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Digital Subscriptions > Long Live Vinyl > Mar 2019 > Prince MUSICOLOGY/3121/PLANET EARTH LEGACY

Prince MUSICOLOGY/3121/PLANET EARTH LEGACY

With three of Prince’s mid-2000s albums being released on vinyl for the first time, it’s an opportunity to reassess the Purple One’s noughties legacy. John Earls parties like its 2004

Perhaps the biggest surprise about Prince’s music since his death is how sensibly his catalogue now seems to be managed. Piano And A Microphone 1983 was a smart first choice for his unreleased music, suggesting Prince’s estate knows how to ease out those legions of works in the vault.

It’s equally important that Prince’s post-Slave years, when he decided major record labels were too controlling, are adroitly maintained. It was a good sign when the oftenbaffling 23 albums he made from 1995-2010 were released on streaming last August alongside a well-chosen Best Of from the era, Anthology: 1995-2010.

Now comes the first of the physical reissues of those albums, taken from 2004-2007, which led to Prince’s stunning 21-night residency at the then-new London O2 Arena. Musicology was given away on Prince’s 2004 tour. More problematically, Planet Earth was free with The Mail On Sunday, the least appropriate political tie-in imaginable for Prince. The freebie attitude Prince applied to his music at the time meant nice artwork was bottom of his to-do list. With these three albums making their debut on, inevitably purple, vinyl, the big question is: are they worth paying for?

FUNKY PASSION

Musicology is the pick, Prince’s best album since Diamonds And Pearls 13 years earlier. The title track and Life ‘O’ The Party are wonderful Sexy MF-style military funk, with Cinnamon Girl and If Eye Was The Man In Ur Life prime R&B balladry. Only the OTT loverman On The Couch spoils an otherwise-consistent ride.

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About Long Live Vinyl

Issue 24 of Long Live Vinyl is now on sale! Join us as we uncover vinyl’s great lost albums – the 40 essential bootlegs and live records that never got an official release. From David Bowie to Bob Dylan, Johnny Cash, Kraftwerk, Amy Winehouse, Jay-Z and The Beatles, don’t miss our definitive guide. Elsewhere this issue, Mercury Rev tell us about revisiting Bobbie Gentry’s lost classic, The Delta Sweete, and we speak to Julia Jacklin and Fun Lovin’ Criminal Huey Morgan about their brilliant new albums. 1980s pop mastermind Trevor Horn talks us through the 10 records that shaped his remarkable career, we meet the punk labels who are redefining the future of vinyl, celebrate Warp Records’ 30th birthday, look back at the work of the great Andy Warhol, and pay tribute to our Classic Album – The Flying Burrito Brothers’ The Gilded Palace Of Sin. If all that’s not enough, you’ll find the most comprehensive range of new album, reissue and gear reviews anywhere on the newsstand.