Release date: June 25, 1984
Record label: Warner Bros.

Yes, believe it or not, kiddies, Purple Rain isn't just an amazing Prince album—it's also a pretty decent movie. Well, it was actually a glorified music video posing as a legitimate motion picture, in the same league as Jay-Z's Streets is Watching but with more Apollonia (score!).

In the pop culture history books, though, Purple Rain will forever be remembered for its music. Which is unavoidable, really, when the disc includes Prince classics like "When Doves Cry," "Let's Go Crazy," "The Beautiful Ones," and "I Would Die 4 U." That's the difference between a pretty decent movie and one of the most essentials LPs in the history of recorded music. —MB