Let's Go Crazy

Last updated on 25 May 2017

"Let's Go Crazy" is a 1984 song by Prince and The Revolution, from the album Purple Rain. It was the opening track on both the album and the film Purple Rain. "Let's Go Crazy" was one of Prince's most popular songs, and was a staple for concert performances, often segueing into other hits. When released as a single, the song became Prince's second number-one hit on the Billboard Hot 100, and also topped the two component charts, the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs and Hot Dance Club Play charts, as well as becoming a UK Top 10 hit. The B-side was the lyrically controversial "Erotic City". In the UK, the song was released as a double A-side with "Take Me with U".

Common to much of Prince's writing, the song is thought to be exhortation to follow Christian ethics, with the "De-elevator" of the lyrics being a metaphor for the Devil.

The extended "Special Dance Mix" of the song was performed in a slightly edited version in the film Purple Rain. It contains a longer instrumental section in the middle, including a solo on an apparently out-of-tune piano and some muddled lyrics, repeating the track's introduction.

Following Prince's death, the song re-charted on the Billboard Hot 100 singles chart at number 39 and rose to number 25 by the week of May 14, 2016. As of April 30, 2016, it has sold 964,403 copies in the United States.

Prince Crazy.jpg
Prince Crazy.jpg

Musical style

The song was also notable for opening with a funeral-like organ solo with Prince giving the "eulogy" for "this thing called life." The introduction's words are overlapped with each other on the single version. The song climaxes with a distinctive drum machine pattern and then features a heavy guitar outro leads, electronic drums, bass and whirring synthesizers and a climatic drum outro. The song's percussion was programmed with a Linn LM-1 drum machine, an instrument frequently used in many of Prince's songs. The song is also known for its two guitar solos both performed by Prince.

Track listing

7" Warner Bros. / 7-29216 (US)
  1. "Let's Go Crazy" (edit) – 3:46
  2. "Erotic City" (edit) – 3:53
7" Warner Bros. / W2000 (UK)
  1. "Let's Go Crazy" (edit) – 3:46
  2. "Take Me with U" – 3:51
12" Warner Bros. / 0-20246 (US)
  1. "Let's Go Crazy" (Special Dance Mix) – 7:35
  2. "Erotic City ("make love not war Erotic City come alive")" – 7:24
12" Warner Bros. / W2000T (UK)
  1. "Let's Go Crazy" (Special Dance Mix) – 7:35
  2. "Take Me with U" – 3:51
  3. "Erotic City ("make love not war Erotic City come alive")" – 7:24

Cover versions

Sampling

  • Two segments of Prince's unaccompanied guitar solo in the song's coda were sampled into Public Enemy's single "Brothers Gonna Work It Out".
  • Sinbad's "Brain Damaged" sampled the introduction to this song for his 1990 comedy album of the same name.
  • Heavily sampled by hip-hop group Get Busy Committee in their song, "Opening Ceremony".
  • The intro is sampled on the Ragga Twins' 1991 track "Hooligan '69".

Charts

Chart (1984-85) Peak
position
Australia (Kent Music Report) 10
Netherlands Singles Chart 11
New Zealand Singles Chart 13
Canadian Singles Chart 2
UK Singles Chart 7
US Billboard Hot 100 1
US Billboard Hot R&B Singles 1
US Billboard Hot Dance Club Songs 1

Certifications

Region Certification Certified units/Sales
United States (RIAA) Gold (Physical) 1,000,000 (Physical)
964,403 (Digital)

^shipments figures based on certification alone

References in other media

  • In the American animated sitcom, American Dad! in the episode, "Iced, Iced Babies", when Roger disguises himself as a college literature professor he recites part of the spoken opening verse as follows: "This class isn't about literature! It's about life! Electric word: life. It means forever and that's a mighty long time. But I'm here to tell you there's something else...my office hours. It's from Tuesday to Thursday from 1 PM to 3 PM."
  • The Minnesota Twins have played the song when a Twins player hits a home run since they moved to Target Field in 2010, since it was a nod to Prince's Minnesota roots.
  • During Game 6 of a first round series of the 2016 Stanley Cup Playoffs against the Dallas Stars, the Minnesota Wild used "Let's Go Crazy" as their goal song as part of a series of tributes to Prince that night. The team ultimately chose to make the change permanent for the 2016-17 season.
  • A cover of the song is performed at the fourth version of Beetlejuice's Rock and Roll Graveyard Revue at Universal Studios Florida.
  • Japanese figure skater Yuzuru Hanyu used "Let's Go Crazy" as the music for his short program in the 2016-2017 figure skating season.

Lenz v. Universal

In 2007, Stephanie Lenz, a writer and editor from Gallitzin, Pennsylvania made a home video of her 13-month-old son dancing to "Let's Go Crazy" and posted a 29-second video on the video-sharing site YouTube. Four months after the video was originally uploaded, Universal Music Group, which owned the copyrights to the song, ordered YouTube to remove the video enforcing the Digital Millennium Copyright Act.

Later in August 2008, U.S. District Judge Jeremy Fogel, of San Jose, California, ruled that copyright holders cannot order a deletion of an online file without determining whether that posting reflected "fair use" of the copyrighted material. Lenz notified YouTube immediately that her video was within the scope of fair use, and demanded that it be restored. YouTube complied after six weeks—not two weeks, as required by the Digital Millennium Copyright Act—to see whether Universal planned to sue Lenz for infringement. Lenz then sued Universal Music in California for her legal costs, claiming the music company had acted in bad faith by ordering removal of a video that represented fair use of the song.

See also

Content from Wikipedia