One of the biggest surprises for casual fans of the Purple One among all the tributes in the wake of his passing has been his musical virtuosity. Everybody knew he could write a catchy tune, but only the die-hard fans and pros who had played with him were aware of the fact that he had absolutely mastered the guitar, piano, and drums. On his first album, he played every single instrument himself. All 27 of them.
His drum technician recalls, “He had a tennis court on his property but he never played tennis. Then somebody would say, “Oh, I want to play you.” So Prince would send for his tennis gloves, was completely insane on the court and would beat whoever he was playing. I never saw Prince make a mistake—in anything.
Imagine being in his band. He could play every instrument better than the band.”
This is the Prince that so many people are now just discovering. A Prince of epic guitar solos and a fierce dedication to both the art and the craft of music. Well, prepare to peel back another layer of that musical onion because today we’ve got another surprise. Well, maybe it’s not a surprise if you’re a die-hard Adam Levine fan. We’re sure there are some out there. The Maroon 5 lead joined with the group Train to celebrate Howard Stern’s birthday in 2014.
Maroon 5 and Train are both somewhat known for their similar soft-rock sounds but what we get out of this quasi-supergroup is a rousing, 7-minute rendition of Prince’s “Purple Rain,” with a surprisingly spectacular guitar solo courtesy of Adam Levine. It’s a helpful reminder that you can’t always judge a book by its album cover.
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