Wednesday, 14 July 2010

No 1. Prince - Purple Rain - Multiple Formats

With Prince releasing his new album 20Ten through the Mirror at the weekend (and being provided a physical product by the Father in Law - nice one) it provided me with the impetus to do something I had been meaning to get round to, capture the memories music evokes for me, if for no better reason than my boy and girl won't have the joy of buying CD's, tapes and vinyl in record shops for weeks on end, and hence may not feel the way I do about tunes.

Prince's Purple Rain is the ideal place to start as I have more physical versions of this Album than any other.

The first copy arrived in school, not on the day of release, but when the chap I sat next to got bored of his tape (and Wham!'s make it big) and offered it to me in return for a blank tape so he could tape the charts. Without the pocket money for albums, but with availability of Dad's box of blank tapes, it seemed an easy way to expand my music collection.

Unfortunately this album saw the one and only piece of censorship in our household that I can remember, and quite clearly. I used to get the joys of listening to an album on the way back and forth to swimming twice a week on the car stereo and slipped Purple Rain in with the usual fodder of Madness, Adam Ant and Shakey. We got through a few listens, no doubt with Dad being zoned out, but suddenly the album was never to be played again, with no explanation. In hindsight certain of the lyrics to Darling Nikki may have contributed .....(innocent days and an embarrassed Dad not wanting to get into this I guess)

The LP arrived a few years later, complete with a slit taken out of it, from Power Cuts Record Shop in Manchester. A bargain in the 90's at 69p. Power Cuts opened a whole new world in record collecting as annually LP's with the slits (due to being imported I believe) were flogged off cheap in legendary sales and the poor student I was got too excited and came away with Armful's of LP's (some of which never received a rotation).

Power Cuts is discussed eloquently here and it seems that others have equally bulked record collections of dubious note but remember Power Cuts fondly:

The CD arrived to further bulk out my University record collection (I was keen to improve my CD collection having been bought a CD player for passing my A Levels), via one of many trips to 'the big HMV in Liverpool' a decent stroll down from the Union, but one I seemed to make most days. HMV's regular 3 CD's for £20 seemed like such a bargain 15 years ago....... in fact such a bargain that a lot of my student grant!!! went this way rather than on books, food (the Missus reminds me I lived on Sausages and Ketchup at Uni which seems to be my boys favourite food now - a child prodigy obviously) and clothes (the home knitted grey baggy cardi meant I did not need to buy many other clothes) but not rather than Aldi Vodka.

The DVD - Region 1, was brought back from the last minute holiday to Vegas (£243 all in for a week with a car if you go today) having trawled the local record shops for CD's and DVD's which I would continue to do for a number of years.

But the final over riding memory from this album was only a year or so ago when Prince decided to do his residency at the O2. Seeing a spare ticket sent round on email, I thought I would go along for Nostalgia's sake, not having played the album in years. On arriving Prince looked the same as in 1984 and when the opening bars to Purple Rain started ........

......... the hairs on my arms just stuck up on end.

Will sitting in front of my computer downloading mp3's evoke such memories in the future for my boy and girl.......................

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