Sound and Vision: Prince and The Revolution's "Purple Rain"
Prince is one of the few artists who truly transcends description. Even that description is oft used, but, regardless of cliché, it’s true. He could incorporate any number of audio or visual elements into his amorphous persona. There’s no better anecdote for his ability to defy categorization than when he changed his name to the iconic “Love Symbol,” a combination of the male and female astrological symbols, which was derived from the cover of Prince and The Revolution's magnum opus, “Purple Rain.”
Juxtapoz Sound and Vision is a weekly segment on our platform dedicated to exploring one piece of substantial album artwork every Sunday. Album artwork is one of the primary ways that musicians and visual artists are able to collaborate, and many iconic album covers are simultaneously iconic pieces of pop art. It’s also an excuse for us to share some of our favorite albums and the visual component behind what makes an album groundbreaking and fun.
March 18th, 2019: Prince’s Purple Rain
Cover design by Laura LiPuma Nash // Photography by Ed Thrasher and Stuart Douglas // Lettering by Jay Vigon
The album’s art director, Laura LiPuma Nash, noticed the symbol on the motorcycle’s gas tank and incorporated it into the album’s artwork. Her involvement with Prince and The Revolution began in typical a happenstance situation while she worked in Warner Bros Records’ design department, ending up on the music video set of “When Doves Cry,” and eventually forming a bond with Prince by executing his notorious peculiarity with the album cover. Both the album and the eponymous film are powerful representations of the multi-instrumentalist’s unbelievable talent in storytelling and performance.