2014 marks the 30-year anniversary of Prince’s Purple Rain, one of the most influential albums of all time. To celebrate this milestone, Radio Riddler has announced their debut album, Purple Reggae, out today, October 28, 2014 on MITA Records. The tribute album takes Radio Riddler’s unique style and pairs it with legendary vocalists including Sinead O’ Connor, UB40′s Ali Campbell, Citizen Cope,Beverly Knight, and more.
What started out as a labour of love experiment between Fun Lovin’ Criminals’ Frank Benbini andFast Leiser (known together as production outfit Radio Riddler) has turned into a fully conceived reggae tribute album. The pair has been working together for the past five years doing remixes for acts including Coldplay and Lily Allen, when they conceived the idea of a possible reggae tribute album to their musical hero Prince. Initially they thought it wouldn’t work, but as tracks progressed the project grew organically and took a life of its own. Word got out and notable musicians were eager to join the project and pay tribute to the Purple One. Frank Benbini of Radio Riddler/Fun Lovin’ Criminals enthusiastically states, “Prince is the reason I started playing music. I grew up on this album. It’s the soundtrack to my life and this is a tribute to him from me.”
The featured artists on this project include UB40′s Ali Campbell with his vocals on “Purple Rain,” that has caused a buzz during his live shows. Rock and blues singer Deborah Bonham, US artist Citizen Cope, and soul singers Beverly Knight round up the talent for the album. But the most surprising isSinead O’Connor’s take on “I Would Die 4 U.” Radio Riddler approached her personally, since she had international success with her take on Prince’s “Nothing Compares 2 U,” and she enthusiastically was on board. Their diverse vocal styles over an infectious reggae foundation have resulted in a fresh, perfectly crafted tribute that will inspire as much affection as Purple Rain did 30 years ago.