Let's Go Crazy

Let's Go Crazy

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"Let's Go Crazy" is a 1984 song by Prince
Prince (musician)
Prince Rogers Nelson , often known simply as Prince, is an American singer, songwriter, musician, and actor. Prince has produced ten platinum albums and thirty Top 40 singles during his career. Prince founded his own recording studio and label; writing, self-producing and playing most, or all, of...

 and The Revolution
The Revolution (band)
The Revolution was an American rock band formed in Minneapolis, Minnesota in 1979 by Prince. Although widely associated with rock music, the band's sound incorporated heavy metal, pop, funk, R&B and hard rock elements. Before their official break-up, The Revolution had released one studio album,...

, from the album, Purple Rain
Purple Rain (album)
Purple Rain is the sixth studio album by Prince, the first to officially be credited to Prince and The Revolution, and is the soundtrack album to the 1984 film Purple Rain.Purple Rain is regularly ranked among the best albums in pop music history...

. It was the opening track on both the album, and the film Purple Rain
Purple Rain (album)
Purple Rain is the sixth studio album by Prince, the first to officially be credited to Prince and The Revolution, and is the soundtrack album to the 1984 film Purple Rain.Purple Rain is regularly ranked among the best albums in pop music history...

. "Let's Go Crazy" is one of Prince's most popular songs, and is almost always 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
Billboard Hot 100
The Billboard Hot 100 is the United States music industry standard singles popularity chart issued weekly by Billboard magazine. Chart rankings are based on radio play and sales; the tracking-week for sales begins on Monday and ends on Sunday, while the radio play tracking-week runs from Wednesday...

, and also topped the two component charts, the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs
Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs
Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs, is a chart released weekly by Billboard in the United States.The chart, initiated in 1942, is used to track the success of popular music songs in urban, or primarily African American, venues. Dominated over the years at various times by jazz, rhythm and blues, doo-wop, soul,...

 and Hot Dance Club Play
Hot Dance Club Play
The Hot Dance Club Songs chart is a weekly national survey of the songs that are most popular in U.S. dance clubs...

 charts, as well as becoming a UK Top 10 hit. The B-side
A-side and B-side
A-side and B-side originally referred to the two sides of gramophone records on which singles were released beginning in the 1950s. The terms have come to refer to the types of song conventionally placed on each side of the record, with the A-side being the featured song , while the B-side, or...

 was the lyrically controversial "Erotic City
Erotic City
"Erotic City " is a song by the musician Prince. It was released as the B-side to the 1984 single "Let's Go Crazy" and the 12" version of the 1986 single "Girls & Boys". The dance mix of "Erotic City" was released as a 3" and 5" CD single in Germany in 1989 and 1990 respectively...

". In the UK, the song was released as a double A-side with "Take Me with U
Take Me with U
"Take Me With U" is a song by Prince and The Revolution, and the final U.S. single released from their album, Purple Rain. It is a pop song notable for the drum solo and finger cymbals that open the song and repeat again toward the end....


Common to much of Prince's writing the song is thought to be exhortation to follow Christian ethics
Christian ethics
The first recorded meeting on the topic of Christian ethics, after Jesus' Sermon on the Mount, Great Commandment, and Great Commission , was the Council of Jerusalem , which is seen by most Christians as agreement that the New Covenant either abrogated or set aside at least some of the Old...

, 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
Solo (music)
In music, a solo is a piece or a section of a piece played or sung by a single performer...

 on an apparently out-of-tune piano and some muddled lyrics, repeating the track's introduction.

Musical style

The song was also notable for opening with a funeral-like organ
Organ (music)
The organ , is a keyboard instrument of one or more divisions, each played with its own keyboard operated either with the hands or with the feet. The organ is a relatively old musical instrument in the Western musical tradition, dating from the time of Ctesibius of Alexandria who is credited with...

 solo with Prince giving the "eulogy" for "this thing called life." That eulogy ends with a distinctive drum machine
Drum machine
A drum machine is an electronic musical instrument designed to imitate the sound of drums or other percussion instruments. They are used in a variety of musical genres, not just purely electronic music...

 pattern and then quickly becomes a hard rock
Hard rock
Hard rock is a loosely defined genre of rock music which has its earliest roots in mid-1960s garage rock, blues rock and psychedelic rock...

 number with heavy guitar
The guitar is a plucked string instrument, usually played with fingers or a pick. The guitar consists of a body with a rigid neck to which the strings, generally six in number, are attached. Guitars are traditionally constructed of various woods and strung with animal gut or, more recently, with...

, bass
Bass guitar
The bass guitar is a stringed instrument played primarily with the fingers or thumb , or by using a pick....

 and synthesizers. The song's percussion was programmed with a Linn LM-1
Linn LM-1
The LM-1 Drum Computer, manufactured by Linn Electronics Inc., was the first drum machine to use digital samples of acoustic drums. Conceived and designed by Roger Linn, it was also one of the first programmable drum machines...

 drum machine, an instrument frequently used in many of Prince's songs.

