On August 3, 1983, Prince played a benefit concert at First Avenue, the Minneapolis club he would immortalize a year later in his film Purple Rain. That same night, Prince debuted several new songs that would appear on the soundtrack to that film.
When the Purple Rain album was released, three of the performances from that night found their way on to the album. The versions of “I Would Die 4 U,” “Baby I’m A Star” and “Purple Rain” on the album were taken from that performance and cleaned up and edited in the studio.
The Purple Rain album and film would launch Prince’s career to new heights and influenced countless musicians that came after him. The-Dream, Usher, D’Angelo, and countless others all cite Prince as a huge influence on their music.
Watch these historical performances of “I Would Die 4 U,” “Baby I’m A Star” and “Purple Rain” from that night in 1983, and remember that these songs had never been heard before this night.
“I Would Die 4 U”
“Baby I’m A Star”
“Purple Rain” (part 1)
“Purple Rain” (Part 2)