Saturday Deluxe / 30 April 2016



Unsurprisingly, Prince albums dominate this week’s UK album chart, in the wake of the musician’s death ten days ago.

The Purple Rain soundtrack is number four in the physical charts (behind – you guessed it – Adele with Aled Jones and new entry Katherine Jenkins also ahead of the 1984 Oscar winning soundtrack.

The slightly dull The Very Best of Prince single disc compilation is right behind Purple Rain at number five, while the more interesting (and more recent) Ultimate Prince, with its bonus CD of remixes, sits outside the top ten at number fifteen.

As has been well reported, Prince’s music isn’t available on any streaming services, except Tidal, but that doesn’t mean fans can’t buy digital downloads. This accounts for the higher positions of his albums on the ‘proper’ combined album chart where The Very Best of Prince is number two, Ultimate Prince is 11 places higher than on the physical chart (with a ‘new position’ of number four) and Purple Rain is pushed down to number five. In total, eleven Prince albums can be found in the top 100 on the physical chart, with 14 on the official album charts.

If you don’t own much Prince and are contemplating a purchase, the best compilation is the 1993 three-CD set The Hits/B-sides. If you can put up with plenty of single edits, this is pretty comprehensive, and is more or less the only place to find any B-sides on CD. You also get a couple of unique songs which were new at the time, namely Pink Cashmere and the brilliant, rather forgotten, Pope. For some reason (most likely stock problems) only the available separately single disc Hits 2 charted this week (number 61)

If you can’t be doing with a three-hour long ‘best of’ set then go for Ultimate Prince which gives you a decent 17-track hits disc, and on CD 2 (here’s the fun bit) some excellent 12-inch versions of very big hits such as Let’s Go Crazy (Special Dance Mix) 7.36, Little Red Corvette (Dance Remix) 8.22, Raspberry Beret (12″ version) 6.34, Kiss (Extended Version) 7.16 and a couple of great remixes from Sign ‘O’ the Times: You Got The Look (Long Look) 6.40 and Hot Thing (Extended Remix) 8.30. This was the CD debut for many of these when this was first issued in 2006.

If you don’t ‘do’ greatest hits or just fancy picking up some vinyl, and you think prices have been hiked up after Prince’s passing you’d be mistaken. Purple Rain is available on vinyl for only £12…

and 1980’s Dirty Mind on vinyl LP is similarly cheap.

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O(+> Peter B

Just some of the many great Prince singles that are yet to make it onto a Prince best-of: Automatic; Let’s Pretend We’re Married; Take Me With U; Paisley Park; America; Mountains; Anotherloverholenyohead; Girls & Boys; Glam Slam; I Wish U Heaven; Partyman; Batdance; The Arms Of Orion; Scandalous; Letitgo; I Hate U; The Most Beautiful Girl In The World; Gold; Dinner With Delores; Musicology; Black Sweat (which should have been a massive hit); Te Amo Corazon; Breakfast Can Wait; Breakdown; This Could B Us… also the 7″ versions of Little Red Corvette and Alphabet St – maybe a complete singles collection is needed. With complete 7″ and 12″ versions of a-sides and b-sides of course. As Prince fans know he often did extended versions of his a-sides AND b-sides, too.
Purple Rain is the number 3 single in Australia this week (When Doves Cry is at number 11).
Re sales spikes after an artist’s death, I think artists should be celebrated when they’re alive too (the topic of a great Digital Undergound song, Heartbeat Props). However, I have heard of young people listening to Bowie after he died because they hadn’t heard his music before and we were wondering what the fuss was about.
I’m hoping the deluxe Purple Rain comes out.
By the way, the Vault is now open: http://www.news.com.au/entertainment/celebrity-life/prince-signed-up-for-rehab-before-death-his-secret-music-vault-is-drilled-open/news-story/54e7827f47d0640aa9b0cd66bed4d329

O(+> Peter B

Actually, one track I want re-released: the 8-minute version of Sexy Dancer! https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sexy_Dancer


Prince has quite a few songs in the Aussie Top 50 singles chart this week: http://www.ariacharts.com.au/charts/singles-chart

And quite a few Top 50 albums – including 4 of the top 6 (although 3 are compilations): http://www.ariacharts.com.au/charts/albums-chart

While I’m pleased to see an artist/group I like doing well, it’s sad that it seems to take a death to create that success nowadays.


