The latest in Legacy’s Prince reissue series, the new 2-CD/DVD set Ultimate Rave brings together three of his projects. There’s Rave Un2 The Joy Fantastic from 1999 and Rave In2 The Joy Fantastic, a hard-to-find 2001 remix album that was only available to members of Prince’s NPG Music Club service. The new collection will also include a DVD of the Rave Un2 The Year 2000 concert film, originally a pay-per-view special which saw Prince and an array of guests – including Morris Day and The Time, members of Sly and the Family Stone, Maceo Parker, and Lenny Kravitz – ringing in the new year with hits and fan favorites alike.
Rave Un2 The Joy Fantastic was initially conceived by Clive Davis (who’d lured Prince to a one-off deal with Arista Records) as a comeback album a la Santana’s Supernatural. The star-studded album included Chuck D., Eve, Ani DiFranco, Gwen Stefani, Larry Graham, Maceo Parker, and Sheryl Crow lending their talents. Highlights include the title track (left over from an abandoned 1988 project that featured material from the soundtracks to Batman and Graffiti Bridge) and the simmering R&B jam “The Greatest Romance Ever Sold.”
In 2001, Prince released Rave In2 The Joy Fantastic. The album was an update of its predecessor, with a modified track listing that added the previously unreleased track “Beautiful Strange,” and new remixes and modified versions of the Un2 material. In one of many examples of Prince embracing creative means of distribution, Rave In2 The Joy Fantastic was exclusively sold to members of his web-based NPG Music Club. Legacy’s new edition will mark the first wide reissue of this material and, thankfully, will be available through conventional means of music consumption.
Ultimate Rave will be released on April 26 from Legacy Recordings. Prince’s online store offers various apparel/music bundles.