Saturday Deluxe / 27 April 2019

Record Store Day stock available on the SDE shop

As some of you are probably aware, once Record Store Day is a week old stock is allowed to be sold online under current Record Store Day rules, even if you aren’t a ‘bricks and mortar’ store who was eligible in the first place. With that in mind I’m pleased to announce that for the first time we’ve got some of the more desirable RSD stock available in the SDE shop, including David Bowie, Madonna, The Rolling Stones, John Lennon and more.

I’ve tried to keep prices as low as I can, but please bear in mind that this isn’t particularly cheap stock to get hold of. Mostly things are between £20 and £30 with the odd exception!

Click here to head over to the SDE shop and have a browse! Everything is in stock and ready to ship.

Ask Prince’s archivist a question!

It’s been a busy week for big name reissues, including Paul McCartney, David Bowie and ABBA, but I must admit in most instances it’s been hard to get overly excited. The David Bowie Mercury Demos release was overshadowed by an absurd UK retail price, Universal have done a decent job with the ABBA Voulez-Vous reissue but at the end of the day the elephant in the room is Benny and Bjorn’s refusal to dig into the archives for demos/alternate versions and as for Paul McCartney, I think we’re all getting Egypt Station fatigue, aren’t we?

The one notable exception was Prince and I’m really excited about the Originals release. It brings together 15 of his original ‘demos’ (actually very well produced tracks) for others. It’s not overblown, it’s not too expensive and it’s quite concise. Next week I’m going to be lucky enough to have a chat with Michael Howe, Prince’s audio archivist and so I’d invite you to submit any questions you’d like me to ask him. Do this by leaving a comment on this post. I will collate the best/most popular questions and do my best to put them to him!

Sorting out my vinyl

I have recently had the pleasure of doing that time-honoured music collector task of alphabetising my vinyl.

Over the last four or five years what had happened was vinyl had spread around the house, with different ‘pockets’ of storage sprouting up all over the place, much to the annoyance of my wife and family (“when are you going to move those records?” “er, soon…”). In fact, truth is, it became massively annoying to me too, since you never really knew where anything was. ‘Recent’ purchases would build up in one place like some kind of temporary detention centre, decades old 12-inch singles had been segregated from the albums and housed somewhere else, while massive box sets weren’t necessarily adjacent to their single vinyl LP cousins. I’d be in the mood to play something, it wouldn’t be where I thought it was and then after 15-20 minutes of looking I’d give up in frustration – I’m sure we’ve all been there.

Anyway, after at least a week of on-off sorting out I now – more or less – have all my vinyl in one place. It’s around 2,500 records. I say ‘all’… there is no space for ANY of my sizeable soundtracks collection so that will have to go somewhere else. Also, I had to make a ‘rule’ that box sets only go into the A to Z if they are of ONE album. So for example the super deluxe of Tubular Bells, Kings of the Wild Frontier and Garbage’s first album are ‘mixed in’ with everything else, but massive career spanning album collections like The DoorsInfinite vinyl extravaganza or the metal Bob Marley Complete Island Recordings, are not. There are just too big!

But it’s great to see the 12-inch singles back next to the albums, especially classic stuff from the 1980s like Pet Shop Boys, Frankie, Wham! etc. For a few artists, namely Paul McCartney, David Bowie and Pink Floyd I also pulled them out and gave them their own ‘special’ area, due to the size of the collection and the importance (to me) of those records.

During this sorting out process, I discovered loads of duplicates, where over the years, like a numpty, I have picked up something from a charity shop that I already own! So I made a pile of about 50 records and took them to them back to a charity shop. The only exception to this was if the album was a different pressing. So for example I had three copies of Julian Lennon’s Valotte (a great record). I had two versions of the UK Virgin/Charisma edition and one copy of the US Atlantic pressing. So I kept the best version of the UK (complete with HMV sticker) and the US pressing and donated the other UK pressing.

I saw ‘my’ records in the charity shop a few days later (I pop in regularly anyway) at £2 or £3 a pop and actually witnessed a guy browsing through them, and picking some up. I resisted the temptation to say anything to him (probably a bit weird) but I was proud the shop actually had some decent vinyl for a change, since it’s normally a load of old dross. I’d given them a copy of Michael Hutchence semi-solo project Max Q, for goodness sake!

It’s strangely appropriate that the shop I gave the vinyl to was mental health charity ‘Mind’ because the very act of sorting out my vinyl and getting rid of unwanted records that are just taking up space has been a very therapeutic process. I now know where everything is, I can pull out obscure 12-inch singles within second of thinking about them and I’m probably playing and enjoying more vinyl than ever.

Have you gone through a similar process? Would love to hear about it, so do leave a comment.

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WOW! I just finished my massive organizing project! I moved from an apartment to a house so I have one room which is THE RECORD ROOM – 12″ vinyl and CDs. My contractor who is a designer built me record shelves and this amazing CD shelf. I have about 4,500 records including 12″ which are all on an excel spread sheet but everything had gotten out of order in the move and the fact that in my apartment I was putting them in “record racks” – those vintage magazine/record stands since I had run out of space in my room at the time – so consolidating and weeding literally took me 6 months! No it is all in order and easier for me to keep it that way! Plus I had the shelves built for growth!


