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"Let's Go Crazy"

U.S. 7" single
Single by Prince
from the album Purple Rain
B-side "Erotic City"
"Take Me with U" (UK)
Released August 11, 1984
Format 7" single
12" single
Recorded The Warehouse, St. Louis Park, Summer 1983
Genre Hard rock, funk, Minneapolis sound
Length 7" edit: 3:46
Album: 4:39
12": 7:35
Label Warner Bros.
Writer(s) Prince
Producer Prince
Certification Gold - (November 7, 1984)
Prince singles chronology
"When Doves Cry"
"Let's Go Crazy"
"Purple Rain"
Prince (UK) singles chronology
"I Would Die 4 U"
"Let's Go Crazy"/"Take Me with U"
"Paisley Park"
Purple Rain track listing
"Let's Go Crazy"
"Take Me with U"

"Let's Go Crazy" is a 1984 song by Prince and The Revolution. It was the opening track on both his 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[1] and Hot Dance Club Play charts,[2] 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: "Let's Go Crazy" is thought by many fans to be Prince's exhortation to the Devil or the "De-elevator."

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.


Musical style

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 full hard rock number with heavy guitar, bass and synthesizers. The song's percussion was programmed with the venerable Linn LM-1 drum machine, an instrument frequently used in many of Prince's songs.

Track listing

7" Paisley Park / 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" Paisley Park / 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


References in other media

  • 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."

YouTube controversy

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.[4]


  1. ^ Whitburn, Joel (2004). Top R&B/Hip-Hop Singles: 1942-2004. Record Research. p. 471.  
  2. ^ Whitburn, Joel (2004). Hot Dance/Disco: 1974-2003. Record Research. p. 208.  
  3. ^
  4. ^ "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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