When an artist passes away, posthumous albums are an inevitability, even if they feel super dirty and wrong. When the artist is as huge as Michael Jackson or say, Prince, there’s no stopping what will eventually be unearthed via the estates or from the depths of a record label’s catalogue. Is it a greedy cash-in? Sure. But if it’s the last new music we’ll ever hear from The Man in Purple, then fuck it. We need to hear it.
Some may argue, though, in Prince’s case, that it’s an even grimier proposition. Everyone knows damn well that Prince, himself, removed his catalogue from streaming services and that he DGAF about the internet, streaming and people consuming his music piecemeal. Even catching some goodies on YouTube was scarce…until now.
Four new Prince videos were made available to stream via Vevo. Fans can check out “I Wanna Be Your Lover,” “Why You Wanna Treat Me So Bad,” “Dirty Mind” and “Uptown,” which join “When Doves Cry,” “Let’s Go Crazy,” “When Doves Cry (Extended Version)” and “Baby I’m a Star (Live from Landover, Md.)” as part of the previously unreleased treasures. To add to the madness, Purple Rain was reissued in June and saw the release of numerous unreleased tracks, including “Electric Intercourse” and “Father’s Song.” The floodgates have opened and there’s no stopping them.
While it’s unfortunate that his music is now widely available (against his wishes), his estate was faced with a tax bill of about half its $200 million worth, according to Billboard. (The artist left behind no will.) Putting these tracks online likely keeps the money coming in to help pay off some of these monstrous debts.
Regardless, we can sit here and bitch about how Prince wouldn’t have wanted his music consumed this way, and while that is likely true, it was impossible for his music to escape the digital streaming world forever. So check out some of these videos and head to Vevo for more, if you feel so inclined. Celebrate the Purple loudly and proudly, because this definitely won’t be the last batch unleashed from the vault.