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Thread started 07/14/20 2:01am

bluegangsta

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When was "The Black Album" announced?

When did the first announcements or press releases or stocking information begin to circulate for the release of The Black Album? I recall seeing an advert posted on here, but can't seem to find it.

Always cry 4 love, never cry 4 pain.
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Reply #1 posted 07/14/20 2:12am

bonatoc

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In France, there was a review of it on page 3 of one of the most famous music magazines at the time, it was either « Rock & Folk » or « Best ».

It was the December issue, maybe January. I remember reading it around XMas / NYE.

As they had to wrap the magazine up a month or so, before, that means the journalist received the record (or had a listen at WB) between mid-November and mid-December 1987.
[Edited 7/14/20 2:16am]
The Colors R brighter, the Bond is much tighter
No Child's a failure
Until the Blue Sailboat sails him away from his dreams
Don't Ever Lose, Don't Ever Lose
Don't Ever Lose Your Dreams
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Reply #2 posted 07/14/20 5:58am

Poplife88

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I don't remember it ever being announced...I remember reading about it somewhere, like the Chicago Suntimes or maybe Billboard, in probably November of 87 that something from Prince was being released in early December. I also remember calling the local wreka stow and they had it on the schedule of new releases...but its said the WB artist was "someone"...it didn't say Prince...but everyone knew it was him. So then the week before it was supposed to be released, it dropped off the schedule and the rest is history...

We're gonna need a bigger boat
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Reply #3 posted 07/14/20 6:58am

muleFunk

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USA Today from November 1987 had a blurb that announced a new Prince album in a Black cover to be released for the Christmas season in December.

I believe the original date was December 8 or December 15th.

I remember driving my hometown record store owner crazy about the Black album.

She picked with me about this until she died.

[Edited 7/14/20 7:59am]

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Reply #4 posted 07/14/20 7:35am

cryndove

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Please read article's last paragraph about Sign 'O' The Times film on page 70.

https://worldradiohistory...-11-21.pdf

Thanks to World Radio History website for keeping this historical archive.
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Reply #5 posted 07/14/20 7:55am

muleFunk

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cryndove said:

Please read article's last paragraph about Sign 'O' The Times film on page 70. https://worldradiohistory...-11-21.pdf Thanks to World Radio History website for keeping this historical archive.

Found it.

Thank's for posting this !!!!

Brings back a lot of happy memories from Senior Year.

That December 8th date was one of the great days in my teenage life.

[Edited 7/14/20 7:59am]

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Reply #6 posted 07/14/20 8:14am

cryndove

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muleFunk said:



cryndove said:


Please read article's last paragraph about Sign 'O' The Times film on page 70. https://worldradiohistory...-11-21.pdf Thanks to World Radio History website for keeping this historical archive.



Found it.



Thank's for posting this !!!!


Brings back a lot of happy memories from Senior Year.




That December 8th date was one of the great days in my teenage life.

[Edited 7/14/20 7:59am]



Also read the December 5th issue on page 6; the article about new releases.
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Reply #7 posted 07/14/20 9:28am

ufoclub

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First I saw mention was in "Random Notes" in Rolling Stone magazine. It even quotes "skinny motherfucker with the high voice" and the title "Bob George". My curiousity was peaked at the time.

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Reply #8 posted 07/14/20 9:44am

muleFunk

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cryndove said:

muleFunk said:

Found it.

Thank's for posting this !!!!

Brings back a lot of happy memories from Senior Year.

That December 8th date was one of the great days in my teenage life.

[Edited 7/14/20 7:59am]

Also read the December 5th issue on page 6; the article about new releases.

Again thanks for this resource!!!

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Reply #9 posted 07/14/20 10:05am

emesem

Same!

Wasnt untill the bootlegs started coming out and Nelson George wrote a review of it that I heard since. I remember calling the Village Voice offices and they patched me right through! Mr George gracefully directed me to Revolver Records and the rest is history.

muleFunk said:

USA Today from November 1987 had a blurb that announced a new Prince album in a Black cover to be released for the Christmas season in December.

I believe the original date was December 8 or December 15th.

I remember driving my hometown record store owner crazy about the Black album.

She picked with me about this until she died.

[Edited 7/14/20 7:59am]

[Edited 7/14/20 10:10am]

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Reply #10 posted 07/14/20 10:58am

cryndove

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The issue of April 2, 1988 has a "review" on page 33.
[Edited 7/14/20 11:07am]
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Reply #11 posted 07/14/20 11:39am

nayroo2002

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ufoclub said:

First I saw mention was in "Random Notes" in Rolling Stone magazine. It even quotes "skinny motherfucker with the high voice" and the title "Bob George". My curiousity was peaked at the time.

