Although legions of Prince fans the world over are still waiting for all that unreleased music from his legendary "Vault" to be released, it's just been announced, via Variety, that some 35 of Prince's already released albums are getting a new lease on life, thanks to Prince’s estate and Sony Music Entertainment and Legacy Recordings signing an exclusive distribution agreement. This new deal, which begins later this year, will make available 19 Prince albums originally issued between 1995 and 2010. Among these are 1995's epic and underrated The Gold Experience, Emancipation (1996), Rave Un2 the Joy Fantastic (1999), The Rainbow Children (2001), Musicology (2004) and Planet Earth (2007). Although expected sometime this year, Legacy has yet to announce the exact date these albums are set to hit.
One great aspect of this deal, which should be of particular interest to fans who already own these albums, is that Legacy will now also be able to release other post-1995 Prince material such as previously released singles, B-sides, remixes, non-album tracks, live recordings and music videos. Additional albums Prince released in 2014 and 2015, namely his last two albums Hit N Run Phase One and Phase Two, will be distributed at a later date.
Then, starting in 2021, Sony/Legacy’s distribution rights will be expanded to include 12 Prince catalog albums from the Warner Brothers years, which are Prince's most popular and well known albums. Warners was his home for the first 17 years of his career, and among the classic albums here are Prince (1979), Dirty Mind (1980), Controversy (1981), 1999 (1982), Around the World in a Day (1985), Sign ‘O’ The Times (1987), Lovesexy (1988), Diamonds and Pearls (1991) and Love Symbol (1992). Not included, you might notice, are Prince's soundtrack albums to his films at Warner Brothers, which include his biggest selling records, notably Purple Rain (1984) and Batman (1989). Also, Parade, which features the iconic hit song "Kiss," won't be available as it was the soundtrack to the film Under the Cherry Moon.
There are a few odd omissions among these releases though -- Prince's Black Album, which was supposed to be released in 1988, then cancelled due to the artist changing his mind about it, only to be released a decade later, is not included, among a handful of others. But the real question Prince fans want to know is this: will the classic albums be remastered? The current versions are not up to snuff in the audio department, and if you want me to buy Sign O' The Times again, it better get a decent upgrade. Otherwise, what's the point? Hopefully, fans will find out soon if these albums are getting the TLC they need or not.
Are you excited for all the musical Prince goodness coming your way? Be sure to let us know down below in the comments.
Images: Warner Brothers