Watch Prince’s 1983 “Purple Rain” Live Debut

Marc Hogan

By Marc Hogan

Lead News Writer
on 07.14.14 in News

Prince‘s Purple Rain marked its 30th anniversary last month. Earlier this year, the artist born Prince Rogers Nelson announced plans to reissue the landmark album, but no solid details have materialized yet. Now, you can celebrate Purple Rain‘s third decade by watching a video of its title track performed live on August 3, 1983 at Minneapolis’ First Avenue — the same live take that was incorporated into the album version.

The concert was then-19-year-old Wendy Melvoin’s first as a guitarist with Prince’s band that would come to be known as the Revolution. It was also the first time “Purple Rain” was ever performed live. Audio of “I Would Die 4 U” and “Baby, I’m a Star” from the same show also appears on the LP, each with overdubs added later.

Below, at least as long as it lasts on YouTube, check out the full, jaw-dropping 13-minute “Purple Rain,” which has recently been re-circulating online. And stay tuned for a promised new Prince album.

Prince: A Critical Discography