Now that I was looking at the latest Prince reissue (Rave until the joy fantastic 2CD+DVD) that I received last Friday, I realize that the original album had a multimedia track in it which was ignored for this edition. That makes me keep the original album that I was thinking to post in eBay for 1 cent.
Question for Michael Howe,
1- Is there anything in the vault that has never been bootleged? How aware was Prince of the amount of bootlegs around? Did he ever showed any type of concern to his team about these leaks? Understanding that Michael Howe always acted professionally, how can he explain how those recording get to the wrong hands?
2- Speaking about the devil, there was a bootleg of Prince with Miles Davis, why doesn’t Prince Estate reach Davis’s Estate to find an agreement to release those recording. It was never clear how, when or where those recording took place. It is time to let people know. The sound quality wasn’t good. How does the original recording sound?
Paul, this interview seems to be very important for you. You owe us the story behind it, how you reach the guy, and all the backstage on this interview. Good luck and I wish you to get the most out of it.


there’s loads of stuff in the vaults that’s never been bootlegged. maybe 60% of live shows circulate, so a lot more that don’t, and many more rehearsals and soundchecks and plenty more studio stuff

prince had a lot of tapes going around and people got them and they ended up on bootlegs. staff members had tapes and from there…

there’s no miles davis and prince unreleased album unfortunately. the bootleg you refer to just has miles on one track. he also played on sticky wicked which was released by chaka khan and played for a few minutes on NYE at paisley park in 87/88 and that’s it. they didn’t work in the studio together

Eric Weinraub

My collection was sitting around 1100 lps …. while all cataloged, numerous duplicates of certain titles caused me to make the decision to first listen to everything in alphabetical order and get rid of roughly 40% of it. I’m getting older and there are certain titles that aren’t going to get heard again… and so, the listening and purging is on. Having just completed the letter D, I have about 60ish records I’ll be putting up for sale…. I hope to have this done by the end of the year or a little more.

Robert van Dam

You recently posted a picture on Instagram, with some vinyl records from Paul McCartney. Is this the result after you have sorted your records out ? It looks very organized to me. It is also very necessary for every music collector. I still have to do some “organizing” myself …

I don’t know if you want to post a picture of your shelves, but I would love to see this !

P.S. : Have you sorted out your CD’s as well ?

Robert van Dam


You wrote in your post that you had three copies of Julian Lennon’s “Valotte”. Now I assume that you didn’t know this. Don’t you have a database with all of your CD’s and vinyl records ? And if you have a database, what do you use ? Discogs ?

So next week you will have sort out all of your CD’s (lol). I can’t wait to see the pictures !


Lets all post pictures. VIVA smart phone cam!!!


So @ one point I had my cassettes (800) under my youngest daughters bed, my 8 tracks (400) & laser discs (150) under my oldest daughters bed, the CDs (4,000) on a shelf in the master bedroom, my lps (3,500) on the living room shelves, my big box sets (249) in the entryway closet and then the CD shelf collapsed on me and I wound up with 2 broken ribs. At this point, my (very) patient wife & amused children enlisted her father (a contractor) to build a new room onto the home to store all my shit. Six months later a new 18 x 60 room stores the whole lot.

Paul, I think 2 things:
1) You should create a spot on your treasured site for photos of how people store their stuff. This would be of great value to many & especially me since I have half of my records in crates & it is taking up too much room & I need new ideas.
2) I also think you should have a spot for pictures of peoples playback systems. Maybe you could have a contest (you are judge & jury) for the coolest, weirdest, most shocking speaker setups & so forth. I mean haven’t you ever wondered what Chris Squires or Auntie Sabrina are using to listen to music? I have & so has everyone else.
Adios Amigos


My collection is alphabetized (I don’t think I could find things otherwise), and inventoried in a web database that I wrote myself back in college as a project. Not the prettiest interface, but it does help me jog my memory when I want to remember compilation had some particular remix on it.

paul wren

My God, do I associate with this. Forty five years of collecting and duplicating. 500 crap LP’s into the bin. 1,100 unwanted LP’s given to a friend. 2,000 LP’s have just gone off to an auction house along with 700 singles, the singles mainly from the 1995 to 2007 period so worth quite a lot. Still there are 4,000+ LP’s on my shelves, but now in alphabetical order which is a delight. Now to catalogue/value them individually because this is the only way to arrange specific insurance cover on them re house fire etc. I don’t know if I will live long enough to complete this though!


Couple of questions for Michael:
There’s a snippet of a pared solo back version of Hard to Get from 1981, did Prince complete the recording? Are there more tracks from these sessions which are worth hearing?

Vaguely recall that there was supposed to be another DVD with the Purple Rain Deluxe Edition, I assume that this was the show that formed the basis for album. What were the issues with this material and or the original source of it?

Do you know if the estate intend to publish the contents of the archive, so that it becomes a useful resource, rather than a mysterious private treasure trove?


