Breaking down the 11 unearthed tracks on Prince's 'Purple Rain' reissue
A new version of the Purple One's 1984 classic contains multiple new songs
After Prince's tragic death in April 2016, it was only a matter of time before the vaults of his unreleased music would be opened. The new deluxe edition of Purple Rain, his 1984 masterwork with the Revolution, includes the remastered original plus a bonus From the Vault & Previously Unreleased disc of material from the soundtrack's era. To mark today's release of this unburied treasure, EW breaks down all 11 fresh tracks. <iframe src="https://open.spotify.com/embed?uri=spotify:album:12DmuRtZNTx84ELHKD3VGL" width="580" height="380" frameborder="0" class="" scrolling="no" allowfullscreen="" resize="0" replace_attributes="1" name=""></iframe>
1. "The Dance Electric"
André Cymone — Prince's childhood friend in Minneapolis and bassist in his pre-Revolution touring band — scored a Top 10 R&B hit with his 1985 version of this song penned by the Purple One. And Prince himself referenced "the dance electric" at the end of the "Purple Rain" B-side "God." This pulsating hypno-groove — reminiscent of his "A Love Bizarre" duet with Sheila E. — implores you to "listen to the rhythm of your soul" for 11-and-a-half electric minutes.
2. "Love and Sex"
With its delirious giddiness — that "sha-la-la-la-la, sha-la-la-boom" refrain is pure euphoria — this track feels like a better version of the "Batdance" B-side "200 Balloons." It opens with one of those blood-curdling screams that it seemed Prince could break out by just clicking his heels.
3. "Computer Blue" ("Hallway Speech" version)
This extended (12 minutes!) version of the original Purple Rain track inspires new appreciation, transforming the song into an epic workout that deepens the funk. And that rubbery bottom still plays Pong with your brain.
4. "Electric Intercourse" (studio version)
If "The Beautiful Ones" and "Purple Rain" had a baby, it might sound like this carnal ballad. With its signature mix of piano, drum machine, and Prince's crystalline falsetto, this tune sets a bambino-making mood.
5. "Our Destiny/Roadhouse Garden"
This two-part song displays two different sides of His Royal Badness: The surrealistic first part hints at the psychedelic direction Prince and the Revolution would take on their next album, 1985's Around the World in a Day. The second part is baritone soul with a little bit of gospel spirit.
Prince croons about his "demonic lust" on this track that sounds like one of his quirky B-sides. But despite a vintage, vaguely sinister synth line, it never quite takes hold of you over eight minutes.
7. "Wonderful Ass"
At his most delightfully randy, Prince espouses posterior pleasures on this synth-funk jam that rides a tight rhythm guitar. Cheeky indeed.
8. "Velvet Kitty Cat"
Prince dips into his goodie drawer of sexual metaphors on this bouncy ditty — but he probably tossed off this playful romp faster than you can say "meow."
9. "Katrina's Paper Dolls"
Letting his freak flag fly, Prince spins a story-song about a woman who makes one paper doll "for every day her old man's been gone." Lightweight B-side material, but it still has a goofy charm.
10. "We Can F—"
Prince would go on to rework this P-funk groove as "We Can Funk," a duet with George Clinton on the soundtrack to the Purple Rain sequel, 1990's Graffiti Bridge. At 10-plus minutes, this bump-and-grinder plays like a marathon sex session that hits all the right spots, building to orgasmic release.
11. "Father's Song"
This haunting piano instrumental was cowritten by Prince's dad, John L. Nelson, and was played by his Purple Rain father, Clarence Williams III, in one of the film's most affecting scenes. As the final track on this disc, it serves as a wistful coda to the Purple Rain era.