Unheard tracks add more gems to Prince’s lustrous crown

Lifestyle

Unheard tracks add more gems to Prince’s lustrous crown

The musician had a whole collection of music that has not been released – until now

Neil McCormick

A prolific songwriter who was always messing about in the studio, Prince left behind an actual steel vault full of recordings when he died unexpectedly aged 57 in 2016. Only Prince himself knew the passcode, so his estate had to drill it open. Inside they claimed to have found enough music to release a new Prince album every year for the next century. Originals is the second posthumous album from this treasure trove, a collection of 15 demos made for other artists between 1981 and 1991 (only one of which has been previously released).

The unspoken truth of posthumous releases is that the vast majority are, at some level, exercises in barrel scraping, making the most of tracks the artist deemed not up to scratch. So what a glorious treat to have a set of solid-gold belters showcasing a dazzling star at the height of his powers.

With a dream of building a pop empire, Prince actively pursued hit singles for protégés including his Purple Rain co-star Apollonia and raunchy vocal trio Vanity 6. What he concocted were not sketchy cast-offs or wayward experiments but full-on productions with the star giving it all he’s got. And that, as we know, is a hell of a lot...

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