Ultimate Live ~ Prince & The Revolution ~ First Avenue Benefit Concert MPLS 1983-08-03
Perhaps the most significant time capsule of all live shows, the legendary August 3, 1983 benefit gig at First Avenue was the first time anybody on the planet would hear several soon to be career defining staples all at once.
Prince chose a benefit concert for the financially beleaguered Minnesota Dance Theater company as the first occasion anyone would hear the heart of Purple Rain: I Would Die 4 U, Computer Blue, Purple Rain, Let’s Go Crazy and Baby I’m a Star. Also in the 70-minute set: Delirious, Automatic, DMSR and Little Red Corvette from 1999, plus When You Were Mine from Dirty Mind, a cover of Joni Mitchell’s A Case of You, and the still unreleased Electric Intercourse. **Three of those Purple Rain tracks came straight from that First Avenue performance, recorded from a mobile truck outside the club, with overdubs and edits added later.**
The version of Purple Rain aired that night was 13 minutes long, cut to eight for the LP. “My first reaction was, ‘Wow, this is almost a country song,’” drummer Bobby Z later told Spin magazine. It’s strange to hear the song sounding alone, without the audience singing along – they’ve never heard it before.
The show also marked the first appearance of Wendy Melvoin, replacing Dez Dickerson on guitar (“I was scared to death but I loved it,” she later said, describing it as her “make-or-break evening”). Thus was solidified the lineup of what became “the Revolution”, the band that would feature prominently in Prince’s coming film. Notwithstanding the murky sound and sweaty milieu, the concert captures Prince at his primping, purple peak
Ladies and gentlemen, please welcome The Revolution.
Prince @ 1st Avenue 8.3.1983 Benefit Concert For The Minnesota Dance Theater Company 1.Let'sGoCrazy 2.WhenYouWereMine (DirtyMind) 3.ACaseOfYou 4.ComputerBlue 5.Delirious (1999) 6.ElectricIntercourse 7.Automatic (1999) 8.IWouldDie4U /BabyI'mAStar 9. LittleRedCorvette (1999) 10.PurpleRain 11.D. MS. R (1999)