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Thread started 08/17/18 4:21am

BartVanHemelen

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Prince, "Piano & A Microphone 1983", 21 Sep 2018 on Warner Bros. -- post updated on Fri 12 Oct

Since the previous thread -- http://prince.org/msg/7/454981 -- was auto-locked due to lack of activity, I'd thought I'd open a new one considering reviews are starting to appear.

.

Updates:

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28 Aug: updated title with info WRT liner notes by Lisa Coleman (see my post at the end of page 2).

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29 Aug: Spotify might get the album a week earlier? (This is still unclear.)
October issue of German Rolling Stone has free 7" of "17 Days"! (see end of page 2)

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Early Sep: the issue of French music monthly Jazz Magazine featuring an interview with Lisa Coleman has been published. The German issue of Rolling Stone mentioned earlier will also have an interview with Lisa.

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4 Sep: Promo video posted on the official Prince Facebook page and elsewhere, offering plenty of details e.g. liner notes were also provided by Jill Jones (and engineer Don Batts), the artwork contains handwritten lyrics,...

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6 Sep: "17 Days" has been released as a preview, and there are at least two major articles about the song (NPR and Guardian).

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8 Sep: mention in Entertainment Weekly's annual "Fall Music Preview"

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9 Sep: review by Daily Mail

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13 Sep: review of "17 Days" by The Observer, "The student newspaper of Notre Dame and St. Mary's". ||
"Why The Butterflies" has been posted by several sites, some including a quote by Lisa Coleman, most likely taken from the liner notes (or from an EPK).

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15 Sep: new article on the BBC's site about the album: interviews with Lisa Coleman and Michael Howe.
UPDATE: The journalist has posted an extra, unpublished paragraph on Twitter where Michael Howe goes somewhat deeper into the reasoning on how these releases are decided upon.

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16 Sep: a review by French newspaper Libération.

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18 Sep: unboxing video of all three formats at the end of page 6. ||
Listening party @ Paisley Park, details on page 7 of this thread. ||
Review from Kleine Zeitung, the largest regional newspaper in Austria. ||

Article by The Associated Press with quotes from Troy Carter, Lisa Coleman and Michael Howe. ||
Review in Norwegian publication Nettavisen.

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19 Sep: Billboard review -- ah, scrap that, it's a reprint of the AP article/review ||
Télérama review ||
Humo review ||
Classic Rock review ||
New York Times review

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20 Sep: Billboard interview with Lisa Coleman ||

Vulture interview with Michael Howe ||
Jon Bream article in the Star Tribune (includes quotes from Jill Jones) ||
Billboard interview with Michael Howe ||

USA Today interview with Michael Howe ||

Loootsa reviews

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21 Sep: Toooons of reviews ||
Rolling Stone article

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22-25 Sep: loooots of reviews.

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26 Sep: Uncut published the article it did on the album as part of its August 2018 cover story on Prince online. (see page 16 of this thread)

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27 Sep: announcement that new issue of Classic Pop has cover story about the new album and more (see page 17 of this thread)

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29 Sep: CBC interview with Susan Rogers (page 17)

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12 Oct: Newsweek article (page 19)

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[Edited 10/12/18 5:09am]

© Bart Van Hemelen
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It is not authorized by Prince or the NPG Music Club. You assume all risk for
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Reply #1 posted 08/17/18 4:24am

BartVanHemelen

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Review in the October 2018 issue of UK music monthly Uncut:

.

7/10

First posthumous release from the Prince vault

Barely a minute into the stripped-down version of “17 Days” that opens Piano & A Microphone 1983, Prince starts scat singing, then he beatboxes for a measure or two. It’s clear he doesn’t think anyone will ever hear these recordings, which he made at his home studio in Chanhassen, Minnesota, just a year before Purple Rain would make him one of the biggest stars on the planet. These nine demos are rough and raw: a form of note-taking complete with marginalia (“Can you turn the lights down?” he instructs engineer Don Batts). “Purple Rain” and his cover of Joni Mitchell’s “A Case of You” are little more than doodles. But these demos reveal a side of Prince that he rarely showed the world. In two-and-a-half minutes he tries out a variety of approaches on “Strange Relationship”, and adopts a bluesy growl for “Cold Cofee And Cocaine”. Prince was a jazzy, spontaneous pianist and a precise, eccentric vocalist, soaring into that familiar falsetto but also diving into his lower register, especially on “Wednesday”. Notoriously guarded about his creative process, nothing quite like Piano & A Microphone 1983 exists in his catalogue.

