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Flashback Video: 'When Doves Cry' by Prince

Ever since the dawn of MTV and Friday Night Videos, the music video has significantly  impacted musical tastes and pop culture. It might not be as extreme as when the Buggles declared that "Video Killed the Radio Star", but there is no arguing  that the music video certainly could make or break a song's popularity. So this regular Flashback Video feature will serve to remember some of the music videos  from the great '80s decade that made an impact on me in one way or another.


This issue we will cover "When Doves Cry" by Prince. This is the lead single released in May of 1984 from the Purple Rain album and featured prominently in the film Purple Rain as well. "When Doves Cry" became Prince's first #1 single holding the top spot on the Billboard Hot 100 five straight weeks for basically for the entire month of July in 1984.


The music video for "When Doves Cry" premiered on MTV in June of 1984. Originally photographer Larry Williams was hired as director, but Prince decided that he would handle directing and choreography for the video himself. It was shot at the A & M Records soundstage in Los Angeles and was really Prince's first music video that was more than just a simple performance video. "When Doves Cry" opens with the iconic sequence of white doves emerging from double doors to reveal Prince in a bathtub. He sits up and reaches out to the camera. The video also features Prince and The Revolution performing and dancing in a white room along with interspersed scenes from the film Purple Rain which would not be released in theaters until the end of July. The final part of the video features a cool special effect creating a mirror image and duplicating movements on the both sides of the picture ending with the face on the back wall shedding a single tear. 


Here is the music video for "When Doves Cry" by Prince...




Despite dominating MTV the entire summer of 1984, "When Doves Cry" was only nominated for best choreography when it came time for 1985 MTV Video Music Awards (VMAs) and did not win. "When Doves Cry" has gone on to be one of Prince's most memorable and recognized music videos over his entire incredible career.


Hope you enjoyed another trip back to the '80s thanks to Flashback Video!

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