I wonder just how much Prince might have sold of physical CD’s if stocks had not been stripped clean so fast. A day or two after he passed away there was almost nothing available on Amazon.

I hope we will get remastered/expanded versions of his albums in the future (at the very least the ones from the 70s and 80s). I have almost all his albums but the earlier ones desperately need to be remastered. And releases like Crystal Ball seem to be impossible to get without paying hundreds of pounds. I should have bought it much earlier…


It’s a pity a musician/singer/producer has to die to sell records…


Prince had come to an agreement with Warner Brothers I believe in 2014 that they would start re-issuing albums, and Purple Rain was supposed to be the first one for its 30th anniversary. I wouldn’t be surprised if WB had something planned and then Prince dragged his feet or just said no, and that we might start to see some reissues sooner rather than later. The last two weeks have proven that the public has the appetite for his classic output.

Randy Metro

I said this on the Bowie thread in January, and it was already mentioned in this one: the media attention on Prince’s death and “Who was Prince?” curiosity brings new younger blood to his music.

I would like to think that in 25 years after I’m dust that the legacy of Prince will continue on, i.e., The Doors, Beatles, Hendrix, Led Zep, John Lennon, etc.


It could be a long time before we get any deluxe editions of any of the albums. If Prince didn`t leave a will the courts will have to decide who has control of his estate, most likely his sister will have sole control. Then she will need advice from the suits on how best to start to make money, big money. All this could take a while.

Rob C

Paul, how likely are we now to get deluxe editions of his studio albums and how likely are we to get a definitive career spanning compilation like Madonna’s Celebration of Bowie’s Nothing Has Changed?


This year’s charts is going to have scatterings of Bowie and Prince compilations.



There are a lot of reasons why the death of an artist spurs chart revivals. Deaths usually inspire outpourings of grief and appreciation from the music world as well as the press in general, and as part of that the artist’s body of work gets highlighted all over again in a uniquely singular spotlight that they probably haven’t experienced in a long while, including songs on the radio, specials on TV/news, music videos, films, etc. in addition to the more tabloid aspect. For many who may have only had a passing knowledge of the artist during their lifetime or the peak of their popularity, this intense attention inspires them to take another look at the artist’s work, whether that’s through listening online, streaming or purchasing music.

In addition, because many artist’s deaths come long after their commercial peaks, the coverage also does the work of introducing them to new generations of potential fans – Prince is a perfect example of this – especially since, as I mentioned, a lot of the coverage will consist of looking back at their body of work.

It’s not really true in most cases that most people who could have been interested in an artist (Prince or whoever) would have bought all their music during their lifetime. If this were the case, the reissue business would be far smaller. Sites like SDE, while appealing to fans who already have bought albums and are already in love with the artists, often have the effect of introducing readers to the work of dead artists through the extensive coverage of reissues and repackages of their material, and I think the vast majority of us can say we’ve discovered artists’ older works long after they were “new,” or even during the artists’ lifetimes.

As Paul mentioned, the sales effect is particularly noticeable for Prince because he strongly disliked free internet distribution of work via streaming, so bar Tidal, the only way to reliably listen to his work is to purchase it. Not to mention his widespread mainstream popularity…


Not only that, but the fact that his discography is so vast, there’s almost certainly something that most people are missing that is really good. I mean, even if you forget about the last two decades, who but the most dedicated fan has all 14 albums pre-1993? And all are worthwhile. So incredible.

I saw him live 4 times, including front-row seats on the Musicology tour. Nothing will ever compare. Dude was something else. I will be missing him forever.

Jungle Lover

Thing is, when Bowie died I remember that literally all his titles where unavailable on Amazon just a few hours after his death was announced. I checked in the early afternoon that day, while Bowie’s death was announced in the morning. I was checking Amazon daily in that period cause I was pondering on purchasing his 1967 debut album deluxe edition, so I clearly remember that his records were readily available until the very previous day. I assume that if all titles shift from “order in X hours and you’ll receive it tomorrow” to “usually dispatched in 2-4 weeks” it’s because there’s a sudden demand and said titles go out of stock, right? Now, what’s the reason behind such thing other than an artist’s death creates a big hype, mostly on casual listeners and music buyers? That’s very sad in my opinion.


