Over the years, there have been some great live performances by Prince captured on tape and video. Over the years, the mighty purple one’s lawyers have dutifully gone about their business removing things from the internet, keeping them from fans’ eyes and ears.
There have been some great shows issued officially, of course. The VHS of the near three hour show from the ‘Purple Rain’ tour is legendary (and overdue a DVD reissue) and – even with overdubs – the ‘Sign ‘O’ The Times’ concert movie is beloved by fans.
It is normally customary at this time of year for Real Gone to put together a brief round-up of the year’s high points, detailing our top ten releases of the previous twelve months and drawing attention to a few more great recordings that didn’t quite make the cut.
This year – 2016 – has been somewhat different. Somewhat challenging, to say the least. That’s not to say there hasn’t been good music, since there has been various gems to be discovered throughout the previous twelve months (and we shall be sharing our thoughts on such things with you in due course), but most of the positive feelings surrounding the year have been clouded by the spectre of death.
There are so many things that could be said about Prince, it’s almost impossible to put anything into words. The man was a firecracker of creativity; one of the most prolific artists the world has ever seen. He was an enigma. He was a man whom, in live performance, never seemed to do the same thing twice. Love Prince, or hate him, he was unique. Here was one of the world’s last true untouchable megastars whom, even in the twilight of his career, never played it safe or by the rules. It made him infuriating; it made him bizarrely entertaining, but above all, it made him so different.
In the 1990s, a deluxe edition (or special edition) album invariably meant a double disc set, ie: the original release plus bonus disc of rarities, b-sides and/or live tracks. In the 21st century, the big record companies have really expanded on this concept, with the “deluxe edition” now meaning multi-disc packages, in some cases retailing at a three-figure price point.