Hi Paul

If you type into google the The Next Prince release looks extremely special. It’s from Rich Juzwiak. You will get good background links about the Prince estate etc which might help with your interview.

Kind regards

Michael Khalsa

Nick Katz

Question for Michael Howe

Why was the wrong version of Wonderful Ass on the Purple Rain Deluxe Edition or are they even aware of this. The linear notes claim it is the 1984 version (which is the one which is just him and quite sparse) but the one that’s actually included is the 1986 version with Wendy and Lisa which was for Dream factory. Will that ever be resolved?


Prince question for Mr. Howe:

Is there any chance that any of Prince’s catalog could ever be mixed into 5.1 surround sound? Steven Wilson has stated that even though he is trying to do less 5.1 mixing these days, that he would find the time if he were ever offered the opportunity to mix Prince’s catalog.


I would like to know how the “projects” are decided, and if he has any power of decision making as the technician guy for being familiar with the quality of the recordings? Do Prince Estate members meet every week or month and discuss ideas over “the vault” catalogue? I think that this release of “Originals” opens the door to a Vol.2, 3 and several more because Prince was very prolific by writing and producing for others. He could explain the process and a timeline of how, this Originals album for exam, ended up being what Prince Estate understands that it is worth to be. I would like to know if any of the albums that Prince released only in MP3 format (The Chocolate Invasion, The Slaughterhouse, etc) will ever see another format, like CD. I think many other people have posted a lot of good questions for the guy. If Michael Howe could be the only decision maker, what is the material that should be released, in his opinion? Are any other Warner albums that can receive the treatment that Purple Rain had? I can imagine that he won’t be allowed to talk about future projects so, what can he say about what it coming in next couple of years? Can he give Prince fans that we will be able to listen to material that was never even bootlegged? Actually, how does he think that so may bootlegs happened? Did Prince requested that every performance (shows and after-shows) be recorded? What about video in High Quality? Is there anything from his latest shows recorded and filmed in a Quality that could reach a blu-ray format/
Will the interview take place on video, how are you going to post it? Good luck. I think that you must be very excited with this opportunity and your own list of question must be endless. Good luck.

Robert Laversuch

Very interesting reading about storage systems. Used to 40 years have all my vinyl in alpha order. Then added tapes to the mix as I was not able to play vinyl for quite a while and as of 1991 started on CDs. At some point I invested in CD racks but at some point added cupboards and bookshelves to be able to store everything. For the last several years I have put them in boxes and as the collection keeps getting bigger I am fast running out of space. Already got lots of vinyl tapes etc in cellar and I could clearly use a new system but it would take forever. As to donation, we have a local Oxfam store but I tend to go there to pick stuff up not donate. Feel like I would be giving a part of me away as I tend to remember so many details about why I got a record and what it meant/means to me. Sad really but that is obsession for you. So I will have to start to cut down on buying as the obsession extends to books, music or film, and DVD and bluray as well. It will end in tears. As to looking for CDs to play, I do know the frustration of not finding sth. but also the problem of knowing where sth. is but having to face moving rows of CDs out the way to get to the one I want. It is a problem caused by luxury so not to be taken seriously. And more than once I have ended up finding a CD that I had feared was lost while looking for others that I can then not find. That is the way it is.

David McIntyre

Hi Paul

regarding the P interview:

1. Does footage, either audio or video exist of either of the 2 January 1979 capri theatre shows?

2. What are the main issues facing the archiving of the vault?

3. Is there a timetable for releases currently being developed over a longer period, say 5 or 10 years that the estate would like to see happen?

4. How does it feel to be in such a privileged position albeit after such tragic circumstances?

4 down, only several hundred more to go :))

John Ferrier

Questions for Michael Howe – Prince archivist

I was wondering what our odds are of seeing Dream Factory on cd and vinyl?

Mark Story

Hey Paul, I’d love to see a pic of the finished work! I’ll probably be passed away before I get 2500 lps , I wish I hadn’t got rid of half of mine years ago, although I do have almost 2000 CDs, lol fremer would shake his head at me

The Golden Age Of Human Intellect

Hi Paul, just read your record sorting report. I’m glad to see you donated to ‘Mind’. This is the charity I donate my unwanted books/DVDs/LPs/CDs to. I used to be a support worker with individuals with mental and physical needs, a very rewarding experience and I know all proceeds ‘Mind’ collects from the sale of donations is well used.

Tom D

I may have gotten to the RSD sale a bit too late, but looks like good prices!

As for my vinyl, I have two Expedits from Ikea (nine cubes each) back to back, with all artists, regardless of genre, going A to Z, chronologically for each artist. Then there are a few oddballs, like children’s LPs from my youth (“Multiplication Rock”!), and then all my 10″ records, and then all the soundtrack/various/tribute LPs. After a cube dedicated to mostly McCartney Archive collections, the 12″ singles begin, on a fresh row, with artists A to Z again.

More recent LPs and other vinyl and that Clash “Sound System” box are leaning against the bottom for now. Many odds and ends to work out in the other cubes.

