No respite for the Prince Estate… After the “One Nite Alone Collection” and “Sign O 'The Times Super Deluxe” boxes released last year, Troy Carter and Michael Howe continue their momentum and meet once again to the fans to celebrate the year 2021 as it should. Now is the time for Schkopi to tell you about the latest (big) corridor rumors circulating and which, if all goes well, should materialize at your favorite record stores or on your favorite streaming and download platforms. Let's Go!
2021 PHASE ONE: APRIL
Started with a bang in 2019, the policy of reissuing the NPG Records back-catalog , initiated by Sony that year, had somewhat stalled last year, due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Only “One Nite Alone” , “One Nite Alone… Live! " And the DVD " Live At The Aladdin Las Vegas " could be reissued and combined in a single box set simply called " The One Nite Alone Collection ". Obviously, these albums initially released in 2002 had been the subject of vinyl pressing as had already been the case for all the other recordings previously distributed by Sony ("Musicology", "3121", "Planet Earth", "Rave Un2 The Joy Fantastic ”,“ Rave In2 The Joy Fantastic ”,“ The Versace Experience ”,“ Chaos And Disorder ”and“ Emanciption ”)
As we had heard from Michael Howe during his interview , it had been envisaged that the “Crystal Ball” version 1998 be quickly published in the wake of the Super Deluxe box set of “Sign O 'The Times” , in order to offer it. an essential complement since, let us recall, certain titles of the period 1986/1987 of Prince lacked the appeal of the different configurations of "Dream Factory", "Camille" or "Crystal Ball" which would lead to the publication of the famous double -album from 1987. "Dream Factory" , "Movie Star" , "Crucial (Version # 2)" , "Sexual Suicide" , "Good Love" ,"Last Heart" and the monstrous title track (in its full version of more than ten minutes) will therefore soon be available again in stores.
We can reasonably think that the acoustic album "The Truth" , placed in the original CD box, will also be present in its reissue, the real question being whether they will go so far as to reissue the box in its 5CD configuration only available via the 1-800-NEW-FUNK, the Paisley Park Hotline, and which included "Kamasutra" , an instrumental suite performed by a front NPG Orchestra since it was once again a pseudo behind which is hid Prince.
On the other hand, there is no reason not to think that “Crystal Ball” and “The Truth” will not also be reissued on separate vinyls. Definitive and total answers to all these questions from the first week of March, when pre-orders should begin, for a scheduled release in April, a month of grim memory for any fan of Prince but who, anyway , will mark the five years of his disappearance.
2021 PHASE TWO: JUNE? JULY ?
Also in the interview that Michael Howe had given us, the latter had given us to understand that the fans would not have to wait many more years before they have access to more recent compositions of Prince. No doubt anxious to diversify the different princely periods and to move away for a time from the Revolution era, the month of June (the 7th?) Or the month of July 2021 would be the month (s) stopped by the Prince Estate and Sony to release a completely unreleased studio album , which remained on the shelves of the Vault and which Prince would have considered releasing in 2011. This album would be, not “Piano & A Microphone 2016” like some other persistent noises released throughout the year. past suggested, but "Welcome 2 America", originally planned by Prince for release in 2011.
Our friends and colleagues from the “Prince Vault” site have listed some songs that could appear on this album. "Hot Summer" , distributed by Prince to radio stations around the world in June 2010, could appear in the credits. “Stand Up And B Strong,” a cover of the Minneapolitan band Soul Asylum from their album “The Silver Lining”, was reportedly played in front of some people from Ebony magazine in 2010, and this cover may also be featured. It should be noted that this recording would benefit from the presence of Michael B. on drums, which would be a nice wink since he became the drummer of Soul Asylum after his departure from the New Power Generation . “Check The Record” , another potential title, was played live on January 18, 2013 at the Dakota Jazz Club in Minneapolis , and was reportedly recorded in a studio version in 2011. Other candidates called to be on the official tracklist to come, we can also quote "Born 2 Die" , "Running Game (Son Of A Slave Owner") , "Same Page Different Book" and of course the eponymous track "Welcome 2 America" , song played for the first time in concerton December 18, 2010, at Madison Square Garden in New York City .
A pleasure to discover all these unreleased tracks in their studio versions not being enough, the big rumor that swells would be that a DVD (Bluray?) Live from one of the American concerts of the 2011 tour would accompany the album, understand that it would be included in the album packaging. We will probably have to wait until May to have a potential formalization and the precise details of what will await us.
2021 PHASE THREE: OCTOBER
The Super Deluxe reissues will of course continue after the critical and public successes received by “1999” and “Sign O 'The Times” , published in November 2019 and September 2020 respectively. 2021 will not escape the rule and will mark a First since Sony recovering the commercial exploitation rights of the back-catalog for the period 1978-1994 for the United States, this next set will be distributed by them for the country of Uncle Sam. Nothing will change on the other hand for Warner and the rest of the world, since it will always be Prince's historic record company that will be at the helm, including here.
Many were hoping for an extended reissue of "Parade" which had been heavily discussed last year before being unofficially deprogrammed to make way for the behemoth "Sign O 'The Times" . The logic would therefore have been that the increased release of the soundtrack of "Under The Cherry Moon" is stalled this year. It will not be so and Warner preserving ad vitam the world rights of all the film scores signed by the Purple One, we can think that they will keep them under their elbow for the next few years to come.
2021 marking the 30th anniversary of the release of “Diamonds And Pearls” , the opportunity was too good not to jump on it. Reissue whose release was officially announced by Dr Funkenberry a few weeks ago, we must see behind this release a certain editorial logic to release as a priority all the best-sellers of Prince's discography, since this album is one of the biggest successes commercial artist. Sold more than six hundred thousand copies in France, our country can be proud of having been the one where it has sold the best, after the United States and the United Kingdom.
