No, it’s not my own “The Beautiful Experience” that I’ve been going on about for months.
I got this idea from a thread, actually. We were talking about Prince playlists and I remembered that I made one of the extended versions of some of the Purple Rain tracks. Then I got to thinking that maybe I do a mix with Moonbeam Levels, a few outtakes from Purple Rain and 17 days, along with whatever extended versions I had.
After getting it under time, I burned the CD and here’s my playlist
- Let’s Go Crazy (extended)
- Take Me with U (album version)
- Electric Intercourse
- The Beautiful Ones (extended)
- Father’s Song
- Computer Blue (extended)
- Darling Nikki (extended)
- When Doves Cry
- 17 Days
- Moonbeam Levels
- I Would Die 4 U (album version)
- Baby I’m a Star
- Purple Rain
And it was an amazing trip. I tell ya, you’d only get this kind of high by watching the movie itself, but it isn’t quite like this. Purple Rain the movie is a bigger high, but I certainly got absorbed into the world of the movie.
The only downside to the whole thing was a few skips and glitches early on with some of the songs. I hate when I have to hear Prince skip, but I think its the CD-R’s I bought… not very good quality, but it grew very managable. “The Beautiful Ones” had no glitches at all and it was pretty much smooth from there with a few exceptions here and there.
Let’s Go Crazy was a blast. Even with the skipping on occasion, it was so much fun. It felt like being in the movie all over again. So much fun. Take Me with U almost felt like the last time I listened to it… a little nostaglic, feels like I could say to that time “c’mon and touch a place in me that’s calling out your name”. Like wow… just knows how to put a smile on my face.
Electric Intercourse was really beautiful. I listened to it earlier to see how I felt about it. Here, I could just feel the beauty in it. Prince has a way with piano ballads. They all have roughly the same feel and it’s very sweet. Made me a fan of it right here. Then the vibe continued with flawless “The Beautiful Ones” and I was getting absorbed in it. It was really as beautiful as always and when he got to the latter portion of it that he cut down originally, just blew me away. So much passion.
Father’s Song was a nice little interlude and it hints a little bit of sadness and what’s yet to come.
Computer Blue started a huge portion of the mix that takes on a life of its own. I forgot how engrossing it is. I thought after doing the “Father’s Song” portion that he could have ended it there, but there’s just so much good stuff that he did on it. Just threw me for one loop and then another. Darling Nikki was a real trip that I had so much fun with and just let go of everything and listening to everything. The instruments, his vocals and I was here, mimicing his screaming.
G-Spot is a song that’s been stuck in my head pretty much all day. I forgot what a catchy melody it had. And I rememebered that it was originally gonna be on the album, but Darling Nikki took its place. It’s so different in comparison (still think Darling Nikki was a brilliant move) and it helps set up for the next portion of the album, which takes up 3 songs.
When Doves Cry had a few glitches, but other than that, it just took my mind to the right place. I remembered that Prince is a musical genius of sorts and it is just a representation of everything he is. 17 Days was a bit glitchy for my tastes, but I kinda lost my like for it for some reason. I guess because I didn’t like the sad vibe of it and I was waiting for something else to happen.
A few people will be scratching their heads with this choice. The story goes that he wrote “Moonbeam Levels” around March 1983… and it was a 1999 outtake because it was too similar to Free. I listened to the two back 2 back and I saw no similarity at all.
So why put a 1999 outtake on a Purple Rain mix?
The scene in the basement where Prince is alone and starts to go insane with grief with everything that’s coming apart in his life. One of the three producers said that he saw a lot of vulnerability in Prince and wanted to put that on screen to show the viewers that side of him. I thought of watching that scene last night after I saw his expression in “Under the Cherry Moon” when he saw the police coming, but I never got around to it. I agree, that’s a very powerful scene where he is confronted by his fears and he panics when he has a vision of him hanging himself. Scared me half to death when I saw that on that fateful day.
This is my secret take on “Moonbeam Levels” that I’m going to reveal now. I’m a little nervous about how it’ll be received, but it’ll explain why I put it in here.
Prince is looking for redemptation of any kind at this point in the movie. His homelife came crashing down, he’s lost his girlfriend and he’s very close to losing his spot at 1st Avenue. And it looks like he’s contemplating killing himself and that thought scared him. “Moonbeam Levels” could be that redemptation with the last line, “he don’t really wanna die.” But that’s not the complete story. When I heard this song a few times, I felt that Prince was doubting himself and the thought of killing himself might have come to mind more than once. He was fearing that he might not have what it takes to make it big in the business. In a moment of clarity, he wrote this song and he gained the strength to press forward. Even though it never made it onto an album, it could very well be a powerful song for him personally. When I listened to it this song in sequence, it was just so powerful and I felt this was the perfect move.
I Would Die 4 U was when I was starting to get a little tired and losing my concentration. But when it got the halfway point, I recalled hearing it the first time and how it was so much fun for me. I loved the song right away, having no idea who Prince was or who he’d become to me. Baby I’m a Star was so much fun and I felt like I was back to the movie, seeing that scene for the first time. I could just feel his stage presence come through the song. I could remember what it felt like to see him dance on stage for the first time and how it made go “head over heels” for him. This was the moment I realized how much this mix reminded me of all the reasons why I grew to love Prince in the first place. And why I’ve been around him for so long (I’m talking hours, not months, haha).
Purple Rain was just an experience all in itself. I was just singing along with him and his sweet voice. I smiled and it felt like my heart smiled too. I felt so at peace with him, just listening to the song even though I’ve heard it over 100 times now. I can’t quite describe what it felt like. There were a couple of glitches in places, but it never lasted long. I just felt the guitar solo and the sing-along chorus, as if all was right in the world. Incredibly amazing… all the things Prince is.
When I was done, I said “I think I’ve met my Prince quota for the day” and I didn’t give any of his songs another listen. I’ve wanted to, especially with “G-Spot” in my head constantly (still going). But I couldnt believe what the mix did to me. I got absorbed in Prince’s world, not just Purple Rain, but where he was at his peak musically. Simply amazing. I can’t say that enough.
I hope I’ll be able to return to Under the Cherry Moon tomorrow, but we’ll see what happens when I woke up tomorrow. Whatever songs go thru my “stream of consciousness” is what I’m gonna go with, but hopefully, it’ll point me in the right direction.