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Let's Go Crazy: Prince and the Making of Purple Rain
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Let's Go Crazy: Prince and the Making of Purple Rain

3.78  ·  Rating Details ·  543 Ratings  ·  106 Reviews
From the former senior editor of Rolling Stone and author of The Holy or the Broken, called "thoughtful and illuminating" by The New York Times, a new book on the unlikely coming-to-be of Prince's now legendary album.

Purple Rain is a song, an album, and a film - each one a commercial success and cultural milestone. How did this semi-autobiographical musical masterpiece tha
ebook, 304 pages
Published December 9th 2014 by Atria Books
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(showing 1-30)
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Dec 30, 2014 Erin rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Erin by: NPR
I'm a bad person. I bought this for my brother, the biggest Prince fan I know, for Christmas, then I hurried up and read it before I wrapped it.

I am of exactly the right age to have been caught up in the "Purple Rain" phenomenon. I vividly remember buying the cassette at a record store in Myrtle Beach, SC while I vacation and then seeing the movie multiple times in the theatre. With all that said, I really enjoyed this book, but this is definitely not a definitive biography of the artist, more
Jan 11, 2015 Jodee rated it liked it
Shelves: music
As a die-hard Prince fan, I didn't learn much new here. Most of the info about Prince, his background, his music and the musicians who made up his inner circle can be found elsewhere. The author also seems to neglect important aspects to the story, such as Prince's relationship with Vanity and how their sudden breakup affected the film. The new tidbits I did get from this book were additional details about the filming of the movie itself. New interviews from the director Albert Magnoli and ...more
Read In Colour
Jul 14, 2015 Read In Colour marked it as to-read
So far I've learned that 777-9311 (the Time's big hit) was actually Dez Dickerson's phone number. Dez was Prince's guitarist in the 1999 days, remember? He was mad at Prince for using his number for the song.

Also, Wendy and Lisa were a couple! Who knew? Not me. I've been a fan all these years and never knew that.
May 07, 2016 MomIsReading rated it it was amazing
I've been in love with Prince since I was 14. Nothing else less than 5 stars could I even consider.
Oct 29, 2014 S. rated it really liked it
Good read for super fans & casual listeners. I wasn't old enough to see Purple Rain in the theaters when it first came out, but every kid on the playground was singing "When Doves Cry."
Jul 15, 2016 Mark rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
As a teenager in the 80s, some memorable parts of my life were soundtracked by Prince and his music, especially that from the early-to-mid-80s, always makes me think of good times. I didn’t see the film “Purple Rain” until after he died (there was an open-air showing of it) and, although I had problems with it, it was enjoyable enough for me to want to pick up this, which is essentially a biography of his career around the making of the album and film. It starts off slowly, as Light sets his ...more
Jun 01, 2016 Ethan rated it it was amazing
I was eager to read this book from the moment I first heard about it last year. But of course, after the tragic death of Prince this Spring, I moved it up to the top of my list. This is a very well written look at the creative genesis of "Purple Rain" both the album and motion picture. While Prince did not agree to be interviewed for the book, members of the Revolution, Prince's management at the time, and key creative members of the film were interviewed extensively, which helps illustrate the ...more
Aug 03, 2016 Ashley rated it it was ok
I'm biased, because I consider Prince a complex, unknowable genius. But he deserved better than this Variety article in book form. The last image, the last scene of this book, captures its suspicious lack of depth and its utter inability to capture any of Prince's nuances, the technical genius of the members of the Revolution, and the intriguing machinations of the making of Purple Rain: the author recounts a moment in a club with Prince, in 1994, in which the superstar orders both of them "a ...more
Jan 09, 2015 Jackie rated it really liked it
Definitely a must-read for any walk of Prince fan... whether you're a newbie or have years of experience behind you. Lots of great information on the creative process from the people who were there. Perhaps the closest look into the making of "Purple Rain" since the 25th anniversary DVD.

The only negatives are a couple chapters that go into the business of comparing it to what other artists at the time were doing... those parts tended to drag for me, but that's just my personal opinion.

But as a b
Grace P.
Jan 22, 2015 Grace P. rated it it was amazing
Everything you wanted to know about Prince's musical history and the story of making the film Purple Rain with help from many interviews with former band members and producers. The book gives a good description of Prince's personality - he is described by one person as having a huge work ethic and an executive capacity as a leader and boss, simultaneously making his own music while creating and producing musical groups like the Time and Vanity 6 (later Apollonia 6).

I didn't know that he and Rick
Marti Whalen
Dec 26, 2014 Marti Whalen rated it it was ok
Well. Hmm.
How to review what was essentially a 280 page album/movie review?
The author is upfront about his adoration of Prince and this album, so he comes across as a bit of a fanboy. My love of this album got me to read the book and put it back on my regular morning playlist, but I didn't need almost 300 pages to tell me how great it is. Perhaps this book would be more enjoyed by someone not as familiar with His Majesty, or at least someone with less of a 2000s devotion to VH1. Still, it was a
James Vitarius
Jan 05, 2015 James Vitarius rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Dec 30, 2014 Eugenia rated it it was ok
It's more enjoyable as an excuse for a trip down memory lane than in its own right. It was fine for what it was, but very slight -- the content could have been covered in a Kindle Single, really, and since there are no illustrations, it's not really worth buying this in hardcover. It made me wish for a VH1 "Behind the Music" about the topic, instead, but since Prince controls his image and his archive so obsessively, this is probably the best we can do.
Feb 08, 2015 Melissa rated it really liked it
Although not fully embraced by his hardcore fans (because yes we do already know everything that is this book), it nicely put together and really highlights the importance of both Prince and Purple rain in music history and pop culture.
An entertaining look at the making of the movie Purple Rain. I was a big fan of the movie and soundtrack though just a casual fan of Prince so I learned quite a lot. Also enjoyed the look back at the year 1984 and remembering all the other big albums that sold in the millions that year.
Bryan Cebulski
Great interviews, a showcase of fantastically incomprehensible Prince behavior, and some insightful perspective on Prince's career. A focused little book that does exactly what it wants to.
Debra Meyer
Jun 27, 2016 Debra Meyer rated it really liked it
This was a fun, easy read. I love music and 1984 was a great year for rock! Enjoyable insight into what drives popular culture.
Milton Roiz
Nov 27, 2016 Milton Roiz rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I never liked Purple Rain

