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Posthumous Prince albums

When Prince passed on 21 April 2016, the music world was in profound loss. In life Prince had issued 39 studio albums. Legend has it his Paisley Park vault is filled with 100 albums worth of material. In death Prince’s trustees The Prince Estate is releasing some of that music. Below are the albums released following Prince’s death, reviewed in context with his unparalleled legacy to both music and modern culture.

4Ever (2016), Prince

4Ever

Warner Bros. Records (2016)

US #33  UK #21

The first album released following Prince’s death, 4Ever is an emotional journey through his Warner Brothers era 1978 to 1993, showcasing the essential singles of the artist’s most successful and creative period. This double album of 40 tracks will be notable for one; the long awaited official issue of Moonbeam Levels, arguably the greatest out-take in the history of music. The wealth and depth of Prince’s work never ceases to amaze, and the two hours of hits this album showcases, the enduring legacy of the greatest song writer and performer of the modern age is astounding.

4Ever album full review

Purple Rain Deluxe Edition (2017), Prince

Purple Rain Deluxe Edition

Warner Bros. Records (2017)

US #4  UK #7

Three CDs and a DVD, Purple Rain Deluxe celebrates Prince’s most definitive year with real flare. Disk 1 contains his 2015 remaster of the original album, with disk 2 housing the unreleased gems. Disk 3 the edits and extended cuts, some for the first time ever on CD. It will be remembered for the official release of The Dance Electric, Electric Intercourse and Possessed, there is real substance to be found in this solid collection. The length and breadth of 1984 is here and in all its hype and purple glory.

Purple Rain Deluxe Edition album full review

Piano & A Microphone 1983 (2018), Prince

Piano & A Microphone 1983

Warner Bros. Records (2018)

US #11  UK #12

Prince’s vault, that holy sanctum of many a Prince fan, has been prised open and its contents and hidden gems are starting to emerge. Piano & A Microphone is the first discovery to see light of day. It captures Prince laying down demos at his Kiowa Trail home studio in a session captured on the verge of superstardom from 1983. This intimate, explorative recording shows us what it really sounds like when doves cry.

Piano & A Microphone 1983 album full review

Ultimate Rave (2019), Prince

Ultimate Rave

Sony Legacy (2019)

US #69  UK —

This triple-disk reissue unites the long out of print companion projects Rave Un2 The Joy Fantastic and Rave In2 The Joy Fantastic along with the concert DVD Rave Un2 The Year 2000, what’s left to rave about in this release is its glorious packaging. What Ultimate Rave achieves is to restore these albums to the fore of Prince’s mid-career catalogue and right where they deserve to be.

Ultimate Rave album full review

Originals (2019), Prince

Originals

Warner Bros. Records (2019)

US #15  UK #21

Originals showcases Prince in all his forms; his profligacy, generosity, and master of his craft. Originals compiles the incredible tracks he gave to other artists, such as Manic Monday, Nothing Compares 2 U and Love… Thy Will De Done makes for compelling listening and an inspired addition to his catalogue.

Originals album full review

1999 Super Deluxe Edition (2019), Prince

1999 Super Deluxe Edition

Warner Records (2019)

US #45  UK —

Having once said he’d no desire to create a double album, Prince just kept writing in 1982. It was the era Prince discovered the Linn LM-1 Drum Machine and forging new sounds and boundaries in music. What he recorded in these sessions for his fifth album 1999 is legendary. Its many outtakes are gloriously resurfaced and remastered in the first Super Deluxe edition of Prince’s Warner catalogue.

1999 Super Deluxe Edition album full review

Up All Nite With Prince: The One Nite Alone Collection (2020), Prince

Up All Nite With Prince: The One Nite Alone Collection

Sony Legacy (2020)

US —  UK —

Sony Legacy up the ante with this 5-disc reissue of the One Nite Alone… Live! boxset dating from 2002. It was Prince’s first live album release and remains definitely one to own. Hats off to Sony, a major label ‘willing to do the work’ to faithfully reissue the less familiar corners of Prince’s catalogue as beautifully repackaged releases. Prince’s legacy remains in safe hands, and relief to the the new army of fans who can finally own this most under appreciated era in Prince’s post Warner career.

Up All Nite With Prince: The One Nite Alone Collection album full review

Sign O’ The Times Super Deluxe Edition (2020), Prince

Sign O’ The Times Super Deluxe Edition

Warner Records (2020)

US #20  UK #15

The release that every Prince album, single and Deluxe have been leading toward – the greatest, most compelling and most critical addition to Prince’s discography is no longer a fantasy. The collection documents 1986, that legendary year and the greatest in Prince’s productivity when nothing he recorded was anything less than his best. In simple terms, Sign O’ The Times Super Deluxe is the greatest release ever. Where does it go from here?

Sign O’ The Times Super Deluxe Edition album full review

Welcome 2 America Deluxe Edition (2021), Prince

Welcome 2 America Deluxe Edition

Sony Legacy (2021)

US #4  UK #5

Prince’s so-called lost album from 2010, charged with political commentary of the day, was un-vaulted in 2021 with narrative sadly as on point today as the day it was created. Although Welcome 2 America revisits subjects Prince fans came all too familiar with, his lament for the state of the music industry – Running Game (Son Of A Slave Master), the album is sharp, coldly current and could have been cut yesterday. A yet another genre bending Prince record of unmatched quality.

Welcome 2 America Deluxe Edition album full review

Prince And The Revolution: Live (2022), Prince

Prince And The Revolution: Live

Sony Legacy (2022)

US #22  UK #21

1985’s Prince And The Revolution: Live remastered to its full glory. The original footage capturing the Purple Rain Tour is restored for Blu-ray quality. But the real highlight is the audio version, remastered from the original master tape tracked on the soundboard of that same show. The innovation here is the audio is also issued separately on 2 CDs,  capturing every nuance of the show and audience response. This is a fantastic insight to what it would have been to have stood in the arena at the show, and what a show it was. Prince And The Revolution: Live reignites a whole new appreciation for The Revolution and Prince at the peak of his power.

Prince And The Revolution: Live album full review

Diamonds And Pearls Super Deluxe Edition (2023), Prince

Diamonds And Pearls Super Deluxe Edition

Warner Records (2023)

US #85  UK #50

Three Super Deluxe Editions in, Diamonds And Pearls, Prince’s most successful non-soundtrack record is deservedly the fourth. The joy of the SDE is to rediscover the original album with new reference points and track its evolutionary progress. Fans since the 80s will always favour Prince’s popular decade, but to those who found him in the 90s will argue otherwise and Diamonds And Pearls would have been the entry point for most. Prince, buoyed by a new band and vision is in the peak of his career. Undaunted by the evolving music scene he created one of the best albums of the 1990’s, one so good secured him a record setting $100m contract.

Diamonds And Pearls Super Deluxe Edition album full review

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