For years, Prince fans held their breath for the Purple One’s extensive catalogue to appear on music streaming services. It seemed about as likely to happen as a set of deluxe reissues of his classic albums. For Prince, everything seemed to be about living in the moment; creating music under his own terms and music for the right now, with no looking back.
Following his untimely death in 2016, a long rumoured deluxe edition of ‘Purple Rain’ was released, which gave fans reason to rejoice whist dealing with the sadness of his passing. A well curated set, the four disc version included the essential ‘Prince & The Revolution LIVE!’ VHS on a DVD format for the first time. His classic albums from 1978-1994 also appeared on Spotify and other streaming platforms.
For most people, even the merely curious, those albums were the best known, yielding a world of timeless hits. For so many, it was his more prolific period from 1995 onward which was ripe for revisiting, with albums like ‘Crystal Ball’ and ‘N.E.W.S.’ and ‘The Rainbow Children’ having been out of print for a very long time.
A hit and miss period for Prince, approaching these albums without a friendly hand can seem like traversing a musical minefield. The fact that he released eleven discs’ worth of new music between 1995 and 1999 alone is massively daunting. Various albums came as expensive multi-disc sets, while others were dished out for free from dubious UK tabloid papers. For a long while, it was so hard to even keep track of Prince’s output – all but the most committed fan just couldn’t gather everything.
In August 2018, Prince’s releases from 1995-2010 finally were unleashed onto the streaming platforms. Not just the standard releases, but the long out of print titles, internet only discs, fan club releases and more besides.
Taking key cuts from seventeen albums and almost as many years, Real Gone offers you a handy overview of Prince’s most maddening inconsistent, yet still fascinating years of music making below. Dive in and take a listen to our 4 hour journey through purple wonderment. Sure, you won’t like it all, but chances are you’ll hear something new.