My CDs are all in those big Wayfair (or whatever it used to be called) sets of CD shelves, three of those behemoths. Starting with all the Beatles/solo/children CDs, followed by artists A to Z, tributes, benefit CDs, various comps, soundtracks. There’s also a Beatles “smaller box” shrine (with shelves taken out), plus similar for R.E.M. small boxes and fan club packages, an R.E.M. “regular CD” section, and then CD singles only for Beatles/solo, R.E.M., XTC, and 3-inch ones (all other CD singles are stacked in the bottom cubes of one of the Expedits). There are also a few solid rows of classical and jazz CDs, and other awkward boxed sets at the bottom (with shelves removed), plus other odds and ends. There are also stacks of “recent” CDs around the room, waiting to be alphabetized.

The majority of my 7″ singles are in another room, a situation I plan to remedy sometime soon (we’ll see).


Question for the archivist:
What other songs apart from OUR DESTINY/ROADHOUSE GARDEN (released on the deluxe edition of PURPLE RAIN) were on Prince & the Revolution ‘s aborted ROADHOUSE GARDEN album?

Martin Dudley

On a similar note to the sorting and alphabeticising of a music collection… My collection is on CD, probably a “mere” 500 or so albums but still continuing to grow. And yes, it’s immaculately alphabeticised (and then ordered chronologically within each artist, of course). Most of it has however been in semi-storage at my workplace for a year or so as I’ve moved into my partner’s house while we’re planning to sell our respective houses and buy a new, joint home, with a small shelf of current listening CDs in my office/man cave at home. As everybody who lives with their life partner will know, making a household involves lots of compromises in many ways in order to maintain a happy home, and we’ve both happily done that. But… my partner is already talking about how, when we have our new home, “we’ll be able to have all of our CDs on one large set of shelves”… Please somebody tell me that I’m not the only person for whom the thought of amalgamating two music collections fills them with absolute horror… I can’t even begin to describe the number of ways in which I think this would be a terrible, terrible thing.


We have all the CDs together, but very definitely not amalgamated, just next to each other. I can do it with books but certainly not with music!


Fully agree. My wife’s CD’s are in the Sam room, but zipped up in a storage box..can’t have any cross contamination!


Ours aren’t amalgamated. I have an entire room in the house for my collection and my wife gets to keep her twenty or so cds in the car.

Graham Turner

Hi Paul,
Looking forward to the interview with Michael Howe, the Prince Archivist, and getting an understanding of the work of an archivist in general. I also had a few questions related to Prince specifically that it may or may not be possible for him to answer:

– I’d love to know Michael’s background and whether he was a fan of Prince before getting the job? Does it help to be a fan of the artist you are archiving or is it better to be a bit more distanced and objective?

– What kind of condition were the contents of the Prince vault in? Were there any items where it wasn’t possible to preserve & archive? Is the work of archiving the Prince catalog complete or still in progress?

– How does he set about cataloguing and archiving such a large collection in general? How well annotated was the Prince archive specifically? Is there a lot of secondary research that needs to be done to supplement the details on the physical items? If so, how would he go about that? Speaking with former engineers? Band members, etc?

– Are there specific challenges regarding the archiving of digital recordings as opposed to physical, or vice versa? Similarly with video vs. audio, as we know Prince recorded many of his shows on videotape. How well do these hold up?

– Can he describe the process they go through when the Prince Estate or one of the labels is looking to release something? How do you begin to select something from such a vast collection? How much is the archivist involved in this process?

– Does Michael have a favourite or surprising or notable item from the Prince collection that he can talk about?

Many thanks!


Ha ha, what a totally nerdy subject to write about … but yes I’m a stickler for alphabetising my collections (records, dvds, books). Although I’ve kinda gone a bit rogue, in that all my stuff up to a point is in alphabetical order, but my more recent vinyl is stored in the order that I bought it. But I have limited space now so things are all a bit haphazard.
Discogs is useful and I have started putting my stuff on there, but I’ve also been creating my own system on my computer. I’m a software developer, it’s what I do! Plus it means I can mix both my interests into what is turning into a labour of love, while also listening to stuff I haven’t listened to for a long time :)


1) questions for Prince archivist: who is in charge and make the decisions on what to release? If it’s his estate, who is in charge of it (unless it’s known already?) 2) this latest release is s genius concept! I love. Unfortunately wont be able to fully appreciate it because im not too familiar with his work do i dont have the decade-old listening experience of the “covers” 3) archiving music collections: i kept them in alphabetic order only when i had around s hundred of them and then instinctively switched to chronologically-released: how else can you keep them alpha unless you shift them constantly to make or reduce room? Or is it just me who buys so much? 4) i LOVE to go through my collection: taking out batches of releases and admiring each release, looking at the artwork, maybe reading the liner notes or anything, while playing one of them. The art of the artwork concept is totally lost on most (whichever it is now-)Geners. 5) if you have a pc or ipod/equivalent i csn only strongly suggest you do rip your cds because those cds might stop playing at some point or want to play them on your portable device or car: i cant wait to play the Special Long Version of Sounds Like A Melody in my car as it has a great sound system and can blast the music out loud while going down the highway without really bothering anyone.

