Let's Go Crazy

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"Let's Go Crazy"
Prince Crazy.jpg
US 7" single
Single by Prince and The Revolution
from the album Purple Rain
ReleasedJuly 18, 1984[1]
RecordedThe Warehouse, St. Louis Park, August 7, 1983
Length3:50 (7"/Video Version)
4:39 (Album Version)
7:35 (12" Inch/Movie Version)
LabelWarner Bros.
Songwriter(s)Prince [2]
Producer(s)Prince and the Revolution
Prince singles chronology
"When Doves Cry"
"Let's Go Crazy"
"Purple Rain"
Music video
Let's Go Crazy on YouTube
Prince UK singles chronology
"I Would Die 4 U"
"Let's Go Crazy"/"Take Me with U"
"Paisley Park"

"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" was one of Prince's most popular songs, and was 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[3] and Hot Dance Club Play charts,[4] 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.[5] 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 that includes a chugging guitar riff, an atonal piano solo and some muddled samples of the spoken word intro. This version was originally going to be used on the album but when "Take Me With U" was added to the track list, it was edited down to its current length.

Following Prince's death, the song re-charted on the Billboard Hot 100 singles chart at number 39 and rose to number 25 by the week of May 14, 2016. As of April 30, 2016, it has sold 964,403 copies in the United States.[6]

Musical style[edit]

The song was also notable for opening with a funeral-like organ solo with Prince giving the "eulogy" for "this thing called life."[7] The introduction's words are overlapped with each other on the single version. The song climaxes with a distinctive drum machine pattern and then features a heavy guitar outro leads, electronic drums, bass and whirring synthesizers and a climatic drum outro. 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.[7]

Track listing[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


Unless otherwise indicated, Credits are adapted from Prince Vault.[8]

Cover versions[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 comedy album "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".
  • The intro is sampled on the Ragga Twins' 1991 track "Hooligan '69".
  • The organ intro is sampled on Eazy-E's second single "Eazy-Duz-It".

Charts and certifications[edit]


Region Certification Certified units/sales
United States (RIAA)[24] Gold (Physical) 1,000,000 (Physical)
1,120,303 (Digital)

^ Shipments figures based on certification alone.

References in other media[edit]

  • In the American animated sitcom American Dad!, in the episode, "Iced, Iced Babies", Roger disguises himself as a college literature professor and paraphrases the spoken opening: "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 else...my office hours. It's from Tuesday to Thursday from 1 PM to 3 PM."
  • Minnesota-based sports teams have adopted the song as a nod to Prince's roots in the state. The Twins play the song at Target Field whenever a player hits a home run until the middle of the 2019 season. The Vikings do the same after a touchdown in U.S. Bank Stadium. During Game 6 of a first round series of the 2016 Stanley Cup Playoffs against the Dallas Stars, the Wild hockey team used "Let's Go Crazy" as their goal song as part of a series of tributes to Prince that night. The team ultimately chose to make the change permanent for the 2016-17 season.[25] Though for the 2018–19 season, they changed the song back to its predecessor, "Crowd Chant" by Joe Satriani.
  • A cover of the song is performed at the fourth version of Beetlejuice's Rock and Roll Graveyard Revue at Universal Studios Florida.
  • Japanese figure skater Yuzuru Hanyu used "Let's Go Crazy" for his short program in the 2016–17 figure skating season.
  • The song plays during the opening action sequence of the 2017 film Kingsman: The Golden Circle.
  • Classic Rock placed it atop a list of The Greatest Funk Rock Songs. "He brought the heat really hard," enthused Rival Sons guitarist Scott Holiday. "'Let's Go Crazy' has that feeling of hotness to it. He defines sexiness in music."[26]

Lenz v. Universal[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. 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.[27]

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. In 2015 the court affirmed the holding that Universal was required to consider fair use before sending its initial takedown request.

