In the wake of Prince’s death at age 57, the Revolution have announced a reunion. “We have decided, after spending three or four days now grieving over the loss of Prince, that we would like to come out and do some shows,” says Wendy Melvoin in a video shared by Revolution bassist Brown Mark. No specifics have yet been announced, but Melvoin says the reunion will happen “soon.”
The Revolution were Prince’s band through much of the ’80s. They played with him on the album and movie Purple Rain, making them by far Prince’s best-known and most-heard band. A subplot of the movie involves Prince’s “Kid” character stubbornly refusing to listen to a demo offered by Wendy and Lisa (Coleman, also part of the reunion); finally, he recognizes the value of the music and turns it into the film’s anthemic title song.
In addition to Wendy and Lisa and Brown Mark, the reunion will also include keyboardist Doctor Fink and drummer Bobby Z., thus including the band’s complete classic lineup. The Revolution broke up in late 1986 amidst mounting tensions, though over the years various members of the band continued to perform with Prince in intervals. The complete classic-lineup Revolution (sans Prince) reunited in 2003, then again in 2012 for a First Avenue benefit concert — again sans Prince, though he was invited and a mic stand stood ready all night.
In 2014, Bobby Z. talked with Andrea Swensson about the making of Purple Rain; the interview, when it was published, seemingly inspired Prince to invite both Swensson and the drummer out to Paisley Park for a night of conversation that lasted through at least two screenings of Finding Nemo.
Sheila E., who played with the Revolution in the mid-1980s, says she is the musical director of a planned Minneapolis tribute concert that will include “all the original people.”