Hello Syracuse and the world…
My name is Prince….
And I’ve come 2 play with U…
Prince, Syracuse, 03/30/1985
|Artist||Prince And The Revolution|
|Year of release||2022|
Op March 30th, 1985, a live concert by Prince And The Revolution was broadcast live via satellite. At the time still a unique event, the concert was delivered into millions of homes worldwide. In Europe it was broadcast by the German live music show Rockpalast. I couldn’t see it at the time, as German television wasn’t broadcast where I lived. I do remember vividly being very much aware of it being broadcast and being bummed out by not being able to see it.
Purple Rain Tour
The Purple Rain took place from November 4th, 1984, to April 7th, 1985. Over 100 shows were played. Within that busy schedule several charity shows and events were organized for handicapped children, offering the proceedings to various good causes.
The tour started in Detroit, as a thank you to the large and loyal fan base he had had there for years on end. On December 23rd, 24th, 26th, 27th and 28th he played in Minnesota, in Minneapolis’ twin city St. Paul. The last show was held in Miami on April 7th, 1985, and was played to a crowd of 55,000 spectators.
Syracuse, March 30th, 1985
Originally, the Purple Rain tour was slated to take Prince And The revoluion to Europe and Japan as well, but midway through the tour Prince started to grow tired of Purple Rain, the music, the show, the concept. He couldn’t wait for it to be over. He had much more fun, exciting and new music waiting to be released. He wanted to turn his attention to that instead of rehashing Purple Rain, which may have been new to the world, but was old news to Prince himself. The successor to Purple Rain, Around The World In A Day, had been ready for six months already and Prince wanted to move on with new projects like The Family, Sheila E. and another movie.
Warner Bros. and his management were not very pleased with his decision. The Purple Rain concept had definitely earned more money if only Prince was prepared to make the tour a genuine world tour..
But Prince was done, thus it was decided to broadcast the March 30th, 1985, show worldwide, to give the rest of the world an impression of Prince And The Revolution in a live setting. The broadcast was released on VHS on July 29th, 1985, as Double Live (January 10th, 1986, was the Dutch release date). Somewhere in 1987 I saw the show for the very first time upon buying the video (and a video player).
Within Prince cycles the Syracuse show was well-known and well-loved and the audio recordings soon found their way to sevreal bootlegs. In 2017 the video was rereleased as part of the Purple Rain Deluxe Expanded Edition. Yet, still no audio release.
On May 15th, 2020, the audio recordings of Prince And The Revolution: Live was finally officially released on multiple streaming services. The Prince Estate celebrated this with providing free access to the corresponding video recordings using its own YouTube channel from May 14th to 17th, 2020.
However, the recordings disappeared seemingly overnight again. It took some time to figure out why. After the rights to Prince music had been transferred from Warner Bros. to Sony, things turned rather quiet (new releases wise), until it was announced on March 30th, 2022, that Prince And The Revolution – Live was finally receiving an audio release. The recordings would be remastered, as were the video images.
And, indeed, Prince And The Revolution – Live was released on June 3rd, 2022.
And, what’s it like? The release is superb, at long last the official release of the Purple Rain tour sounds like it’s supposed to sound. Still, it doesn’t quite reach the sound quality of some bootleg soundboard recordings of other shows, but it all sounds pretty clear. Quite a feat, as remastering was done using the original 2 track tapes. The instruments are clearly audible. Some delay issues and dynamics relapses have been solved, enhancing the overall listening experience.
Then why the double rating? Personally, I’m not too fond of the Purple Rain tour. It contains too many segments that slow the show down, like Yankee Doodle Dandy and God. And, some songs are played too fast for my taste, but, again, this is my personal preference. The bootleg Flesh For Fantasy holds the 5th place in the Prince – The 25 best bootlegs! list for a reason.
And, perhaps most importantly, the version of Purple Rain at this show, is one of the best solos Prince has ever played. Upon unpacking this release, I first listened to Purple Rain. And, yes, once again, moved to tears as he unleashes on his guitar from 11:20 to 12:00 and from 13:40 to 14:02 with notes that to this very day, cut through my very soul.
All in all: highly recommended for every Prince music lover and those who rate Purple Rain highly.
- 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
Prince And The Revolution:
- Prince – vocals, guitar, keyboards
- Brown Mark – bass, background vocals
- Lisa Coleman – keyboards, background vocals
- Wendy Melvoin – guitar, background vocals
- Bobby Z. – drums
- Dr. Fink – keyboards
- Eric Leeds, Eddie M. – saxophone
- Sheila E., Juan Escovedo – percussion
- Miko Weaver – guitar
- Apollonia, Brenda Bennett – tamborine, background vocals
- Susie Davis, Susan Moonsie – tamborine
- Jerome Benton, Greg Brooks, Wally Safford, Little Dominic
On April 2nd, 1985, just 3 days after the Syracuse show, manager Steve Fargnoli announced that Prince would stop performing live-shows: “Prince is withdrawing from the live performance scene for an indefinite period of time. Prince’s concert April 7 at Miami’s Orange Bowl will be his last performance for an interminate number of years. I asked Prince what he planned to do. He told me: ‘I’m going to look for the ladder’. I asked him what that meant. All he said was, ‘Sometimes it snows in April'”.
Luckily, Prince soon proved his own words wrong.
Prince And The Revolution – Live – Podcast cover image: prince.com/apoplife.nl
Purple Rain Tour image: princevault.com
Prince – Let’s Go Crazy – 1985 image: youtube.com
Prince – Flesh For Fantasy – Bootleg image: twitter.com
Prince And The Revolution: Live – Youtube Streaming Event & Prince & The Revolution – Live images: prince.com
Prince And The Revolution – Purple Rain Tour – Live 1985 image: americansongwriter.com