On June 7, the Prince estate will release Originals, a compilation of familiar songs that the artist put to tape as demos but eventually gave to other musicians to record and release. Included are the original versions of killer Prince songs later recorded by Sheila E., Kenny Rogers, Martika, The Family, Sinead O'Connor, and the Bangles. Gavin Edwards writes in the New York Times:
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When Prince saw the Bangles on MTV, he wanted to be some kind of friend to the band, and after making a guest appearance at one of their shows, offered them a song.
“I knew it was an incredible gift,” said the Bangles singer-guitarist Susanna Hoffs. “It was like putting on the slipper in a fairy tale.” She drove across Los Angeles to Sunset Sound studio, nervous and excited for the charming Prince to hand-deliver the song to her. As it turned out, he was busy recording, so she picked up a cassette tape and drove back to the Bangles’ studio.
“We all hovered around a cassette machine,” Hoffs said. They listened to the tape, which had two songs: “Manic Monday” and “Jealous Girl.”
The band unanimously opted for “Manic Monday,” which rewrote Prince’s hit “1999” with lyrics about a woman’s 9-to-5 travails instead of a nuclear apocalypse. (“Jealous Girl” was later sung by Bonnie Raitt but remains unreleased.) They recorded the song, carefully following his blueprint — except they rearranged the bridge. “His bridge had almost a psychedelic, classical feel,” Hoffs said. “Looking back, why didn’t we do it that way?”
Prince was self-conscious about his height -- 5'3" -- and wore high-heeled boots (either 4" or 3 1/3") whenever he went out in public, and moreover, he did not like to be seen wearing the same pair of boots at two different appearances on the same day.
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Prince's music videos are a lot more obscure than his catalog of 40 albums; he was ambivalent about the form and many of the videos he created were only released on VHS or interactive CD or as pop-up streams on his site; but recently Prince's estate released his whole video catalog in high-rez, prompting Prince superfan Anil Dash to write an appreciation that embeds the entire Prince video catalog.
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He loathed interviews from the outset of his career. If you're a fan of Prince loathing interviews, be sure to watch the classic BBC one embedded below.
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Metallica guitarist Kirk Hammett and bassist Robert Trujillo were in Prince's hometown of Minneapolis, Minnesota earlier this week. To pay tribute to The Purple One, they played a metal rendition of his 1984 Purple Rain hit "When Doves Cry." I have to agree with what The Awesomer writes, "The whole thing is pretty cringey, but it’s worth watching for its sheer novelty."
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In 2008, Universal Music fraudulently claimed that a short Youtube clip of a toddler dancing to Prince's "Let's Go Crazy" was a copyright infringement, leading to eight years of litigation and, eventually, a landmark ruling secured by the Electronic Frontier Foundation in which the court found that Universal had a duty to consider fair use before using the Digital Millennium Copyright Act to censor other peoples' media.
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Toni Cornell, daughter of the late Soundgarden frontman Chris Cornell, released this duet yesterday of she and her dad singing one of his favorite Prince tunes. From Chris Cornell's YouTube account:
I love you and miss you so much. You were the best father anyone could ask for. Our relationship was so special, and you were always there for me. You gave me courage when I didn’t have any. You believed in me when I didn’t. I miss your love everyday. Recording this song with you was a special and amazing experience I wish I could repeat 100 times over and I know you would too. Happy Father’s Day daddy, nothing compares to you.
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Last week, just prior to the second anniversary of his death, we heard Prince's original studio cut of "Nothing Compares 2 U", along with previously-unseen rehearsal footage from 1984, all for the first time.
Now, on the heels of all that, Prince's estate has announced that it will release an album of previously-unreleased material on September 28.
It was a strong first salvo of “mind blowing” material to come from the new caretakers of the artist’s estate, led by entertainment adviser Troy Carter and his company Atom Factory (Carter is also global head of creator services for Spotify). Prince was fiercely protective of his music and kept a large percentage of it — even some of his most popular videos and songs for which he didn’t feel he was properly compensated — locked away in his much-vaunted “Vault.” In the year since Carter took charge, the musical archives have been transported to a climate-controlled Iron Mountain facility in Los Angeles, where they’re being archived, restored and in some cases prepared for release.
Learn the details that are being shared in this Variety interview with Carter: Prince Album of Previously Unreleased Material Coming in September (EXCLUSIVE) Read the rest
On Saturday, it'll be two years since we lost Prince.
In remembrance of the "Purple One," his estate has released a video of long-lost footage of him rehearsing with his band in his Minnesota studio in 1984, coupled with his original recording of "Nothing Compares 2 U."
The Prince Estate writes:
The following is previously unseen rehearsal footage of Prince & The Revolution from the summer of 1984.
It was in this very room at Flying Cloud Drive Warehouse in Eden Prairie, Minnesota that Prince created and committed to tape one of his most beloved and iconic compositions, which six years later would become a worldwide hit for Sinead O’Connor.
Prince’s original studio version of ‘Nothing Compares 2 U’ is presented here for the first time.
