Prince - Unreleased Music From His Infamous Vault

Introduced to the world with a debut that had him writing, producing, and performing as well as playing all of the instruments, the bashful 17-year-old from St. Paul’s Minneapolis became one of few artists to live up to being labeled a prodigy.

Curiously prolific, Prince released a new album every year and with each came a reinvention of both sound and style: from the flasher sleaze of Dirty Mind, through the pageantry of Purple Rain, the Beatlesesque “Around the World in the Day”, to the embattled masterpiece that became Sign “O” the Times, his prolific peak provided as much quality and quantity as any artist in history, a fact made more incredible in light of the thousand or so unreleased songs reportedly stored in his infamous vault.  

Particularly since his passing, this legendary collection of unreleased music has become the holy grail for Prince fanatics; promising of a wellspring of new music recorded in the artist’s remarkable heyday. Some of this music has seen the light of day through Prince’s objectively inconsistent Crystal Ball compilation, Warner Brothers’ woefully mismanaged Vault release, and most recently as part of an expanded reissue of Purple Rain . While any of this material being released is most welcome, it barely scratches the surface. Most of the best bootlegs I’ve managed to track down have yet to see the light of day, and there are undoubtedly countless more that I’ve yet to hear.

This selection of unreleased gems represents some of these better mastered reissues, alongside the rarest bootlegs. Rather than offering up a comprehensive range of these unearthed songs, I attempted to stay closer to a cohesive sound that aims to replicate the experience of hearing a lost Prince album recorded in the glorious years between Purple Rain and Sign “O” the Times.

Track Listing:

  • Interview excerpt (WHYT Detroit 1986 pt.1)
  • Tick, Tick, Bang (1982 Version)
  • G-Spot (Demo)
  • Baby Go-Go (Demo)
  • Velvet Kitty Cat
  • Our Destiny/ Roadhouse Garden
  • Lisa (Demo)
  • Witness 4 the Prosecution (Version 3)
  • Mary’s Song (Alt Version)
  • Crystal Ball
  • Old Friends 4 Sale (Version 1)
  • Nevaeh Ni Ecalp A
  • Poem to Lady in White
  • Baby You’re a Trip (Demo)
  • Electric Intercourse (Studio Version)
  • Father’s Song
  • Interview excerpt (WHYT Detroit 1986 pt.2)
  • A Place in Heaven (Version 2)
  • Mary Don’t You Weep (Piano and a Microphone - 1983)

Those interested in taking a deeper dive through this illusive world of unreleased Prince music can find additional selections on my own website, including a series of reconfigured albums that imagine some of this lost material being included in the eventual release.

Anton's picture

Thank you!

I will spend time savoring this.

Everclear's picture

"Let's Go Crazy" :-) ..............

DJHUK's picture

The one on your Website, Scott. You really pinpointed the good stuff: Prince kind of needs good editing at times, especially the later stuff. Only quibble: you should have included Cream. Of course you know that Sign O the Times is the greatest rock concert film ever? When it came out, reviews said "makes Michael Jackson look nailed to the floor."

christophervalle's picture

Huh? Prince grew up in North Minneapolis and I can't fathom what this means? St. Paul doesn't own Minneapolis.

Rafe Arnott's picture
Eastlick wrote it, I took it as a fraternal reference.