screenshot from Prince’s music video “When Doves Cry.” Credit: YouTube
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Prince: 1999 Remastered

Fans of the late artist known as Prince will take delight in knowing the artist’s music, originally recorded in the 1980s, has been remastered in a box set that features Prince’s most popular music of that time as well as other music that was never published. This latest venture, conceived and executed by the Prince Estate and Warner Brothers Records, has produced a variety of packages to satisfy the tastes of consummate Prince fans everywhere. They will have the option to purchase the original 1980s recordings in a remastered format or the recordings of several live concerts. Since the release of the remastered recordings, we have learned that much of this material was being saved by Prince to be released by himself as well as his proteges such as Morris Day and the Time and The Revolution.

When we listen to songs from the “1999” album such as the title track, “Little Red Corvette”, and “Delirious,” we are slammed immediately with those same driving beats that were danced to by an earlier generation, but we hear the music with renewed depth of sound and a heightened emphasis on the lyrics. Listening to “1999” today and hearing the lyrics, particularly at the closing of the song, “If you didn’t come to party, don’t bother knockin’ on my door, I got a lion in my pocket and baby he’s ready to roar. Everybody’s got a bomb, we could all die any day. But before I let that happen, I’ll dance my life away.” It became so evident to me why this song was so popular during the 80s. There was a feeling of impending doom, as if the year 2000 somehow marked the end of the world. Therefore, the attitude came into being of “why not party today” since the world is coming to a cataclysmic end tomorrow.

The following is a partial list of the various CDs and tracks in the package. Record buyers will be able to buy the entire package or parts of it:

1999 Super Deluxe Edition Track list
CD1/LP1&2 (Original Album with 2019 Remaster)

  1. 1999
  2. Little Red Corvette
  3. Delirious
  4. Let’s Pretend We’re Married

CD2/LP3&4 (Promo Mixes and B-sides, 2019 Remaster)

  1. 1999 (7″ Stereo Edit)
  2. 1999 (7″ Mono Promo-Only Edit)
  3. Free (Promo Only Edit
  4. How Come You Don’t Call Me Anymore
  5. Little Red Corvette (7″ Edit)

CD3/LP5&6 (Vault Tracks Pt 1, recorded between November 1981 and April 1982) 

  1. Feel U Up
  2. Irresistible Bitch
  3. Money Don’t Grow on Trees
  4. Vagina
  5. Rearrange

CD4/LP7&8 (Vault Tracks Pt 2, recorded between April 1982 and January 1983)

1.      Possessed (1982 Version)
2.      Delirious (Full Length)
3.      Purple Music
4.      Yah, You Know
5.      Moonbeam Levels (2019 Remaster)
 
CD5/LP9&10 (Live in Detroit at Masonic Temple Theater, Masonic Hall (Late Show) – November 30, 1982, Previously Unreleased)

1.      Controversy
2.      Let’s Work
3.      Little Red Corvette
4.      Do Me, Baby
5.      Head
 
DVD (Live at The Summit, Houston, TX, – December 29, 1982, Previously Unreleased)

1.      Controversy
2.      Let’s Work
3.      Do Me, Baby
4.      D.M.S.R.
5.      Keyboard Interlude
6.      Piano Improvisation
 

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In November of 2019, Prince lovers will finally get an opportunity to hear substantially more of the material Prince wrote for “1999” that was never recorded on the album.  Also included are demos and outtakes as well as other studio recordings.  Additionally, the Super Deluxe Edition of “1999” also features two full concerts from the tour.  Audio of Prince’s November 30, 1982 performance in Detroit can be heard and video of the artist’s show at The Summit in Houston from December 29, 1982 can be seen.

A booklet included in the Super Deluxe Edition contains new liner notes by Rolling Stone’s David Fricke. Guns N’ Roses bassist Duff McKagan and Minneapolis music scene commentator Andrea Swensson have work that appears in the booklet.  Detailed notes on the Vault Tracks by Prince scholar Duane Tudahl, previously unseen photography by Allen Beaulieu and Prince’s own handwritten lyrics are also featured.

This invaluable piece of popular music history is a keepsake for Prince fans everywhere.  It will undoubtedly bring about renewed interest in the music and the artistry of the man we knew simply as Prince.

1999 Remastered is out Nov. 29 via The Prince Estate and Warner Bros.

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