It is also a song Prince composed specifically for the soundtrack of his semi-autobiographical film Purple Rain. He was asked by director Albert Magnoli 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”.
(Source: Purple Rain DVD)
“When Doves Cry” is a rare song that does not feature bass guitar. It creates a tension and sense of “something missing” that fits with the lyrical theme.