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Forums > Prince: Music and More > Michael Howe: there is a plan for further posthumous Prince releases over the next "three-to-five years" - UPDATED 6 Jun
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Reply #60 posted 06/06/19 9:14am

ISaidLifeIsJus
tAGame

avatar

Here is the translation of Michael's interview:
DE MORGEN, Sasha van der Speeten, 6 juni 2019


“At least once a week I’m listening open-mouthed to secret recordings”
Tomorrow Originals lands on streaming service Tidal: a collection of unpublished original versions of hits that Prince wrote for other artists. Michael Howe, who manages the musical legacy of the superstar, explains.

Did you know that ‘Manic Monday’, the monster hit of The Bangles, was written entirely by Prince? It also applies to Martika's ‘Love ... Thy Will be Done’, to ‘Sex Shooter’ by Apollonia 6, ‘Jungle Love’ by The Time, ‘The Glamorous Life’ by Sheila E. and of course ‘Nothing Compares’ 2 U’ from Sinéad O’Connor. All of them classic pops from the pen of the pop icon that died unexpectedly in 2016. Prince also recorded his own ready-made version of each of those songs, as a guide for the artists who would eventually make the song famous.
A selection of the previously unpublished versions is on Originals, an album that can be streamed on Tidal starting tomorrow and will appear on other platforms on 21 June. The selection was in the hands of The Prince Estate, the organization that manages his estate, in consultation with rapper Jay-Z and Michael Howe, the chief archivist of Prince's legendary Vault.

Howe himself worked with Prince on the creation of his two very last albums. He also oversaw the excellent re-release of the monumental Purple Rain, Prince's best-known album, which was released two years ago. Originals can easily compete with the aforementioned reissue: it is a dizzying collection of very different songs that emphasizes Prince's wide range of styles.

After the sudden death of the superstar, three years ago, Howe was appointed chief archivist of The Vault, in which Prince had stowed thousands of unfinished and finished recordings since the mid-1980s. That secret content was moved to Iron Mountain in Los Angeles, a company specialized in data recovery. There, Howe and his team try to get head and tail to the unclear flood of recordings. A huge task, because Prince did not leave any instructions as to what should be done with all audio tapes, VHS tapes and hard disks full of music.
Listening carefully


“Now, fortunately there are many tapes that are correctly labeled,” says Howe, chuckling. “But some have received incomplete information. Or nothing is written on it. To find out exactly what is on such a tape, you simply have to listen carefully to the material. Guesswork is excluded. We make our way through the different formats and slowly but surely gain insight into the different periods. "


However, Howe cannot just reveal everything about his job. The Vault is the wet dream for the biggest Prince fan. Every pop music lover wants to know what gems the safe holds and when they will be released. But because so many interested parties are involved (from lawyers to heirs and the record company) and because the timing of the reissues is meticulous, Howe had to sign a detailed confidentiality agreement. As a result, he has to squeeze through all sorts of turns during our conversation in order to meet us somewhat without breaking the contract.”


What do you yourself consider the great added value of Originals?



Michael Howe: “What intrigues me personally as a fan - not necessarily as someone who works with his legacy - is how those songs have evolved from demo to finished song. Prince delivered most of these songs in detail to the final performer. That is why his DNA is so explicitly hidden in those hits. What I also find fascinating is that his vocal parts were so-called guide tracks for the singer so that they got a good idea of ​​the melody and the cadence. He often recorded those vocals in one take, but he often sounds so damn good that he surpasses those of the final versions.”


The main criticism of your work is usually about its legitimacy. Why would Prince want the recordings to be released from the vault at all? He left no instructions about it. On the other hand, he sometimes let himself be heard in interviews that he realized that The Vault would be emptied after his death.



“The highest priority on our checklist is always the question:" Could Prince have approved this? "And: is the inclusion of a caliber that reflects, protects and promotes his legacy? In a way he would have peace with? Yes, there is sometimes an existential struggle with that. But we take this very seriously. We feel Prince's eyes on our back almost every second of the archiving process.”
Are you sensitive to how notorious and sought after some unpublished recordings are among Prince fans? I have bootlegs such as the legendary Small Club after show in The Hague in '88, or collaborations with Miles Davis, and outtake albums such as Charade, which collects the remains of the Parade album. They are the classics among the bootlegs. Does The Estate meet the fans in that area with possible cleaned up versions of these?


“Of course we talk about that very often within The Estate. If we wanted to release famous bootlegs that already have very good sound quality, we would naturally like to make a version that will please Prince fans. Whatever the case may be, we try to keep up to date with the interests and wishes of the community and the most avid collectors. Look, I find the passion of the Prince community very admirable. Some of those people have a breathtaking amount of knowledge. It could be tricky if we would meet the wishes of prominent fans. We do not like favoritism. Why should we take one fan more seriously than another?”


What do you think of the idea to recreate the legendary NPG Music Club subscription service? Prince established this service in the 90s to be able to sell rare recordings online. Maybe you can make part of The Vault available via an alternative streaming service?