Previously: Help wanted: Archivist for the Prince museum at Paisley Park Read the rest
Prince's Paisley Park
, now a museum, is seeking an archives supervisor to "actively work in the care, catalog, storage and preservation of all artifacts and archival materials; the care, cleaning, and monitoring of all exhibits." According to the job requirements, "Some knowledge of Prince is helpful." From the job listing at the American Alliance of Museums site
Actively work in the care, catalog, storage and preservation of all artifacts and archival materials; the care, cleaning, and monitoring of all exhibits. Maintain and Update the archival database system. Monitor the trafficking of archive inventory. Assist the appropriate staff in having access to the archives collection as required. Travel/act as a courier of artifacts to locations where artifacts are to be displayed including the setting up and taking down of exhibits in these locations. Execute, maintain, and provide accurate conditioning reports for all items being moved from storage for exhibition. Ensure that the collections manual, preservation plans and archives emergency plan are observed. Locate, retrieve, and prepare artifacts for display/loans. Ensure the integrity of the collection in maintained at all times. Oversea all cleaning of exhibit spaces. Work with outside vendors to schedule monthly, quarterly and annual cleaning. Assist with Archives long term planning, conservation goals and preservation needs. Photograph and or scan artifacts when needed. Assist with exhibition installs. Maintain displayed artifacts in proper environment, eliminate risk to artifacts. Assist Director of Archives with coordinating activities involving the maintenance, preservation and mansion upkeep. Ensure the integrity of the exhibitions are maintained at all times. Read the rest
When Prince died in 2016, California artist Christine Stein painted a piece of plywood in the likeness of the late artist under a shrub outside her Citrus Heights home.
It originally looked like this:
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#Prince at #432Hz ! #RIPprince #art #CitrusHeights
Two years later, the shrub is in full bloom and Prince fans are now making the pilgrimage to visit it, according to KTVU:
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The bush – specifically, a Red-Tip Photinia – appears perfectly around Prince’s head, and looks like a flowery halo of hair. Her husband is supposed to trim the bush, but hasn’t in a year, which is why the bush has grown so large.
Stein... thought the image was so stunning that she posted in on Facebook on Easter. The post went viral... and the news trucks – and the Prince pilgrims – have been flocking to her home ever since.
“I’ve had people from LA, Minnesota, and Georgia come to my house and lay down in the driveway,” Stein said. “They leave their own art. Someone from Anchorage just called me to say they’re coming to visit.”
On the one hand, she said she finds it “kind of creepy” to find people “worshipping” Prince on her property.
But on the other hand, she also wants to conjure up the altruistic spirit of Prince, who had supported many charities and acted with kindness and generosity throughout his life, much of which had remained private until his death in 2016.
Inspired by the Purple One himself, this cookbook is the work of Cat Food, a "super small, super busy, super tiny bakery" in South East London. Inside its pages you'll find Prince-ly recipes for Purple Rain ombre cakes, Raspberry Beret tarts, Darling Stikki toffee puddings, Most Beautiful Swirl in the World brownies, and more.
The book is available to preorder now for £9.00 from Belly Kids. It's set to ship in March.
I have to wonder though, as cute as this is, how long it will be before the Prince estate shuts it down?
Purple Rain ombre cake
Little Red Velvette cupcakes
Previously: Prince and his purple piano inspired this new Pantone Color
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Variety is reporting that previously unreleased music by Prince will soon be available:
‘Previously unreleased Prince music is “coming soon,” estate adviser Troy Carter tells Variety, although he declined to specify any further details about the recordings.
“He was a guy who practically lived in a recording studio, and once we started going through [the unreleased material] we really started finding some gems,” Carter, who is also Spotify’s global head of creative services, said earlier this month. “I heard some music the other night that was pretty mind-blowing and we’re getting some stuff mixed right now. We’ve got great projects in the works that I’m excited to talk about.
“So the answer is yes, there will be unreleased Prince music coming soon,” he said, although he declined to say which label might release the recordings.
image via the Prince website Read the rest
The Pantone Color Institute announced "Love Symbol #2," a shade of purple honoring Prince. A collaboration with Prince's estate, the hue, actually labeled with Prince's logo, is now the official color of his brand. From CNN:
Pantone has long been the authority on color trends and design. Since 2000, the corporation has released a "Color of the Year" that influences design and marketing. Laurie Pressman, vice president of the Pantone Color Institute, said in a statement that it was an honor to help develop Prince's hue.
"A musical icon known for his artistic brilliance, Love Symbol #2 is emblematic of Prince's distinctive style," she said. "Long associated with the purple family, Love Symbol #2 enables Prince's unique purple shade to be consistently replicated and maintain the same iconic status as the man himself."
I only wanted to see you bathing in the Love Symbol #2 rain.
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On August 8, the Prince Estate and Pantone revealed a new color to honor the Purple One.
Naturally, it's a shade of purple.
This official shade -- named "Love Symbol #2" -- was inspired by the specific color of Prince's custom-made Yamaha purple piano which was, according to the press release, "originally scheduled to go on tour with the performer before his untimely passing at the age of 57."
Prince’s association with the color purple was galvanized in 1984 with the release of the film Purple Rain, along with its Academy Award-winning soundtrack featuring the eponymous song. While the spectrum of the color purple will still be used in respect to the “Purple One,” Love Symbol #2, will be the official color across the brand he left behind.
Here's a look at that piano which, according to Yamaha Entertainment Group, was supposed to be the opening video for that tour he never got to take:
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Lish Laynette posted her amazing Prince-themed Christmas tree on YouTube and Facebook. Read the rest
In the entry of Prince's home-turned-museum, visitors walk past a 3D-printed ceramic replica of the building they just entered. What some may not realize is that the scale replica is in fact an urn containing Prince's cremains. Read the rest