When Doves Cry (5:54)

Cover of Purple Rain

From Purple Rain and 16 other releases

“When Doves Cry” is a song by the American musician Prince, and the lead single from his 1984 album Purple Rain. It was a worldwide hit, and his first American number one single, topping charts for five weeks. According to Billboard magazine, it was the top-selling single of the year.

The song follows the general spiritual theme of Christianity throughout the album. Many have interpreted the ‘dove’ as being a symbol of the Holy Spirit.

According to the Purple Rain DVD, Prince was asked by the director to write a song to match the theme of a particular segment of the film - one which involved intermingled parental difficulties and a love affair. The next morning, Prince had reportedly composed two songs, one of which was “When Doves Cry.”

The song was #1 in the US for five weeks; July 7-August 4, 1984. It kept the other big hit of that summer, Bruce Springsteen’s “Dancing in the Dark,” from reaching the top spot. “When Doves Cry” was voted as the best single of the year in The Village Voice Pazz & Jop critics poll.

The B-side was the cult fan favourite “17 Days,” which was originally intended for the Apollonia 6 album. A 12-inch single issued in the UK included the album track, “17 Days,” and two tracks from Prince’s previous album, 1999, namely the title track and “D.M.S.R.”


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  • DCSaltarelli

    I have never thought Prince in any way shape of form was ever overshadowed by Michael Jackson. He (Prince) is one of the greatest singer/songwriter/musician/performer ever.

    23 Aug 2013 Reply
  • bugamartini

    Overshadowed by Michael Jackson (whom I also adore), Prince till this day remains underrated all across the board. He's great with his body, his voice, his instruments (especially the guitar!), and his songwriting skills.

    19 Apr 2013 Reply
  • DonkeyHotai

    Love the percussion. And that machine-like quality of the melody and singing ... until you get to that falsetto that is.

    25 Mar 2013 Reply
  • JNez

    hell yes. can still remember jamming to this during middle school dances. still sounds amazing too.

    3 Mar 2013 Reply
  • jinglynnbabee

    I've seen him only twice in concert... but oh what an experience. I want to do it all over again! He is the BEST!

    5 Dec 2012 Reply
  • Vinyltrap

    Underrated guitarist ,prolific songwriter

    28 Nov 2012 Reply
  • strutterf


    27 Sep 2012 Reply
  • KidzridezChgo

    Prince in concert in Chicago Sept 24th, 2012, Monday, 8pm, at United Center tickets go on sale at Ticketmaster this week. U know its going to be A FUNKY BLAST -- IM GOING HOW ABOUT U?

    3 Sep 2012 Reply
  • CAVermeer

    Took hubby to see this show last year, I THINK he was a bit unsure what he would see/hear. He was blown away.

    22 Aug 2012 Reply
  • noonesleaving

    Unreal! How I love 80s music.

    1 Jul 2012 Reply
  • SheritaBrown


    15 May 2012 Reply
  • wreckage1622

    First time I heard this artist was in - hm- maybe in 1980 , 1981? On an AM - radio station. The song was "1999" - blew my mind and I became a fan immediately, have been eversince. One of the most important musicians of the 20th century.

    13 May 2012 Reply
  • memekiwii


    23 Apr 2012 Reply
  • Stiggelina

    Love this track

    10 Apr 2012 Reply
  • CAVermeer

    Saw him live for the first time this past December. UNREAL!!!! Did this one, too...oh man. That was a moment.

    1 Apr 2012 Reply
  • lattmere

    like my father

    29 Feb 2012 Reply
  • megatron_bison

    One of the best songs ever. Ever. (ever)

    27 Feb 2012 Reply
  • jenksjake

    he is a badass !

    26 Feb 2012 Reply
  • nickidoro

    I love this song, since I first heard it.. 1984.. and I am an huge fan ever since

    20 Feb 2012 Reply
  • noonesleaving


    26 Jan 2012 Reply
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