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Welcome…

At the height of his phenomenal powers, a typical touring day for Prince would involve a four-hour soundcheck and a three-hour show, before he checked in to a local studio to ‘start work’. “He would consider 1am, after playing a stadium show, the point at which his day could begin,” remembers Susan Rogers, the sound engineer who helped polish some of the finest pop diamonds ever made. “I didn’t get a chance to form memories, because I didn’t sleep long enough to form them,” she has said of the furiously creative period from 1983 to ‘87 that she spent working with this musical polymath and pioneer.

Perhaps never before or since has such a tireless work ethic been matched by equally outrageous talent and vision. For a glimpse of that ludicrous virtuosity, and the awestruck esteem in which Prince was held by other artists, treat yourself to six minutes watching his performance of While My Guitar Gently Weeps at George Harrison’s posthumous 2004 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction. Rock royalty Tom Petty, Steve Winwood and Jeff Lynne are rendered redundant by his blistering fretboard work – guitar tossed nonchalantly into the air at its conclusion.

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About Long Live Vinyl

Issue 16 of Long Live Vinyl hits the shelves on what would have been Prince's 60th birthday. Our cover story focuses on the astonishingly prolific decade between 1978-88, when the Purple One released 10 albums that shaped the future of pop. We also round up the 40 essential Prince releases on vinyl that your collection should not be without and profile the cover art that accompanied his remarkable catalogue. Elsewhere this issue, we speak to The Smiths legend Johnny Marr about how he made his best solo album yet – Call The Comet – in his home city of Manchester, hear how Josh T Pearson raised the bar with his own latest record, and sit down for a chat with post-punk icons Wire. In our packed features section, we find out which record changed everything for former Suede guitarist Bernard Butler and meet famous 4AD artist in residence Vaughan Oliver to talk through his classic designs for the Pixies, The Breeders and Cocteau Twins. Also this month, we turn the spotlight on a label that's become a Chicago institution with a mind-bogglingly diverse roster – Drag City, Mark Elliott travels to Belfast for his latest cratedigging adventure in The Trip, and we take an in-depth look at the making of Carole King's career highlight, Tapestry. If all that's not enough, our packed reviews section rounds up new releases and reissues by The Rolling Stones, Black Sabbath, The Orb, Kamasi Washington, Let's Eat Grandma, Richard Hawley and many more, plus you'll find expert hardware buying and HIFI DIY advice, as well as turntable, speaker and accessory reviews. Long Live Vinyl is THE magazine for vinyl lovers. Pick up your copy today!