Extras:None.

STEPHEN DEUSNER

.

© Bart Van Hemelen
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It is not authorized by Prince or the NPG Music Club. You assume all risk for
your use. All rights reserved.
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Reply #2 posted 08/17/18 4:44am

Moonbeam

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Cool to see reviews coming in. Thanks for sharing!
Feel free to join in the Prince Album Poll 2018! Let'a celebrate his legacy by counting down the most beloved Prince albums, as decided by you!
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Reply #3 posted 08/17/18 4:59am

jaawwnn

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BartVanHemelen said:

Review in the October 2018 issue of UK music monthly Uncut:

.

7/10

First posthumous release from the Prince vault

Barely a minute into the stripped-down version of “17 Days” that opens Piano & A Microphone 1983, Prince starts scat singing, then he beatboxes for a measure or two. It’s clear he doesn’t think anyone will ever hear these recordings, which he made at his home studio in Chanhassen, Minnesota, just a year before Purple Rain would make him one of the biggest stars on the planet. These nine demos are rough and raw: a form of note-taking complete with marginalia (“Can you turn the lights down?” he instructs engineer Don Batts). “Purple Rain” and his cover of Joni Mitchell’s “A Case of You” are little more than doodles. But these demos reveal a side of Prince that he rarely showed the world. In two-and-a-half minutes he tries out a variety of approaches on “Strange Relationship”, and adopts a bluesy growl for “Cold Cofee And Cocaine”. Prince was a jazzy, spontaneous pianist and a precise, eccentric vocalist, soaring into that familiar falsetto but also diving into his lower register, especially on “Wednesday”. Notoriously guarded about his creative process, nothing quite like Piano & A Microphone 1983 exists in his catalogue.

Extras:None.

STEPHEN DEUSNER

.

Fair review!

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Reply #4 posted 08/17/18 6:22am

alandail

"nothing quite like Piano & A Microphone 1983 exists in his catalogue"

what about One Night Alone: Solo Piano and Voice"

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Reply #5 posted 08/17/18 7:10am

TwiliteKid

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alandail said:

"nothing quite like Piano & A Microphone 1983 exists in his catalogue"

what about One Night Alone: Solo Piano and Voice"

Aside from a focus on piano, they aren't really all that similiar (ONA is a proper studio recording; this new release is a single take, live in the studio performance), but I believe he's referring to the unvarnished quality, not the content.

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Reply #6 posted 08/17/18 8:48am

EmmaMcG

I still don't really understand why this, of all things, is the first posthumous release. I get that there are/were issues over who owns what but surely there was a better choice than this. I'll probably download it at some point but it's not something I'm going to go out and buy.
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Reply #7 posted 08/17/18 2:04pm

jaawwnn

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EmmaMcG said:

I still don't really understand why this, of all things, is the first posthumous release. I get that there are/were issues over who owns what but surely there was a better choice than this. I'll probably download it at some point but it's not something I'm going to go out and buy.

They wanted to honour where he was (piano and microphone) while also selling what people generally like (his 80's work). You may disagree with their logic but it seems to be where they're coming from.
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Reply #8 posted 08/17/18 2:09pm

Marrk

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I want more (and better!) releases in future, so yeah i pre-ordered day it was announced.

Yeah, we'll, we'll try to imagine what silence looks like.
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Reply #9 posted 08/17/18 2:41pm

EmmaMcG

jaawwnn said:

EmmaMcG said:

I still don't really understand why this, of all things, is the first posthumous release. I get that there are/were issues over who owns what but surely there was a better choice than this. I'll probably download it at some point but it's not something I'm going to go out and buy.

