Local Current Blog

At Prince’s favorite record store, fans celebrate release of ‘Purple Rain’ deluxe edition

The Electric Fetus in June 2017. (Jackie Renzetti/MPR)

Eight-year-old Cristiano first heard Prince just after the music icon died. His dad, Chris Provenzano, started playing all Prince’s old records around the house.

Now, Cristiano has a Purple Rain t-shirt. For the boy’s birthday, the Chicago father and son drove up to see the Prince-themed Twins game against the White Sox last week and got a VIP tour of Paisley Park. At the Electric Fetus Purple Rain listening party Friday morning, they won a Prince record and mingled with a couple dozen other fans who came from Minnesota and across the country.

“There’s a special quality to Prince,” Chris Provenzano said. “He has a special element that connects all different ages.”

The anticipation for the reissue felt similar to waiting for new Prince tracks in the ’80s, he said. “Something like this builds a lot of positive energy for his music. It’s important that you quickly get material out there to people that first 12 months [after his death].”

The reissue comes in deluxe and expanded packages. Both versions include the remastered Purple Rain and a disc of tracks unearthed from Prince’s vault. The expanded package comes with a set of single edits and B-sides, as well as a DVD of a 1985 concert in Syracuse.

For Bob Poppo, the new DVD meant he could finally stop digging out his VHS tape of the concert. The Indiana Prince fan said he has been visiting the Twin Cities for various Prince events since 1989.

“Even though he’s not here anymore, he still draws people,” said Poppo. “He always stayed here, he was so dedicated to this area — it brings you here, too.”

Echoing Poppo’s sentiment, several fans said events like the Electric Fetus party reflected the close-knit community of Prince fans across the world. The Electric Fetus was a special destination, since Prince was a particular fan of the Minneapolis store and even stopped there to celebrate Record Store Day shortly before his death.

“You can’t find this camaraderie and friendship anywhere else,” said Sam Hayden-De Jesus, who travels from Portland to the Twin Cities for Prince events about once a year.

“I’ve realized since Prince has died, we don’t go more than two weeks without seeing someone from out of town,” said Darin Rowles, a lifelong Prince fan from Minnesota. “It’s been a comforting thing after Prince’s death that the community hasn’t gone away, and it’s become stronger than ever.”

Fans remarked at how clear the vocals sound on remastered Purple Rain tracks, and shared enthusiasm for previously unreleased studio cuts — especially for “We Can F—” and “Roadhouse Garden.”

“[Roadhouse Garden] was one of the tracks that started to move me from grief to comfort,” Rowles said.

Some listeners said they hope the reissue is one of many, sparking the interest of new fans each time.

“More people can discover the music we grew up with,” Hayden-De Jesus said.

Chris and Cristiano Provenzano with their new albums.
Music fans Austin Douglas and Mary LeBlanc pose at Electric Fetus, where LeBlanc won tickets to a ‘Purple Rain’ viewing party at Paisley Park.
Heather Vanlith and her daughter Alexis pose with her new T-shirt won at Electric Fetus. Alexis says she got into Prince from her mom playing his music.

  • Mary LeBlanc

    Just want to say how excited and happy I am to have won the Paisley Park viewing of Purple Rain and tour of Paisley Park for this evening!! When my name was called I just couldn’t believe it! So thankful!!

    • Marthagmc

      Congratulations, enjoy yourself! 💜

    • Jeanne Mulholland

      Congratulations!

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  • Linda Ann Eknoian

    How nice! Congratulations and enjoy you Purple Rain experience!!

  • Kristen Green

    I would never buy this reissued Purple Rain remix songs at all. These 6 people are out for greed and I will not feed into a vulture like demands of making money off of someone else demise by accident. Real Prince fans can see through the “BS” of these so-called family members using something that made Prince in more famous and noticeable and that was Purple Rain the movie and the Purple Rain the album. This man literally cracked his butt during the Purple Rain of ’84-April ’85. Doing unspeakable acts to entertain the audience and people who were not in his life. Should not and will be rewarded on something that was given to them freely; all because Tyka Nelson said that there was not “Will” laying out in plain sight. If Co-America would do their job right and open up one of the many vaults and see if there is an actual “Will”! So, the loyal and real fans of can see legacy being honor properly and not tarnish by enablers and greedy people who are out for their best interest and not what Prince actually wanted!

    • needsmoreclipping

      Amen! This woman speaks pure truth.

    • Melissa

      Do you know that Prince remastered Purple Rain 2 years ago and sent it to Warner Brothers to be released before his death? This is something that he worked on and wanted released to his fams. Don’t buy into the negativity. He is no longer with us, but his music will live on and hopefully his legacy will be renewed with the younger generation.

    • This project was actually one Prince himself not only approved​ of, but was actively involved in through 2015. Your concern is misplaced and incorrect.

  • needsmoreclipping

    Too bad the remaster sucks. Like every “remaster” it’s nothing more than a volume boost and an overly compressed distorted mess. The 2nd disc has crap leftovers that were obviously left off for good reason, and the 3rd is nothing but alt single versions. This is a pure money grab, people. Stick with the superior original master of just the basic brilliant album and call it a day.

    • It’s actually a project Prince submitted in 2015. This was HIS wish. And I’m loving the extended and dance remix tracks.

    • DJ Rogue

      While you are QUITE on the nose regarding Josh’s “remastering” on disc one, your assessment of disc two is way off the mark. The majority of those songs are FAR from crap. Disc three is what it’s supposed to be – for archival purposes. YES, I wish the extended version of 17 Days was on here. YES, there are a TON of songs/versions missing from this set. But people don’t seem to realize that $$$ is needed to keep what Prince had going on. I’m not sure Kristen is right, but I truly hope she is and they find a will in the Vault. Until then, let them make the money necessary to keep Paisley running, open and PRINCE’S.