“I love that idea very much. And, honestly, we've already talked about that within the team. But for the time being it remains a vague plan that still requires a lot of elaboration. As far as I can estimate, it is a format that is perceived as positive by most stakeholders from the Prince entourage. There are a lot of restrictions that Prince had closed within the music industry so that you cannot just start with such an ambitious project. Anyway, I think such a concept is an excellent idea and perhaps we should strive to design a platform in the spirit of the NPG Music Club.”


How far back do the recordings in The Vault date? The rumor that recordings of the very first Prince concert ever existed at the Capri Theater in Minneapolis in 1979 is persistent.



“(Sigh) This is a soggy terrain for me. Not because I don't want to talk about it, because I would naturally like to be of service to you and tell as much as possible what I know. But I have had to sign a non-disclosure agreement that states very strictly what I can and cannot tell you. Look, let me reveal that there are indeed recordings from that time.”


The Holy Grail among the untraceable Prince recordings is called ‘Wally’, a song he wrote about the love of his life, the stunning Susannah Melvoin. He would have recorded a catchy piano version of it in 1986, after their break. Because his naked performance was so confronting for him, he ordered the flabbergasted technician to erase all recordings. There would only be a simple audio cassette. You hear me coming: is it in the vault?



“(Hesitates, grunts, sighs painfully) That is a difficult one for me to answer. Look, I'll tell you this: there is probably more than what you think related to that track. Whatever may or may not happen with that, I do not know, let alone speculate about it. You will have to draw your conclusion from my cryptic answer, I fear (laughs). I am not deliberately trying to be so reserved. If it was up to me, you would get the most honest answer to your question. It is very tricky to be frank about this.”

I think I know enough, thank you. How emotional is this job for you? You have known Prince personally. Now you must listen to his voice every day. You hear him sing, talk, laugh. That must have an impact on a person.


“(Sighs deeply, coughs a number of times and is audibly emotional) Absolutely. One time it hits a little harder than the other. You become very humble anyway when you are confronted with an art form of this high level. Certainly because it has touched so many people so deeply. I do, however, listen at least once a week open-mouthed to the tours de force he was capable of.”

Originals (****) streams from 7/6 on Tidal.
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Reply #61 posted 06/06/19 9:37am

PURPLEIZED3121

ISaidLifeIsJustAGame said:

Here is the translation of Michael's interview:
DE MORGEN, Sasha van der Speeten, 6 juni 2019


“At least once a week I’m listening open-mouthed to secret recordings”
Tomorrow Originals lands on streaming service Tidal: a collection of unpublished original versions of hits that Prince wrote for other artists. Michael Howe, who manages the musical legacy of the superstar, explains.

Did you know that ‘Manic Monday’, the monster hit of The Bangles, was written entirely by Prince? It also applies to Martika's ‘Love ... Thy Will be Done’, to ‘Sex Shooter’ by Apollonia 6, ‘Jungle Love’ by The Time, ‘The Glamorous Life’ by Sheila E. and of course ‘Nothing Compares’ 2 U’ from Sinéad O’Connor. All of them classic pops from the pen of the pop icon that died unexpectedly in 2016. Prince also recorded his own ready-made version of each of those songs, as a guide for the artists who would eventually make the song famous.
A selection of the previously unpublished versions is on Originals, an album that can be streamed on Tidal starting tomorrow and will appear on other platforms on 21 June. The selection was in the hands of The Prince Estate, the organization that manages his estate, in consultation with rapper Jay-Z and Michael Howe, the chief archivist of Prince's legendary Vault.

Howe himself worked with Prince on the creation of his two very last albums. He also oversaw the excellent re-release of the monumental Purple Rain, Prince's best-known album, which was released two years ago. Originals can easily compete with the aforementioned reissue: it is a dizzying collection of very different songs that emphasizes Prince's wide range of styles.

After the sudden death of the superstar, three years ago, Howe was appointed chief archivist of The Vault, in which Prince had stowed thousands of unfinished and finished recordings since the mid-1980s. That secret content was moved to Iron Mountain in Los Angeles, a company specialized in data recovery. There, Howe and his team try to get head and tail to the unclear flood of recordings. A huge task, because Prince did not leave any instructions as to what should be done with all audio tapes, VHS tapes and hard disks full of music.
Listening carefully


“Now, fortunately there are many tapes that are correctly labeled,” says Howe, chuckling. “But some have received incomplete information. Or nothing is written on it. To find out exactly what is on such a tape, you simply have to listen carefully to the material. Guesswork is excluded. We make our way through the different formats and slowly but surely gain insight into the different periods. "


However, Howe cannot just reveal everything about his job. The Vault is the wet dream for the biggest Prince fan. Every pop music lover wants to know what gems the safe holds and when they will be released. But because so many interested parties are involved (from lawyers to heirs and the record company) and because the timing of the reissues is meticulous, Howe had to sign a detailed confidentiality agreement. As a result, he has to squeeze through all sorts of turns during our conversation in order to meet us somewhat without breaking the contract.”


What do you yourself consider the great added value of Originals?



Michael Howe: “What intrigues me personally as a fan - not necessarily as someone who works with his legacy - is how those songs have evolved from demo to finished song. Prince delivered most of these songs in detail to the final performer. That is why his DNA is so explicitly hidden in those hits. What I also find fascinating is that his vocal parts were so-called guide tracks for the singer so that they got a good idea of ​​the melody and the cadence. He often recorded those vocals in one take, but he often sounds so damn good that he surpasses those of the final versions.”


