Prince & The Revolution’s Debut Performance of “Purple Rain” and more in 1983 — Video

Prince live with The Revolution in 1983.

Perhaps the most significant time capsule of all Prince live shows, the legendary August 1983, benefit gig at the First Avenue nightclub in Minneapolis. The show was significant as this was the first time anybody on the planet would hear several of Prince’s soon-to-be career defining staples all at once.

During the performance (which can be seen in full below) Prince debuted; Purple Rain (with the majority of the live take incredibly making the album cut), I Would Die 4 U, Computer Blue, Let’s Go Crazy, Baby I’m A Star, & Electric Intercourse. You can tell that several of these tunes are still just works in progress which makes this reveal at the creative process all the more unique & special as a glimpse into The Revolution creating magic, before our very eyes & ears.

Also of significance, this show marked the introduction of Wendy Melvoin, replacing Dez Dickerson on guitar, cementing The Revolution lineup that would feature so prominently in the Purple Rain film, all the way up until the September, 1986 Hit n Run Parade tour after which Prince replaced every musician besides Dr. Fink on keys and further augmented his arsenal of musicians with a horn section to add jazzy arrangements + percussion virtuoso Sheila E & the Dawning of what would become known as the Lovesexy Band.

Set List 
1.Let’s Go Crazy
2.When You Were Mine
3.A Case Of You
4.Computer Blue
6.Electric Intercourse
8.I Would Die 4 U / Baby I’m A Star
9. Little Red Corvette
10.Purple Rain
11.D. MS. R

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