The Prince Estate and Legacy Recordings, a division of Sony Music Entertainment, are pleased to announce the next round of releases to be issued through the partnership’s ongoing definitive Prince catalog project. Three essential Prince titles–The VERSACE Experience (PRELUDE 2 GOLD), Chaos and Disorder, and Emancipation–will be available Friday, September 13.
The VERSACE Experience (PRELUDE 2 GOLD), Chaos and Disorder, and Emancipation will be available individually and in bundled formats (CD+LP) via the Official Prince Store.
Long out-of-print as physical products, Chaos and Disorder and Emancipation, two pivotal Prince albums from 1996, will be available on disc for the first time in two decades, while new vinyl pressings of Chaos and Disorder (1LP) and Emancipation (6LP) mark both titles’ first appearance in the classic format. Each of the three vinyl titles will be pressed on highly collectible, limited edition purple vinyl.
The VERSACE Experience (PRELUDE 2 GOLD) was originally a limited edition promotional-only cassette of previously unreleased material given to attendees of the Versace runway at Paris Fashion Week in July 1995. A first glimpse of Prince’s upcoming The Gold Experience, the cassette featured remixed versions of future favorites “P. Control,” “Gold” and “Eye Hate U” as well as rare unreleased music by The New Power Generation, The NPG Orchestra, and Prince’s jazz-fusion project Madhouse. Many tracks–not available in the same form elsewhere–were remixed or edited specifically to make The VERSACE Experience (PRELUDE 2 GOLD) its own seamless sonic universe and an extremely rare, highly sought-after Prince collectible. A reproduction of The VERSACE Experience (PRELUDE 2 GOLD) cassette was released–in another limited edition–for Record Store Day 2019. The VERSACE Experience (PRELUDE 2 GOLD) is now widely available for the first time on digital, CD, and vinyl formats.
1996 was a pivotal year for the artist, who (in addition to Girl 6, the soundtrack album for Spike Lee’s film) released Chaos and Disorder (his final album of new material for Warner Bros.) and Emancipation, a triple disc three-hour musical extravaganza celebrating Prince’s full psychic, spiritual, emotional and creative liberation.
Released in July 1996, Chaos and Disorder is a taut 39 minutes of dexterous guitar and simple but addictive pop melodies. “Someone told me that Van Halen did their first record in a week,” Prince told the Los Angeles Times of the album’s quick creation. “That’s what we were going for–spontaneity, seeing how fast and hard we could thrash it out.” Chaos and Disorder proved Prince’s enduring connecting to his global audience of listeners. Even without promotion, the album reached #14 in the U.K. and #26 on the U.S. Billboard 200 charts while the album’s only single, “Dinner With Delores,” hit the Top 40 charts in the U.K. (the only country where it was released). The current release marks the reissue of the long out-of-print CD and the first time Chaos and Disorder has been available on vinyl.
First released in November 1996 (just four months after Chaos and Disorder), Emancipation is as expansive and ambitious as anything Prince has ever recorded. A triple album–each 12 song disc showcasing exactly one hour of music–Emancipation found Prince celebrating life, love and music on his own terms. “This is my most important record,” he told the Minneapolis Star Tribune at the time. “I’m free, and my music is free.” The album represents the incredible variety of his influences and moods. Romance and family are key themes (“Somebody’s Somebody,” “The Holy River,” “The Love We Make”). Prince reflects on technology (“My Computer”) and sex (“In This Bed Eye Scream”), and offers new, upbeat grooves (“Face Down,” “Jam Of The Year”) as well as four unique covers (Bonnie Raitt’s “I Can’t Make You Love Me,” the Philly soul classics “Betcha By Golly Wow” and “La, La, La Means I Love U,” Joan Osborne’s then-current rock hit “One Of Us”). Available for the first time on vinyl, Emancipation will include 6LPs–each with printed jackets and printed interior sleeves.
Emancipation was celebrated with a concert at Paisley Park on November 12, 1996, that was broadcast simultaneously on MTV, VH1, and BET. A press release issued by NPG Records after the event called the concert “a liberating performance.” The album debuted at #11 on the Billboard 200 charts and sold over 500,000 copies, making it the fourth-best-selling triple album of all time in the U.S. Prince supported Emancipation with the wildly successful six-month-long Jam of the Year Tour.