The main criticism of your work is usually about its legitimacy. Why would Prince want the recordings to be released from the vault at all? He left no instructions about it. On the other hand, he sometimes let himself be heard in interviews that he realized that The Vault would be emptied after his death.



“The highest priority on our checklist is always the question:" Could Prince have approved this? "And: is the inclusion of a caliber that reflects, protects and promotes his legacy? In a way he would have peace with? Yes, there is sometimes an existential struggle with that. But we take this very seriously. We feel Prince's eyes on our back almost every second of the archiving process.”
Are you sensitive to how notorious and sought after some unpublished recordings are among Prince fans? I have bootlegs such as the legendary Small Club after show in The Hague in '88, or collaborations with Miles Davis, and outtake albums such as Charade, which collects the remains of the Parade album. They are the classics among the bootlegs. Does The Estate meet the fans in that area with possible cleaned up versions of these?


“Of course we talk about that very often within The Estate. If we wanted to release famous bootlegs that already have very good sound quality, we would naturally like to make a version that will please Prince fans. Whatever the case may be, we try to keep up to date with the interests and wishes of the community and the most avid collectors. Look, I find the passion of the Prince community very admirable. Some of those people have a breathtaking amount of knowledge. It could be tricky if we would meet the wishes of prominent fans. We do not like favoritism. Why should we take one fan more seriously than another?”


What do you think of the idea to recreate the legendary NPG Music Club subscription service? Prince established this service in the 90s to be able to sell rare recordings online. Maybe you can make part of The Vault available via an alternative streaming service?



“I love that idea very much. And, honestly, we've already talked about that within the team. But for the time being it remains a vague plan that still requires a lot of elaboration. As far as I can estimate, it is a format that is perceived as positive by most stakeholders from the Prince entourage. There are a lot of restrictions that Prince had closed within the music industry so that you cannot just start with such an ambitious project. Anyway, I think such a concept is an excellent idea and perhaps we should strive to design a platform in the spirit of the NPG Music Club.”


How far back do the recordings in The Vault date? The rumor that recordings of the very first Prince concert ever existed at the Capri Theater in Minneapolis in 1979 is persistent.



“(Sigh) This is a soggy terrain for me. Not because I don't want to talk about it, because I would naturally like to be of service to you and tell as much as possible what I know. But I have had to sign a non-disclosure agreement that states very strictly what I can and cannot tell you. Look, let me reveal that there are indeed recordings from that time.”


The Holy Grail among the untraceable Prince recordings is called ‘Wally’, a song he wrote about the love of his life, the stunning Susannah Melvoin. He would have recorded a catchy piano version of it in 1986, after their break. Because his naked performance was so confronting for him, he ordered the flabbergasted technician to erase all recordings. There would only be a simple audio cassette. You hear me coming: is it in the vault?



“(Hesitates, grunts, sighs painfully) That is a difficult one for me to answer. Look, I'll tell you this: there is probably more than what you think related to that track. Whatever may or may not happen with that, I do not know, let alone speculate about it. You will have to draw your conclusion from my cryptic answer, I fear (laughs). I am not deliberately trying to be so reserved. If it was up to me, you would get the most honest answer to your question. It is very tricky to be frank about this.”

I think I know enough, thank you. How emotional is this job for you? You have known Prince personally. Now you must listen to his voice every day. You hear him sing, talk, laugh. That must have an impact on a person.


“(Sighs deeply, coughs a number of times and is audibly emotional) Absolutely. One time it hits a little harder than the other. You become very humble anyway when you are confronted with an art form of this high level. Certainly because it has touched so many people so deeply. I do, however, listen at least once a week open-mouthed to the tours de force he was capable of.”

Originals (****) streams from 7/6 on Tidal.

thank you so much for doing this. Christ there might be a glimmer of hope?!

What a job he has, imagine the emotion he must go through..imagine if it was us doing the project - i don't think I'd be able to handle it.

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Reply #62 posted 06/06/19 10:29am

JoeyCococo

Well, it is safe to assume we will see more releases over the next years. I am glad the interviwer asked about 'Charade'...Small Club etc. Small Club needs to be heard by many music fans, not just the hardcare..

I'm happy about Originals.

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Reply #63 posted 06/06/19 10:35am

BartVanHemelen

avatar

ISaidLifeIsJustAGame said:

Here is the translation of Michael's interview:

.

Did you do this yourself, or did you take this uncredited from https://www.facebook.com/...521134622/ ?

© 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 #64 posted 06/06/19 11:23am

Cecy

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Here's another Michael Howe interview that's informative and in need of translation http://www.schkopi.com/in...originals/

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Reply #65 posted 06/06/19 12:32pm

BartVanHemelen

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Cecy said:

Here's another Michael Howe interview that's informative and in need of translation http://www.schkopi.com/in...originals/

.

Great interview. Amazing how Howe says next to nothing when talking to some journos, yet is very candid in these ones.

© 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 #66 posted 06/06/19 2:29pm

Strive

Guys, there is such a thing as Google Translate.

