On That Note

Prince's performance of "Computer Blue" in Purple Rain
Rewind the clock sixteen months to late February 2011.  My life changed.  As a college student at the time, I was finishing up my near four year run as an employee at a nearby Chick-fil-A.  You gotta' do what you gotta' do, right?  Arriving home from working the night shift that day - most likely 2-11 - I opened the front door to my house and walked through our foyer into the living room.  My mom, God bless her, was watching Purple Rain on VH1.  An image similar to the one above was on my family's 54 inch television screen.  Despite my high musical standards, I decided to give Prince a shot and sat down to watch a few minutes of the film.  Sure, I had heard of Prince - who hasn't?  I was not at all familiar with his music though.  

That's when everything changed.  "Computer Blue" essentially sealed the deal with my loyalties and respect for Prince.  Sure, I still had some Ts to cross and Is to dot, but realistically I was in.  The "gateway drug" into the rest of his music, the track is an appropriate taste of his sheer genius.  While leaning towards rock, it has other influences, namely funk, and reminds me of his earlier works with 94 East.  An extremely unique sound, I was blown away.  The track begins with some rhythm to set tempo.  Some guitar is introduced over the steady bass drum.  Synthesizer adds tension with the emphasis on the tritone interval.  The intro ends as quickly as it begins with the pick-up into the first theme.  Synthesizers, guitar, and bass (one hell of a bass line, might I add) carry the track as Prince shortly thereafter comes in with vocals.  The tritone theme is replayed as the track drops vocals.  Chromatic guitar adds a certain tension as the development towards the B section progresses.  (This transition is what got me - absolutely brilliant)  This section is kicked off with a descending synth effect and a simple bass riff.  Solo guitar soon enters stating a rich melodic theme (that happens to be used multiple other times throughout the film).  Soon, second guitar doubles the solo with harmonic support as the track moves into the restating of the A section.

I've tried getting my hands on the fourteen minute version of this song, but unlike my attempts with "I Would Die 4 U" and "Erotic City," I have so far been unsuccessful.  Expect a post should this change.

Although I did not watch the entire movie that night, this track played a huge role in my decision in renting Purple Rain so as to take the next step in deciding to cross those Ts and dot those Is.  Is Prince the greatest actor ever, or rather an actor at all?  By no means.  Can the guy compose and perform music?  I sure as hell think so.  As Michael Scott has famously said "But don't take my word for it, let's take a look at the tape."  You'll probably think I'm crazy, but then again, if you know me, you probably already do...

Until next time


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