They wanted to honour where he was (piano and microphone) while also selling what people generally like (his 80's work). You may disagree with their logic but it seems to be where they're coming from.


That might very well have been their thinking but I think it would have made more sense for them to release outtakes from Purple Rain that haven't been leaked yet. If any exist, of course. That would have been interesting to long time fans as well as the new fans he's gained since he died. From a business perspective, I think that would have been the better release. From a personal perspective, I'd have liked whatever he had been working on in his final years. The Black Is The New Black album or whatever it was called. Oh well, fingers crossed for the future.
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Reply #10 posted 08/17/18 2:43pm

BartVanHemelen

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TwiliteKid said:

alandail said:

"nothing quite like Piano & A Microphone 1983 exists in his catalogue"

what about One Night Alone: Solo Piano and Voice"

Aside from a focus on piano, they aren't really all that similiar (ONA is a proper studio recording; this new release is a single take, live in the studio performance), but I believe he's referring to the unvarnished quality, not the content.

.

No, he's referring to the fact that this is a candid, not intended for release recording which sheds light on his creative process. Which is literally THE FIRST PART OF THAT SENTENCE.

© Bart Van Hemelen
This posting is provided AS IS with no warranties, and confers no rights.
It is not authorized by Prince or the NPG Music Club. You assume all risk for
your use. All rights reserved.
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Reply #11 posted 08/17/18 6:48pm

SquirrelMeat

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When stickies auto lock, it tells you alot about the mish mash state of the stickies.

.
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Reply #12 posted 08/17/18 6:52pm

Goddess4Real

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I most def will get this prince music cloud9

Keep Calm & Listen To Prince
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Reply #13 posted 08/17/18 7:44pm

alandail

BartVanHemelen said:

TwiliteKid said:

Aside from a focus on piano, they aren't really all that similiar (ONA is a proper studio recording; this new release is a single take, live in the studio performance), but I believe he's referring to the unvarnished quality, not the content.

.

No, he's referring to the fact that this is a candid, not intended for release recording which sheds light on his creative process. Which is literally THE FIRST PART OF THAT SENTENCE.

It seems more likely the reviewer never heard One Nite Alone. He also talked about the cover of A Case of You without reference that Prince released a cover on ONA.

[Edited 8/17/18 19:46pm]

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Reply #14 posted 08/17/18 8:26pm

thedance

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I will pass on this. I won't buy this release,

btw it was available on Purple Rush vol. 2, and its such a weak recording in bad quality, a cassette tape rocording, and a very bad one.

what a misjudgement to release this.. better luck with next release coming I guess in 2019, what a long wait for us for something interesting..

sorry for sounding sour, just.. it IS a bad release, damn.. sad

Prince 4Ever. heart
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Reply #15 posted 08/18/18 12:16am

BartVanHemelen

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SquirrelMeat said:

When stickies auto lock, it tells you alot about the mish mash state of the stickies.

.

It also speaks volumes that a topic about an upcoming official release doesn't get enough posts to stay unlocked...

© Bart Van Hemelen
This posting is provided AS IS with no warranties, and confers no rights.
It is not authorized by Prince or the NPG Music Club. You assume all risk for
your use. All rights reserved.
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Reply #16 posted 08/18/18 1:14am

EmmaMcG

BartVanHemelen said:



SquirrelMeat said:


When stickies auto lock, it tells you alot about the mish mash state of the stickies.



.


It also speaks volumes that a topic about an upcoming official release doesn't get enough posts to stay unlocked...



It looks like I'm not alone in my disinterest in this release.
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Reply #17 posted 08/18/18 2:20am

alandail

thedance said:

I will pass on this. I won't buy this release,

btw it was available on Purple Rush vol. 2, and its such a weak recording in bad quality, a cassette tape rocording, and a very bad one.

what a misjudgement to release this.. better luck with next release coming I guess in 2019, what a long wait for us for something interesting..

sorry for sounding sour, just.. it IS a bad release, damn.. sad

why are you assuming the quality of the release is the same as the quality of the bootleg? Mary Don't You Weep sounds great.

