By Stu Kelly / June 19, 2019

Prince will forever be remembered for a variety of different reasons. As a young teenager, who exploded on the Minneapolis scene, Prince immediately stood out as a commanding live performer who was just as fearless as he was mesmerizingly talented. The multi-instrumentalist was one of the hardest working artists in show business who only seemed to operate at one speed. As an artist, he was always pushing himself, reinventing his style and never letting his sound be restricted to one musical genre. Prince captivated audiences and fans all over the world over the span of his four-decade-long career, but the superstar had another side to his public image.

Prince worked tirelessly behind the scenes to foster talent and write music for the rising artists he respected. This also helped him stay creative in ways performing never could. The artist yearned for the opportunity to stay connected to rising talent, so much so that inside his Warner Bros. contract there was a clause that allowed him to recruit and produce other artists. From Jamie Starr and Alexander Nevermind, to Camille, Christopher and Joey Coco, Prince used pseudonyms to explore different facets of his creative persona.  

Recently the Prince estate officially released a 15-track album composed of previously unreleased songs recorded by Prince himself called Originals. The new set of music spans from from 1981 through 1991 and is culled from recordings Prince composed and wrote for others, many of which became hits. Originals first streamed exclusively on Tidal from June 7 – 20 before receiving a physical release via Warner Bros.

The album comprises songs from Prince’s “Vault” recordings, which were selected by Troy Carter on behalf of the late singer’s estate alongside JAY-Z. Recognizable songs such as Sheila E.’s “The Glamorous Life” and the Bangles’ “Manic Monday” appear on the album. There are also some more rare cuts, such as Vanity 6’s “Make-Up” and Kenny Rogers’ “You’re My Love.” The album opens with Appollonia 6’s “Sex Shooter”, the same song Appollonia performed in Prince’s Oscar-winning major motion picture Purple Rain. The album closes with Prince’s original version of “Nothing Compares 2 U,” which was released in 2018 as a standalone single. It first appeared on the Family’s self-titled 1985 album and was also a hit for Sinead O’Connor in 1990 (“Nothing Compares 2 U” was in fact a cover and not a gift from Prince to Sinead).

The album explores a more relaxed and loose sounding overall vibe. Prince seemed to be more comfortable during the studio when he created these tracks, especially since he knew they were mere blueprints and framework for other artists to build off of. That being said this album proved one thing unequivocally: Prince’s versions are much better than the songs they famously ended up being recognized as. After hearing Prince’s demos and juxtaposing them to what was actually released by other artists, it’s clear to see just how many songs were left with so many traces of Prince’s musical fingerprints. 

On June 21 Originals will made available via all download and streaming services and CD. The new collection is also available on 180 gram 2-LP and a limited edition deluxe CD and 2-LP versions, both of which will be released on July 19.

Track Listing: 

1. “Sex Shooter” – Recorded by Prince in 1983, appears on Apollonia’s Apollonia 6(1984)
2. “Jungle Love” – Recorded by Prince in 1983, appears on the Time’s Ice Cream Castle (1984)
3. “Manic Monday” – Recorded by Prince in 1984, appears on The Bangles’ Different Light (1985)
4. “Noon Rendezvous” – Recorded by Prince in 1984, appears on Sheila E.’s The Glamorous Life (1984)
5. “Make-Up” – Recorded by Prince in 1981, appears on Vanity 6’s Vanity 6 (1982)
6. “100 MPH” – Recorded by Prince in 1984, appears on Mazarati’s Mazarati (1986)
7. “You’re My Love” – Recorded by Prince in 1982, appears on Kenny Rogers’ They Don’t Make Them Like They Used To (1986)
8. “Holly Rock” – Recorded by Prince in 1985, appears on Sheila E.’s Krush Groove (OST) (1985)
9. “Baby, You’re a Trip” – Recorded by Prince in 1982, appears on Jill Jones’ Jill Jones (1987)
10. “The Glamorous Life” – Recorded by Prince in 1983, appears on Sheila E.’s The Glamorous Life (1984)
11. “Gigolos Get Lonely Too” – Recorded by Prince in 1982, appears on The Time’s What Time is It? (1982)
12. “Love… Thy Will Be Done” – Recorded by Prince in 1991, appears on Martika’s Martika’s Kitchen (1991)
13. “Dear Michaelangelo” – Recorded by Prince in 1985, appears on Sheila E.’s Romance 1600 (1985)
14. “Wouldn’t You Love to Love Me?” – Recorded by Prince in 1981, appears on Taja Sevelle’s Taja Sevelle (1987)
15. “Nothing Compares 2 U” – Recorded by Prince in 1984, appears on The Family’s The Family (1985)

 

About the author

Stu Kelly