SDEtv / Prince and the Revolution: Purple Rain reissue / video ‘unboxing’

Prince‘s Purple Rain 3CD+DVD deluxe expanded edition came out just yesterday, but join SDE for this video examination of the packaging, which looks at how the four-disc set is presented and compares it with other similar packages. Click ‘MORE’ to view the video.

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Purple Rain 3CD+DVD expanded edition


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Prince and the Revolution

Purple Rain vinyl picture disc



Disc One:  Original Album (2015 Paisley Park Remaster)

  1. Let’s Go Crazy
  2. Take Me With U
  3. The Beautiful Ones
  4. Computer Blue
  5. Darling Nikki
  6. When Doves Cry
  7. I Would Die 4 U
  8. Baby I’m A Star
  9. Purple Rain

Disc Two:  From The Vault & Previously Unreleased

  1. The Dance Electric
  2.  Love And Sex
  3.  Computer Blue (“Hallway Speech” version)
  4.  Electric Intercourse (Studio)
  5.  Our Destiny / Roadhouse Garden
  6.  Possessed (1983 version)
  7.  Wonderful Ass
  8.  Velvet Kitty Cat
  9.  Katrina’s Paper Dolls
  10. We Can Fuck
  11. Father’s Song

Disc Three:  Single Edits & B-Sides

  1.  When Doves Cry (edit)
  2. 17 Days
  3. Let’s Go Crazy (edit)
  4.  Let’s Go Crazy (Special Dance Mix)
  5.  Erotic City
  6.  Erotic City (“Make Love Not War Erotic City Come Alive”)
  7.  Purple Rain (edit)
  8.  God
  9.  God (Love Theme From Purple Rain)
  10. Another Lonely Christmas
  11. Another Lonely Christmas (extended version)
  12. I Would Die 4 U (edit)
  13. I Would Die 4 U (extended version)
  14. Baby I’m A Star (edit)
  15. Take Me With U (edit)

DVD:  Prince And The Revolution, Live at the Carrier Dome,  Syracuse, NY, March 30, 1985

  1. Let’s Go Crazy
  2. Delirious
  3. 1999
  4. Little Red Corvette
  5. Take Me With U
  6.  Do Me, Baby
  7.  Irresistible Bitch
  8.  Possessed
  9.  How Come U Don’t Call Me Anymore?
  10. Let’s Pretend We’re Married
  11. International Lover
  12. God
  13. Computer Blue
  14. Darling Nikki
  15. The Beautiful Ones
  16. When Doves Cry
  17. I Would Die 4 U
  18. Baby I’m A Star
  19.  Purple Rain


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When are you going to post your music review. I am looking forward to see this one.

Alex Cho

Would’ve preferred an immersion style box set ala Pink Floyd.
Prince’s 80s WB catalog deserves the same treatment

Larry Davis

First off, “Purple Rain” is far from my fave Prince album by a long shot, but I’ve always dug it, and this remaster/reissue is really well done. Now with that outta the way, regarding the video and comments…I agree with you Paul 100%…I LIKE the packaging, but being I have a thing for a package fitting in my 400 CD spinnertowers with my regular CDs, the Deacon Blue CD book or Led Zep slipcase woulda been even better. Although I don’t HATE this package at all…to get the CDs out of the pockets, I simply squeeze the top & bottom a bit to get each one out. As for the big pocket for the booklet/DVD, I put the DVD either inside the middle of the booklet or I would use a paper sleeve to protect it more and put that inside the booklet. And all good. I also hope all future Prince catalogue remasters follow the same format: CD1 the remastered album, CD2 unreleased from the vault, CD3 single edits/12″s/B-sides, DVD unreleased or remastered concert from related tour. One slight difference would be “Sign O The Times”…being it was a shortened “Dream Factory” and was around the time of the Camille record or the “Black Album”, I would either release it in the “Dream Factory” sequence OR have the “Sign O The Times” track order with a bonus disc of the “Dream Factory” unused tracks, which would be “Camille” (“U Got The Look” is a Camille song for instance), and have the DVD be the concert film…and as for the “Black Album”, maybe use that as bonus tracks with “Lovesexy” as a counterpoint?? And have a “Lovesexy” tour concert on that DVD. When’s the next remaster coming??

David McCallum

I’m with you about Purple Rain; this is actually the first time I’ve owned it. I’ve always been content with just having the singles on other compilations after hearing the album a few times in the 90s but I couldn’t pass up the rarities here.

