Given that we're at least a decade into the era where every classic album imaginable has been released in a 'deluxe' or 'special edition' format at least once, you can be forgiven for regarding the just-released Purple Rain (Deluxe) from the late Prince with some suspicion – particularly since it comes on the heels of his tragic, unexpected death at 57 just over a year ago. After all, Prince never messed around with nostalgia when he was alive -- he was too busy working on the next thing -- and the notoriously secretive artist almost never let fans peek into his creative process.
So it's no exaggeration to say that had Prince lived, we wouldn't have this expanded edition of his landmark 1984 classic Purple Rain in our hands. As strange as that thought is, it also means that this 35-song, 3-disc set isn't padded with 'alternate mixes' or the kind of bonus material that only diehards care about -- it's stuffed with fully finished Prince and the Revolution songs from when the band was at its creative peak. It's fuller picture of the mind of a genius as he worked on what most critics and fans consider his magnum opus. And while these unreleased songs, taken from his basement vault, might not equal the nine that made the cut on Purple Rain, they're still leagues above most music that came out in 1984 – or today, for that matter.