Can you introduce yourself and tell us how you became the Prince's vault archivist?
I worked for record companies for 20 years as A & R (Artists and Repertoire). As such, I was in contact with the artists and made the link with their labels, from the signature to the process of musical creation. I worked for Warner and was Prince's last A & R to manage his relationship with this label. I went to Paisley Park, I saw Prince or his representatives and made the connection with Warner. On his death, I left Warner and joined the Estate to become the archivist.

What is your mission as archivist? Is it exclusively technical, or do you have an implication in remastering?
I'm the one who finds the recordings, I talk to the engineers when something needs to be mixed, I supervise the mastering and sequencing before delivering the albums to the record company.

How was the Originals project born?
Last year, " Nothing Compares 2 U " was released as a single. Feedback from the audience has been positive and there has been some thought to continue this idea of ​​highlighting the songs Prince has offered to other artists. Those who are not on his own albums but who are Prince songs in their own right, who carry his signature.

So this project did not exist yet at the time of the release of the single?
Exactly, the project was born and developed after the release of the single.

It was understood that the titles of "Originals" had been chosen by Troy Carter and Jay-Z. You can explain to us how you worked with them, what was their involvement?
I know Troy very well, but not too much Jay-Z. They discussed the content and Jay made it known what he would like to see included in the album. He insisted, for example, that "Love ... Thy Will Be Done" be retained, and Jungle Love also I think, but it was unavoidable anyway. It just happened and I was able to make suggestions, like a curator. And we are all satisfied with this collaboration and the result.

But who is the initiative of the project? You submitted the idea and titles or is it Troy and Jay?
In my memories, that's my idea at the base. I think I talked about it in a meeting and the response was unanimously positive. And from there, I started assembling titles that seemed strong, there was a lot of discussion, but it was a real group work. Everything went smoothly. They are encouraging, professional people and everything went really well.



How did you select the titles?
We have listed all the songs that Prince wrote or co-wrote for other artists that came out during his lifetime. And we selected them according to different criteria to see on which we could bet, then we prepared them to take them out. We went from a long list to a few titles.

Is there a song that you would have liked to include on the album and that was not retained?
No, I do not think so. And there are so many titles that we could put on other potential volumes, if that is done. But I'm happy with Originals because it really sounds like a coherent album, and not just a compilation of titles.


Still about this selection, with the exception of one song, all tracks are from the 80s. Is there a reason?

It is in the continuity of "Nothing Compares 2 U" which is of this time too. We wanted to re-contextualize the work of Prince of this period which was rich in terms of creation. The exception being "Love Thy Will Be Done" which was released in 1991 by Martika, as you rightly noticed. The other reason being that most of these 80s songs have become hits for the artists who released them. We thought it was a good introduction to this rich and complex world.


Should we expect a second volume of this concept, perhaps with newer songs?

This is indeed a possibility, since we have enough material to make another volume. And these princely versions of titles given to others are something that has been fantasized for a long time. I do not know what could be on it or not, but that's part of the possibilities. It depends also and especially on the welcome and success that will receive this album and I hope that it will be positive.


Prince has offered a lot of songs to his network of artists.
In some cases on "Originals" we can see that the artists who are finally entitled to these titles participate as choristers or musicians while it is Prince who sings. Do you know if during the creative process he already knew who his titles would be for?
I think so in the majority of cases, and for some titles, he should not be completely sure he would give them to someone else. I know there are songs that he wanted to offer but that he decided to keep for his own records (editor's note: like International Lover for example, which was supposed to be for The Time ), and I think the opposite is as true. He had to think in some cases that such and such a title would be better served by a voice other than his own, and that could express even more things. In the majority of cases, he had to have a very clear idea about who could do this from the beginning, but probably not for all those songs.


When you chose the songs for "Originals", did you contact the artists who released these songs the first time?

Yes, we contacted in one way or another, the majority, if not all the artists who had already released these songs.

When listening to the press, it was found that there was a clear difference in sound quality between "Would not You Love To Love Me" and the rest of the album. Has the source been complicated to remaster? The tape was damaged?
Very good question. I think the explanation comes from the fact that this song was not recorded on 24 tracks but on 16, and it was really a demo. But the peculiarity of this version is that it did not circulate on bootlegs, even among the most hardcore collector fans. The quality of the sound on this title is certainly not optimal, and does not correspond to the expected standards currently or the level of the other songs of this album, but it is representative and significant of what Prince could do at that time, his state of mind. This song has evolved a lot over time. He wrote it in 1976, but it has gone through a lot of changes and versions and the one on "Originals" has never leaked from the vault. And it was interesting to include it also because it is different from the one that Taja Sevelle released on his album in 1987.

You have encountered the same problem of sound with other titles of "Originals"?
This song was really different. There have been cases where the only tape available with the final version we had was on tape. And the tape is not the ideal source for the mastering process. So we had to rework with the original tracks to mix them so as to reproduce the song identical to what was on this tape. It allows to have the same version of this song which was on this support but with an optimal sound quality.