My dream is that Warners follows this up with Parade – it’s also Revolution era and also a soundtrack. Would love to get Mountains, Alexa de Paris, and anotherloverlikeahole mixes, no matter how crappy anyone deemed them at some time. LOL And then finish Revolution era with 1999 and Around the World (underrated, imho). And then move to solo.

Mr. Stick

At first, I didn’t think it was all that worthwhile for you to critique the packaging of a new deluxe reissue via video clip. Then my copy showed up today. Boy, were you right. Two words come to mind: “cheap” and “skate.” This really should have been a more impressively wrapped collection, setting up a series that is sure to come, a la Tull, of one of the finest, most intriguing artists that America has ever illegitimately conceived. But that’s Warners for you, and that’s the way we do things over here these… Get the quick buck and cut the corners, damn the results to legacy.


I always cut the sticker off of the plastic packaging. Since it still has a plastic backing I then put the sticker in the booklet. It’s an added bonus when I go back to look at the booklet later.

Auntie Sabrina


Looks like better packaging for the Japanese version or is it my eyes…

elliott buckingham

another lonely Christmas sounds worse than my original 12″ version and worse than the version on the hits the b side his voice sounds distorted like its being played with a broken needle

Auntie Sabrina

Tom M Hans


shows the 2012 SHM master has an average dynamic range of 11, whilst the 1984 and 1990 pressings all score 13. The 2017 remaster of the download for disc 1 was 7.

Tom M Hans

Thank you very much.

Tom M Hans

How does the disc one remaster compare to the Japanese shm disc?


I would’ve preferred packaging like the Led Zeppelin set. The only thing that annoyed me about that release is that they used the wrong acronym for Blu-ray Disc. It’s BD, not BR!


On the initial play and making comparisons with an older edition of the album, it is louder but it has not affected the sound quality of the tracks. In fact on the odd track, for example Let’s Go Crazy, there is a guitar riff that is low in the mix which is now clearer but not louder.

Considering the difference in the sound volume of CDs produced from 30 years ago to now, loud is good, if it is done right.


As to the quality of the DVD: there is only so much you can do with filmed-for-TV content. And with the sparse light, this was always pretty unwatchable footage. The sound is quite good though (although it’s an odd mix – not really sounding very “live”).

I do so hope that the Lovesexy concert recorded in Germany in 1988 will get a DVD release eventually. That footage will also be poor (as recorderd for TV only so not on film) but that one really captured Prince live in a way I haven’t seen since.


I’ve read all of the comments so far, also on Amazon and other sites, and mostly agree to many critics of this set. I hate these cardboard “sliding pockets”, as the CD’s, and even more DVD’s, get totally scratched inside them. It might not always make the discs unplayable, but they look terribly used, and I had some where the scratches were so deep already when they arrived that the CD stopped playing or the song was “jumping”.
My Purple Rain box arrived with a totally scratched DVD, because of this damn pocket, and even worse, putting it in one pocket together with the booklet is an absolute “no-go”! This is destined to be scratched! I am waiting for a replacement delivery from Amazon and hope that DVD looks a bit better, but my hopes are not high…
Talking of the DVD: People compain about the bad quality of the picture. Here I actually have to defend Warner. Maybe most people don’t know, but this concert was a worldwide live satellite transmission from Syracuse in 1985. I have witnessed it myself (yes, I’m THAT old!), remembering staying up until 5 am in the morning to see this concert which was broadcast here in Germany as a special “Rockpalast” event. So, this is by no means a perfectly planned “concert movie”, as they do today, but you should see it for what it is, an unedited recording of a Prince live concert from that time, with all the limitations we had, as technology wasn’t as “state of the art” as today. I’m sure it was done by some american tv station at that time, so they didn’t know what to expect from the show either. Even at that time, it was very dark, and I remember it was sometimes hard to figure out what was happening on stage. But how people could ask for or complain about this show is not HD quality is beyond me!
Take it for what it is, a “sign of the time”.
Even with all these limitations, the concert is far too good, if not the best concert Prince ever did. When I watched it that night (or early morning), I was just blown away by Prince’s presence on the stage! I was watching it just out of curiosity, as I wasn’t a Prince fan at that time. But this tv transmission “converted” me! As I said, it blew me away, and I am glad to finally have this concert on a modern medium like DVD and can give my old VHS tape a rest.
Concerning the CD’s of the set: I have to agree to others, the remaster is too loud, but it also reveals some parts you haven’t heard before. So I have mixed feelings about it. We should see it as an alternative version. But no reason to throw away the old CD’s.
The unreleased songs are interesting. Nothing more, nothing less. I’m glad they released them, as they show a master at work.
I can’t understand the criticism of disc 3. It’s great to have all those single edits and 12″ versions on one disc. Yes yes, there are some versions missing, and it would have been nice if they put them on the blank space of disc 1 (where there’s enough room for many more songs). But did anybody really expect a totally flawless release of this album? Maybe in 100 years, when the music will be directly streamed into your brain…


