In the weeks after the sad, unexpected death of Prince Rogers Nelson in April, discussion turned to 'the vault' – aka his legendary stash of tapes, demos, outtakes and many many discarded songs from his entire career.
Prince's restless creativity and perfectionism gave rise to 'the vault'. He'd work all night on songs, then instantly ditch them. Whole albums were lovingly recorded, then simply discarded. A musician who worked with Prince from the '80s onwards reckoned that an incredible 70 percent of things he worked on with Prince have never been released.
It was these songs that comprised 'the vault'. Prince fans dreamed of hearing tracks from it, and now, for the first time – they can.
Sadly, it's not the gush of material fans might have hoped for. Attached to, it has to be said, a pretty basic 'greatest hits' release announced today called 'Prince 4ever' is one new Prince song. It's called 'Moonbeam Levels' and was recorded in 1982 during sessions for the '1999' album.
Would Prince have approved of vault morsels – aka songs he specifically didn't want to be released – being used to add a bit of sparkle to a plodding 'best of'? It's hard to say. Despite being a legend, a genius, a god amongst men, Prince foolishly neglected to leave a will – leaving the door open for other people to use the vault in ways Prince may never have approved, while alive. So the message for any prolific creative geniuses reading this is simple: go see a lawyer.
'Prince 4Ever' is released on November 25. You can pre-order it here.