John C

Question for Michael Howe:

The release of Nothing Compares 2 U last year featured overdubs that were specifically recorded for The Family version (strings and Paul & Susannah’s background vocals). Can we expect Prince’s catalogue to be remixed in this manner going forward?


Questions for Michael Howe – Prince archivist

1) One big thing I see fans have been talking about for years is Prince vocal versions of the Time, Sheila E, Vanity 6 and Apollonia 6 albums. Do these exist, or what does exist, and is there any possibility of these being released?

2) Has there been an attempt to make a master list of all live performances he’s done, and match this off against recordings in the vault to for completeness, and if so how complete are the recordings? Are there around 99% of all performances recorded? What percentage roughly have video recordings of sorts (ie. single camera), and what about multi cam recordings that could potentially be released?

3) There’s evidence that Prince recorded his rehearsals and soundchecks and these typically went on for many hours, meaning multiple tapes per session. There was mention of around 8000 cassette tapes in the vault, which I’d presume would be a lot of recordings of live shows and rehearsals. Is that what the 8000 tapes comprise of, rehearsals and live shows, or can some indication of percentage of what they tapes may consist? I presume it’s not the final mix tapes he used to play in his car, with the odd studio track, and it’s not his collection of James Brown albums. On top of the 8000 cassettes I presume from the 90s onwards there’s a pile of DAT’s and cd’s and hard drives too. Can any indication be given of volume? Does it look like most shows and rehearsals are recorded?

4) Has any thought been made on the possibility of a book or website to document the findings and contents of the vaults, similar to a book on the Beatles recordings? It may sound like reading the phone book to some, but to hardcore fans it would be a fascinating read.

5) In addition to fully mixed down 2 channel stereo final masters, the multitrack masters must be in the vaults too. I’d be interested to know the process of digitising these. Do you have hardware that can rip the full tape and all tracks in one playback, and that stores the tracks separately that can be (re)mixed later?

6) With the vaults containing cassette tapes, and stereo masters and multitracks, etc etc etc, what’s the process for documenting and transferring this? I’m wondering what the metholodgy is and priority of working through so much material? Where do you start, what is done first, multitracks, studio stuff, live stuff, videos? Are multi tapes being catalogued and/or digitised by a team of multiple people or is it one person digitising one tape at a time which would take a huge amount of time. Is the goal to have 100% of media digitised?

7) Something regularly “discussed” to put it politely, on fansites is the credentials of those involved in the archives. I guess this would service as an introduction to the piece, but how did you get involved in the project, how long did you work for Iron Mountain and what did you do before that, and are you a Prince fan or where does your Prince knowledge come from? Do you have other people to consult with to determine more information, such as band members and ex staff? Are there any plans to consult with knowledgeable fans over the contents to determine what things are, or how important they may be, perhaps using that as a basis for potential releases? I understand fans have been involved in things like this for other artists, such as Pink Floyd, for reissues and archive releases, as they can typically be the ones that know what fans are looking for, if they spend hours each day or week for years reading fansites etc. Obviously from there, there is the balance of what’s commercially viable and putting these views into a feasible release.

8) I have some insight and access to archival processes for museum and similar activity and one of the challenges is that going so far back there is are no living people who can explain what happened, no internet in those days and a lack of written documentation so educated guesses are made based on what we can see, and sometimes it’s later found the results aren’t what they first thought. Right now we have the opportunity to interview and take information from many band members and staff whilst they are alive, but some of the people who worked with Prince are heading towards older ages to which they simply may not be around in a few years. Some of his staff and band members have already passed away, so the ability to gain information from them may be lost. My view is get as much information documented from those people now, so it’s retained for future use, perhaps moreso for Paisley Park remaining a museum, or for books, but it may help with documenting the archive. Do you know if there are plans to do something like this, so along with digitised archives we have detailed descriptions based on insight from those that were around?

9) In the year 2000 a 7 cd sampler set was announced for future release for $700 of royalty free samples of Prince loops etc but it was never released. Is there any sign of that in the vaults?

10) In the mid 90’s Prince mentioned rerecording his back catalogue because Warners owned the rights, but it doesn’t appear he got very far with this. Is there sign of there being much progress on this? There was a Purple Medley single released with rerecorded versions of his hits and a few other tracks had been heard, but little sign of much else bar Pop Life, Alphabet Street, etc. This would be from around late 94.

11) For the Paisley Park recordings in particular, I presume there’s a lack of information documenting the contents of tapes. Is that the case? What do you have to work on to determine what you have and who played on it? Does the lack of information cause issues in items being released as it’s hard to properly credit people and get permission for it to be released? Or are there blanket clauses that can cover this?

12) Prince has a number of pretty long tracks, and we know that there are often much longer versions of tracks that appeared on albums, like a much longer version of Adore, or Head, and tracks like the War which was edited from about 45 minutes, or Junk Music being just over an hour. Have you came across many tracks that haven’t been released that just go on for huge running lengths?

13) One of the best questions to ask someone in a scenario like this is to ask them, what 3 questions would you be able to give the most interesting and insightful answers to? But unlike Hitchhikers guide to the galaxy in reverse, can we get the questions and the answers?

