With the recent passing of Prince, the musical world has gone into mass mourning over the last few days. But much like the equally devastating loss of David Bowie earlier this year, Prince also had a strong relationship with the movies. Over a brief period during the 80s and early 90s, he acted in a handful of roles, but it was his soundtrack contributions that really made an impact on the film world. And whilst these cinematic outings didn’t always equal box office dollars, the quality and sheer frequency of the songs he wrote for said films were typical of the always prolific artist. Daringly different, and suitably cinematic, movies and Prince were a match made in heaven, so let’s look at the most memorable soundtrack songs the The Purple One gave to the world.
“When Doves Cry” – Purple Rain (1984)
Its fitting that a song from Purple Rain kicks off our list; its a film that perfectly captures the man’s mystique on celluloid, and represents the pinnacle of his filmic career. When Doves Cry underpins a montage that occurs at a pivotal moment in the film, after Prince’s character The Kid has just suffered a devastating loss; and its a sign of the artist’s considerable ability that the song not only works so well in the scene, but also became a bona fide Prince classic in its own right.
“New Power Generation” – Graffiti Bridge (1990)
Taken from the sequel to Purple Rain, which Prince wrote, directed and starred in; the anthem “New Power Generation” came in two parts on the Graffiti Bridge soundtrack album. Keen Prince fans will know the song served as an introduction to the New Power Generation band, whom Prince would not only write songs for, but also perform alongside for many years. Unfortunately its nigh impossible to track down a decent copy of the track online, so instead here’s the original trailer for the film it accompanied.
‘Kiss’ – Under The Cherry Moon (1986)
Taken from Prince’s ill-fated directorial debut Under the Cherry Moon, this was just one of the tracks off his Parade album, a soundtrack brimming with Prince originals specifically written for his ambitious movie musical. Although the film never received the recognition he’d hoped for, Kiss would go on to become one of Prince’s biggest hits, and with mourning fans now seeking out any and every piece of archival video in existence, you can bet this film experiment will get a new lease of life.
Also check out the original trailer for Under the Cherry Moon.
‘Partyman’ – Batman (1989)
Tim Burton’s Batman was a landmark moment for the film industry in many ways, but Warner Bros. decision to put Prince (one of their most successful artists) in charge of curating the film’s soundtrack was pure movie marketing genius. The soundtrack was chock full of hits, but for sheer fun you can’t go past album opener “Partyman”, which features Prince adopting his very own superhero persona; crime fighter by day, partier by night. Sounds about right.
Was this ever not going to take the top spot? I’m sure there’s some of you out there who would suggest other tracks off Prince’s landmark soundtrack are worthy of selection, such as “Computer Blue” or even the aforementioned “When Doves Cry”. Valid arguments these may be, but if you were going to choose one song to remember Prince’s film career by (or just his career in general) then you really can’t go past this Academy Award winning epic.
That’s all folks! What Prince soundtrack songs have you revisited over the last few days? Be sure to let us know in the comments section below.