Today makes one week since Prince died. Tomorrow, the first of his unreleased albums will be issued as a CD and digital download.
“HitnRun, Phase 2” has been available for streaming on Tidal only. But otherwise it didn’t exist. Tomorrow, the album hits stores physical and virtual on Prince’s label, NPG Records. And yes, someone is actually running NPG since 2013: Trevor Guy.
This evening Trevor posted his own memoriam to Prince on Twitter:
— Trevor Guy (@trevguy) April 27, 2016
NPG could start reissuing or issuing music as it pleases now, and on different labels. “HitnRun Phase One” was distributed by Universal Records. “Phase Two” is coming from Republic/RocNation, which is under the Universal banner and co-owned by Jay Z. It’s already charting at number 7 on Amazon in advance sales of CDs.
NPG also presumably has the rights to a bunch of Prince CDs that are out of stock or out of print and don’t exist anymore. Among them is the “Emancipation” double CD (with “Holy River” and “Betcha By Golly Wow” and Prince’s cover of “One of Us” by Joan Osborne). There’s also “The Gold Experience” with “Most Beautiful Girl in the World” and “I Hate You”; and a bunch of other things including “Crystal Ball”- a 3 CD set of outtakes and B sides that came with a separate CD called “The Truth”– a fourth CD. That whole latter package is a huge archival project. “The Truth” contains the song “3Rd eye” and a great hit called “Dionne.”
And even after all that I count around a dozen or so more NPR albums including “Rave un2 the Joy Fantastic.” I hope Trevor Guy can hire full time archivists as good as the Beatles’ to put all this stuff together properly. I actually recommend Jody Klein and ABKCO or Rhino, each of whom excels at doing packages.
PS There’s also “The Black Album,” Prince’s own bootleg album, which came out on Warner Bros. in November 1994. I have it. It’s not listed in a lot of places.