I think that FOMO (fear of missing out) plays a big part in this phenomenon, which seems to have got much worse since Bowie’s death (although possibly I’ve just noticed it more). The same thing happened with Victoria Wood DVDs the day before Prince’s death, within a few hours Amazon had been stripped clean. In addition to FOMO, I also think that a lot of this “stripped” product is then immediately and opportunistically listed on eBay, where because of the FOMO factor, prices are then driven to ridiculous levels. I’ve gone back and checked on various items for Bowie, Prince etc, items which in the month before their deaths were selling at between £10-£15 rocket to £40, £50 and beyond!


I’m only 40 and I have all his discs even the 3 NPG albums.
I just hope that we get it all…vaulted and remastered deluxe sets. Especially all output from the 80’s.
If he made a deal with Warner Bros., does it still hold? Or, do they have to wait for his family. Is the Purple Rain deluxe remaster really done?

Paul English

The Hits / The B-Sides is easily the best of the three Prince compilations.

It wins on sound quality (not compressed like Ultimate) and has mostly single edits and a great selection of b-sides.

There’s a few omissions (Paisley Park, Take Me With U, Batdance) that could probably have fitted if they hadn’t used album versions of Alphabet St., 7, Little Red Corvette, Sexy MF and Purple Rain.


Thanks for the info, Paul.


Just released in the US this past Friday. I was able to get a copy at my local record store (Park Avenue CD, Orlando Fl). I am really enjoying several songs on Hit N Run Phase 2 (especially Baltimore).


The Ultimate Prince set is great. Those 12″ mixes are amazing. I made a playlist that combines the edits from Disc 1 and the extended versions from Disc 2 and puts everything in chronological order. It’s perfect.


Note that the “bonus” disc on Ultimate wasn’t intended to be like that. The original tracklist had these extended versions intermixed with the regular songs, and also included “Erotic City”. But Warners consulted Prince (even though they didn’t need to) and thus “Erotic City” got nixed, plus the extended versions were separated from the regular songs.


Wasn’t there a new album which should have been released these days? Will it now be release posthum?


It was, yes – it’s also, I think, the most consistent Prince album in a decade (maybe two decades…).


Phase 2 came out at he end of last year on Tidal (streaming service), but the only physical copies (so far) that were available were sold at a one-off show at Paisley Park. Plenty of those hit the secondary market/third-party sales circuit (and I snatched one up about two months ago, because I didn’t know whether I should trust the “it will get a broader release” statement since they said the same thing about 20ten and that never happened in the US).

I agree with Aubrey that it is a tight, surprisingly consistent album, considering the point of the HitnRun CDs was that hey were supposed to be more or less “odds n sods” comps. It really plays like a cohesive, planned out album–far more so than some of the more recent releases.


Paul, why do you think the death of an artist has such an effect on sales? If you liked Prince, for example, when he was alive, wouldn’t most people have bought things then?

As everyone in the UK has three copies of each Adele album, what would be the impact upon her sales if she died?



That’s always something I have wondered as well , I put it down to most of the people who buy albums upon as artists death are what I call “greatest hits” fans as opposed to “die hard” fans and they probably get caught up in the emotion of it all and rush out (or log on) and buy whatever is available


That could be a reason Wazza, it is also a question that I couldn`t ever answer. That was `til now. The only Prince albums I own are Hits 1 & 2 and one of the newspaper freebies. I have always liked Prince but as you can see never invested in his music to any extent. I have come close a few times, the 80`s big hitters, obviously but I have been more interested in his 90`s and later releases but never knew where to start. The premature death of the great man has nudged me, as maybe many others. So question partially answered.


And no ‘The Most Beautiful Girl In The World’ on any comp….or ‘Gold’ which i think is brilliant.


That means a new all-time peak for Purple Rain in the UK, as it never went higher than #7 back in the 80s (despite over a year on the charts in total). There is still precious little Prince stock in the shops even now, so other albums could re-enter in the coming weeks I suppose.

“New position” – I see what you did there! ;)