In the July ’09 issue, Spin magazine writer, Brian Raftery has put together an excellent oral history of Prince’s iconic 1984 movie and Top 40s soundtrack, Purple Rain, in honor of its 25th anniversary. With interviews from pretty much everybody with in-the-know insight (besides Prince, unfortunately, but whatever), the 12-page feature gives you a comprehensive behind-the-scenes look at one of the classic music experiences of the modern era.
To top off their Prince-centric edition, Spin produced an excellent Prince tribute album, Purplish Rain, featuring an eclectic variety of musicians, from Of Montreal to the Riverboat Gamblers, which they’re giving away for free on Spin.com. But “free” has one little catch: In order to access the album, readers must first answer a question, the answer to which can only be found by having a physical copy of the magazine* (it’s the last word on page 61).
This is actually a fairly clever ploy to get you to buy the magazine, offering readers a valuable, interactive experience between Spin‘s print and online properties. That said, it’s still only a ploy, nothing close to shutting down the Internet the massive monetary defibrillator needed to zap life back into the print industry.
*See, since I have the magazine sitting right in front of me, I could easily just give you the answer – as I’m sure some Websites have already done – which is representative of the entire reason print magazines (and newspapers) are destined to fail. But despite inevitability, I’m not going to do that. Call it sympathy, call it curiosity, call it just being a prude jerk, but there’s a soft spot in my heart for these bound, glossy pages.
So I’ll just say, you should buy the issue, it’s great. The Prince article alone is worth the few-dollar price of the magazine. When you’re done, answer the question, download Purplish Rain, throw on your favorite frilly shirt, sit back and take a minute to appreciate how much things can change in a mere 25 years.
Purplish Rain tracklisting:
1. “Let’s Go Crazy” RIVERBOAT GAMBLERS
2. “Take Me With U” SHARON JONES & THE DAP-KINGS
3. “The Beautiful Ones” FOL CHEN
4. “Computer Blue” OF MONTREAL
5. “Darling Nikki” CHAIRLIFT
6. “When Doves Cry” THE TWILIGHT SINGERS
7. “I Would Die 4 U” MARIACHI EL BRONX
8. “Baby I’m a Star” CRAIG WEDREN
9. “Purple Rain” LAVENDER DIAMOND