Every year, Dutch public broadcasting radio station NPO 2 presents its Top 2000, a list of the 2000 best songs of all times. This list of classic and most epic songs is compiled by votes from listeners. In our opinion, Prince And The Revolution’s Purple Rain should be landing the top spot this year. After all, if Prince can win a posthumous American Music Award for the album, why not honour him with voting him number one for his signature song? If you agree, please help us help by voting for the song.
Top 2000’s voting week starts today. The ‘list of all lists’, as Radio 2 advertises it, underwent quite a rejuvenation in recent years. The rock dinosaurs from the Sixties and Seventies are slowely but surely losing ground to classics from the Eighties and Nineties. Prince’s posotion has remained quite stable, though. Purple Rain remains invariably his highest ranked song. In the very first Top 2000 (1999) it reached the 54th place while it reached number 62 last year, its highest Top 2000 listing since that first edition.
We from Purple Picks (a project in which we re-listen to every Prince release, in search for his most essential songs) think Purple Rain can and even should do better than that. On the day we close our first year of blogging, the end of a year that will forever mark the moment Prince has tragically left us, Purple Rain deserves the highest place in the Top 2000. Of course, many great artists have passed in 2016 and they all deserve a listing in the higher regions. David Bowie, Leonard Cohen, Maurice White, Glenn Frey, Phife Dawg, Keith Emerson, Vanity- the list is too long. Way too long. But in a year like this, Purple Rain is Top 2000’s ultimate number one.
Are we prejudiced? We most certainly are! But still we can give you seven relatively objective reasons why:
1. Purple Rain is the Johan Cruijff of Prince’s complete works. If we, as Dutchmen, tell anyone abroad, wherever we are, that we’re from The Netherlands, everyone immediately cries out ‘Kroiff!’. That’s basically the same with Prince; if you ask anyone to name the first Prince song that comes to mind, ninety-nine percent will immediately say ‘Purple Rain’.
2. Where other artists work on the recordings of a song for weeks, Prince and his band The Revolution nailed the frameworks of Purple Rain in one take. During its first ever live rendition, that is. He only slightly edited and finetuned it by adding some strings and the song was ready. No artist in the Top 2000 managed to pull that off. Check out the original recording with comments:
3. In 1984, Prince was the very first artist who scored a number one single, number one album and number one motion picture with Purple Rain. There’s not one artist who ever did the same.
4. At this moment, Beyonce is without a doubt one of the greatest artists around. And even she consciously stepped back to honor Prince in the Amsterdam ArenA earlier this year. Without visuals and only with music, Prince created the most intimate and emotional moment during the show in that enormous stadium, again emphasizing the universal power of this classic hit.
5. Purple Rain was the very last song Prince played in Atlanta on April 14th, 2016, during his last show ever. Prince passed exactly one week later. Let us remember the song not as a passing, but as an uplifting start of a new year!
6. Purple Rain was also the last song ever he played on Dutch soil, in Amsterdam’s Ziggo Dome in 2014. A very special version, which feels like an emotional farewell in every second. Spooky! But let us honor his wishes and ‘tahe care of his house’.
7. For years, Queen’s Bohemian Rhapsody has been the song that closed the previous year, and the ‘fwoosh’ at the end of that song during the last seconds before a new year starts, remains something special. But think how very special a for many of us very confusing year like 2016 will end with a cathartic song like Purple Rain, when the long, string-dominated outro of this undisputed classic fades away and the silence that follows will be the first seconds of 2017… Goosebumps when we even think about it!
Anyway, we are going to vote. You too? Voting is possible on the NPO Radio 2 website until December 2nd. Cast your vote and share this message on social media with hashtag #PurpleRainOp1. Join us, and thanks a million in advance!
LET’S WORK! #PurpleRainOp1
When following the link, you will arrive at the general ‘to choose from’ list. Very clever Top 2000! Here’s what you do. Look for Purple Rain in the search menu on the top of the page (see image below). Hit enter and it will take you to the voting page for Purple Rain.