Yup!

That was my first news about it, too.

"Whatever skin Ur in
we all need 2 b friends"
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Reply #12 posted 07/14/20 11:55am

Milty2

cryndove said:

Please read article's last paragraph about Sign 'O' The Times film on page 70. https://worldradiohistory...-11-21.pdf Thanks to World Radio History website for keeping this historical archive.

Wow what a flaskback.

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Reply #13 posted 07/14/20 2:18pm

EnDoRpHn

Poplife88 said:

I don't remember it ever being announced...I remember reading about it somewhere, like the Chicago Suntimes or maybe Billboard, in probably November of 87 that something from Prince was being released in early December. I also remember calling the local wreka stow and they had it on the schedule of new releases...but its said the WB artist was "someone"...it didn't say Prince...but everyone knew it was him. So then the week before it was supposed to be released, it dropped off the schedule and the rest is history...


I have similar recollections. Billboard had an "Album Notes" or similar column mention sometime in October or November 1987, along the lines of "Coming from Warner Bros. Records, an oddly labeled album with no artist or title information, just a catalog number. Not-so-secret rumors have it that the album is the latest work from Prince, and is scheduled to arrive in stores Dec. 8."

I remember being pissed when I read a week or two later that the release had been shelved.

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Reply #14 posted 07/14/20 2:24pm

fms

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I worked in a record store and my boss approached me all excited (he knew what a fan I was) telling me all about Prince's new X-rated album. That was the first I had heard of it. WB was selling it to retailers by referencing Darking Nikki and Erotic City. I don't recall ever getting any promo material but learned very soon after that it was cancelled.

Also, this store was a Ticketmaster outlet and around the same time we got a call that Prince tickets would be going on sale for Detroit very soon. Must have been October or so. Well, that never happened but apparently he was close to doing a one off show in Detroit in late '87. I learned not to hold my breath for anything.

Stand at the crossroads, and look, and ask for the ancient paths...(Jeremiah 6:16) www.ancientfaithradio.com

dezinonac eb lliw noitulove ehT
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Reply #15 posted 07/14/20 7:45pm

EnDoRpHn

Milty2 said:

cryndove said:

Please read article's last paragraph about Sign 'O' The Times film on page 70. https://worldradiohistory...-11-21.pdf Thanks to World Radio History website for keeping this historical archive.

Wow what a flaskback.


That may be what I was remembering, but I definitely remember it referencing the catalog number (may have even listed it).

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Reply #16 posted 07/14/20 8:53pm

bonatoc

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Let's not forget that the "Funk Bible" was referenced in the end credits of SOTT the movie.

Far from an official announcement, but still a somewhat important nod to the fans, retrospectively.
Alos, par with the intentional mystique surrounding the release.


The Colors R brighter, the Bond is much tighter
No Child's a failure
Until the Blue Sailboat sails him away from his dreams
Don't Ever Lose, Don't Ever Lose
Don't Ever Lose Your Dreams
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Reply #17 posted 07/15/20 5:09am

Milty2

EnDoRpHn said:

Milty2 said:

Wow what a flaskback.


That may be what I was remembering, but I definitely remember it referencing the catalog number (may have even listed it).

I only remember the release being announced on a radio show and then never hearing about it ever again until one day I found a bootleg cassette being sold on a NYC street. I think I might even still have that crusty cassette. It was labeled the "UK version" of the album because Old Freinds For Sale was added on. It was my first time hearing that track and just the mystery of it alone and the terrible dubbing was just another layer in the Prince mythology.

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Reply #18 posted 07/15/20 6:44am

SPYZFAN1

I remember reading articles about it in RS and SPIN....Kurt Loder even mentioned it on MTV News. Picked up a bootleg cassette of it at a record show not too long after that.

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Reply #19 posted 07/15/20 7:08am

Poplife88

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cryndove said:

Please read article's last paragraph about Sign 'O' The Times film on page 70. https://worldradiohistory...-11-21.pdf Thanks to World Radio History website for keeping this historical archive.

This link really brought back memories. I am sure I had this issue back then...avid Billboard reader back in the day.

We're gonna need a bigger boat
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Reply #20 posted 07/17/20 1:18am

lavendardrumma
chine

Milty2 said:

I found a bootleg cassette being sold on a NYC street. I think I might even still have that crusty cassette.


Probably that one guy in Soho on Wooster and Prince (or Spring) that had live tapes. It was a pretty crappy copy but he probably lived off the Black Album for a year there.

The other thing I wonder if people realize is that wasn't the nickname given to it after it was pulled, it was marketed as coming out in the unmarked black cover without a title, as the Black Album like a quasi secret.

