The lyrics are about getting through life and the battle against evil, Satan being the de-elevator. We are encouraged to not allow the devil to break us down and instead to turn to God to help us by going crazy and punching a higher floor (God).
This is the opening song from Prince's film Purple Rain. The album was a soundtrack to the film, and a huge hit, spending 24 weeks at #1 in America. Much of the movie takes place at a club where Prince performs - these scenes were shot at the First Avenue nightclub in Minneapolis, where Prince really was a regular player. When Prince and his band, The Revolution, embarked on their tour to promote the album, they used most of the choreography from their film performance of this song for their concert performances.
The beginning of this song is one of the most famous spoken intros in pop history. Prince takes the persona of a preacher and is joined by a church organ as he gives what amounts to a sermon, reminding us that we should enjoy this life, knowing that we can look forward to a world of never-ending happiness when we die. Credit this to George Clinton, who did many similar bits ("free your mind, and your ass will follow...") with P-Funk.
The rock band Incubus recorded a cover for their 2009 two-CD compilation album Monuments and Melodies. It was released as the second single from the set.
Following Prince's death, The Minnesota Wild ice hockey team made the decision to honor him by playing this song when celebrating goals at their home stadium. The song was chosen after a fan poll was conducted to help find a goal theme to replace Joe Satriani's "Crowd Chant."
Bruno Mars, dressed in full Prince regalia, performed this in tribute to Prince, who died the previous year, at the Grammy Awards in 2017.
This was used in a 2018 commercial for the Capital One Savor card that aired during the Emmy Awards. Prince never approved his songs for such uses, and many fans were horrified when they saw it.
Michael from San DiegoYes, I have his extended version, too. The Ultimate----it's on there... The regular or shorter version is tremendous. My comment is can you imagine any artist listening to this track after he finished it and not thinking this was not gonna be a world shaker? I know most of the lyrics(maybe), but this song is indicative of----who really cares if you can't understand the lyrics? He probably changed the lyrics every time he performed this. Good night, sweet Prince.
Mykl from Baltimore, MdThe extended version of this song (which appears in the movie) was available as an extended play (12") record.