Nearly twenty years ago, Prince wrote “SLAVE” on his forehead to protest that his longtime label, Warner Brothers, wouldn’t allow him to own the original masters (for albums like the multi-platinum Purple Rain) or release music on a more regular basis. Prince was so chuffed, he stopped recording for Warners, became "The Artist Formerly Known as Prince," and adopted a glyph in place of his name. On April, 18, Prince and Warners kissed-and-made-up with a fresh agreement that sees the release of previously unheard music (including a new album in 2014) and a re-mastered catalog, while giving him ownership of his master recordings. To celebrate, Prince dropped a new single, “The Breakdown,” on April 19.
"A brand-new studio album is on the way and both Warner Bros Records and Eye (sic) are quite pleased with the results of the negotiations and look forward to a fruitful working relationship," Prince said in a statement, emailed to members of the press. “The Breakdown,” (available right now on iTunes ) is the first fruit of that deal, released after midnight on April 19, and featuring four minutes of slow, funky soul.
Prince has been particularly prolific on the singles market as of late, having released “Breakfast Can Wait,” “FALLINLOVE2NITE”, “Da Bourgeoisie”, and “FUNKNROLL” within the last several months. While there is no word yet as to whether or not those single tracks will be available on his upcoming new album, what is known is that Prince and Warners will release a deluxe, re-mastered version of 1984’s seminal Purple Rain – the album and the film – just in time for this summer’s 30th Anniversary celebrations.
Prince photo courtesy of Warner Brothers
Posted on Saturday, April 19, 2014