You’re Gonna Hear a Lot More Music from Prince — Thanks to This Sony Music Deal

Paisley Park, Prince's longtime abode.
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Paisley Park, Prince's longtime abode.
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Paisley Park.

Two years after his tragic passing, Prince’s massive stash of music may be released.

It now appears that the Prince’s estate, which is currently being handled by Comerica Bank, has come to an agreement with Sony Music Entertainment to release some of Prince’s music.  Sources tipped the news to Variety.

The deal would follow a fiasco last year involving Universal Music Group, one in which a $31 million deal set up by former administrative group Bremer Trust fell through.

Details on the current deal are sparse at the moment.  But it’s speculated that this involves the same music that would have been released under the Universal arrangement, had that deal been successful.

At this stage, it looks like anything Prince has ever recorded after he left Warner Music Group in 1996 is fair game. That’s a lot of music: Prince himself stated that he literally had thousands of unreleased recordings.  At one stage, the artist was reportedly recording a song a day.

Of course, many fans are excited about the possibility of hearing unreleased Prince music.  But the context isn’t ideal.

After his death, Prince’s sister Tyka Nelson, his only known full-blooded sibling and the artist’s closest family member, stated that she had no knowledge of a will being created by her brother.  Since then, the Prince estate has been handled by numerous court-appointed administrators, complicating the matter further.

In addition to Tyka, Prince also has 5 living half-siblings, none of whom were on good terms with the artist.  Then there’s the sad woodwork of folks claiming to be either a sibling or child of the late artist.

If the passing of Michael Jackson has taught us anything, it’s that these sorts of things tend to get very complicated and very ugly.  Already, Prince’s estate is heading in the same direction.  Many of Prince’s half-siblings were against the Universal deal, so it’s safe to assume that not all of them are on board with this alleged Sony Music deal.

And what would Prince have done?

Something else to take into consideration is the desire of Prince himself, who was fiercely overprotective of his music.  Some fans consider posthumously releasing the music as disrespectful to the artist.

And they’re probably right.   After all: why didn’t Prince release the tracks when he was alive?



5 Responses

  1. L21

    Wrong only two administators not numerous ones.
    Half the sibs are on board with the Sony deal. It does not matter as the court decided and that have not actually inherited anything yet.
    How can anyone be overprotective of their copyrights?
    Prince put the deals in place with Tidal and WB before he passed and often said someone was going to put out the vault material it was not going to be him.
    Do your homework next time.

    • Except...

      Yes, there are multiple administrators.

      So if they didn’t care about the siblings, half or full, why’d they ask them?

      How do you know what Prince would have actually wanted?

  2. Anonymous

    I’m a big Prince fan, but about half of the material he publicly released over the past 20 years is more or less filler quality.

  3. Paul Resnikoff

    We can’t ask Prince if he’d want to release his entire closet full of recordings. But I’m guessing he wouldn’t want that.

    After all, why didn’t he release this material when he was alive?

    This feels like someone releasing all of Shakespeare’s rough draft plays and notes that were found in his closet after he died. There’s not another Hamlet in there.

  4. Stephen

    Sorry but all these “fans consider posthumously releasing the music as disrespectful to the artist” people are idiots. Prince was perfectly pragmatic enough to actually mention in a TV interview that it would probably be released anyway after “when I’m not here” – so how exactly is that disrespectful? Prince frequently over-produced tracks anyway – “Crucial” and “Old Friends 4 Sale” are prime examples of this – if you listen to the original, unreleased versions, versus the released versions – so it will result in an even better understanding of just what great music he recorded in the original form.