Monday, April 25, 2016

Prince & Completism

The only other artist whose every recorded moment I had to have was Elvis Presley.  Prince was the second one.  Purple Rain set off my obsession.  And by the mid-80's Prince was already recording too much stuff to put out.  So, he relegated some of his newer songs to the B-side of hit singles.  Tracks like "Hello", "17 Days", "Another Lonely Christmas", "Erotic City".  All ended up being flipped over by Prince obsessed fans like me.  The best of these of course was "Erotic City".  Never a single, but did get airplay on Top 40 stations.

The biggest bootleg I ever tracked down was the infamous Black Album recorded in 1987, but not officially released until 1994.  An album that was supposed to be the followup to Sign "O" The Times, but shelved by Prince at the last minute.  But I had a CD of it before Prince, in an effort to fulfill his Warner contract, finally let go of it.

In 1998 another odd Prince project came out.  It was a 3CD set called Crystal Ball/Truth consisting of vault stuff and separate CD of newer acoustic songs.  Available only as a mail order or Internet only order, but eventually was sold in stores exclusively through Blockbuster, which is where I bought mine.

From 2000 until he died Prince's albums sold less and less but he was still dropping new product almost yearly.  I had to have them all, well the studio albums at least.  If you've heard of titles like Rainbow Children, N.E.W.S., Planet Earth, Lotus Flower3r/MPLSound, 20Ten (never released in U.S., but easily streamed), Plectrumelectrum, Art Official Age, HitnRun Phase One & 2, then you are as big a fan as me.  None of these sold and most were quickly reviewed and forgotten.  But there's good stuff scattered throughout them, just no classics.  Prince's focus was turning more to stage than records.

When Prince's death was announced I took a look at all his CD's that I accumulated and realized what a life of music he gave Prince nuts like me, and during his classic 80's period, all other Prince fans.
If they ever need someone to compile a Box Set of his career, I'd volunteer in a second.  Until then, let his unreleased vault do its magic.

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