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Reply #18 posted 08/18/18 5:35am

Silvertongue7

alandail said:



thedance said:


I will pass on this. I won't buy this release,

btw it was available on Purple Rush vol. 2, and its such a weak recording in bad quality, a cassette tape rocording, and a very bad one.

what a misjudgement to release this.. better luck with next release coming I guess in 2019, what a long wait for us for something interesting..

sorry for sounding sour, just.. it IS a bad release, damn.. sad




why are you assuming the quality of the release is the same as the quality of the bootleg? Mary Don't You Weep sounds great.


It sounds a lot better than the bootleg, but you can clearly hear a hissing noise at the beginning Of the track.
[Edited 8/20/18 17:56pm]
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Reply #19 posted 08/18/18 6:00am

SuperFurryAnim
al

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What I find interesting about this release. Must be 100's of recordings of Prince figuring out songs on the piano. They release one in circulation. Already preordered but more excited if they start to release more of this not in circulation. Is Tidal release still set for early 2019?

Trump turns from 'humbling' grief to midterm fire and furry
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Reply #20 posted 08/18/18 7:16am

sulls

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Thanks, Bart!

"I like to watch."
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Reply #21 posted 08/18/18 7:57am

BartVanHemelen

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SuperFurryAnimal said:

What I find interesting about this release. Must be 100's of recordings of Prince figuring out songs on the piano. They release one in circulation.

.

This is explained in the original thread.

.

Is Tidal release still set for early 2019?

.

There's a sticky for that.

© Bart Van Hemelen
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It is not authorized by Prince or the NPG Music Club. You assume all risk for
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Reply #22 posted 08/18/18 8:08am

Doozer

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I agree this release is not a good choice, but I'm happy to support it and hope for something better (i.e. unreleased and uncirculating studio tracks).

Thanks for starting a new thread, Bart.

Check out The Mountains and the Sea, a Prince podcast by yours truly and my wife. More info at https://www.facebook.com/TMATSPodcast/
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Reply #23 posted 08/19/18 5:27am

nosajd

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Well, I know everyone here seems to already have this release but I don’t, and I’m very much looking forward to it. I love Mary don’t you weep, and I’m sure the rest of the album won’t disappoint.


I feel like those of you complaining of it’s release b/c you have already illegally downloaded it makes it an unjustifiable argument. Not to say I haven’t made hundreds or thousand of illegal download myself, just saying, it’s not a strong argument.

Even if this isn’t what I expected/wanted them to release, I think it’s a really unique recording to add his discography. 2019 is not that far away either, we’ll have plenty of new music soon, however I fear that most of you will already have that release in your hard drives as well.
[Edited 8/19/18 5:28am]
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Reply #24 posted 08/19/18 5:57am

EmmaMcG

nosajd said:

Well, I know everyone here seems to already have this release but I don’t, and I’m very much looking forward to it. I love Mary don’t you weep, and I’m sure the rest of the album won’t disappoint.


I feel like those of you complaining of it’s release b/c you have already illegally downloaded it makes it an unjustifiable argument. Not to say I haven’t made hundreds or thousand of illegal download myself, just saying, it’s not a strong argument.

Even if this isn’t what I expected/wanted them to release, I think it’s a really unique recording to add his discography. 2019 is not that far away either, we’ll have plenty of new music soon, however I fear that most of you will already have that release in your hard drives as well.
[Edited 8/19/18 5:28am]


Just to confirm, I DON'T have this release. The reason I don't have it is because I have heard that the sound quality is not particularly good. IF the sound quality is better on the official release, then I might download it at some point but I won't buy it. I won't spend money on a short album of live demo recordings.
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Reply #25 posted 08/20/18 4:21pm

42Kristen

Need to save this date

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Reply #26 posted 08/20/18 5:52pm

Silvertongue7

nosajd said:

Well, I know everyone here seems to already have this release but I don’t, and I’m very much looking forward to it. I love Mary don’t you weep, and I’m sure the rest of the album won’t disappoint.


I feel like those of you complaining of it’s release b/c you have already illegally downloaded it makes it an unjustifiable argument. Not to say I haven’t made hundreds or thousand of illegal download myself, just saying, it’s not a strong argument.