See also[edit]


  • Uptown: The Vault – The Definitive Guide to the Musical World of Prince: Nilsen Publishing 2004, ISBN 91-631-5482-X
  1. ^ Uptown, 2004, p. 50
  2. ^ The original single release credits the authors of the song as Prince and The Revolution, but the song's authorship is registered with ASCAP as solely by Prince.
  3. ^ Whitburn, Joel (2004). Top R&B/Hip-Hop Singles: 1942-2004. Record Research. p. 471.
  4. ^ Whitburn, Joel (2004). Hot Dance/Disco: 1974-2003. Record Research. p. 208.
  5. ^ Woodworth, G.M.; University of California, Los Angeles (2008). "Just Another One of God's Gifts": Prince, African-American Masculinity, and the Sonic Legacy of the Eighties. University of California, Los Angeles. p. 268. ISBN 9781109120745. Retrieved 2015-06-22.
  6. ^ "Hip Hop Single Sales: Prince, Desiigner & Drake". HipHopDX. April 30, 2016. Retrieved April 30, 2016.
  7. ^ a b c Ariza, Sergio. "The 10 Best Prince Solos". Guitars Exchange. Retrieved 4 July 2018.
  8. ^ Prince and the Revolution (May 4, 2019). "Purple Rain (Soundtrack Album)". Prince Vault.
  9. ^ "Get Your FREE Copy of SPIN's Prince Tribute!". SPIN.com. 2009-06-12. Retrieved 2011-07-11.
  10. ^ Kent, David (1993). Australian Chart Book 1970–1992. St Ives, NSW: Australian Chart Book. ISBN 0-646-11917-6.
  11. ^ "Ultratop.be – Prince And The Revolution – Let's Go Crazy" (in Dutch). Ultratop 50. Retrieved December 3, 2017.
  12. ^ "Lescharts.com – Prince And The Revolution – Let's Go Crazy" (in French). Les classement single. Retrieved December 3, 2017.
  13. ^ "Nederlandse Top 40 – week 10, 1985" (in Dutch). Dutch Top 40 Retrieved May 26, 2020.
  14. ^ "Dutchcharts.nl – Prince And The Revolution – Let's Go Crazy" (in Dutch). Single Top 100. Retrieved December 3, 2017.
  15. ^ "Charts.nz – Prince And The Revolution – Let's Go Crazy". Top 40 Singles. Retrieved December 3, 2017.
  16. ^ "Prince & The Revolution: Artist Chart History". Official Charts Company. Retrieved December 3, 2017.
  17. ^ "Prince Chart History (Hot 100)". Billboard. Retrieved December 3, 2017.
  18. ^ "Prince Chart History (Dance Club Songs)". Billboard. Retrieved December 3, 2017.
  19. ^ "Prince Chart History (Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs)". Billboard. Retrieved December 3, 2017.
  20. ^ "Prince Chart History (Mainstream Rock)". Billboard. Retrieved December 3, 2017.
  21. ^ "Prince Chart History (Hot Rock & Alternative Songs)". Billboard. Retrieved MAy 26, 2020.
  22. ^ "Talent Almanac 1985: Top Pop Singles". Billboard. Vol. 96 no. 51. December 22, 1984. p. TA-19.
  23. ^ "Hot Rock Songs – Year-End 2016". Billboard. Retrieved May 26, 2020.
  24. ^ http://hiphopdx.com, HipHopDX - (2016-05-07). "Hip Hop Single Sales: Prince, Beyoncé & Drake". hiphopdx.com.
  25. ^ "Minnesota Wild officially change their goal song to Prince's 'Let's Go Crazy'". SB Nation. 2016-08-23. Retrieved 23 August 2016.
  26. ^ Elliott, Paul (June 2014). "The In Sound from Way Out". Classic Rock #197. p. 74.
  27. ^ Egelko, Bob (August 21, 2008). "Woman can sue over YouTube clip de-posting". San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved 2008-08-25.