Prince and Ultra-Rare – The Black Album

The legends around Prince are sure to continue surfacing for years to come.  Truthfully, I was late to appreciate his genius and artistry.  My wife and oldest son were huge fans and I credit them for bringing me into the fold.  I only saw him live once, but it was a memorable experience.  What struck me most was how his energy fed off the audience.  The more we got into the performance, the more he got into it.

While we wait for the vault at Paisley Park to start producing more releases, we search for existing releases – ideally on vinyl from my perspective.  I purchased a German pressing of Purple Rain while in southern France a few years ago. Not his rarest release to score on vinyl, but beyond the music, I love the album cover too.  Yes, it is framed and hanging in our living room.  So, when something like Princes “The Black Album” surfaces, its pretty exciting – totally out of my vinyl budget, but still exciting.  The recently uncovered sole remaining Canadian pressing is listed on Discogs for $27,500.

There is intrigue around the album.  According to MixMag , “Prince’s legendary album from 1987 was initially supposed to be his 16th full length release before the singer experienced a “spiritual epiphany” that led him to believe the album was evil. He immediately stalled the release, recalled all 500,000 copies and demanded that they were destroyed. Later on, the label was allowed to sell the album on CD and cassette, but never again on vinyl, making it one of the most coveted rare waxes to date.”

The Wikipedia article gives a good overview of the album, release issues and live performance of tracks from the album – Prince The Black Album .

According to Stephen Thomas Eriewine in his All Music review,  “All this may not add up to a lost classic, but it is a terrific little record that still delights even after its mystique has faded”.

I highly doubt Prince’s mystique will ever fade