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Year After Death, Prince's Vault Still Basically Closed to Fans

by Golden Herring

 

A “Purple Rain” deluxe album from Prince will hit stores in June.

 


 

Purple Future


When pop icon Prince died a year ago today, the Minneapolis native left a treasure trove of unreleased music in his famed vault.


While the song “Moonbeam Levels” from the “1999” recording sessions appeared on the compilation album “4Ever,” the future of many of the unreleased songs are in jeopardy.


Universal Records might rescind a $30 million contract it made with the Prince estate because the record company thought it would have rights to Prince’s earlier classic material.


However, the contract only entitled Universal Records rights to unreleased music from Prince’s vault.


Additionally, an EP entitled “Deliverance,” which was supposed to contain six unreleased tracks for Prince’s vault, has been put on hold because Prince’s estate filed an injunction to have the April 21 release blocked indefinitely.


A record producer and sound engineer named George Ian Boxill collaborated with Prince on the six tracks from “Deliverance,” but the estate said ownership of the master recordings belong to the estate.


However, the single “Deliverance” is still for sale on the website Deliverance.is.


Nevertheless, a legitimate release from Prince’s vault will hit stores in June in the form of a “Purple Rain” deluxe album, which features original “Purple Rain” tracks, B-sides, unreleased songs from that time period and two concerts.


However, fans want to hear more music from Prince’s vault and RegalMag.com has some favorites that need to see the light of day sooner rather than later.



The Rebels—In 1979, some of Prince’s background musicians like Andre Cymone, Gayle Chapman and Dez Dickerson began recording rock songs under the moniker The Rebels.  Background musicians Bobby Z and Dr. Fink did not actually sing on the project.  The album, which consisted of eight songs, never saw the light of day because Prince thought it sounded too generic.  However, songs from the album like “You” (Paula Abdul) and “If I Love You Tonight” (Mica Paris and Mayte) were eventually cut on other artists.



The Flesh—Between releasing “Around the World in a Day” in 1985 and “Parade” in 1986, Prince recorded live jazz/funk instrumentals, which were intended for release as a jam session album under the group name The Flesh.  On the tracks, he included celebrated musicians like Sheila E., Eric Leeds and Wendy and Lisa from The Revolution.  Although the jams were never released, the song “Junk Music” was included in the film “Under the Cherry Moon.”  The Flesh was a precursor to the Madhouse album in which Prince recorded new jazz/funk instrumentals instead of rehashing material from The Flesh.



The Time unreleased songs—Producer Jimmy Jam has said releasing The Time’s unreleased music in Prince’s vault is one of his goals.  Hopefully, he can get the estate to sell them the trademark to the name The Time also so they can stop recording under the moniker The Original 7ven.  Two songs (“Nine Lives” and “Corporate World”) from the planned “Corporate World” album from 1989 have never been heard at all.  Other songs from those recording sessions ended up on The Time’s “Pandemonium” album and the “Graffiti Bridge” soundtrack.



 

Sheila E. unreleased album—Before Sheila E. could release her 1989 album on Prince’s Paisley Park Records she left the label.  The only song from those sessions to be released is “Scarlett P,” which Prince recorded as a B-side to the single “I Wish U Heaven.”  On the unreleased 1989 album, Sheila E. also recorded a cover of Donny Hathaway’s song “The Ghetto.”  Three of the songs planned for the album, however, featured no input from Prince.

This article was published on Friday 21 April, 2017.
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