14) How much of the really early shows are there recordings for? Are there recordings of his pre fame live shows, before November 1979 and are there recordings of rehearsals or soundchecks from that time? IE like the pre Beatles recordings they have on anthology?

15) Is there any suggestion of a Beatles Anthology type release? Something that may have the odd rough recording, such as accoustic demos and really early items, mixed in with unheard songs, his versions of other peoples songs, alternate versions etc, to give the world an official glimpse into the world of Prince than fans have heard from bootlegs?

16) There was mention in a Kevin Smith show that Prince has fully recorded music videos for songs that haven’t been released. Fans are aware of a few things like this, but the suggestion was there was a lot of things like this in the vaults, such as the 3121 movie. Do you have any idea how accurate that comment may be? Is it possible we could get an unheard song that’s never been on bootleg, released as a single with a fully completed music video, as opposed to one made from archive footage like Nothing Compares 2 U?

Hans (Utrecht)

Great story Paul. Similair stories here

I recently got a new car and I only wanted a CD-player (the rest is up to the miss). Well it seemed that there wasn’t one anymore available. It’s all digital. So I have to use a USB-stick or phone.
But I have a second-hand-double-cd-collection of Good copies for in the Car. So now I’m stuck with over 300 cds I don’t use anymore.
I told my friends to come and see if I could make them happy with some of them and they were very surprised. But happy. And it made me happy to see they would discover some of my favorite music.
So, now I’m cleaning up the Stock with cds I’m not playing anymore and that gives me a good feeling because now only the Very Good ones remain. (that was the whole point of the car-collection. They were al good). And through this I get more space in the home.

Collecting is great, re-organizing is beter.


1 – what is planned with the Live recordings? I’d love a deluxe edition for each tour. Replica programme, poster, ticket along with audio and video of course.

2 – is there anything planned to assemble the lost projects, such as Camille?

3 – did Prince leave any instructions to follow or are all the projects now down to what the labels and estate think is appropriate?

4 – any ideas on how they’ll handle the late 90s onwards that was NPG club only, or file/download only? Super hard to get, find, afford. I gave up on collecting Prince once it became that hard.


I currently have my albums in chronological order for a couple of reasons. Born in 1971, i find the music i got into as a teenager that I still love (aha, Tears for Fears, Nik Kershaw, Five Star) forms a section that is big on memories.

Then discovering soul and funk – mainly through getting into Michael Jackson, Whitney and Prince in ’83-85 – and working backwards in that genre is the bulk of my 60s and 70s stuff.
The 90s was the start of going to gigs every week, so that’s heavy on British bands and grunge/indie, and the 2000s is just a massive mix. Therefore it’s sort of autobiographical, plus I can head for a decade to suit my mood.
Genre was too hard. As a massive Prince fan there is no genre that defines him (and others) and I’ve always fought against the laziness of arranging by race. He’s an artist that record shops have been inconsistent with too as far as rock, urban, soul etc.
7″ singles are genre and then chronological.
I have a rule that vinyl is for actual albums, best of compilations are better suited to CD. If a band had singles I liked but the albums were weak, then I buy the 7″s not the album.

This works for now, but there is something in the back of my mind just itching for the day I decide to try something new.

Henrik Tronstad

Ian? From the flat upstairs? ;-)

Kudos for havig you collection in autobiographical order. Really impressive. And like Rob did it… Very nice. :-D

Mister Stick

Meeting Leader: “Thanks for the confession, Paul. Who else would like to share?”

Wretched Music Addict: “Hi, I’m Mister Stick, and I’m a record collector.”

Wretched Group: “Hi, Mister Stick…”

One of the key signs of “incurable” is when you not only look forward to reorganizing your collection, but taking delight in hearing how others do it and to what scale. I once heard a vinyl freak ask another how many albums he had, and the response was “Four”. “Four! Just four?!,” replied the questioning collector. And the other said, “Yeah… four max-size Expedits’ worth. How many you got?” Others have clocked the growth of their collections by recalling how many secret trips to Ikea, without the wife but with the neighbor’s pickup truck, were needed in the last decade.

But seriously, folks, no simple cube-shaped shelf can accommodate the kind of collections that SDE readers are likely to have. The Pink Floyd Early Years set is a like a Panzer tank, but looks almost trim next to the The Complete Elvis Presley Masters (hey, everything The King did was King-Sized, right?) or The Genius of Miles Davis trumpet case. If you’ve got one of those, you may have found yourself thankful that Miles did not play sousaphone. Then there are the almost-novelty-shaped items like the two Midnight Oil “water tanks”, and The Clash’s Sound System. Nobody wants a conformist world, but boy, can it be hard to wrangle those odd-shaped things into any kind of tidy storage. First-world problems are still problems.

What I’ve always wanted, though, was a way to get everything from each artist into one place: Every CD, LP, 45, book, box set, cassette, DVD, whatever, alongside the other exponents of the artist’s career. This way, when you’re hankerin’ for an evening with Iggy or Trane, you can survey the whole schmer before you decide what goes on first. As it is, though, it’s formats that go best together, and the odd size stuff seems to go into odd places. No matter how big the thing is, you might still not remember it’s… where? Oh, way over there, sharing a plank with your Princess Leia action figures. And the next thing you know, your music cave is more curio museum than disciplined library.

