Book Reviews

Prince: Purple Reign by Mick Wall

2016 was a fairly greedy year when it came to relieving us of our greats. On April 21, the artist formally known as Prince Rogers Nelson passed away at the age of 57. Found in an elevator of his palatial Paisley Park mansion, paramedics pronounced him dead on the scene. And oh, my broken purple heart! National Monuments the world over turned purple for the night in honour of Prince’s life, and in the aftermath of this mourning, music journalist Mick Wall was compelled to complete the recently published biography Prince: Purple Reign.

When a cultural icon dies, there is a knee-jerk reaction to instantly romanticize that person. Mick Walls’ straight-forward writing style doesn’t gloss over the fact that Prince was sometimes arrogant, often controlling or that he liked to occasionally indulge in some delusions of grandeur. Repeatedly throughout his career, Prince’s big, big ego was only tolerated because he backed it up with a big, big talent. But when he got it right, he got it perfect and Wall details all the passion and madness Prince poured into creating massive hits like Let’s Go Crazy and When Doves Cry.

Though Prince’s most prolific creative years were undoubtedly during the 1980s, he was still making music that would have an impact on pop culture into the 1990s. It’s a shame then, that Wall doesn’t go into as much detail on these latter works, or the tours that supported them. For instance, Prince performed his final concert on April 14, 2016 — a mere 7 days before he died!

A succinct tribute, Prince: Purple Reign is an easy, enjoyable read on one of pop culture’s most controversial and polarising players.

Find Prince: Purple Reign by Mick Wall in the SMSA Library Catalogue


Kylie Campbell
SMSA Membership & Admin Assistant

Prince: Purple Reign by Mick Wall

When you join SMSA as member, you get a wide range of benefits.

Access to the SMSA Library

We are home to a unique collection of books, a highlight being our Mystery and Crime section.

Able to borrow from the Tom Keneally Centre

We are honoured to be the home of Tom Keneally’s personal collection of books, many of which have been used as research for his own works.

Access to member only events

Join a members group, share your passions, learn new skills, make new friends and get involved.

Access to member only activities such as members groups

We provide a variety of member only events, these are relaxed social occasions to have fun and make new friends.

Join as a Member

Subscribe to stay up-to-date