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Although Michael Jackson has passed on to that great concert hall in the sky, fortunately, another multi-talented musician/singer/performer is still with us in Prince. With 2009 marking the 25th anniversary of "Purple Rain", His Royal Purpleness is still going strong decades after the release of his iconic film and its blockbuster tie-in soundtrack. Just a few short months ago, Prince released a three-disc set of new material showcasing his multitude of musical skills and keen ear for producing various styles from R&B to rock to his classic "Minneapolis Sound" with equal prowess. Oh... And the man can still dance!
What made Purple Rain so unique and successful in its day was the use of MTV-style cinematography, utilizing rapid-fire jump cuts and close-ups along with musical numbers interspersed throughout in a club setting. It was a realistic musical where songs were part of the story as Prince's character, the petulant Kid battled it out with the slick Morris Day for supremacy on the Minneapolis club music scene along with their respective bands. As opposed to classic musicals like Hello Dolly and Singin' in the Rain, characters didn't spontaneously burst into song. Instead, the music was relegated to realistic performance sequences. Also, the film deviated from the traditionally lighthearted feel of the musical genre, exploring such subjects as domestic abuse, greed, corruption, and other vices. The film's soundtrack included such hits as "When Doves Cry," "Let's Go Crazy" and the epic, 7 minute ballad "Purple Rain."
It wasn't just the music that made Purple Rain so iconic, but also its clothes and costumes. Known for his flashy attire, Prince rocked the frills and Edwardian jackets like no other while female members of his band, "The Revolution" wore garter belts along with brilliantly colored military jackets with epaulets and dangling chains. On the flipside, Prince's rival Morris Day and his band, The Time wore flashy gold lame zoot suits and Stacy Adams gangster shoes, epitomizing their glistening, materialistic worldliness. Much like knock-off versions of Michael Jackson's red "Beat It" jacket , attire inspired by Purple Rain and Prince was all the rage in 1984.
Bring back a bit of the past and dig the music with Purple Rain inspired costumes to rock out at your next costume party. Check out How to make a Purple Rain Prince costume or pick up a gold lame zoot suit and pompadour wig in a slicked back style to look like Morris Day. (Don't forget a friend to carry your oversized mirror for you, like Jerome!)
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