When Doves Cry

1984 single by Prince / From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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"When Doves Cry" is a song by American musician Prince, and the lead single from his sixth studio album Purple Rain. According to the DVD commentary of the film Purple Rain (1984), Prince was asked by director Albert Magnoli to write a song to match the theme of a particular segment of the film that involved intermingled parental difficulties and a love affair. The next morning, Prince had composed two songs, one of which was "When Doves Cry". According to Prince's biographer Per Nilsen, the song was inspired by his relationship with Vanity 6 member Susan Moonsie.

Quick facts: "When Doves Cry", Single by Prince, from the ...
"When Doves Cry"
Picture sleeve for 7" single release[lower-alpha 1]
Single by Prince
from the album Purple Rain
ReleasedMay 16, 1984 (1984-05-16)[1]
RecordedMarch 1, 1984 (basic tracks)
March 2, 1984 (basic tracking and overdubs)
March 3, 1984 (mixing)
StudioSunset Sound, Los Angeles
Length3:47 (7" Single Edit)
5:52 (12"/Album Version)
LabelWarner Bros.
Prince US singles chronology
"When Doves Cry"
"Let's Go Crazy"
Music video
«When Doves Cry» on YouTube
Prince UK singles chronology
"When Doves Cry"
"Purple Rain"

"When Doves Cry" was Prince's first Billboard Hot 100 No. 1 single, staying there for five weeks, and was also a worldwide hit. According to Billboard, it was the top-selling single of 1984. It is certified Platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA).[8] It was the last single released by a solo artist to receive a Platinum certification before the certification requirements were lowered in 1989. "When Doves Cry" was ranked number one on the Billboard Year-End Hot 100 singles of 1984. Following Prince's death, the song re-charted on the Billboard Hot 100 chart at number eight, its first appearance in the top 10 since the week ending September 1, 1984.

The music video, directed by Prince, premiered on MTV in June 1984. It opens with white doves emerging from double doors to reveal Prince in a bathtub, then shows him performing the song in various scenes. The video sparked controversy among network executives, who thought that its sexual nature was too explicit for television. "When Doves Cry" is ranked number 37 on Rolling Stone's list of the 500 Greatest Songs of All Time and is included in The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame's 500 Songs that Shaped Rock and Roll.[9] According to Acclaimed Music, it is the 31st most celebrated song in popular music history.[10]