If we refer to the editorial criteria of previous releases directed by Michael Howe, we can already announce, without risk of being too mistaken, that the original album will be remastered and that it will very likely be remastered by the inevitable Bernie Grundman . We can also say that all the versions of the singles released at the time, as well as their B sides, even if this term specifically related to the Maxi 45 Tours does not mean much at the end of 1991 when the CD format begins to gently supplant vinyl, will also be there. This will therefore be an opportunity to listen to "Horny Pony" or "Call The Law" in optimal quality , as well as all the possible versions of"Gett Off" , "Cream" and the variations that go with it.
We can also mention the fact that we will probably have live , whether in audio and / or video, the question being to know what choices will be made. Will we finally be entitled to the aftershow option for these two formats, or will the Prince Estate once again decide to stay only on the Main Show ? Anyway, we can only trample and chomp on our brakes, as the scenic musical quality of this period is absolutely formidable . Note also that with two video compilations of the time ( "Gett Off" and "Diamonds And Pearls" Video Collection), nothing prevents the Estate from rewarding us with all these clips at the end of DVD, or Bluray if they ever remember that this medium still exists.
In the same vein, those of the expected things, we can also say that we will again be entitled to a beautiful booklet accompanied by photos signed this time Randee St Nicholas , official photographer of the original cover and director of the "Gett Off" and "Insatiable" clips . Author of an imposing and splendid collection of photos published last year under the title "My Name Is Prince" , we should have suspected that this release would be the tree that would hide the forest since Allen Beaulieu had released his book a year before the "1999 Super Deluxe" and Jeff Katzhad done the same by putting on sale on his site many unpublished prints of his work with Prince from 2019 for the release of "Sign O 'The Times Super Deluxe" . Question: Will this reissue benefit from the presence of the original Hologram featuring Prince, Lori Elle Werner alias Diamond and Robia LaMorte alias Pearl ? To have !
Finally, concerning the famous unreleased tracks from the Vault, we know that the selection is made starting from the release date of the previous album (August 1990 and "Graffiti Bridge", therefore) to go back to the release date of the album concerned, in this case the month of October 1991. Fifteen months of potential recordings which, seemingly nothing, could hold some surprises in store for us since we are coming to a period where leaks are becoming rare.
We can obviously consider alternative takes of some titles officially published on the album, as was the case for "1999" , "Purple Rain" and "Sign O 'The Times" . We know, for example, that the title track "Diamonds And Pearls" was first recorded without the presence of Rosie Gaines or that "Willing And Able" had a different intro.
Again, if we refer to the meticulous work of "Prince Vault", we can see that a handful of titles could answer the call. It thus seems probable that "Schoolyard" and "Something Funky (This House Comes)" , both envisaged on the first configurations of the album, are present. "I Wonder", "Play", "Alice" , the instrumental "Letter 4 Miles" dedicated to Miles Davis, "Do U Wanna Rock? "," Glam Slam '91 "," Joyful Sound "," Last Dance "," Player "," Small Bright Light "," Stroke "," Uh Huh "," Waiting 4 Your Love " and " Work That Fat "are all potential candidates to be present. There again, it will probably be necessary to wait until the end of the summer and the official information to know more, much more.
AND WHAT ELSE…?
If we always refer to our interview with Michael Howe, 2021 could also have other surprises in store for us. Indeed, AppleTV + the platform of the firm at the apple, would be able to draw at any time the concert of First Avenue 1983 , disappeared from the initial configuration of the "Purple Rain Deluxe" of 2017 , and a real sea serpent since that date. Recall that the hypothetical broadcast of this concert would be attached to a documentary which would be a kind of backstage pass since several speakers testified in front of the camera by remembering the preparations for this concert event which, let us recall it once again, gave Prince the opportunity to write his own story that evening by playing for the first time "Purple Rain »In front of a real public and that he will keep this version to put it on the album of the same name in June 1984.
Impossible to mention the documentary box without mentioning that of Netflix , still in production and now scheduled for broadcast in 2022 . Originally directed by filmmaker Ava DuVernay , she had withdrawn from the project, officially because of an overloaded schedule, unofficially for creative disputes. Since then, and despite the Covid which considerably stopped and then slowed down the filming, the project seems to be back on track with a new director at its head in the person of Ezra Edelman, signatory of "OJ Simpson: Made In America", winner of an Oscar for best documentary won in 2016. For the curious who would like to realize the work of Edelman and who would be subscribed to Disney +, they will have the possibility to see this documentary since it will be available from February 23, 2021 as part of the launch of Star, the adult branch of the platform.
"Black-ish", Season 5, Episode 4, from February 23, 2021 on Disney +
Prince fans will have the opportunity to discover, still on Disney + Star and still from February 23, the “New Girl” and “Black-ish” series . The first offers the possibility of seeing Prince alongside Zooey Deschanel in what will be his last participation in a filmed fiction, and where he plays his own role. The fourteenth episode of Season 3, this segment simply titled "Prince" was previously available on Netflix. As for the second series, completely new in France, it is a beautiful post-mortem tribute in which Yari Shahidi , daughter of Afshin Shahidi , plays. , official photographer of the Minneapolis Kid from 2002. This fourth episode of the fifth season, titled "Purple Rain," sees the youngest children of the Johnson family discovering Prince's music by listening to their parents' tales and the impact that these songs had on different times of their lives. It is at the same time funny, moving and terribly deferential in front of the musical legacy left by Prince to the future generations. Watch it !