You’re welcome, Paul!
I am glad to share this memory with all the younger folks who don’t know the background story of this concert. It still gives me shivers at the start, when the concert venue is dark except for one spot on the stage, and Prince’s voice coming from the “off”: “Hello Syracuse and the world! …… My name is Prince…. and I’ve come to play with you!”. The worldwide satellite transmission was the reason for him welcoming also the world, not only the folks in Syracuse. And the following 2 hours made my jaw drop several times! Remember, it was 1985, and that little man was doing things on stage nobody ever saw before, fascinating everybody with his energy and shocking all parents with his sexual lyrics and raunchy movements. Unbelievable!
I forgot to thank you for your great job with this unboxing video. I loved you showing possible alternatives for packaging, and hope that the 40th anniversary release will put a final word on that. If we ever get that…
Thank you for your fantastic job iwht this website. I am reading it every day and saved a lot of money through your “deal alerts” in the past! Please never stop!

tom m hans

I am using white datadisc sleeves for all 4 discs – the box still closes nicely – same with all the Pink Floyd digipacks as well – I also saw the show @ Rockpalast – made me a lifelong fan which peaked early by seeing him live @ Sign O the Times @ Festhalle Frankfurt. Peace. – Livesexy though was a bit too weird (and too big @ Waldstadion Frankfurt).

Bruno MacDonald

I’ve not watched the DVD yet but recall the VHS version being pretty lamentable quality. I’d venture that in part that’s due to the filmmakers not appreciating that extra lighting is helpful when filming a live show, or not being allowed to add any.

That said, as I’ve remarked on another thread about this reissue, the show itself is so good that I wore out my video version, so am looking forward to having it in more durable form.

Rick Grubbs

I got mine here in the states at Best Buy and it didn’t have a Parental Advisory sticker on it. Actually,
there were three copies and none had the sticker. It’s been so long since I bought music at a b&m that I forget if BB sells edited discs. Cause that’s not gonna fly. Paul fo you know what’s up? I know there’s probably edited relesaes out there especially for Wal-Mart.

David McCallum

I think it’s just a case of a missing sticker on my copy – he sings about the same old infamous hotel lobby here and the full lyrics are printed. A censored version of this album would be a scandal.


It looks like US copies don’t have the Parental Advisory sticker while EU copies do! That’s a surprising change, as conventional wisdom states that the USA is always more prudish than the rest of the world.


I think I’ll make sure to watch the DVD on my old (CRT) TV, as the quality is barely above a YouTube bootleg. Looks horrendous on the bigger HD screen!

The edits and mixes on CD3 include quite a few I’ve been after in HQ for years, and having them together like this, sounding good, is worth it for me too.

David McCallum

Ironically, copies I saw had no “parental advisory” sticker. Considering the role that Darling Nikki played in the existence of the silly things. Perhaps some Best Buy employee or customer with a sense of humor.

I can hear a marked difference in sound quality between Lonely Christmas (7″) and (extended).


The brighter, close up shots on the DVD are fine, but the darker shots or the ones of the crowd are terrible. I’ve watched the version previously uploaded to youtube many times and it is exactly the same quality, almost as if that’s where WB got it from! I find it hard to believe that people were requesting it on Blu-ray. Luckily, there were a few tracks I wanted on CD on disc 3, otherwise I think the DVD would’ve swung me into regretting not just going for the two disc version.

Talking of the CDs, I’m in two minds about the album remaster. It is far too loud, but does sound different, like it has been subtly remixed/EQ’d. Every now and then you’ll hear a sound or bit of guitar that you’d never caught before, so it’s a mixed bag of sounding new, but also ruined slightly by being TOO LOUD.

wayne klein

Probably a combination of EQ and the compression pushing forward detail at the expense of the soundstage and limiting.

Andrew M

Well. I ripped the DVD with my Mac using MakeMKV and am currently watching it via Plex through my Apple TV Gen 4 through HDMI into my Onkyo and then on to my 50 inch Panny Plasma.

Completely not unwatchable here. I’m thoroughly enjoying it!


Thanks Paul, I love these unboxing videos of yours, even if I am not interested in the artist it’s great to see the packaging. I would say the Led Zeppelin sets had better packaging but this looks a great set at a great price also.

adam shaw

Your video was much better than the earlier one you put up , no crumbs !
My packaged ripped when I took the second disc out so it’s gona rip more every time I take the cd out .