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Reply #21 posted 07/17/20 5:32am

Milty2

lavendardrummachine said:

Milty2 said:

I found a bootleg cassette being sold on a NYC street. I think I might even still have that crusty cassette.


Probably that one guy in Soho on Wooster and Prince (or Spring) that had live tapes. It was a pretty crappy copy but he probably lived off the Black Album for a year there.

The other thing I wonder if people realize is that wasn't the nickname given to it after it was pulled, it was marketed as coming out in the unmarked black cover without a title, as the Black Album like a quasi secret.

I wish I could remember but I think it was the lower east side. I used to love bootleg shops.

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Reply #22 posted 07/17/20 7:17am

OnlyNDaUsa

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SPYZFAN1 said:

I remember reading articles about it in RS and SPIN....Kurt Loder even mentioned it on MTV News. Picked up a bootleg cassette of it at a record show not too long after that.

Yeah i had to be late November? I saw Kurt mention it called it "a funk album with X-Rated Lyrics." Soon after that it was announced that it had been shelved indefinitely.'

The Spike is Real Wear a Mask (this is not the 2nd Wave)
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Reply #23 posted 07/17/20 2:17pm

bonatoc

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We definitely lost the romantic aspect of releases once the digital haze brought us immediacy and sonic quality.

The fact most of our tapes had so much hiss was thrilling.
I remember fantasizing of some engineer recording it with a tape recorder hideen in his (her?) pants, sweating drops of fear of being caught rolling down the spine.

You really had the feeling you weren't supposed to hear it in the first place,
and that made The Black Album super exciting to listen to, on top of its qualities.

The Colors R brighter, the Bond is much tighter
No Child's a failure
Until the Blue Sailboat sails him away from his dreams
Don't Ever Lose, Don't Ever Lose
Don't Ever Lose Your Dreams
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Reply #24 posted 07/17/20 6:22pm

SquirrelMeat

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I first heard about in in October 87. As a teenager, I used to meet my local WEA (WB) rep when he delivered all the new releases every Tuesday at my local record store. He would often give me the Prince store displays out the back of his car.

He had an A4 print out of albums due for release and he told me that if an album was not on the Sept print, then it would not be out before Christmas. But he pointed out (and showed me) the October sheet that showed a last minute entry, that I think read 'New release - 'Unknown - Somebody (New Prince album - do not disclose)'.

He said WEA were not offcially supposed to say who it was, but every rep was to told to tell the stores so they would promote it. He didn't care, and didn't like Prince.

I've heard conflicting stories of the availablity of the Black Album, but I believe there were more out there than the myth. My local rep had one in his car (rural town in South England), two weeks before the due release date. I offered him £10 for it, but he wanted £15. I said no, as I thought I'd get it for £5, two weeks later on release date. Doh!

.
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Reply #25 posted 07/17/20 7:28pm

PurpleColossus

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hmmm Interesting information...Always great to have more insight about this album.

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Reply #26 posted 07/17/20 10:45pm

luv2tha99s

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I remember hearing about it in the fall of 87 and then my high school best friend obtained a bootleg LP or cassette, I can't really remember. I found it somewhat underwhelming as the bootleg had a really shity audio quality. I remember thinking at the time was Prince inspired by spinal tap smell the glove album cover? It must have influenced him somewhat I'm sure.
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Reply #27 posted 07/19/20 9:30am

muleFunk

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SquirrelMeat said:

I first heard about in in October 87. As a teenager, I used to meet my local WEA (WB) rep when he delivered all the new releases every Tuesday at my local record store. He would often give me the Prince store displays out the back of his car.

He had an A4 print out of albums due for release and he told me that if an album was not on the Sept print, then it would not be out before Christmas. But he pointed out (and showed me) the October sheet that showed a last minute entry, that I think read 'New release - 'Unknown - Somebody (New Prince album - do not disclose)'.

He said WEA were not offcially supposed to say who it was, but every rep was to told to tell the stores so they would promote it. He didn't care, and didn't like Prince.

I've heard conflicting stories of the availablity of the Black Album, but I believe there were more out there than the myth. My local rep had one in his car (rural town in South England), two weeks before the due release date. I offered him £10 for it, but he wanted £15. I said no, as I thought I'd get it for £5, two weeks later on release date. Doh!

Real good info !

I dated a WB Nashville exec's daughter in 1990 and she had a cassette copy with PP logo of Crystal Ball that she claimed came from her father. It had a catalog number and everything that was on cassettes then. Looked exactly like the clear SOTT cassette. She claimed it was another cassette to it making it a two cassette set. I always thought it was a boot but that catalog number always made me curious.

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