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4Ever

Warner Bros. Records

If he was awake… Prince was recording.

The release of this greatest hits collection 4Ever was announced six months to the day following Prince’s death on 21 April 2016. It marks Prince’s first posthumous release of his studio work and Warner Brothers’ fourth greatest hits package. 4Ever contains forty songs (aptly also making Prince’s 40th charting album) all of which recorded during his tenure with the label between 1978 and 1993, including one previously unreleased track Moonbeam Levels recorded at Sunset Sound on 6 July 1982 during the studio sessions of the 1999 album. Prince could never find a home for the track and was later included in the tracking configuration of Prince’s aborted Rave Unto The Joy Fantastic album in 1989, yet did not get an official release until 2016.

Susan Rogers, Prince’s sound engineer from 1983 to 1987 and who is credited to have created Paisley Park’s the fabled vault, stated in an earlier interview that Moonbeam Levels was one of his best works and deserving of being the very first track released from the vault in the event of Prince’s death. So it was.

4Ever features a 12-page booklet with previously unreleased photos by Herb Ritts, the same session which shot the cover images for The Hits / The B-Sides compilation of 1993. Herb Ritts died in 2002. 4Ever also heralded the first release by NPG Records, which was Prince’s own label since 1993, revived by the Estate following Prince’s death.

Prince | 4Ever
Photography by Gary Gershoff

Data

Production
Prince
Label
NPG Records
Distribution
Warner Bros. Records
Cover/Design
Herb Ritts
Released
4 years, 5 months ago on 22 November 2016
Running Time
2:34:53
US Chart Peak
33
UK Chart Peak
21
Orig. Formats

Tracklist

Disk 1

  1. [feat. Jill Jones, Lisa Coleman, and Dez Dickerson] (3:39)
  2. [feat. Lisa Coleman and Dez Dickerson] (3:09)
  3. [Prince & the Revolution] (3:48)
  4. [Prince & the Revolution] (3:50)
  5. [Prince & the Revolution] (3:35)
  6. (3:00)
  7. (3:05)
  8. [feat. André Cymone] (3:51)
  9. (4:11)
  10. (3:46)
  11. [feat. Lisa Coleman] (4:46)
  12. (2:57)
  13. (3:39)
  14. (3:02)
  15. (2:41)
  16. [Prince & the Revolution] (3:59)
  17. [Prince & the Revolution] (3:44)
  18. [Prince & the Revolution] (4:45)
  19. [Prince & the Revolution] (3:45)
  20. [Prince & the Revolution] (8:41)
Running Time
76:51

Disk 2

  1. [Prince & the Revolution] (3:46)
  2. (3:44)
  3. [feat. Cat Glover] (2:25)
  4. (4:07)
  5. (3:21)
  6. [Prince & the New Power Generation] (4:13)
  7. [Prince & the Revolution] (3:58)
  8. [Prince & the Revolution] (3:28)
  9. (3:46)
  10. [duet with Sheena Easton] (3:48)
  11. (3:48)
  12. (3:31)
  13. Moonbeam Levels (4:06) 1
  14. [Prince & the New Power Generation] (4:20)
  15. [Prince & the New Power Generation] (4:00)
  16. [Prince & the New Power Generation] (5:26)
  17. [Prince & the New Power Generation] (4:04)
  18. [Prince & the New Power Generation] (4:23)
  19. (3:48)
  20. [Prince & the New Power Generation] (4:19)
Running Time
78:14

1 Previously unreleased.

4Ever – review

Warner Brothers’ fourth Prince greatest hits compilation is a step up from 2002’s Very Best Of. 4Ever is also Prince’s first music release following his death on April 21, 2016. Containing only songs spanning 1978 to 1993, it makes sound coverage of his most popular tracks and some not so obvious inclusions (namely Glam Slam and Peach), which is pleasing to see on the track list. 4Ever contains 40 songs of which 39 are his best performing singles. Surprisingly, his highest charting UK single, The Most Beautiful Girl In The World, is not included. Warner don’t ever seem to acknowledge Prince’s releases through them post 1993. Although, it is refreshing to see Batdance is able to finally put in an appearance, given the licensing problems with the Batman soundtrack for previous greatest hits packages. Partyman therefore, is the second surprise omission. But despite this, the saving grace of 4Ever (and 4ever owing itself to the inclusion of this) is the mother of all Prince outtakes Moonbeam Levels, elevating the e album to an impossible to resist purchase. For that is $Ever’s intent: to settle Prince’s unpaid tax. But don’t judge the album on one song alone, there are edited versions of singles not previously available in CD format, thus for the sake of completeness it is a worthy addition to Prince (or music fan’s) collection. As ever with compilations the quality of the album comes down to the selection of songs and you can tell with this release. Where it is obvious to include every crowd-pleasing song and hit, to narrow a playlist down to just 40 from the era when Prince was at his peak, the tracks of 4Ever were chosen out of genuine care and affection. It’s more the greatest hits for an entire musical decade. RIP Prince. You continue to astound us, even in death.

4Ever

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