UPDATE: Prince’s estate filed a lawsuit to have this album pulled from official release. As per the explanation given by Dr. Funkenberry’s Podcast, these tracks were songs that Ian Boxill held onto because Prince ‘never paid him’ for them. In an attempt to cash in on the one year anniversary of his death, it seems that Ian tried to get a bit of money for himself without including Prince’s estate or either of the labels who now control Prince’s music. Just a quickly as it was posted on sites like Apple’s iTunes and Amazon (as well as Ian’s own website apparently), the songs have been pulled from digital release. As it stands, these remain “bootlegs” unless an arrangement can be made between both parties.
The following statement was released to Variety.com:
The Estate of Prince Rogers Nelson is aware that Mr. George Ian Boxill, in conjunction with Rogue Music Alliance, has issued a press release announcing an intent to distribute previously unreleased Prince master recordings and musical compositions. The Estate has not authorized any such release and is not affiliated with either Mr. Boxill or Rogue Music Alliance. During his unparalleled career, Prince worked with many sound engineers, including Mr. Boxill. Like the other engineers that had the opportunity to work with Prince, Mr. Boxill signed an agreement, under which he agreed (1) all recordings that he worked on with Prince would remain Prince’s sole and exclusive property; (2) he would not use any recordings or property in any way whatsoever; and (3) he would return any such recordings or property to Prince immediately upon request. Mr. Boxill did not comply with his agreement. Instead, Mr. Boxill maintained copies of certain tracks, waited until after Prince’s tragic death, and is now attempting to release tracks without the authorization of the Estate and in violation of the agreement and applicable law. The Estate is taking immediate legal actions to prevent Mr. Boxill’s continuing violations of his agreement and the rights of the Estate and its partners in Prince’s recordings. Any dissemination of the recordings and underlying music compositions, or fixation of the same in any audiovisual work or otherwise, is unauthorized and in violation of the Estate’s rights to the master recordings and musical compositions.
Prince’s legacy of musical independence is set to be honored on the anniversary of his passing in a unique way. On April 21st, the six song EP Deliverance is set to honor the Purple One by beginning the flood of unreleased gems from his vault. Written when Prince was an independent artist, these songs are being released independently via RMA (Rogue Music Alliance). This is particularly significant given that Universal Music Group was given rights to a majority of his released and unreleased material dating from 1996 on.
The EP is to feature the song “Deliverance” as well as “Man Opera” (which is in four parts including “I Am,” “Touch Me,” “Sunrise Sunset,” “No One Else”; Ian Boxill, who co-wrote and co-produced many tracks that Prince worked on after 2006 (including the albums 3121 and Planet Earth) spent the past year working on mixing and finalizing these songs for release.
Says Boxill, “I believe ‘Deliverance’ is a timely release with everything going on in the world today, and in light of the one-year anniversary of his passing. I hope when people hear Prince singing these songs it will bring comfort to many.” He continues, “Prince once told me that he would go to bed every night thinking of ways to bypass major labels and get his music directly to the public. When considering how to release this important work, we decided to go independent because that’s what Prince would have wanted.”
The title track, “Deliverance,” is available now on iTunes and Apple Music – check it out HERE. The pre-order for the EP is also available now on iTunes, Google Play and Amazon. The EP disc version of DELIVERANCE will be released nationwide on June 2 at Walmart, Target and other major brick and mortar stores.
Just listening to samples of “Deliverance” with it’s bluesy gospel feel instantly remind me of the vast skill Prince had to float from one genre to the next on ANY album. One minute you’re deep in a JB styled funk fest and the next you are bathed in a rock opera of the grandest of scales. He could seduce you on the keys, captivate you on the mic, and mess your head up with the bass guitar.
This release could be the genesis of one of Prince’s most successful years. With Warner Brothers set to re-release Purple Rain complete with more unreleased material from that era later this year, we could see many more great songs we’ve all been longing to hear!