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About "Computer Blue"

"Computer Blue" is a song by Prince and The Revolution. Released on June 25, 1984, it is the fourth track on Prince's sixth album, Purple Rain, which also served as the soundtrack to the film of the same name. In the film, the song represents Prince's character's angst at the budding relationship between the characters played by Morris Day and Apollonia, the latter of whom he desires, and he performs it in front of the two during The Revolution's set at a nightclub with the aim of upsetting them. The song was composed by Prince with credit to his father, John L. Nelson, for the guitar solo based on a piano instrumental written by Nelson and Prince. He titled the instrumental piece "Father's Song" and recorded it on piano for the film, though onscreen it was portrayed as being played by Prince's character's father, played by Clarence Williams III. On the box-set Purple Rain Deluxe (2017), a different and longer recording of "Father's Song" was included.

"Computer Blue" was originally recorded at The Warehouse in Minneapolis with The Revolution a day after "Let's Go Crazy", and was later overdubbed at Sunset Sound in Los Angeles in August 1983. Prince, along with Wendy & Lisa and sound engineer Susan Rogers, set about doing further work on what would later end up being placed on the album Purple Rain, albeit in a very heavily edited form. The song begins with spoken lyrics by Wendy & Lisa which suggest a dominatrix-type relationship. The song then explodes into an experimental rock number with screaming, heavy synths, distorted guitars, and lyrics about the relationship between humans and computers. The released version has only one verse; the version that debuted at the First Avenue nightclub had a second verse, as did the song when it was originally recorded, and this original recording (later released as the "Hallway Speech" version) lasts for over 12 minutes.

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