If it’s from the tax dodgers send it back saying it arrived ripped.


Interesting presentation, with the comparisons to other methods of doing a 4-disc set! My thoughts:

The audio discs in the PR set are far too tightly fitted. I hoped Warners had turned a corner with the recent Tango 2CD “mid range” remaster, which had really nice top-loading pockets that were snug but the materials were a smoother, thicker finish and you didn’t feel anything scraping against the discs when taking them out or putting them back in.

The DVD/Booklet part of the set is oversized and sticks out of the top (unless you are able to carefully reshape it to the correct dimensions), so along with the issues you have illustrated that is one of the biggest drawbacks of the design. Aside from that, I think it looks surprisingly good, with the metallic background and the HQ artwork reproduction (slight cropping notwithstanding!).

So, to the alternatives – well, I loathe those Edsel/Demon hardcase multi-disc designs…they never arrive unspoiled (usually the spine is squashed or bent forward) and the discs nearly always get some form of glue attached to them. And even in your video, all the discs in the Raintown set can be seen dangling out the bottom where the flimsy card and rubbish glue has come away! Also, the final page of the booklet in that style doesn’t turn/fold down properly as it’s attached to the heavier back panel.

I like the Jethro Tull style – the Paul Young 4CD set is in that style, and I’ve got quite a few others with the same look (New Order, Echo & The Bunnymen, Pretenders, Cat Stevens, The Cure…most of those reissues of an earlier design, granted). They feel sturdy and have gravitas.

Not such a great fan of that McCartney style, paper folio sleeves are better than nothing, but they’ve got the opening on the side rather than the top!

The outer slipcase with a fat digipak housed inside (Led Zep) is, as you say, better for the condition of the discs (sorry, but I chuckled as you said you’ve never had a scratched disc from these kind of sets, as a clearly scratched and marked disc is revealed!) but the weight of those plastic moulded panels puts a strain on the flimsy card inbetween and creasing is nearly always inevitable (see: Suede, although they didn’t have the outer case).

So, I think they could have done better, but they could also have done worse. Personally, I’d have preferred an Aqualung-style hardbook package with the same CD and DVD content, with a slightly thicker booklet, for £24.99. As an iconic album and still one of my all-time favourites, I’d have been prepared to shell out that kind of price. What we get does indeed feel more like a mid-range choice, rather than the top-dollar option. £17 in today’s climate can’t be argued with, though!

Tony Orwell

am I the only one that peels the sticker off the wrapping and put it on the cd packaging?

Nigel G

Nope!! Spent many an hour carefully peeling off stickers from the wrapping!


But why? They won’t increase the value of the package. How many thousands have been released?


No your not, I have always done that, but sometimes the sticker rips as you take it off. If that happens then I just dump it.


How is this for anal retentiveness? I don’t peel the sticker b/c it usually damages it. I take a very sharp scissors and cut it along the edge. I’ve developed a slide technique so only the plastic wrapping is cut, not the paper sticker itself. The only ones that I tend to muck up are the clear plastic stickers. Sometimes the edge is difficult to see!

Paul E.

Guilty of doing this also. The worst is when retailers (insert “Best Buy” here) use the price tag/SKU gun and stamp over the sticker! Luckily, Amazon items require no additional surgery to archive those important sticky factoids.

Henry Martinez

Well done unboxing and comments on the packaging. A couple of my favorite alternatives are the steel spine books in a heavy slip case used for the complete recordings reissues of the Miles Davis catalog (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W4GXK2KGe6g), or his Bitches Brew 40th Anniversary Collector’s Edition (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sdaPZ3MSK_o, 5:36 to 8:28). I especially like the way the discs are housed in the collector’s edition.

Packaging aside, why no BD/DVD with high res versions of all the CD content as well as the concert video?


Those steel spine Miles Davis packages are impressive, but I have yet to figure out how to open the booklets wide enough to read the text comfortably. My fingers always begin to ache from the physical tension of pushing the pages apart!

Phil Fogel

Fab video, I love the alternative packaging examples at the end.


Am really enjoying this release. For the price it’s incredible value. Where else could you find value like this these days?? I know some have complained about the mastering but I’m ok with it. Have used Japanese style cd inner sleeves to protect the discs.
Some of the complaining I’ve seen on other sites starts to feel pretty tedious after a while…enjoy what’s there rather than go on about the faults:)

Stephen E Cohen

I thought it was just my faulty copy or my own lack of dexterity when the DVD kept sliding out of the case so easily. After reading some of the preceding comments, I am at least heartened to know it is not just me who has had this problem! I Would Die 4 a better design.

