There are few artists as prolific as Prince. His legendary Vault is said to contain hundreds of albums' worth of material. On June 7 -- what would have been Prince's 61st birthday -- The Prince Estate and Warner Bros. Records will issue Originals, a new album of further treasures from the archives.
As first reported by Variety (just one day before the estate welcomes fans to the annual Prince Celebration at Paisley Park, his recording complex-turned-museum), Originals brings together 15 demos of songs Prince gave away to other artists. Tidal will first exclusively offer the album for high-resolution streaming, with a CD and wide digital release arriving two weeks later, and vinyl configurations to follow in July.
Some may say that it's uncommon for artists to give away some of their best material, but in the mid-'80s Prince was able to do just that while also putting out some of his most successful solo albums. There were the songs lent to proteges like The Time, Vanity 6, Sheila E., Apollonia 6, Jill Jones, The Family, and Mazarati. But Prince also wrote songs for those outside his sphere, including such unlikely friends as Kenny Rogers and Joni Mitchell.
In many cases, Prince's own demos would create the foundation of the cover recordings, other times they were simply a starting point on which the talented artists would reinterpret the material. Often, Prince's original demo recordings would be used as master takes on their albums, with only minor alterations to the instrumentation and a replacement of the vocal tracks. Other times, artists would rely on his demos to guide them through their own recording process, with Prince's initial take informing their final version of his song. Originals collects 15 such demos sourced from that legendary Vault, including hits like "Jungle Love," "The Glamorous Life" and "Love...Thy Will Be Done" and deep cuts like "Make-Up," "Baby, You're a Trip," and "You're My Love." Of the 15 songs, only one has been previously released: Prince's original 1984 recording of "Nothing Compares 2 U" was released last year as a single. Now the song joins a host of other exciting tracks that demonstrate Prince's immense and immeasurable talents.
Originals arrives to Tidal first on June 7. (The streaming service, of course, debuted Prince's final studio albums, HITnRUN phase one and phase two, in 2015. Tidal co-founder Jay Z and Prince Estate liaison Troy Carter worked together to pick the tracks on Originals.) The CD arrives later in the month on June 21. A 2LP, 180-gram vinyl edition and deluxe 2LP/CD configuration will follow on July 19. All the configurations can be pre-ordered below. Keep scrolling to check out the full track list of Prince's legendary demos that will be collected on Originals!
In other Prince-related news, it was announced this week that Prince's coming-of-age memoir, The Beautiful Ones, will be published on October 29. The book combines Prince's own initial pages for the memoir he began before his passing in 2016 with rare writings and candid photos from The Vault, plus the original handwritten treatment for Purple Rain. You can pre-order the book from Amazon U.S., Amazon U.K., or Amazon Canada.
all tracks except * previously unreleased
- Sex Shooter
(originally released by Apollonia 6 on Apollonia 6, 1984; demo recorded 1983)
- Jungle Love
(originally released by The Time on Ice Cream Castle, 1984; demo recorded 1983)
- Manic Monday
(originally released by The Bangles on Different Light, 1985; demo recorded 1984)
- Noon Rendezvous
(originally released by Sheila E. on The Glamorous Life,1984; demo recorded 1984)
(originally released by Vanity 6 on Vanity 6, 1982; demo recorded 1981)
- 100 MPH
(originally released by Mazarati on Mazarati, 1986; demo recorded 1984)
- You're My Love
(originally released by Kenny Rogers on They Don't Make Them Like They Used To, 1986; demo recorded 1982)
- Holly Rock
(originally released by Sheila E. on Krush Groove: Music From The Original Motion Picture Sound Track, 1985; demo recorded 1985)
- Baby, You're a Trip
(originally released by Jill Jones on Jill Jones, 1987; demo recorded 1982)
- The Glamorous Life
(originally released by Sheila E. on The Glamorous Life, 1984; demo recorded 1983)
- Gigolos Get Lonely Too
(originally released by The Time on What Time Is It?, 1982; demo recorded 1982)
- Love... Thy Will Be Done
(originally released by Martika on Martika's Kitchen, 1991; demo recorded 1991)
- Dear Michaelangelo
(originally released by Sheila E. on Romance 1600, 1985; demo recorded 1985)
- Wouldn't You Love To Love Me?
(originally released by Taja Sevelle on Taja Sevelle, 1987; demo recorded 1981)
- Nothing Compares 2 U *
(originally released by The Family on The Family, 1985; demo recorded 1984, previously released 2018)