Photo courtesy of the Purple Underground.
Just when you think you’ve had enough of Prince’s antics and you conclude that you can no longer support a man who regressed from singing “Sexuality is all you’ll ever need” to “Open up your Bible and let God guide you to the Purple Rain,” the purple one sucks you back in. Prince became a worldwide megastar in the 1980s with mega-funky albums such as “1999,” “Purple Rain” and “Sign O’ The Times.” What the majority of the world does not know is that for every amazing track on these records, there are probably 50 songs from the same period that are equally as good, but for some reason, have never seen the light of day. It doesn’t end with unreleased studio recordings either. Prince rehearsed new ideas constantly and it’s certainly one of the reasons that he is one of the best live performers of all time.
The die-hard Prince fan community has been fortunate enough to hear a lot of these tracks, concerts and rehearsals over the years. It’s always open to speculation as to how they make their way into the hands of rabid fans. Some theories include the fact that Prince often does not pay his employees and in retaliation, they share the music they worked on and will never be paid for. Whatever the reason, die-hards have scored as there are CAREERS worth of unreleased music that are easily available in the fan community. Lately, it appears that Prince has kept a stronger hold on his studio material, but truthfully with the songs he’s been releasing over the last few years, it doesn’t sound like we are missing out on much. As the sound quality can vary with these recordings (because they are often copies of copies of copies – often originating from cassette tapes in the 1980s), the die-hards have been utilizing the technology that is available to clean up the sound quality on some of these beloved unreleased tracks that are in very poor sound quality. Last year, a sonic improvement on a collection of studio outtakes called “Box O’ Chocolates” was leaked to fans and it was one of the best unofficial releases fans have gotten their hands on in years. Until now.