Even if this isn’t what I expected/wanted them to release, I think it’s a really unique recording to add his discography. 2019 is not that far away either, we’ll have plenty of new music soon, however I fear that most of you will already have that release in your hard drives as well.
[Edited 8/19/18 5:28am]

I think most people are complaining because it is a poor choice, not because we already have it.
I’ve had it for years. I listened to it about twice. Not because of the sound quality (I listen to things that sound a lot worse), but because it is... well, it’s boring. And Prince should never be boring.
This recording falls, for me, in the ‘cool thing to have’ category. If it was part of a big box set with another 25 rehearsals, it would be great. As the fifth disc in the PR deluxe set, fantastic. As THE FIRST proper release from the vault... a total misfire.
Anyway, I might be wrong and it might be a huge success and bring to the Prince camp thousands of new fans. But for me, it just means I have to keep waiting for the good stuff (and don’t get me wrong, I assume that any release is going to include things I already have; I just hope it will be better stuff than this).
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Reply #27 posted 08/20/18 10:46pm

BartVanHemelen

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UK music monthly Mojo, no. 299, October 2018:

.

4/5

.

Acoustic solo session hinting at alternate futures for the protean purple pontiff.

.

“Is that my echo?” asks the voice of Prince Rogers Nelson at the beginning of the first full release from the notorious Vault. He’s just checking on his monitoring with engineer Don Batts. Except that now it’s an echo from beyond the grave, and an echo of a past when Purple Rain and mega-success had yet to happen. The seeds of both are here, though, in this intimate, for-his-ears-only performance, as Prince segues between works-in-progress (Purple Rain as aching piano sketch) and grandstanding workouts (Mary Don’t You Weep is a full-on gospel exorcism). His piano-playing is a joy, his vocals a dramatis personae of lively characters: feminine and Broadway on Wednesday; comically gruff on Cold Coffee & Cocaine; like Kate Bush versus Randy Newman on Why The Butterflies. The whole thing feels – thrillingly, poignantly – like you’re in the room with him.

.

Danny Eccleston

.

[Edited 8/21/18 3:51am]

© Bart Van Hemelen
This posting is provided AS IS with no warranties, and confers no rights.
It is not authorized by Prince or the NPG Music Club. You assume all risk for
your use. All rights reserved.
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Reply #28 posted 08/21/18 4:18am

nosajd

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Silvertongue7 said:

nosajd said:
Well, I know everyone here seems to already have this release but I don’t, and I’m very much looking forward to it. I love Mary don’t you weep, and I’m sure the rest of the album won’t disappoint. I feel like those of you complaining of it’s release b/c you have already illegally downloaded it makes it an unjustifiable argument. Not to say I haven’t made hundreds or thousand of illegal download myself, just saying, it’s not a strong argument. Even if this isn’t what I expected/wanted them to release, I think it’s a really unique recording to add his discography. 2019 is not that far away either, we’ll have plenty of new music soon, however I fear that most of you will already have that release in your hard drives as well. [Edited 8/19/18 5:28am]
I think most people are complaining because it is a poor choice, not because we already have it. I’ve had it for years. I listened to it about twice. Not because of the sound quality (I listen to things that sound a lot worse), but because it is... well, it’s boring. And Prince should never be boring. This recording falls, for me, in the ‘cool thing to have’ category. If it was part of a big box set with another 25 rehearsals, it would be great. As the fifth disc in the PR deluxe set, fantastic. As THE FIRST proper release from the vault... a total misfire. Anyway, I might be wrong and it might be a huge success and bring to the Prince camp thousands of new fans. But for me, it just means I have to keep waiting for the good stuff (and don’t get me wrong, I assume that any release is going to include things I already have; I just hope it will be better stuff than this).


I think we have two different opinions on what "boring" is. I hope it is a success, but that's not how I measure how good music is good or not.

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Reply #29 posted 08/21/18 4:55am

Silvertongue7

^^^ Fair enough. I’m glad that you’ll enjoy it, an I hope that most fans, old or new, do too. I can’t see myself playing it often, but to each their own.
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