Growing up in the '80s, I loved Prince songs just like anybody else but I never went so far as to buy the albums. Especially with Purple Rain, I never saw the movie or bought the soundtrack but now years later (and sadly after Prince's death) listening to the album and watching the movie for the first time I finally realize what all the hoopla was about. This book captures all the work that went into the making of Purple Rain and the aftermath of the success. I'm happy t
Michael Winger
A fun read if you're a fan of prince

Engaging enough and gives some fun peeks into the world of Prince during the high flying 80's. Woot woot woot.
Ulysses Upshaw
Nov 05, 2016 Ulysses Upshaw rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

Awesomeness....this is focused and a good read. the interviews with Wendy and Susannah melvoin are more revealing than anything ever published about this point in time
Feb 13, 2015 Kathryn rated it liked it
3.5 stars

We can argue whether or not Purple Rain remains the pinnacle of Prince's lengthy career, but in a short period of time when a handful of performers took that step from gold record to legend (Springteen, Madonna, Michael Jackson), Prince seemed destined to fill out that musical Rushmore. In 1984 he simultaneously had the top film, album and single in the nation, and I don't know if that feat's been matched. Maybe in the UK with the Spice Girls, but likely not here.

Author Light was one of
I didn't expect a miracle here; after all, it's a book written about the scope of one fantastic album, movie, tour.
However, I didn't expect to enjoy it as much as I did (not meaning to sound like a sourpuss, but music books tend to swing one way or another, and this one was really objective and factual, despite the author being a fan. So a swing in the right direction).
I think Prince is a genius; always have, always will (despite half of the NPG catalog giving me great moments of pause), but t
Jul 21, 2016 Bert rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: prince, music, bio
A good thing about Let's Go Crazy: Prince and the Making of Purple Rain : it contains an index. The downside of that? This index takes up more than 25% of the pages in my Kindle edition.

Which shouldn't surprise me, because I read this book in a couple of hours tops. It lacks depth and insight, and contains no information I didn't know beforehand. It is basically a nice compilation of things any informed Prince fan has known for ages, and it is really up to date: it even includes information fro
Orlando Green
Sep 19, 2016 Orlando Green rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Good intro to the other books.

A good short summary of an era, compared to the larger works. A good intro. I would recommend it. Worth it.
Alban Jones
In Light Of Prince's Passing In April Of This Year, I Decided 2 Read About The Behind The Scenes Going On With His Best Selling Record & Movie "Purple Rain!!!" The Book Does Not Disappoint As Many Of The Key Folks Involved Speak Freely & Candidly With The Author 2 Give A Very Good Sneak Peak Behind The Curtain & What It Really Took 2 Bring This Project 2 Life!!!
Prince's Pure Belief In Himself, His Ability 2 Get His Co-Stars/Band Mates 2 Shine Along Side Of Him All Helped Push The Pro
Kurt Gottschalk
May 05, 2015 Kurt Gottschalk rated it really liked it
It's surprising how few authoritative and readable books there have been on one of the biggest pop stars of the latter part of the 20th century (and still, in my opinion, a very viable force). Alan Light sets that somewhat straight with "Let's Go Crazy," an account of Prince around the Purple Rain ascension 30 years ago.

It's a quick, fun read and there were things I didn't know in the text. Light gets almost all of the principals (except, of course, the man himself) to talk, which is an impress
Sep 13, 2016 Serena rated it liked it
Solid insight into the movie and album and the supporting cast including The Time, Apollonia and a lot about the Revolution members and behind-the-scenes players.

And now to watch all the Prince movies.
I was thrilled beyond belief when I saw that Prince has inked a deal earlier this year for his memoir and was devastated by his untimely death. (Sidebar: I can only hope that Questlove picks up the mantle and writes an epic treatise). (view spoiler) ...more
Malachi B
Aug 13, 2016 Malachi B rated it liked it
This book takes place during the time of the eighties, when Prince was making Purple Rain. The thing I liked about this book was that there were several trivial things I had no idea Prince was involved with like he helped Stevie Nicks write "Stand Back" and that he "freaked out" Michael Jackson and that he never wanted to be a front-man. I also really enjoyed that there was a lot of information given from the other band members to give a different perspective of how Prince was. I already thought ...more
Feb 17, 2015 Patty rated it liked it
Not for fans who sort of like Prince...this book is hard core. I skimmed a lot of the details around the making of the movie because I was most interested in the tidbits about the music. What this book brought home for me is that I was a sophomore/junior in high school when one of the most important times in pop music history occurred. It never really occurred to me just how many pop stars were competing for the limelight--Micheal Jackson, Madonna, Bruce Springsteen, Cyndi Lauper, Run DMC, Van ...more
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A veteran music journalist, ALAN LIGHT is the author of The Holy or the Broken: Leonard Cohen, Jeff Buckley and the Unlikely Ascent of "Hallelujah" and Let's Go Crazy: Prince and the Making of Purple Rain. Light was previously the editor-in-chief of Vibe and Spin and a senior writer for Rolling Stone. He is also a frequent contributor to the New York Times.
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