You are aware that fans already have access to many new songs and versions. Did you take this into consideration while selecting the titles?
Absolutely. I was surprised to see things circulating in very good quality. I do not know how it is done. But yes, we try to offer things that do not circulate among fans, titles they have never heard or that they do not suspect the existence. Otherwise, if we release something that was already circulating on the net or in bootlegs, the sound quality will be better since we have the original source. We hope to offer a great experience to the general public and fans, with official things that deserve to be listened to.

It is said that Prince's fans are very loyal, but also very critical. Do you understand their frustration at not seeing more music coming out, and especially the material of which we do not know the existence while considering all that you have in your hands? Do you follow what fans are saying on forums and networks to make this frustration heard?
Yes, I try to follow, but it would take me a long time to read everything. There are fans who are very active in this area. Of course, attention is paid to "market demands", but it's hard to take into account all the demands of fans or consumers knowing that there are many different factors. We decided to release this record because we think it is of quality and that Prince would have been proud of it. Our primary goal is to release albums that honor his work, and complete his official discography. We want to come out with the values ​​of respect we owe him and the integrity that was his. Open all valves would not be a responsible act and would not meet these requirements. And even if we wanted to do it, there are so many contractual, legal and legal restrictions with the different labels that would condition what could come out, how and when. It is not that simple. We can not say "oh yes, here's a good idea, let's do it".

We know that Prince was very prolific in the 80s and that many songs of this era are in the trunk. The number of unpublished songs found on the net for the following years is gradually decreasing. Was he just as prolific in the studio in the second half of the 90s and the 2000s?
He did not stop working throughout his career and he was extremely prolific during those 40 years. Even during the last third of his life, and if it was not with the same frequency, he was in the same state of mind as in the 80s and 90s.

Thank you for this interview. Would you like to add something?
I would like to thank the fans for their support. We appreciate them and want to give them satisfaction. I hope this album will please them and that they will like it as much as we liked to build it.

no yesterday or tomorrow, no better remedy for sorrow
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Reply #67 posted 06/06/19 2:43pm

rdhull

avatar

skywalker said:

Here's my quick take:

-

Prince neglected his recorded legacy in many ways. He wasn't that interested in revisiting/remastering/re-releasing past eras of his career. I am cool with it. It's his choice as an artist. However, as a fan, it was always a bit of a letdown that he didn't (for example) think that albums like 1999, Purple Rain, or SOTT were worthy of expansive/comprehensive reissues and promotion. Hell, it's almost criminal the way he just let albums like The Gold Experience lapse into being obscure/out of print/hard to find status.

-

I guess what I am getting at is this: Regardless of what Prince would/wouldn't have done, I think the estate is doing a BETTER JOB than he EVER did at taking care of his back catalog. The fact that projects like Rave In2/Un2 are even being rereleased (albeit with out bonus content), is heartening to this fan. Especially considering Prince didn't have a long term, organized, plan for the future...

[Edited 5/31/19 11:41am]

You ARE a jedi

c'mon baby, where's ya guts?
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Reply #68 posted 06/06/19 3:20pm

Moonbeam

avatar

I love these insights from Michael Howe. Thanks for the translations, Bart and Strive!

Despite all the reported chaos of the Estate, I think the posthumous releases so far have been quite good, and collectively, they are beginning to paint a pretty cool picture of Prince’s early-mid 80s career at least. I know it’s hard to be patient, but hopefully legal constraints will start to clear and releases will become more frequent.

As others have mentioned, the reissues of out-of-print material are great to see, as well as his main catalogue being available digitally.
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 #69 posted 06/06/19 8:30pm

ISaidLifeIsJus
tAGame

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Thank You Strive.

Another great interview with Michael.

He is so respectful about P's music.

Strive said:

Guys, there is such a thing as Google Translate.

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Reply #70 posted 06/06/19 9:07pm

udo

avatar

So, any more concrete info on what they are planning to do?

A strategy?

(I did not see it...)

Pills and thrills and daffodils will kill
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Reply #71 posted 06/07/19 3:15am

databank

avatar

BartVanHemelen said:

Cecy said:

Here's another Michael Howe interview that's informative and in need of translation http://www.schkopi.com/in...originals/

.

Great interview. Amazing how Howe says next to nothing when talking to some journos, yet is very candid in these ones.

Michael Howe seems like a reasonable person. Since he sddresses the demands of the fans, I wish he would address the case of those versions, such as NC2U, that we are quite certain have been remixed posthumously and do not relect Prince's last known recording of the tracks before they were overdubbed by, and for the artists that released them.

A COMPREHENSIVE PRINCE DISCOGRAPHY (work in progress ^^): https://sites.google.com/...iscog/home
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Reply #72 posted 06/07/19 3:38am

udo

avatar

skywalker said:

I think the estate is doing a BETTER JOB than he EVER did at taking care of his back catalog.

.

I can start to appreciate that when we see proper releases in a continuous fashion for the years to come.

We know what is wrong with the PR remaster.

We learn what is wrong with the Originals release.

So this means I have yet to be convinced.