Still, the disease has long since set, and if there is a cure, just keep it to yourself, pal.

(Full disclosure: I don’t have any Princess Leia statues. Geek, sure, but you know… Not THAT kind of geek.)

Warren Mason

I have two questions for Mike Howe:

1- Susan Rogers (Prince’s engineer for many years) has said that they very often let the tape roll on songs beyond the fades we are all familiar with. While some of these were released as extended versions, I am curious if he has come across many of these extended portions and if there has been any discussion about releasing the longer versions?

2- This question is VERY important to many of the heavy Prince fans: has he found a Prince demo for “Violet Blue” from Jill Jones’ album? That may be the “holy grail” to a lot of people (versus “Wally”)!


For Prince interview:
Is it true Prince was the mastermind behind Milli Vanilli?

Re music collection/organization:
I own thousands of CDs and hundreds of records (mostly 12″ singles that haven’t come out on CD). I used to store my CDs like a record store with Rock, RnB/Soul, Reggae, Ska, Metal, Electronica, etc. in their own sections but my wife couldn’t find things so made me put them together and alphabetize them all. Makes it easy to find things which is nice. I’ve recently slimmed down the collection selling off (Ebay/Discogs)/trading in two bookshelves worth of CDs and several records and box sets. Has been surprising to see the value of the CDs especially the reissues I have collected over the years. The purge felt good but was hard to do for sure. Looking ahead to be able to downsize someday and won’t be able to take it all in any case.

Prince question above is a joke (of course…). Real question: did this person work with Prince and what does he think Prince would think of the releases that have come out since his passing. I have to imagine aside from the hits package and Purple Rain reissue the others wouldn’t have come out.

Marshall Gooch

Thanks for carrying the Lennon RSD album. I work at a record store (Quimper Sound, Pt. Townsend, WA USA) and we only got three copies for sale on the day and they all sold immediately. Now I’m into SDE Shop for those upcoming Buzzcocks LPs and the Lennon.

David M

Any photos, Paul?

Kevin M

It’s quite a nice shake-up to group albums by year rather than artist. I pulled out 1968 the other day and had a nice listen to Electric Ladyland / The White Album / White Light-White Heat…
…and in contrast a few days later pulled out 1982 and did Friend or Foe / The Lexicon of Love / Hex Enduction Hour and more..


Regarding my music collection, my vinyl went into storage in the late 80s when I left NZ, came out of storage in 2015 (after I returned) for about 6 months (but I had no turntable), then went back into storage as I was in the midst of purchasing and selling 3 houses in a row. I purchased a turntable in 2017 (in the second of the three houses) and was able to play new purchases for a few months. I moved all of my stuff into the third house, lived there for 2 months (but not enough time to unpack) and then left NZ again. I’ll be back in November and plan on unpacking everything and sorting it out so I can finally listen to all of that black gold. I’ve been able to have parts of my CD collection with me as I’ve moved and travelled, but after getting it all together last year back in NZ, it’s awaiting my return to be able to access all of it. As for organising the collection – everything has always been alphabetical (by last name of artist, or band name) with soundtracks as a sub-section under ‘S’ (but alphabetical by movie/play name within that) and various as a sub-section under ‘V’ (but alphabetical by album name within that). I have access databases each of 7inch singles, 12inch singles, vinyl albums, CDs, and DVD/Blu-rays, so I never unknowingly purchase something I already have (but have many albums on both vinyl and CD). I’ve only come across discogs via google searches in the past and thought at the time it looked badly designed so avoided it, but based on comments here, I’ll check it out again.


Hi Paul,

Knowing that the Prince archivist has no control of what is released, when it is released and what formats music will be released, I’ve tried to think of questions that relate to the job of archiving.

1. Approximately what percentage of the vault does the archivist thinks is unreleased songs versus released (not talking about unreleased versions of song, but songs we have never heard officially)?

2. How many songs were in the vault in total?

3. Were all the songs able to be dated and, if so, which decades were most of the songs from?

4. Is there material that is obviously part of a larger work, e.g. an unreleased album?

Graham Thomas

Thing about Discogs cataloguing is the way it orders things by first name, like iTunes. So Bowie comes under David and Simon under Paul, which really irritates when it should naturally follow from Simon and Garfunkel (etc). I’m pretty new to this and other sites so sorry if this has all been aired before.

Love the site Paul, great work and a guilty pleasure every day.

Ian Gair

I have never had my record collection in alphabetical order as they are grouped by artist or genre, lp’s & 7″ are seperate however. My CDs have being alphabetical on shelves, ever since seeing Dire Straits at the NEC, when they had a stand displaying the latest CD player!
Still not sure which is the most theraputic method of slimming down my collection having stood at my local record fair, it was a joy to see a collecter buy my Prince picture discs thou, yes I managed to come home with cash & empty boxes to stack up the overspill in the spare bedroom, which you can now enter (just). I have decided a combination selective future purchases and memories of where I purchased my Police, Squeeze,TFF records etc will ensure I do not become obsevive or found burried under a pile of vinyl.
I am sure there are better ways to the great Gig in the sky.