Track listing

7" Warner Bros. / 7-29216 (US)
  1. "Let's Go Crazy" (edit) – 3:46
  2. "Erotic City" (edit) – 3:55

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

  • Alternative rock
    Alternative rock
    Alternative rock is a genre of rock music and a term used to describe a diverse musical movement that emerged from the independent music underground of the 1980s and became widely popular by the 1990s...

     band Incubus
    Incubus (band)
    Incubus is an American rock band from Calabasas, California. The band was formed in 1991 by vocalist Brandon Boyd, lead guitarist Mike Einziger, and drummer Jose Pasillas while enrolled in high school and later expanded to include bassist Alex "Dirk Lance" Katunich, and Gavin "DJ Lyfe" Koppell;...

     covered the song on their 2 CD greatest hits/rarity album, Monuments and Melodies
    Monuments and Melodies
    Monuments and Melodies is the first greatest hits compilation album by American rock band Incubus released on June 16, 2009 through Epic Records...

    , released in 2009.
  • A cover by the Riverboat Gamblers was included on the 2009 tribute compilation Purplish Rain
    Purplish Rain
    Purplish Rain is a compilation of Prince covers put out by Spin magazine for readers of its July 2009 issue. The album contains cover versions of songs from Prince's 1984 Purple Rain album, in the same track order as the original....

    . A free download of the song was offered by Spin
    Spin (magazine)
    Spin is a music magazine founded in 1985 by publisher Bob Guccione Jr.-History:In its early years, the magazine was noted for its broad music coverage with an emphasis on college-oriented rock music and on the ongoing emergence of hip-hop. The magazine was eclectic and bold, if sometimes haphazard...

  • Punk rock
    Punk rock
    Punk rock is a rock music genre that developed between 1974 and 1976 in the United States, the United Kingdom, and Australia. Rooted in garage rock and other forms of what is now known as protopunk music, punk rock bands eschewed perceived excesses of mainstream 1970s rock...

     band Green Day
    Green Day
    Green Day is an American punk rock band formed in 1987. The band consists of lead vocalist and guitarist Billie Joe Armstrong, bassist and backing vocalist Mike Dirnt, and drummer Tre Cool...

     performed a cover of the song at a stop on their 21st Century Breakdown World Tour
    21st Century Breakdown World Tour
    21st Century Breakdown World Tour was a concert tour by American punk trio Green Day in support of the group's eighth studio album, 21st Century Breakdown, which was released in May 2009....

  • Orianthi
    Orianthi Panagaris , better known simply as Orianthi, is an Australian musician, singer-songwriter and guitarist. She is perhaps best known for being Michael Jackson's lead guitarist for his ill-fated This Is It concert series. Her debut single "According to You" has peaked at No. 3 in Japan, No. 8...

     performed a cover of the song during The Glam Nation Tour
    The Glam Nation Tour
    The Glam Nation Tour was the first headlining world tour by American singer/songwriter Adam Lambert in support of his debut album, For Your Entertainment. The tour included over 100 shows in North America, Asia, Australia, and Europe.-Background:The tour was officially announced on April 28, 2010...



  • "Traffic Jam
    Alapalooza is the eighth studio album by "Weird Al" Yankovic, released in 1993. The cover sleeve is a spoof on the movie poster of the hit movie Jurassic Park. The name is a parody of the music festival Lollapalooza....

    ", by "Weird Al" Yankovic
    "Weird Al" Yankovic
    Alfred Matthew "Weird Al" Yankovic is an American singer-songwriter, music producer, accordionist, actor, comedian, writer, satirist, and parodist. Yankovic is known for his humorous songs that make light of popular culture and that often parody specific songs by contemporary musical acts...

    , is a style parody of "Let's Go Crazy".
  • 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
    Fear of a Black Planet
    Fear of a Black Planet is the third studio album by American hip hop group Public Enemy, released April 10, 1990, on Def Jam Recordings and Columbia Records. Production for the album was handled by the group's production team The Bomb Squad, who expanded on the dense, sample-layered sound of the...


YouTube controversy

In 2007, Stephanie Lenz, a writer and editor from Gallitzin, Pennsylvania
Gallitzin, Pennsylvania
Gallitzin is a borough bordered by Gallitzin Township and Tunnelhill in Cambria County, Pennsylvania, in the United States. Standing northwest of Altoona, it was first incorporated in 1872, and named for Prince Gallitzin, who founded the Catholic town of Loretto, Cambria County. Coal-mining and...

 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
YouTube is a video-sharing website, created by three former PayPal employees in February 2005, on which users can upload, view and share videos....

. Four months after the video was originally uploaded, Universal Music Group
Universal Music Group
Universal Music Group is an American music group, the largest of the "big four" record companies by its commanding market share and its multitude of global operations...

, which owned the copyrights to the song, ordered YouTube to remove the video enforcing the Digital Millennium Copyright Act
Digital Millennium Copyright Act
The Digital Millennium Copyright Act is a United States copyright law that implements two 1996 treaties of the World Intellectual Property Organization . It criminalizes production and dissemination of technology, devices, or services intended to circumvent measures that control access to...


Later in August 2008, U.S. District Judge Jeremy Fogel of San Jose, California
San Jose, California
San Jose is the third-largest city in California, the tenth-largest in the U.S., and the county seat of Santa Clara County which is located at the southern end of San Francisco Bay...

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.