"Let's Go Crazy" is a 1984 song by Prince and The Revolution, from the album Purple Rain. It was the opening track on both the album and the film Purple Rain. "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, and also topped the two component charts, the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs[2] and Hot Dance Club Play charts,[3] as well as becoming a UK Top 10 hit. The B-side was the lyrically controversial "Erotic City". In the UK, the song was released as a double A-side with "Take Me with U".

Common to much of Prince's writing the song is thought to be exhortation to follow Christian ethics, with the "De-elevator" of the lyrics being a metaphor for the Devil.[4]

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


 [hide*1 Musical style

Musical style[edit]Edit

The song was also notable for opening with a funeral-like organ solo with Prince giving the "eulogy" for "this thing called life." That eulogy ends with a distinctive drum machine pattern and then quickly becomes a hard rock number with heavyguitarbass and synthesizers. The song's percussion was programmed with a Linn LM-1 drum machine, an instrument frequently used in many of Prince's songs. The song is also known for its two guitar solos both performed by Prince.

Track listing[edit]Edit

7" Warner Bros. / 7-29216 (US)
  1. "Let's Go Crazy" (edit) – 3:46
  2. "Erotic City" (edit) – 3:53
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[edit]Edit


  • 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".
  • Sinbad's "Brain Damaged" sampled the introduction to this song for his 1990 comedy album of the same name.
  • Heavily sampled by hip-hop group Get Busy Committee in their song, "Opening Ceremony".


Chart (1984) Peak


New Zealand Singles Chart 13
UK Singles Chart 7
Netherlands Singles Chart 11
Australian Singles Chart 10
Canadian Singles Chart 2
US BillboardHot 100 1
US BillboardHot R&B Singles 1
US BillboardHot Dance Club Songs 1

References in other media[edit]Edit

  • In the American animated sitcom, American Dad in the episode, "Iced, Iced Babies", when Roger disguises himself as a college literature professor he recites part of the spoken opening verse as follows: "This class isn't about literature! It's about life! Electric word: life. It means forever and that's a mighty long time. But I'm here to tell you there's something office hours. It's from Tuesday to Thursday from 1 PM to 3 PM."
  • The Minnesota Twins have played the song when a Twins player hits a home run since they moved to Target Field in 2010. Likely a nod to Prince's Minnesota roots
  • A cover of the song is performed at the fourth version of Beetlejuice's Rock and Roll Graveyard Revue at Universal Studios Florida.

YouTube controversy[edit]Edit

In 2007, Stephanie Lenz, a writer and editor from Gallitzin, Pennsylvania 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. Four months after the video was originally uploaded, Universal Music Group, which owned the copyrights to the song, ordered YouTube to remove the video enforcing the Digital Millennium Copyright Act.

Later in August 2008, U.S. District Judge Jeremy Fogel of San Jose, California 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.[6]


  • Uptown: The Vault – The Definitive Guide to the Musical World of Prince: Nilsen Publishing 2004, ISBN 91-631-5482-X
  1. Jump up^ Uptown, 2004, p. 50
  2. Jump up^ Whitburn, Joel (2004). Top R&B/Hip-Hop Singles: 1942-2004. Record Research. p. 471.
  3. Jump up^ Whitburn, Joel (2004). Hot Dance/Disco: 1974-2003. Record Research. p. 208.
  4. Jump up^
  5. Jump up^ "Get Your FREE Copy of SPIN's Prince Tribute!". Retrieved 2011-07-11.
  6. Jump up^ Egelko, Bob (August 21, 2008). "Woman can sue over YouTube clip de-posting"San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved 2008-08-25.
Preceded by

"Missing You" by John Waite

Billboard Hot 100 number one single

September 29, 1984 - October 6, 1984

Succeeded by

"I Just Called to Say I Love You" by Stevie Wonder

Preceded by

"Caribbean Queen" by Billy Ocean

Billboard's Hot Soul Singles number one single

October 6, 1984

Succeeded by

"I Just Called To Say I Love You" by Stevie Wonder

Preceded by

"No Favors" by Temper

Billboard Hot Dance Club Play number-one single

(with "Erotic City") September 29, 1984

Succeeded by

"The Medicine Song" by Stephanie Mills

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