Prince fans have always fantasized about what's in his vault of unreleased music; now we know with the new 'Sign O' The Times' boxset.
It’s time to go to the wrecka stow.
Prince’s estate has released a super deluxe, multi-version remastered boxset of his classic album, “Sign O’ the Times.”
Since the music icon owned his own masters, his estate can release remastered albums, including unreleased music from his infamous vault. Fans have come to expect new music with every re-release, but the boxset proves there’s more than anyone imagined.
When “Sign O’ the Times” was released in 1987, it was a double-disc with 16 tracks. The Super Deluxe version is that times a million.
It has all 16 original tracks remastered. Then, there’s the overwhelming 45
previously unissued studio songs recorded between May 1979 and July 1987 and a complete live audio performance from the June 20, 1987 stop on the Sign O’ The Times Tour at Stadium Galgenwaard in Utrecht, The Netherlands.
It also includes even more from the vault:
a DVD containing the complete, previously unreleased New Year’s Eve benefit concert at Paisley Park on December 31, 1987, which was Prince’s final performance of the Sign O’ The Times Tour stage show and his only on-stage collaboration with jazz legend Miles Davis.
And to complete it:
a 120-page hardcover book containing Prince’s previously unseen handwritten lyrics for many of the songs from the era… iconic unseen images from the era taken by Prince’s primary photographer in the mid-1980s to early 90s, Jeff Katz, plus images of archive assets including original analog tape reels and studio tracking sheets.
In essence, we’re getting three new Prince albums, a live album, and a live DVD. The price of this monster is $159.98.
Prince’s vault is in the basement of Paisley Park. When the musician died in 2016, the Carver Country Sheriff’s Office shared pictures of the inside. It was the first time anyone had seen the treasure trove.
The artist was always obsessively making new music and rumored to have written a song a day for his entire career. If he thought the piece wasn’t ready or wanted to save it, he would stash it away in the vault for safekeeping.
He was extremely protective of it, and after a while, it built up into a beast.
Susan Rodgers, Prince’s producer from 1983 to 1987, claims she started the vault, telling The Guardian:
I realized it would be smart for me to get his tapes together in one place. I was aware there were a lot of pieces missing. It became an obsession. I wanted us to have everything he’d ever recorded. I called up the studios he’d been using and said: ‘Have you got any Prince tapes?’ This is his legacy. We need to protect these things.– When I left in 87, it was nearly full.
Sometimes Prince put something into the vault with the intention it would never come out. Brent Fischer, who worked with Prince, said:
I think over 70% of the music we’ve worked on for Prince is yet to come out. There are a lot of songs that were sent to us clearly with the idea that they would never be released.
Regardless of whether Prince wanted, the vault will be released, even if it takes one album a year for the next century. “Sign O’ the Times” proves they could do it.
Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect the views of CCN.com.