Readers of The Second Disc have had to cope with some powerful losses in the pantheon of music greats, and few losses were bigger than that of Prince this past spring. His death propelled multiple albums and compilations into the Billboard charts, including the single-disc overview The Very Best of Prince, which topped the charts 15 years after it was released.
In time for the holidays, the first posthumous Prince collection, Prince 4Ever, was announced today by NPG Records and Warner Bros. Records. (This release, for now, firmly contradicts earlier reports that the Prince vault was being shopped around to other labels; Prince embarked on a new venture with Warners in 2014, which finally led to the acquisition of his own masters, which were licensed back to the label he was a key artist for between 1978 and 1996.)
Prince 4Ever is a fairly thorough, 40-track summary of The Artist's major works from his first album, 1978's For You, to 1992's The Love Symbol, Prince's last release before he changed his name to the album's title.
At least six tracks--"Take Me with U" from Purple Rain (1984), U.K.-only single "Paisley Park" from Around the World in a Day (1985), "Mountains" and "Girls and Boys" from Parade (1986), "Glam Slam" from Lovesexy (1988), and the chart-topping "Batdance" from the Batman soundtrack (1989)--appear on Prince compilations for the first time. As the set covers the purely Prince period, his final Top 10 single, 1995's "The Most Beautiful Girl in the World," released as the Love Symbol, remains uncompiled.
The set includes the first posthumous release from Prince's fabled vault: "Moonbeam Levels," a 1999 outtake at one point considered for 1988's Rave Unto the Joy Fantastic, a project scrapped when Prince took on the Batman gig. (The title track lent itself to a different, star-studded Rave Un2 the Joy Fantastic in 1999.) A 12-page booklet featuring unseen pictures by acclaimed photographer Herb Ritts rounds out the package.
Warner doesn't stop the tantalizing there: the label promises the release in early 2017 of "the much-anticipated remastered, deluxe version of Purple Rain, plans for which were agreed with Prince before he passed away." Beyond the promise of "a second album of previously unreleased material," no additional details were given.
Prince 4Ever, available November 22, looks like a fair set for completists and newcomers alike--not to mention those who are still doing their best to move on from the loss of such a great entertainer. The track list follows with pre-order links!
Prince 4Ever (NPG/Warner Bros. Records, 2016) (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K. / Amazon Canada)
2. Little Red Corvette
3. When Doves Cry *
4. Let's Go Crazy *
5. Raspberry Beret *
6. I Wanna Be Your Lover
7. Soft and Wet
8. Why You Wanna Treat Me So Bad?
10. When You Were Mine
12. Gotta Stop (Messin' About)
14. Let's Work
16. I Would Die 4 U *
17. Take Me With U *
18. Paisley Park *
19. Pop Life *
20. Purple Rain *
1. Kiss *
2. Sign "O" the Times
3. Alphabet St.
5. Thieves in the Temple
6. Cream **
7. Mountains *
8. Girls and Boys *
9. If I Was Your Girlfriend
10. U Got the Look
11. I Could Never Take the Place of Your Man
12. Glam Slam
13. Moonbeam Levels +
14. Diamonds and Pearls **
15. Gett Off **
16. Sexy MF **
17. My Name is Prince **
18. 7 **
20. Nothing Compares 2 U **
* Prince and The Revolution
** Prince and The New Power Generation
+ previously unreleased
Disc 1, Tracks 1-2 and 15 from 1999 (Warner Bros., 1982)
Disc 1, Tracks 3-4, 16-17 and 20 from Purple Rain: Music from the Motion Picture (Warner Bros., 1984)
Disc 1, Tracks 5 and 18-19 from Around the World in a Day (Paisley Park/Warner Bros., 1985)
Disc 1, Tracks 6 and 8 from Prince (Warner Bros., 1979)
Disc 1, Track 7 from For You (Warner Bros., 1978)
Disc 1, Tracks 9-11 from Dirty Mind (Warner Bros., 1980)
Disc 1, Track 12 from B-side to "Let's Work" 12" single (Warner Bros., 1982)
Disc 1, Tracks 13-14 from Controversy (Warner Bros., 1981)
Disc 2, Tracks 1 and 7-8 from Parade: Music from the Motion Picture "Under the Cherry Moon" (Paisley Park/Warner Bros., 1986)
Disc 2, Tracks 2 and 9-11 from Sign "O" the Times (Paisley Park/Warner Bros., 1987)
Disc 2, Tracks 3 and 12 from Lovesexy (Paisley Park/Warner Bros., 1988)
Disc 2, Track 4 from Batman: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack (Warner Bros., 1989)
Disc 2, Track 5 from Graffiti Bridge: Music from the Motion Picture (Paisley Park/Warner Bros., 1990)
Disc 2, Tracks 6 and 14-15 from Diamonds and Pearls (Paisley Park/Warner Bros., 1991)
Disc 2, Tracks 16-18 from The Love Symbol (Paisley Park/Warner Bros., 1992)
Disc 2, Tracks 19-20 from The Hits/The B-Sides (Paisley Park/Warner Bros., 1993)
Billy Dojcak says
I'm trying to get my head around the tracklisting. Disc 1 seems typical, but the order is terrible. I would have left some of the older tracks on The Hits collection.
Disc 2 is where it's at except for Nothing Compares 2 U. I know why it's there, but it's not a good recording.
I'll still buy it anyway. Nobody buys me cds for xmas anymore.
I've been saving shelf space for the Purple Rain reissue. Hope they don't fup it up. The HD Tracks version is good, but I still like the cd.
Chris M says
Are these the album versions or single edits? I remember being terribly disappointed when I got The Hits/B-sides compilation and it hadn't the short versions of When Doves Cry, Controversy, 1999 and Sign O The Times.
"Erotic City" (in any form) once again forgotten.
Adam Karrington says
Erotic City is on The Hits & B Side (Disc 3) and the Girl 6 soundtrack