Pills and thrills and daffodils will kill
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Reply #73 posted 06/07/19 10:30am

Revolution81

avatar

ISaidLifeIsJustAGame said:

Here is the translation of Michael's interview:
DE MORGEN, Sasha van der Speeten, 6 juni 2019




The Holy Grail among the untraceable Prince recordings is called ‘Wally’, a song he wrote about the love of his life, the stunning Susannah Melvoin. He would have recorded a catchy piano version of it in 1986, after their break. Because his naked performance was so confronting for him, he ordered the flabbergasted technician to erase all recordings. There would only be a simple audio cassette. You hear me coming: is it in the vault?



“(Hesitates, grunts, sighs painfully) That is a difficult one for me to answer. Look, I'll tell you this: there is probably more than what you think related to that track. Whatever may or may not happen with that, I do not know, let alone speculate about it. You will have to draw your conclusion from my cryptic answer, I fear (laughs). I am not deliberately trying to be so reserved. If it was up to me, you would get the most honest answer to your question. It is very tricky to be frank about this.”


Release it all! (as long as its not "tampered with")

My fathers got a shotgun...I hope he doesn't use it
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Reply #74 posted 06/07/19 2:47pm

stillwaiting

udo said:

skywalker said:

I think the estate is doing a BETTER JOB than he EVER did at taking care of his back catalog.

.

I can start to appreciate that when we see proper releases in a continuous fashion for the years to come.

We know what is wrong with the PR remaster.

We learn what is wrong with the Originals release.

So this means I have yet to be convinced.

The years to come thing is frightening to me. It seems everyone is brainwashed to think that one cd a year is great, but at that slow rate, interest will be waning. The fans are not in the 15-30 age group. Most that will buy this either as a download or cd/vinyl are already 40 or more, not all, but most fans. By 2025, many will either be dead or too old to care. Whenever I mention why not just release 10 disc box sets each year so we get as much music possible before

1. The estate is already out of money, and may give up...not sure if that is really good or really bad

2. Michael Howe may be saying some nice things, but it seems the powers that be don't really care

about how great Prince was, or have any interest in emptying the vault...and when they figure out millions of dollars of profit are not likely, they may pull the plug.

3. For many "legacy" or older artists, the best revenue stream for physical sales and downloads are big boxsets. Yes, some mastering complications exist, since Prince did not seem to care about the Vault...but in 3 years, we have PR Deluxe, Moonbeam Levels, a 30 minute way too short Piano/Micro CD, and now Originals...not overwhelming, but better than what George Michael fans have...

"If U ever lose some1 dear 2 U, Never say the words they're gone....They'll come back."
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Reply #75 posted 06/07/19 8:48pm

udo

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stillwaiting said:

The years to come thing is frightening to me. It seems everyone is brainwashed to think that one cd a year is great, but at that slow rate, interest will be waning.

.

yeahthat

Pills and thrills and daffodils will kill
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Reply #76 posted 06/07/19 11:35pm

kewlschool

avatar

udo said:

stillwaiting said:

The years to come thing is frightening to me. It seems everyone is brainwashed to think that one cd a year is great, but at that slow rate, interest will be waning.

.

yeahthat

One CD a year is a good pace. That doesn't mean we wouldn't get a box set from time to time. Say Crystall Ball 2, etc. This year we get one new CD and an expanded 1999. That's great!

99.9% of everything I say is strictly for my own entertainment
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Reply #77 posted 06/08/19 1:14am

Moonbeam

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As much as I'd love to have everything now, I think it makes sense to space out releases at least a bit to give them a chance to shine. The current pace has a been a bit slow, but that's understandable given the legal wrangling and the extensive cataloguing that needed to be done. I think a future plan with 3-4 releases per year would be pretty satisfying.

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 #78 posted 06/08/19 3:52am

udo

avatar

kewlschool said:

udo said:

.

yeahthat

One CD a year is a good pace. That doesn't mean we wouldn't get a box set from time to time. Say Crystall Ball 2, etc. This year we get one new CD and an expanded 1999. That's great!

.

It is NOT great. (and that pace was not great)

At that pace we will not hear the greater part of the vault in our lifetimes.

That would be an evil situation which me must avoid coute que coute.

Pills and thrills and daffodils will kill
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Reply #79 posted 06/10/19 3:13pm

jfenster

theres too much material to just release 1 a year...

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Reply #80 posted 06/10/19 8:43pm

ISaidLifeIsJus
tAGame

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jfenster said:

theres too much material to just release 1 a year...



Everything they release the fans complain about...so why would they do more?

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Reply #81 posted 06/10/19 9:18pm

udo

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ISaidLifeIsJustAGame said:

jfenster said:

theres too much material to just release 1 a year...



Everything they release the fans complain about...so why would they do more?

.

There is a difference between quality and quantity.

The Originals release once again highlights the quality issues as did the PR remaster.

Furthermore we are concerned with the quantity of releases per year.

Pills and thrills and daffodils will kill
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Reply #82 posted 06/12/19 11:08am

stillwaiting

ISaidLifeIsJustAGame said:

jfenster said:

theres too much material to just release 1 a year...



Everything they release the fans complain about...so why would they do more?

If all he left behind was a few hours of outtakes, I could live with it. But when they release a 34 minute cd, when cds hold 79:57, it is simply them hoarding what they have. If 34 minute cds are fine with you great. Maybe we'll get a reisuse of The War cassette next. Or maybe they can just release every single song as a cd single. Nothing like buying a cd crammed with 4 minutes of music.

