The Revolution

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The Revolution


The Revolution is a band assembled by Prince in 1983, although an earlier form of the same band had existed since 1979 (see Early Prince Band) and had toured with him from 1979 to 1983. The name, "The Revolution", first appeared on the cover of 1999, written in reverse (as a mirror message) underneath Prince’s name. The departure of Dez Dickerson from Prince’s band and his replacement with Wendy Melvoin marked "The Revolution" foundation, although it took until the Purple Rain album for the Revolution to first be named as such. For the next four years not only was the line up Prince’s backing band but he also credited it on three albums.

The band never evolved as an entity of its own, but its members were an essential resource for Prince, who not only encouraged common efforts in studio sessions, but also gave the band full credits on records. In particular, Wendy Melvoin and Lisa Coleman were delegated many composing tasks, and they played a major influence in his input during part of the 80’s.

In 1986, Prince disbanded The Revolution and most of its members were taken off the retainer. Dr. Fink, as well as Miko Weaver an additional guitarist on the Parade Tour were asked to stay, while Prince started to form a new band around Sheila E. (see The 87-89 Band).

Original Line-up

Additional Band Members


  • Making of 2nd line-up
After Dez Dickerson left the band to pursue a solo career, Prince hired Wendy Melvoin a long time friend of keyboardist Lisa Coleman. Melvoin publically debuted with the band on August 3rd, 1983.
  • Band members additions
Eric Leeds joined the Revolution as saxophone player for the band’s performance in Los Angeles Shrine Auditorium on February 26, 1985 for the Grammy Awards. He then remained with the band until the end of the Purple Rain Tour. He had played as guest on the same tour with the band in November 1984.

1986 Line-up

Additional Band Members


Trumpet player Matt Blistan was enlisted on the advice of Eric Leeds, to complete the horn section on stage. Miko Weaver was enrolled from Sheila E.’s band. He had frequently guested onstage on the Purple Rain Tour as a Sheila E.-band member on Baby I’m A Star jam. A second guitar player enabled Prince to give up the guitar more frequently, in order to focus on dance and vocals.

The back up dancers * Jerome Benton, Greg Brooks, Wally Safford were added as a show element. Brooks & Safford were former security guards and often appeared on stage for the Purple Rain tour show finales. Jerome Benton formerly 'valet' in The Time and later in The Family was co-star in Under The Cherry Moon.

Studio Work

To be completed.


  • With Prince

The Revolution as a band contributed to the following releases:

1984 Purple Rain
1985 Around The World In A Day
1986 Parade
2017 Purple Rain Deluxe Expanded Edition (Posthumous release)
2020 Prince And The Revolution: Live (Posthumous release)
2020 Sign O’ The Times Super Deluxe Edition (Posthumous release)
Year Song US Hot 100 US Dance US R&B Album
1984 Let’s Go Crazy Purple Rain
1984 Purple Rain Purple Rain
1984 I Would Die 4 U Purple Rain
1985 Take Me With U Purple Rain
1985 Raspberry Beret Around The World In A Day
1985 Paisley Park Around The World In A Day
1985 Pop Life Around The World In A Day
1985 America Around The World In A Day
1986 Kiss Parade
1986 Mountains Parade
1986 Anotherloverholenyohead Parade
1986 Girls & Boys Parade
2020 Witness 4 The Prosecution Sign O’ The Times Super Deluxe Edition

Live Performances

  • As Prince’s band
Debut appearance as The Revolution
3 Aug. 1983 Minneapolis, First Avenue
Original line up
Purple Rain Tour
1986 Line up
Parade Tour