“November Rain,” “Let It Rain,” “Here Comes the Rain Again,” “I Can’t Stand the Rain”… all songs about rain that I like better than “Purple Rain.” In fact, I’ve kind of always found that song a bit too slow and languorous for my liking. I generally skip it when I listen to my endless collection of Prince songs. You also won’t find it on my “Prince’s Best” playlist.
Why am I telling you this? Because from the second I heard that Prince was dead I’ve seen a bevy of quotes from that song, memes with those song lyrics on them, photos of things turned purple in his honor, and even photos doctored to make the rain itself look purple. I’m sure it’s a fitting tribute to a man who absolutely adored the color, but you do realize he had literally over a thousand songs he wrote, right?
When I think of Prince I think of “Let’s Go Crazy,” “7,” “Kiss,” “The Most Beautiful Girl in the World,” “Diamonds and Pearls,” and the list is endless. It just doesn’t include “Purple Rain.” The one time I saw the movie I couldn’t even finish it. It wasn’t that the acting was bad. It was that the acting was atrocious, and not well directed either.
As dynamic as Prince was in concert, and as prolific as he was as a song writer, there were some songs that never resonated with me. Maybe it means I’m not a real Prince fan, as others tend to insinuate when you can say something negative about the music, but I prefer to think I’m a discerning listener instead. “Purple Rain” simply doesn’t make my list. And I have a pretty extensive list when it comes to Prince.
It’s interesting how people react when they find someone has died. When Robin Williams committed suicide a spike went up in the Robin Williams movies that were rented and bought by people everywhere. When David Bowie passed earlier this year his new album sold like alcohol on a Friday night. People like to feel a posthumous connection with those folks they consider icons.
The same is true of Prince as hordes of Purple Rain, both the DVDs and the soundtracks, are hurtling off shelves, and winging their way from Amazon to “fans” everywhere. These people suddenly love Prince so much, and appreciate him so much, since he shuffled off this mortal coil, that they have to have as much Purple Rain as they can possibly handle.
I have one question, though. Isn’t this just like not taking advantage of the genius while he was alive and then coming late to the party? I’m not saying it’s a negative thing, but I’ve just noticed a pattern. And completing the pattern means that a few weeks from now, when the next person has passed, when the purple rain is no longer falling down like tears, these DVDs and CDs will begin collecting dust on the shelves of those who just “had to” have them right now, with no delay.
I guess there are two types of fandom. There are those who suddenly remember how much they absolutely LOVE “Purple Rain,” and there are those who would always rather listen to “The Cross.” I count myself in the second group, but it’s okay to be in the first. Just realize why you like it. Don’t jump on some kind of bandwagon just because someone famous died. Okay, time to climb back down from my soapbox.