I unfortunately think that Legacy Records will continue on in shameless cash grabs and no creative thought put into re-releases at all, knowing that Prince has a sizable core audience of people whether causal or die-hards that will always be around to purchase whatever it is they are selling. If you haven’t read my previous post about Prince’s estate and legacy and who is in charge etc., to keep it short Legacy is a Sony controlled boutique subsidiary for certain eras of Prince re-releases, Princes self released and distributed works when he was 100% independent, late 90’s and certain points in the 2000’s, as well as some access to unreleased or live works vault related or otherwise.
Next in line to be released in late April is a vinyl version of “Rave un2 the Joy Fantastic”. A vinyl will be released and a “Ultimate Rave” version on CD (Possibly vinyl as well) which includes both songs from the 1999 pay per view event he held to promote this album along with it being the year 1999.
What does this vinyl release have in common with the previous 3 or 4 legacy records releases? Purple vinyl. I’m not surprised at this point. I’ve been told by an A&R that once you reach a certain level working on the inside of SONY that unless your fluent in Japanese and talking very big numbers that could affect the company in a positive or negative way, they in no way care about an artist’s creative input, whether dead or alive, money maker or not. Money is what they care about above all, not creativty or the what the artists’s intentions are creatively. Again they are touting it to be a “collector’s edition” because the vinyl is purple (yes purple rain color again), like the previous vinyl releases of 3121, planet earth, and musicology. Thematically or artistically purple vinyl didn’t nor does mesh at all with the aforementioned releases originally or in the newer re-release form.
Again, Legacy is calling it a “limited collector’s edition” while the vinyl is not numbered in any way shape or form, also they once again are not releasing the number of “limited” vinyl’s that are being released to inform the collector. As most record companies now do with their artists is to release something with the word “Limited Edition” to increase sales, BUT never release the amount they pressed, nor number the item individually that is for sale.
All those that were around or were paying attention to Prince when “Rave un2 the joy fantastic” came out, remember he didn’t deviate from the blue color outfit on the cover whether interviews, or performances. That was his color scheme as he seemed to usually have one with most albums, and if not a color scheme, some sort of visual theme to go along with his music.
Unless there are typos on the track listings currently released to the public, the first two discs of the “Rave un2 the joy fantastic” are two different versions. One was available to purchase in all record stores, the second release had some remixes on it, and a fully finished unreleased song “Beautiful Strange” that was sent out to paying NPG music club members only.
The third disc is literally the 1999 pay per view concert on disc. As I said above there seems to be some typos, so I’m not really sure if there are typos only, but the music is accurate track listing wise, or song wise, OR if it is all incorrect.
More or less at this point I have absolutely no faith in Sony, or the other companies that have a stake or share in his re-releases or estate. While each corporation seems to only care about their own releases that they profit the most from, what the suits don’t realize is that if his legacy (no pun intended) is slowly chipped away by the actions of one corporation, it will slowly begin to affect all companies legitimacy in handling his estate as well as his releases in such a odd way, the suits will have with willful ignorance drive down the price and demand of Prince’s work by making nonsensical creative decisions. Oddly enough Warner Bros seems to be the company to more or less stay on track closer to his vision than Sony or others right now. Grant it, Warner hasn’t been pumping out as many releases, or re-releases as Sony (a.k.a. Legacy), at least Warner is showing Prince’s work some respect in death compared to the other two corporations who stand to profit in his posthumous releases.