the internet was just gifted two hours of unreleased prince songs
Listen quick though, SoundCloud dreams don’t last forever.
When news of Prince's sudden passing broke, there was immediate speculation over his rumored piles on unreleased material. In 2014 he hinted at how much gold he might have buried away telling the BBC "A song from 1985 might come out in 2021. I have a whole organization who look after stuff." While that treasure is yet to be mined, an anonymous SoundCloud user has published a small sample, uploading this two-and-a-half-hour mix made up of bootleg unreleased material.
At the time of writing, the origin of the mix remains unknown. Going by the generic name User 353868239 their track description explains: "Over the years, I have amassed a decent number of O(+> bootlegs and demos, but like a lot of folks, I'd heard there was a bottomless pit of the stuff. After his stint of shows at the Forum, I employed the powers of the internet to help me dig up some of these rarer recordings. I had no idea what I was in for: I found 87 discs worth of bootlegs."
Although this latest taste of Prince's tender funk is delicious, it's bittersweet considering the legend's well known tempestuous relationship with bootlegs. In 2014 a story emerged that he sued 22 fans, for $1 million each, for posting links to bootlegs of his concerts. He denied the claims, saying "fans sharing music with each other, that's cool ... But when you hear something [on bootleg] you're just hearing something that's not finished."
His official stance seemed to be chill as long as no one was seeking financial gain. A long circulated rumor has persisted that in the late 90s the artist walked into a New York City record store and cleared out (or destroyed depending on who is telling the story) every Prince bootleg they had.
Considering the mix in question is free, we'd like to think the legend would be cool with it. He was, after all, an earlier adopter of listening to music online. In 1998 he was one of the first artists to make an album available for purchase via download. Three years later he beat the Tidal wave by launching NPG Music Club—a website that allowed users to listen to new Prince songs for a monthly fee.
Prince was officially good at everything.
Text Wendy Syfret
Image via Flickr