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Thread started 08/18/19 12:02pm


A view from the outside

I'm from the UK and I became a prince fan after a friend lent me a tape of the 1999 album. I'd never heard anything like it, and I was a fan immediately. From that point on I bought every album, every cd, every 7" 12" and picturedisc. I bought bootleg videos, then dvds, then blurays and I spent what little money I had on every scrap of unheard music I could find. I joined music clubs, i sent off for exclusive sets, and I saw him live 4 times.

So, I was a fan. And I bought everything right up until originals.

I love lots of other artists too, and I can tell you what it's like outside the Prince megafandom. People don't care. If Prince comes up in conversation you get the typical "Oh, I loved Prince", in much the same way they go on about "adoring Bowie", but when you flick through their music collection they have "Purple Rain" and "Let's Dance" and a couple of hits collections.

I genuinely don't understand the way "vault" material is being made available. Most people out there genuinely couldn't give a shit about what's in the vault. And as time passes, the long-term hardcore fans will also lose interest, not least by dying.

A few years ago all of the cure's discography was re-released in multi cd formats with demos, different versions, unreleased tracks, etc, etc. I bought them all.

Bowie's people have been releasing the "5 years" sets which are amazingly well put together and an absolute feast (Even at £100 a box)

Why aren't the esate putting something together like this?

Piano and a microphone was interesting. The purple rain special edition was interesting. Originals was interesting.

But unless the vault has less in it than the Prince Mythology led us to believe, what are they waiting for?

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Reply #1 posted 08/18/19 1:22pm


Good question.... I suspect there are many legal reasons why everything is so limited, so far .....
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Reply #2 posted 08/18/19 1:31pm


I think the Prince Estate is trying to release one-off collections that are both easy sells and easy for the average joe to understand - "demos of songs Prince gave to others!", "an intimate Piano session!". And they've been fairly successful - the music reviewers du jour like Pitchfork or The Needle Drop ate up both P&M and Originals, reviewing them very favorably.

Of course it's a bit frustrating to see some slapdash shit get praised to the hilt given all the actual genius left in the Vault. Even more so since I've been seeing casual fans saying "well maybe there wasn't actually much there", which is ludicrous.

1999 Deluxe is apparently on the way though, and I think that will give us a good taste of some gems we've been wanting to hear for a while. The Estate's apparent reluctancy to censor is also a noted positive imo.

A certain kind of mellow.
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Reply #3 posted 08/18/19 2:17pm



Personally I think the Estate and WB need to establish a two tier system with regards to releasing what is in the vault.

1) Commercial

2) Comprehensive


What we’ve seen so far with an album being released every year would fall under the ‘Commercial’ category and I think it is a model they should stick to. What they have been neglecting up until now is the comprehensive approach for fans like us who really want to dig deep into the vault and listen to as much as possible.


This could be in the form of luxury multi CD sets, or some kind of online music club (similar to NPGMC) where batches of tracks get uploaded as and when they are mastered. These approaches can both be achieved simultaneously. Take whichever project is being worked on at that time, be it the 1999 era, or songs he gave to other artists etc. and make sure all the remaining tracks that didn’t make the final album get to the hardcore fans who are willing to pay extra for them.

According to Niko Bolas, he mastered around 50 tracks in the making of the ‘Originals’ album, and then a shortlist of 15 tracks was chosen for the release. Why not release the LP for casual fans to pick up at Target, and then a few month later upload the reaming tracks to an online service where fans can either buy the songs individually or as part of their subscription.


Prince had a good relationship with Tidal. Why not get them on board? Either get them to create a purpose built site for hosting the vault material, or batch the additional tracks in to groups and sell them through Tidal as non-physical albums.

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Reply #4 posted 08/18/19 2:58pm



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