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Purple Snow: The Music Scene That Produced Prince

Thursday, December 05, 2013

From the cover of 'Purple Snow' - patrons at the Taste Show Lounge in downtown Minneapolis. From the cover of "Purple Snow" - patrons at the Taste Show Lounge in downtown Minneapolis.

For the Minneapolis, Minn. music scene, 1984 was a landmark year. That year, Prince hit No. 1 on the Billboard albums chart with the Purple Rain soundtrack. The film featured the Twin Cities in a supporting role, and it introduced audiences to a funk band called The Time, which scored R&B hits with “The Bird” and “Jungle Love."

Meanwhile, two underground bands in Minneapolis -- the Replacements and Husker Du -- were setting the stage for alternative rock, with both groups releasing definitive albums in 1984 that attracted major-label attention.

But a red-hot music scene doesn't spring up overnight, and a new compilation chronicles ten years of lesser-known Twin Cities funk and R&B. The set is called Purple Snow: Forecasting the Minneapolis Sound. Soundcheck host John Schaefer talks with one of the featured artists, Andre Cymone, and with Jonathan Kirby of Numero Group, the record label that released Purple Snow.

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