"If U ever lose some1 dear 2 U, Never say the words they're gone....They'll come back."
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Reply #83 posted 06/12/19 11:15am

RodeoSchro

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ISaidLifeIsJustAGame said:

Here is the translation of Michael's interview:
DE MORGEN, Sasha van der Speeten, 6 juni 2019


“At least once a week I’m listening open-mouthed to secret recordings”
Tomorrow Originals lands on streaming service Tidal: a collection of unpublished original versions of hits that Prince wrote for other artists. Michael Howe, who manages the musical legacy of the superstar, explains.

Did you know that ‘Manic Monday’, the monster hit of The Bangles, was written entirely by Prince? It also applies to Martika's ‘Love ... Thy Will be Done’, to ‘Sex Shooter’ by Apollonia 6, ‘Jungle Love’ by The Time, ‘The Glamorous Life’ by Sheila E. and of course ‘Nothing Compares’ 2 U’ from Sinéad O’Connor. All of them classic pops from the pen of the pop icon that died unexpectedly in 2016. Prince also recorded his own ready-made version of each of those songs, as a guide for the artists who would eventually make the song famous.
A selection of the previously unpublished versions is on Originals, an album that can be streamed on Tidal starting tomorrow and will appear on other platforms on 21 June. The selection was in the hands of The Prince Estate, the organization that manages his estate, in consultation with rapper Jay-Z and Michael Howe, the chief archivist of Prince's legendary Vault.

Howe himself worked with Prince on the creation of his two very last albums. He also oversaw the excellent re-release of the monumental Purple Rain, Prince's best-known album, which was released two years ago. Originals can easily compete with the aforementioned reissue: it is a dizzying collection of very different songs that emphasizes Prince's wide range of styles.

After the sudden death of the superstar, three years ago, Howe was appointed chief archivist of The Vault, in which Prince had stowed thousands of unfinished and finished recordings since the mid-1980s. That secret content was moved to Iron Mountain in Los Angeles, a company specialized in data recovery. There, Howe and his team try to get head and tail to the unclear flood of recordings. A huge task, because Prince did not leave any instructions as to what should be done with all audio tapes, VHS tapes and hard disks full of music.
Listening carefully


“Now, fortunately there are many tapes that are correctly labeled,” says Howe, chuckling. “But some have received incomplete information. Or nothing is written on it. To find out exactly what is on such a tape, you simply have to listen carefully to the material. Guesswork is excluded. We make our way through the different formats and slowly but surely gain insight into the different periods. "


However, Howe cannot just reveal everything about his job. The Vault is the wet dream for the biggest Prince fan. Every pop music lover wants to know what gems the safe holds and when they will be released. But because so many interested parties are involved (from lawyers to heirs and the record company) and because the timing of the reissues is meticulous, Howe had to sign a detailed confidentiality agreement. As a result, he has to squeeze through all sorts of turns during our conversation in order to meet us somewhat without breaking the contract.”


What do you yourself consider the great added value of Originals?


Michael Howe: “What intrigues me personally as a fan - not necessarily as someone who works with his legacy - is how those songs have evolved from demo to finished song. Prince delivered most of these songs in detail to the final performer. That is why his DNA is so explicitly hidden in those hits. What I also find fascinating is that his vocal parts were so-called guide tracks for the singer so that they got a good idea of ​​the melody and the cadence. He often recorded those vocals in one take, but he often sounds so damn good that he surpasses those of the final versions.”


The main criticism of your work is usually about its legitimacy. Why would Prince want the recordings to be released from the vault at all? He left no instructions about it. On the other hand, he sometimes let himself be heard in interviews that he realized that The Vault would be emptied after his death.


“The highest priority on our checklist is always the question:" Could Prince have approved this? "And: is the inclusion of a caliber that reflects, protects and promotes his legacy? In a way he would have peace with? Yes, there is sometimes an existential struggle with that. But we take this very seriously. We feel Prince's eyes on our back almost every second of the archiving process.”
Are you sensitive to how notorious and sought after some unpublished recordings are among Prince fans? I have bootlegs such as the legendary Small Club after show in The Hague in '88, or collaborations with Miles Davis, and outtake albums such as Charade, which collects the remains of the Parade album. They are the classics among the bootlegs. Does The Estate meet the fans in that area with possible cleaned up versions of these?


“Of course we talk about that very often within The Estate. If we wanted to release famous bootlegs that already have very good sound quality, we would naturally like to make a version that will please Prince fans. Whatever the case may be, we try to keep up to date with the interests and wishes of the community and the most avid collectors. Look, I find the passion of the Prince community very admirable. Some of those people have a breathtaking amount of knowledge. It could be tricky if we would meet the wishes of prominent fans. We do not like favoritism. Why should we take one fan more seriously than another?”


What do you think of the idea to recreate the legendary NPG Music Club subscription service? Prince established this service in the 90s to be able to sell rare recordings online. Maybe you can make part of The Vault available via an alternative streaming service?


