Prince Checked With Journey Before Releasing 'Purple Rain'

The song has similarities to 'Faithfully'
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 27, 2016 10:15 AM CDT
Updated Apr 27, 2016 10:47 AM CDT
In this April 7, 1985, file photo, Prince performs at the Orange Bowl during his Purple Rain Tour in Miami.   (AP Photo/Phil Sandlin, File)

(Newser) – Prince's "Purple Rain" bears enough similarities to Journey's "Faithfully" that quite a few cover version mashups can be found on YouTube. But there was never a legal battle over the songs, because Prince reached out to Journey before releasing "Purple Rain," Journey's Neal Schon and Jonathan Cain tell Billboard. Cain took a call from Prince in 1984, and Prince played "Purple Rain" for him, noting that the chord changes were similar to "Faithfully," which had been released the year prior. "I thought it was an amazing tune," Cain says, "and I told him, 'Man, I'm just super-flattered that you even called. It shows you're that classy of a guy. Good luck with the song. I know it's gonna be a hit.'"

"Prince felt, I guess, it was obvious enough that he was worried we were going to sue him," Schon says. But after discussing it, the band decided, "Nah, it's the highest form of flattery. Let it go," he says. He adds that someone who worked with Prince once told him Prince was moved by Schon's guitar playing. "How much he loved Neal Schon is crazy," Cain says. "He studied Neal for so many years, learned his licks and made them his own. You can hear it on ['Purple Rain'] for real." After the phone call, Prince got Cain "amazing seats" at one of his shows for the Purple Rain Tour, Cain says. (Click for four awesome quotes about Prince.)

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