Prince and Purple Rain: 40 Years (Hardcover)

Prince and Purple Rain: 40 Years By Andrea Swensson, Maya Rudolph (Foreword by) Cover Image

Prince and Purple Rain: 40 Years (Hardcover)

By Andrea Swensson, Maya Rudolph (Foreword by)


Available to Order
Authoritatively written and including rare photography and memorabilia, this sumptuous slipcased hardcover is the only illustrated gift book to examine Prince’s most iconic album and film, Purple Rain.

In 1984, Prince, along with his band, The Revolution, released what would become his best-selling album and a touchstone of 1980s pop culture. Purple Rain has gone on to sell 25 million copies and counting. In Prince and Purple Rain, Andrea Swensson, a Minneapolis-based journalist and host/co-producer of Prince | Official Podcast, takes a deep dive into the legendary musician’s most famous album on its 40th anniversary.

The book features:

  • A lush purple velvet slipcase with gold-foil lettering
  • A foreword by Prince superfan Maya Rudolph
  • Stunning performance and off-stage photography
  • Interviews with musicians who worked with Prince
  • Images of memorabilia from top collectors 

Chapters cover:

  • Prince’s youth and early music career in Minneapolis, as well as each of the five studio albums that preceded Purple Rain
  • Prince’s backing band, The Revolution, and the backgrounds of each of its individual members, with an emphasis on the Purple Rain studio and touring members: drummer Bobby Z, bassist Brown Mark, guitarist Wendy Melvoin, keyboardist Lisa Coleman, and keyboardist Matt Fink
  • Track-by-track analyses of each side
  • A look at the groundbreaking film of the same name and its multiplatinum soundtrack
  • Awards, accolades, and critical reception
  • Prince’s legacy post–Purple Rain, up to his untimely death in 2016

Prince and Purple Rain is a definitive and beautifully produced tribute to a legendary album from a legendary performer and artist.

Andrea Swensson is an author, podcast host, and music journalist based in Minneapolis. She hosts the Official Prince Podcast, produced in collaboration with Paisley Park Enterprises, NPG Records, Warner Records, and Sony Music Entertainment, and has contributed music journalism to numerous outlets, including NPR Music, PitchforkThe Minneapolis Star Tribune, City Pages, and The Current, where she previously hosted “The Local Show.” Her first book, Got to Be Something Here: The Rise of the Minneapolis Sound, chronicling the funk and soul scene from the 1950s to the 1970s, was released in October 2017 and honored with a Minnesota Book Award. She is also the author of the new book Deeper Blues, a heartfelt biography of the nonagenarian blues musician (and Jimmy Jam’s father) Cornbread Harris.

Product Details ISBN: 9780760386491
ISBN-10: 0760386498
Publisher: Motorbooks
Publication Date: May 21st, 2024
Pages: 176
Language: English

"Poring over all the details in this book, from the ticket stubs to the film stills and all those impeccable Purple Rain tour outfits in the concert photography, it all brings me right back to that summer in 1984 when I first purified myself in those Lake Minnetonka waters. Just when I think I know everything about him I realize that there’s still so much to learn, and reading Andrea’s interviews with The Revolution and with Prince himself provides all these little puzzle pieces. The story keeps unfolding, and that brings me so much comfort."

Maya Rudolph, from her foreword

"The book goes beyond Purple Rain providing a fast-moving biography of Prince’s entire life leading up to Purple Rain. It provides concise but thorough overviews of each of the five previous albums with a wealth of quotes from a cross-section of credible sources, in addition to Swensson’s own interviews, plus a forward written by Maya Rudolph."

"...faithfully recaptures his heyday and the time when Purple Rain was released. Because a film was so integral to the Purple Rain phenomenon, the visual aspect of the project is important and this book, in all its paisley and lingerie glory, is a feast for the eyes. There are few books that so evocatively capture the creative human chimera that was Prince."

The Vinyl District

"...calling this handsome tome a coffee table book is a bit of a disservice, as it goes into far more depth than most such books, which tend to favor flash over substance...covers Prince’s early days, his career leading up to “Purple Rain” and its cultural impact through a series of candid interviews, sharp insights and endless photos. It’s the perfect memento for anyone who lived through 1984 as well as anyone interested in learning what they missed."

St. Paul Pioneer Press

"Using an array of images, memorabilia, and interviews, Swensson celebrates the life and legacy of Prince and his most commercially significant release in a meaningful and stunning book...ultimately providing a greater level of access to the reader than most other Prince biographies are able to."

Spill Magazine