“I love that idea very much. And, honestly, we've already talked about that within the team. But for the time being it remains a vague plan that still requires a lot of elaboration. As far as I can estimate, it is a format that is perceived as positive by most stakeholders from the Prince entourage. There are a lot of restrictions that Prince had closed within the music industry so that you cannot just start with such an ambitious project. Anyway, I think such a concept is an excellent idea and perhaps we should strive to design a platform in the spirit of the NPG Music Club.”


How far back do the recordings in The Vault date? The rumor that recordings of the very first Prince concert ever existed at the Capri Theater in Minneapolis in 1979 is persistent.


“(Sigh) This is a soggy terrain for me. Not because I don't want to talk about it, because I would naturally like to be of service to you and tell as much as possible what I know. But I have had to sign a non-disclosure agreement that states very strictly what I can and cannot tell you. Look, let me reveal that there are indeed recordings from that time.”


The Holy Grail among the untraceable Prince recordings is called ‘Wally’, a song he wrote about the love of his life, the stunning Susannah Melvoin. He would have recorded a catchy piano version of it in 1986, after their break. Because his naked performance was so confronting for him, he ordered the flabbergasted technician to erase all recordings. There would only be a simple audio cassette. You hear me coming: is it in the vault?


“(Hesitates, grunts, sighs painfully) That is a difficult one for me to answer. Look, I'll tell you this: there is probably more than what you think related to that track. Whatever may or may not happen with that, I do not know, let alone speculate about it. You will have to draw your conclusion from my cryptic answer, I fear (laughs). I am not deliberately trying to be so reserved. If it was up to me, you would get the most honest answer to your question. It is very tricky to be frank about this.”

I think I know enough, thank you. How emotional is this job for you? You have known Prince personally. Now you must listen to his voice every day. You hear him sing, talk, laugh. That must have an impact on a person.


“(Sighs deeply, coughs a number of times and is audibly emotional) Absolutely. One time it hits a little harder than the other. You become very humble anyway when you are confronted with an art form of this high level. Certainly because it has touched so many people so deeply. I do, however, listen at least once a week open-mouthed to the tours de force he was capable of.”

Originals (****) streams from 7/6 on Tidal.




This tells us everything we need to know. Thank you very much for posting it!


.

[Edited 6/12/19 11:19am]

Second Funkiest White Man in America

P&R's paladin
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Reply #84 posted 06/16/19 7:34pm

kewlschool

avatar

udo said:

kewlschool said:

One CD a year is a good pace. That doesn't mean we wouldn't get a box set from time to time. Say Crystall Ball 2, etc. This year we get one new CD and an expanded 1999. That's great!

.

It is NOT great. (and that pace was not great)

At that pace we will not hear the greater part of the vault in our lifetimes.

That would be an evil situation which me must avoid coute que coute.

So a 4 disc set release in 1 year wouldn't be enough for you? I mean that is what your implying, no?

99.9% of everything I say is strictly for my own entertainment
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Reply #85 posted 06/16/19 9:16pm

udo

avatar

kewlschool said:

udo said:

.

It is NOT great. (and that pace was not great)

At that pace we will not hear the greater part of the vault in our lifetimes.

That would be an evil situation which me must avoid coute que coute.

So a 4 disc set release in 1 year wouldn't be enough for you? I mean that is what your implying, no?

.

Was I not writing in English?

Do the math.

If you like music then you'll get to the same conclusions.

Pills and thrills and daffodils will kill
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Reply #86 posted 06/17/19 8:54am

lastdecember

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The quality of it is the most important because if it sounds bad what are you really putting out there. This is going to the loyals, there are no new recruits that are going to buy these songs they never heard. 99.9% of the population knows him for Purple Rain and thats about it with a few hits tossed in from other albums. The Originals to me was soemthing different but quality wise its still a mixed bag.


"We went where our music was appreciated, and that was everywhere but the USA, we knew we had fans, but there is only so much of the world you can play at once" Magne F
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Reply #87 posted 06/17/19 9:01am

PURPLEIZED3121

all I can say is thank God for bootleggers! It will be virtually impossible to release ALL gigs - can you see them releasing ALL 21 nights + ALL aftershows for example? - all we need really is the opening night [how many encores again?!]+ final night + final night aftershow.

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Reply #88 posted 06/17/19 8:59pm

udo

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PURPLEIZED3121 said:

all I can say is thank God for bootleggers! It will be virtually impossible to release ALL gigs - can you see them releasing ALL 21 nights + ALL aftershows for example? - all we need really is the opening night [how many encores again?!]+ final night + final night aftershow.

.

If them botleggars can give us a taste of what's out there, how many years until the Estate have done such a thing?

The magic word is boxsets.

Yes, more expen$ive but bigger turnover.

And later you split the set and sell the individual discs for a small markup.

How hard can it be?

Pills and thrills and daffodils will kill
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Reply #89 posted 06/18/19 2:54am

TheFman

1 a year is ok if it's NEW music.

But this what we're getting isn't, it's like getting nothung at all. In those 3 years we got a song or 3, hardly anything.

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Forums > Prince: Music and More > Michael Howe: there is a plan for further posthumous Prince releases over the next "three-to-five years" - UPDATED 6 Jun