Let’s face it. The world got hit with a bombshell yesterday. Whether own every single album (all 39 studio and four live!) or just love “Raspberry Beret,” there’s no denying that Prince has had a profound effect on the musical landscape. He courted controversy the way all great musicians do, pushing the envelope every chance he got. He told vivid, often fantastical stories through his music. He also added a much-needed level of diversity to the David Bowie-popularized concept that it’s okay to stand out from the crowd. The fact that we lost both of these tremendous creative forces in the same year is staggering.
There isn’t too much to say about Prince that you likely haven’t already read in your Facebook feed or in the millions of tribute pieces that flooded the Internet in the hours after the news broke. So, we thought we’d go a little deeper into one particular performance. Many of Prince’s live performances are incredibly memorable, but this show-stopping performance of “Purple Rain” on The Arsenio Hall Show in 1991 ranks as one of our absolute favorites.
It’s not his wildest recorded performance. It’s not the most epic. It’s quintessential Prince, from start to finish, a song delivered with a perfectly balanced combination of talent and emotion (while wearing a fantastic purple suit, of course). It’s a great taste of the sheer joy he had in performing and the sheer enthusiasm of an audience getting the show of a lifetime. His departure has left a huge hole in all our hearts, but at least we’ve got his music.
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