert. Here, he's backed by an expanded version of The Revolution; original members Wendy Melvoin and Lisa Coleman (guitar and keyboards), Dr. Matt Fink (keyboards), Brownmark (bass) and Bobby Z (drums) are joined by guitarist Miko Weaver, saxophonist Eddie Mininfield, percussionists Sheila E. and her brother Juan Escovedo and the members of Apollonia 6 for a hits-packed concert that almost completely draws from Purple Rain and its predecessor 1999 from two years before.
Kickstart your weekend with this must-hear piece of Prince history at the links below!
Prince and The Revolution: Live (Warner Records, 2020)
- Let's Go Crazy
- Little Red Corvette
- Take Me With U
- Yankee Doodle Dandy
- Do Me, Baby
- Irresistible Bitch
- How Come U Don't Call Me Anymore?
- Let's Pretend We're Married
- International Lover
- Computer Blue
- Darling Nikki
- The Beautiful Ones
- When Doves Cry
- I Would Die 4 U
- Baby I'm a Star
- Purple Rain
All tracks recorded live at the Carrier Dome, Syracuse, NY - 3/30/1985.
Originally released on VHS/laserdisc as Paisley Park/Warner Music Video 38102, 1985. Later released on DVD as part of Purple Rain: Deluxe Expanded Edition - NPG/Warner Bros. 547374-2, 2017