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Warner Bros. Records

Everybody wants to sell what’s already been sold.

Ultimate is Prince’s third greatest hits compilation released by former label Warner Brothers. The set comprises of two disks (the single edits occupying disk 1) and are tracked in the chronological order of their original release although exclusively covering Warner Brother’s era (1978-1993) – the only albums not represented are For You and, because of licensing restrictions, Batman. The album originally peaked at number 61 in the US and 6 in the UK charts, however, climbed to numbers 24 and 3 respectively in the week following Prince’s death in 2016.

The original street date for Ultimate was postponed from 21 March 2006 at the request of Prince since it deliberately coincided with the release of his own 3121 album due that same day and distributed by Universal Records. Disk 2 of the set comprises of extended versions of the major hits. This is in the attempt to ensure those who already own his greatest hits albums, as well as to appeal to his fan base, felt the need to purchase the Ultimate Prince album. Ironically, because of the sudden postponement of the release 1,000 copies were accidentally sold and thereby harming the chart success of Ultimate because many fans had already managed to acquire a copy of the set on the black market by the time of the eventual official release on 21 August, since there was widespread apprehension that the cancellation might be permanent.


Warner Bros. Records
Warner Bros. Records
Cover Art
Matthieu Bitton
13 years ago, on 21 April 2006
Running Time
US Chart Peak
UK Chart Peak

Track list

Disk 1

  1. I Wanna Be Your Lover (2:57)
  2. Uptown (4:09)
  3. Controversy (7:15)
  4. 1999 [feat. Jill Jones, Lisa Coleman, and Dez Dickerson] (3:37)
  5. Delirious (2:38)
  6. When Doves Cry (3:47)
  7. I Would Die 4 U (2:56)
  8. Purple Rain (8:40)
  9. Sign O' The Times (3:42)
  10. I Could Never Take The Place Of Your Man (3:39)
  11. Alphabet St. [feat. Cat Glover] (5:38)
  12. Diamonds And Pearls [duet with Rosie Gaines] (4:19)
  13. Gett Off (4:31)
  14. Money Don't Matter 2 Night (4:47)
  15. 7 (5:08)
  16. Nothing Compares 2 U [duet with Rosie Gaines] (4:57)
  17. My Name Is Prince [feat. Tony Mosley] (4:03)
Running Time

Disk 2

  1. Let's Go Crazy [Special Dance Mix] (7:36)
  2. Little Red Corvette [Dance Remix] (8:22)
  3. Let's Work [Dance Remix] (8:02)
  4. Pop Life [Fresh Dance Mix] (6:18)
  5. She's Always In My Hair [12" Version] (6:31)
  6. Raspberry Beret [12" Version] (6:34)
  7. Kiss [Extended Version] (7:16)
  8. U Got The Look [Long Look] (6:40)
  9. Hot Thing [Extended Remix] (8:30)
  10. Thieves In The Temple [Remix] (8:08)
  11. Cream [NPG Mix] (4:50)
Running Time

Singles from Ultimate

Ultimate produced no singles.

Ultimate – review

Ultimate is no less than Prince’s third ‘greatest hits’ package from Warner Brothers, like with The Hits / The B-Sides of 1993, they knew how to target the core fan-base, rather than The Very Best Of Prince which catered to the casually interested, hit-and-run crowd-pleasing listener. Ultimate is a two-disk set, one unsurprisingly containing 17 of the main hits up to 1992, the year Warner Bros. seem to think Prince stopped writing good music. So how do Warner get the hard core fans to fork out for music they already have thrice over? Simple. They add a second disk and this is where the set comes into its own, for it puts on to CD for the first time no less than 11 extended versions that only ever previously existed on long deleted and hard to find maxi-singles. The bonus is that every track has been re-mastered. Ultimate offers rarities and favourites with superiorly restored sound and superbly presented in well conceived artwork and slipcase. Warner Brothers can only release one more ‘greatest hits’ package for Prince and their contract then is truly over, so this set, although missing a few gems (Prince demanded the removal of the extended Sexy Dancer) and therefore not really so ‘ultimate’ – that is more of a reference to the artist than the collection herein – this standard of stereo food remains an impossible act to follow.


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