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Purple Rain

Purple Rain has not been seen in 429 Phish shows.
It was last played: 2012-07-04.
It was played at 1.6% of live shows.
It has been performed live 32 time(s).

Music/Lyrics: Prince

Original Artist: Prince

Original Album: Purple Rain (1984)

Vocals: Fish (lead), Page, Trey (backing)

Debut: 1993-07-16

Historian: Martin Acaster

"Purple Rain" was the multimedia fortean event which made Prince a household name. Apparently Prince grew unhappy with his fame and fortune. Closer to the truth is the possibility that he wanted to disassociate himself with his record label (or perhaps the unholy flop of his second turn on the big screen, Under a Cherry Moon). Either way Prince renounced his crown through the release of a 1992 album entitled with the enigmatic symbol with which The Artist now signs his checks (though he eventually reverted back to a pronounceable name at the close of 1999.) No doubt seeking to fill the void on the throne left by the untimely disappearance of the Prince of Pop, Henrietta assumed the mantle during the 1993 summer tour.

From its first heartfelt rendering on 7/16/93 until its seemingly final magical performance 8/6/96 at Red Rocks, “Purple Rain” was sure to bring a tear to the eye and a lighter to the hand of many a fan. In each performance Jon made the song all his own; emotionally belting out the lyrics and usually substituting inspired vacuum solos for the Hendrixian licks of the original version. Two performances of “Purple Rain,” those on 8/14/93 at Tinley Park and 5/7/94 at the Bomb Factory, were released on Live Phish 07 and 18 respectively. Perhaps a coincidence but most likely not, Phish hadn’t performed the song since the ’96 Red Rocks run, the first time Phish became a household name, and one which was unfortunately linked to fan rioting. In a not so obvious reference to the regrettable events in Morrison, CO, “Purple Rain” made its triumphant return to the stage (7/25/99) at Deer Creek. On cue, the attendees of Woodstock ‘99 in Rome, NY showed the world what it really means when fans riot. Fishman added to the hilarity by forgetting the words and thanked the crowd for supporting his vacuum cleaner habit.

Recommended Versions: 1993-07-16, 1993-08-14, 1994-05-07, 1996-08-06, 1999-07-25

Albums: Live Phish 07, Live Phish 18, Chicago '94


© Controversy Music (ASCAP) administered by Universal Music Corp. (ASCAP)

I never meant to cause you any sorrow
I never meant to cause you any pain
I only wanted one time to see you laughing
I only wanted to see you laughing in the purple rain

Purple rain, purple rain
Purple rain, purple rain
Purple rain, purple rain
I only wanted to see you bathing in the purple rain

I never wanted to be your weekend lover
I only wanted to be some kind of friend, hey
Baby, I could never steal you from another
It's such a shame our friendship had to end

Purple rain, purple rain
Purple rain, purple rain
Purple rain, purple rain
I only wanted to see you underneath the purple rain

Honey, I know, I know, I know times are changin'
It's time we all reach out for something new, that means you too
You say you want a leader, but you can't seem to make up your mind
And I think you better close it and let me guide you to the purple rain

Purple rain, purple rain
Purple rain, purple rain
If you know what I'm singin' about up here, come on raise your hand
Purple rain, purple rain
I only want to see you, only want to see you in the purple rain

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