Randy Metro

How do people feel about DVDs or Blu-Rays going to cardboard wallet cases instead of the current DVD plastic case? I prefer the plastic DVD cases but my OCD kicks in with the Blu-Ray cases being a different size.

Auntie Sabrina

Maybe the CDs need the same kind of coating as blu-ray discs then..?

Paul Martin

Thanks for that thoughtful video Paul. All Warner’s needed to do is put the DVD in a data disc sleeve or similar so even if it shoots out, it is protected. Why didn’t they? I actually prefer these plastic free wallet type arrangements to jewel clip tray digipaks. Those are too bulky and flop about when opened if you have 8-10 panels. Also as someone already said if the clip tray centres get damaged you can’t exactly replace them. Similarly the Jethro Tull type book sets are twice as wide as they need to be because of the plastic clip trays, the Macca edition where they slip in is better I think. The hard back digibooks (a la Deacon Blue) are my favourites. Demon told me they stopped using cd packaging like this as they had too many complaints about people scuffing them when removing or re-sleeving them, which is why their Comsat Angels reissue sets were only in clip trayed digipaks alas. I can’t see why they should be any more or less awkward than an LP in that regard, mind you people manage to scuff LPs in sleeving actions all the time.

Andrew Mogford

That’s not the first comment so critical of the DVD. Unwatcheable is a strong word but you’re not the first to use it. Will be checking it out myself tonight – with the volume up to drown out the complaints of the missus :D

elliott buckingham

not impressed with the sound quality of this release and the dvd is unwatchable on a big screen


Thank you Paul! Great video. In my experience, the cd’s are definitely getting scratched in the Edsel Deacon Blue packaging. Especially disc 1 and disc 4 because it is too snug. The Purple Rain SDE packaging isn’t great either but it scratches the discs less because it is less snug. Much looking forward to your music review!!


Out of those the Led Zep one just shades it, but saying that, I’m not the biggest fan of Digipaks because they’re completely shot if the central disc clip thingies break, as they are prone to doing. Not sure about the Deacon Blue package. Did I see disc 3 nearly fall out the bottom? ;)

My PR came with a ding in the corner (thanks for that HMV), but apart from that I’m happy enough with the packaging. The silver foil background and purple inner is a nice touch that lifts it a little. I recall the inner photo of the band with a 9 foot tall Prince being the poster that came with my 1984 purple vinyl version…

michael khalsa

Have not got to watch the video yet Paul but I will. My copy is in transit from the UK. And yes I am nashing my teeth to listen to it. How is the sound quality please? This along with Parade & Sign O Times are masterpieces to my ears at least.

Andrew M

One of your best videos, Paul, if I may say so? Even though I had the package here (it just arrived) still interesting to see the alternatives. I believe one more possibility (you may not have any of these examples) is the one used for Billy Joel’s My Lives set and Harry Chapin’s Story of a Life and the Michael Jackson box (can’t remember what it’s called and at the bottom of the garden so can’t be arsed to go in and check :) ). Those sets all cost around thirty quid if I remember but are really nice heavy duty sets.

Just one slight nitpick if I may (and I may well be wrong). You said the 2015 remaster hasn’t been released but I think it has on Vinyl? I’m pretty sure the vinyl I have is that remaster but I may be wrong. Unreleased on CD certainly.

Cheers for the vid!


“don’t like sliding discs in and out without protection” could so easily be mistaken for something from a sexual health lecture!


you just need to PrEP properly beforehand…

wayne klein


I couldn’t read the credits as to who remastered this. Is this compressed and loud sounding?

Stuart Fleming

Josh Welton

Wayne Klein

Thanks. I’m on the fence about this. While I like the extra tracks, the mastering is troublesomef it is that compressed. I’m tired of compressed mastering. I bought the Crowded House remastered for example and regret it. The extra material is great but Thr sound sucks.

Randy Metro

My mind went south regarding the preference of a tight slit versus a looser slit…

Once I took those CDs & DVD out of that package, they would have gone right into slimline jewel cases. I’ve mentioned elsewhere how disgusted I was with the Bowie Cracked Actor digipak being just a wallet and slimmer than a double CD jewel case.

Auntie Sabrina

Great video. I would gladly have paid £25 for this IF the packaging had been like the Led Zep or the Jethro Tull Boxsets. The price is currently under £16. The remaster was done in 2015 and Warners needed to get this out quickly.


That would be termed an 8-panel wallet.