Charles K.

I just spent the last few days doing the same. Found a great cabinet to use and went at it. Love having it all organized now.

Anybody else having issues with this site loading on iPhones? It loads with only a sliver of the page on the left and you can’t swipe it over, you have to expand it first then move it. I sent an email to Paul but curious if anyone else has noticed this or if it’s just me. No other site does this on my phone and it even stopped for a while but has now resumed.


Regarding the Prince Q&A, I would like to know if there is going to be any expanded reissues, like Purple Rain recently, of Around the world in a day and Parade.


Excellent post!

Prince questions:

Is the idea to keep to the sort of concise, themed ‘album’ releases we’re seeing at the moment? Or are huge mega-boxes under consideration?

Any future post-CD plans to make the entire Vault available in a digital subscription service?

Kevin Galliford

& on top of that, I have a load of Duran Duran 7” / 12” & PSB limited 12” I can’t even play in a big box!

Kevin Galliford

I’ve got most of my CD’s in alphabetical order like a good little boy, then all my SDE box sets are in mostly in alphabetical order on specific shelves in my man cave, all my CD singles ( 100’s) are all perfectly stored in IKEA shoe box things BUT, all the stuff I have earmarked for listening including half the recent Bowie 80’s box, the Glastonbury box & countless CD’s earmarked for proper listening are in about 3 piles sort of all over the house. Time is limited with a young family so when I can actually “give it some” on the surround sound I really cherish that time. If I had time to play all on these piles I would need months. Still, I like a challenge…


Here are my questions for Prince’s audio archivist, Michael Howe:

– How many different songs (studio recordings, not counting remixes and alternative versions) did you find in the vault?
– How many of those songs have the quality (technically!) that they could be released (theoretically)?
– How many of the songs in the vault have already been digitalised, and did Prince “save” his songs in the 2000’s and 2010’s already on hard disk, CD, or other digital devices?
– Do you know if the estate has any plans how they will release the “vault songs” in the following years? Are there any plans for something like the NPG Music Club?
– Did Prince record as many songs in the 2000’s and 2010’s like in the 80’s and in the 90’s? Did you find the same amounts of unreleased songs from the 2000’s and 2010’s like from the 80’s and 90’s?

Thanks in advance,

David Stanley

Expanding on this release, please ask if Prince recorded full album versions of the Vanity 6, the Time albums, Apollonia 6, The Family, the Sheila E albums, Jill Jones and more? Could we see those full albums along with remastered versions of the people who “covered” him?

Warren Mason

I’m really curious about Apollonia 6 being reissued at some point as well.


Regarding the Prince Q&A: I would like to know if Prince’s other 80’s albums (especially 1999, Around the World in a Day and Parade) will see the same expanded reissue format given to the recent Purple Rain reissue.

Kevin M

Sometimes I’ve kept a 12″ or two in the LP sleeve of the “associated” or nearest album. As long as the 12″ sleeve isn’t spined you can get 1 or 2 in! eg my The Creatures Right Now 12″ lives in their Feast LP, Siouxsie The Thorn EP inside the Hyæna LP, Bowie’s China Girl in the Let’s Dance LP… etc etc!


Very interesting post, thank you for making visible one of the main “struggles” of the music collector. Space and organising records is always a problem. Once you finish arranging then in a certain order, you run into trouble again when you add the newer purchases.

Regarding Prince Q&A:
-Have they finished cataloguing the whole vault? Do they know to which era or record each song belongs to?
-what about live recordings? Are there shows from all eras?
-Did Prince leave any sketch about the content of potential future releases similar to the Purple Rain deluxe release?
-Who is in charge of deciding what is released and what have been the criteria used?

Glen Buchanan

Hi Paul- No RSD Marc Bolan/ T.Rex Bump ‘n’ Grind on the SDE site?


Regarding the upcoming interview with Prince’s audio archivist, Kauwgompie already asked some interesting questions.
In addition to those I’d like to know what the situation is regarding releasing deluxe editions of Prince’s 80s & 90s albums. Yes, people have been theorizing with regard to contractual issues and such, but I hope some more ‘official’ explanation can be given.

Regarding Prince’s fabled vault, I’m interested to know about its current state. Is everything now catalogued? What is the quality of the recordings?

There are rumours of a possible 1999 deluxe edition at the end of the year. Is this indeed coming? What will be on it?

And yes, when is a super deluxe throw-your-credit-card-at-me edition of Sign O’ The Times coming? I’m always fantasizing of a boxset that includes the whole story from Dream Factory, via Crystal Ball, to Sign O’ The Times.


I think the question more specifically is whether a 1987 box set is possible please and is it likely to see the light of day? The amount of bootlegs around Dream factory/Crystal ball/Camille/Sign O’ The Times indicates there could be a 10+ multi CD set, even though it is long confirmed the track listings may never have been set.


It might not hurt to ask. :)