The first time you hear Hallucination Rain it’s Purple Rain with an electric violin. The second time it begins to grow a personality of its own. By the third listen it’s paint stripper to your sense of time. The album version is under six minutes yet seems to span double that length. And still it ends too soon. This aural illusion is due to the four-minute build up – a rollercoaster gently carrying us up to the first peak. Then, when we’re amongst the clouds, Sonny T repeatedly asks “are you ready?” before dropping us over the edge into the storm below. The ride back down is brief but intense. A wormhole through dimensions we’ll never comprehend. Sonny’s voice starts off as a lulling guide but soon melts into a scream, indistinguishable from the cosmic debris whipping past. The skit beforehand where Sonny drinks a witch’s “spooky soup” is woefully inadequate preparation for this brain-bending ordeal. More apt would be a health warning that Prince is about to extract your mind, carry it miles above your mortal clay and then gleefully let go. Are you ready!?
76: Hallucination Rain