See more of the story

With its 40th anniversary approaching next month, Prince & the Revolution's "Purple Rain" remains one of the top albums of all time, according to Apple Music.

The mostly Minnesota-made soundtrack to the mostly Minnesota-filmed movie was ranked No. 4 on the streaming service's newly unveiled list of the 100 best albums, coming in over Nirvana's "Nevermind," Stevie Wonder's "Songs in the Key of Life" and Fleetwood Mac's "Rumours." The albums that beat Prince's 1984 opus in the tally were the Beatles' "Abbey Road" (No. 3), Michael Jackson's "Thriller" (No. 2) and Lauryn Hill's "The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill (a relatively surprising but awfully cool pick at No. 1).

Apple Music's list was compiled by "staff, music experts and stars," according to the company's promotions. Among those stars were Rock & Roll Hall of Fame mega-producer Nile Rodgers, who said the record is "just so amazing" in commentary he provided on Apple's website.

"When you think about artists who've had such a major impact on your life — my relationship with Prince was a very peculiar one because we were so regular, which is hard to say because he's so irregular; he's so abnormal," Rodgers said.

"But the music, the film, just everything around this record was just so amazing. And it just put me in such a place of respect and happiness. And just like, man, not only you're keeping the tradition alive, but you're taking us to another level. I was just so proud to be in the world the same time he was in the world."

Prince's hometown is gearing up for a string of events marking "Purple Rain's" 40th anniversary next month, including reunion shows by the Revolution on June 21 and 22 at First Avenue (where the film was shot and the album's title song and two other tracks were recorded), plus more commemorations that same weekend at Paisley Park's annual Celebration. A new book by Twin Cities music scribe Andrea Swensson, "Purple Rain: 40 Years," is also being published by Motorbooks with a foreword by actress Maya Rudolph.

Here's the full top 10 of Apple Music's list of the 100 best albums of all time:

  • 10. "Lemonade," Beyoncé
  • 9. "Nevermind," Nirvana
  • 8. "Back to Black," Amy Winehouse
  • 7. "good kid, m.A.A.d city" (Deluxe Version), Kendrick Lamar
  • 6. "Songs in the Key of Life," Stevie Wonder
  • 5. "Blonde," Frank Ocean
  • 4. "Purple Rain," Prince & the Revolution
  • 3. "Abbey Road," the Beatles
  • 2. "Thriller," Michael Jackson
  • 1. "The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill," Lauryn Hill