It’s been a minute since you’ve heard from me, and I have a valid excuse for that. Last week I actually, like REALLY, traveled all the way up to the US of A, walking the same streets as some of the biggest names in music had a few decades ago, changing the face of music forever with the new sound they pioneered back in the day!
That’s right folks, if I were you, I’d hate me too.
Stepping out on the snow-covered streets of Minneapolis, Minnesota – I couldn’t help but feel overwhelmed by the history the city had, specifically when it came to music – especially when it had to do with 2 of my favorite artists of all time – musicians whom I’ve idolized all my life.
Back in the late 70’s, pop/r’n’b icon and living legend Prince brought in a sound on mainstream radio that was a thoroughly infectious hybrid of funk-rock, soul, r’n’b, jazz, pop – famously dubbed as the ‘Minneapolis Sound‘. The rest, as they say, was musical history.
By the mid 80’s, mega-producers Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis (who had worked with Prince earlier as a part of ‘The Time‘) fused the inescapably addictive sounds with elements of dance music for a certain diva/legend named Janet Jackson – and the New Jack Swing technique was born, which became a radio staple for the remaining decade, as well as a god few years of the next.
Fast forward to today, a much expected and anticipated revival of the Minneapolis Sound seems to be in order, as witnessed by Beyoncé’s chart success and subsequent Grammy win for the New Jack Swing influenced ‘Love On Top‘ this year.
And of course, Bruno Mars, Solange, Justin Timberlake have graciously (and confidently) hopped aboard the retro-leaning train – blending in Prince-esque elements in EVERYTHING they’ve released lately.
I have faith y’all – there’s gotta be something better topping the charts soon after ‘music’ like ‘Thrift Shop‘ and ‘Harlem Shake‘. I cannot, with the present state of the charts these days. It’s relentlessly depressing.
Going back in time and being inspired by what the innovators and originators of the game seems like a safe way to go.
Either way, it all dates back to Prince, who started it all. The 7 time Grammy winner’s legacy is on course for a much-needed revival, and today he gets a much deserved shout-out for one of the most iconic songs in the history of ANY music whatsoever.
‘When Doves Cry‘, a cult favorite, was the lead single from Prince’s 6th studio album ‘Purple Rain‘, which was the soundtrack to the movie of the same name, released in 1984.
A supreme example of what the Minneapolis Sound had to offer, the deliciously unconventional song went on to become the biggest hit of 1984, peaking at # 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 for 5 weeks. The soundtrack to ‘Purple Rain‘ eventually spent a staggering 24 consecutive weeks at # 1 on the Billboard 200 Albums Chart, being certified 13 times platinum by the RIAA. Till date the album has sold over a whopping 21 million copies worldwide (that’s almost equal to what Rihanna’s entire discography has managed to sell – if you’ve unfortunately been born in the digital era and have no idea who Prince is).
Check out the video for ‘When Doves Cry‘ directed by Prince himself – just one of the many iconic and objectively perfect moments in the Rock’ N’ Roll Hall Of Fame inductee’s legendary career!