Today in Music History: Prince and The Revolution released the 'Purple Rain' album

Prince performing at Coachella in 2008
Prince performs at Coachella on Saturday April 26, 2008, in Indio, California. (Matt Simmons/Getty Images)

History Highlight:

On this day in 1984, Prince and The Revolution released the Purple Rain album five weeks before the premiere of the film. The album is the first of Prince's that features the billing of his band the Revolution, and it was his first album to reach No. 1 on the Billboard 200. The album spent 24 consecutive weeks on the top of the Billboard 200 and was present on the chart for a total of 122 weeks. You know and love so many hits from the album including "When Doves Cry", "Let's Go Crazy", "Purple Rain", "I Would Die 4 U" and "Take Me with U".

Also, Today In:

1966 - The Beatles started a two-week run at No. 1 on the U.S. singles chart with "Paperback Writer," the group's 12th U.S. No. 1 single.

1967 - During a North American tour, the Jimi Hendrix Experience gave a free afternoon concert in San Francisco's Golden Gate Park.

1967 - The Beatles recorded "All You Need Is Love" live on the Our World program, the first live-via-satellite global television broadcast in history. The program featured contributions from multiple countries, and the BBC commissioned a song from The Beatles as the U.K.'s contribution. While the band sang live to a pre-recorded backing track on the broadcast, some of the vocals were re-recorded in the studio prior to the single's release.

1977 - Marvin Gaye went to No. 1 on the U.S. singles chart with "Got To Give It Up," his third U.S. No. 1 single.

1983 - The film soundtrack to Flashdance started a two-week run at No. 1 on the U.S. album chart.

1988 - Red Hot Chili Peppers' guitarist and founding member Hillel Slovak died due to a heroin overdose.

1988 - Debbie Gibson went to No. 1 on the U.S. singles chart with "Foolish Beat," making Debbie, at age 17, the youngest female to write, produce and record a U.S. No. 1 single.

1993 - Bruce Springsteen was a surprise guest on David Letterman's final show as host of NBC's Late Night.

1993 - Nora Ephron's romantic comedy "Sleepless In Seattle", starring Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan, opened in theaters. With songs from Louis Armstrong, Nat King Cole, and Harry Connick, Jr., the movie spawned a hit soundtrack and renewed interest in standards.

2009 - Michael Jackson died at the age of 50, after suffering heart failure at his home in Beverly Hills, Calif.

2014 - Amnesty International apologized to Iggy Pop after it had used an image of the singer in an anti-torture campaign without his permission.

2014 - Beyonce and Jay-Z kicked off their On The Run tour with a show in Miami, with the couple co-headlining. The tour was one of the most profitable ever on a per-show basis, averaging over $5 million per concert. The joint tour came after the two had finished their own solo tours in 2013 and 2014 and the tour is named from Jay-Z's 2013 song "Part II (On the Run)", which features Beyonce. The tour grossed $96 million in the first 19 North American shows and $109.7 million in total and the show was broadcast in its entirety on September 20, 2014 on HBO.

2016 - The Yellow Cloud guitar owned by Prince and said to be one of his favorites was bought at auction for $137,500 by the owner of the Indianapolis Colts. A lock of David Bowie's hair also sold for $18,750 at the same auction.


Carly Simon is 76.

George Michael was born today in 1963 and passed away on December 25, 2016.

Tim Finn of Split Enz is 69.

John McCrea of Cake is 57.

Mario Calire from The Wallflowers is 47.

Highlights for Today in Music History are gathered from This Day in Music, Paul Shaffer's Day in Rock, Song Facts and Wikipedia.