Prince’s Big-Box Deal: Minneapolis Represent

Prince has signed an exclusive deal with Target to release a three-CD set at the end of this month; the package will contain two new albums by The Purple One called LotusFlow3r and MPLSound, as well as a disc by his protege Bria Valente. The Minneapolis-based chain (!) will sell the package for $11.98. But that’s not all—his career-spanning multimedia site lotusflow3r, which launched in beta earlier this year, is apparently getting ready to go live. When I visit it, all I get is some burbling music and a black screen, but lucky for all of us, someone at AOL’s Spinner got to check out the goodies within. And by “goodies,” I mean “an extensive live archive of Prince concerts.” I bet at least a few of you out there are drooling!

But the real treasure for Prince devotees is in the archive. According to Clay, Prince has filmed almost every one of his concerts since the ‘Purple Rain’ days, and to prove it, he had Spinner click on a video link inside Prince’s virtual head, where we discovered a performance of ‘Break It Down’ from last year’s Coachella show.

LotusFlow3r, which will launch sometime this month, will be a paid subscription site (Clay is speculating that the initial cost for a year will be $77), and to give fans their money’s worth, Prince will continue to roll out content on a regular basis, including live video clips and possible full-length concerts, as well as unreleased music. According to Clay, Prince has copious amounts of never-issued material, which Clay and his team are in the process now of cataloging.

But do subscribers get discounted admission to his parties? Because that is a value-add.

Prince to release new CD set through Target [AP]

  • revmatty

    During the time it was open, the NPGMusicClub had fits and starts of heading in this direction, with a few nice web-only songs released for a buck a piece, some downloadable video clips, etc etc. It sounds like the new site is an attempt to deliver on that prior promise. I wonder if my lifetime membership at NPG will be good at LotusFlow3r ;)

    I’d rather buy the new album via iTunes/Amazon/whatever than get physical media. And a third disc I’ll only listen to once. Because let’s face it, he’s not been the best judge of the talent of the women he’s sleeping with. Carmen Electra album? KIM BASINGER album? At least that one was never released…

  • Maura Johnston

    @revmatty: the preview of the song that was on lotusflow3r a few weeks back wasn’t bad. for what it’s worth, he’s said that it’s his attempt to bring back the quiet storm.

  • moulty

    $77 is a pretty significant investment, but for never-issued material and extensive concert footage from 1984 onwards…well that’s starting to sound pretty good. Though as a grumpy TC resident I must say that that new album should be titled LAsound.

  • Michaelangelo Matos


  • Maura Johnston

    @Michaelangelo Matos: i wrote this post with you in mind!

  • Tauwan

    @Michaelangelo Matos:

    Yeah, totally. Like hand to the head, body to the ground faint, Paris is Burning Drag Ball style. Oh my God!

  • Cos

    $11.98 for 3 discs of new material is a nice deal, but I’d be willing to pay $25 or more (depending on the DVD options) for a decently mixed recording of Prince’s Coachella set last year. I was in attendance and I’ve got a bootleg sound board clip, but it’d be really nice to have a quality version of it.

  • Chris N.

    ‘Crystal Ball’ was initially released only through Minneapolis-based Best Buy, oddly enough. Or not.

  • Ned Raggett

    My hesitation about this otherwise wonderful news is that Prince tends to equate ‘unreleased’ with ‘unreleased and recorded somewhere after 1992 or so’ — and it could be worse but you know.

  • Jay Smooth

    Yeah nobody loves P more than me (I’ll take you on any day Matos!) but I can’t get excited about his studio releases anymore, especially after hearing the leaks from this set.

    The archive thing MIGHT be super mind-blowingly awesome, but I’m gonna wait for the details before I plotz. “Unreleased music” could mean Camille outtakes, or it could mean Tamar outtakes..

    …who am I kidding, I’m totally signing up on the first day!

  • Thierry

    @eriq78: The Gold Experience is a classic, despite those awkward messages from the operator/hostess. As an album, it’s by far the best thing he’s released in 20 years, but it rarely receives the accolades it deserves. And has been out of print for ages.

    $77 might be a steal if it includes recordings from classic shows and afterparties – but I suspect we’ll have pay $20-30 per show or unreleased cd.

  • Lucas Jensen

    @eriq78: I forgot N.E.W.S. even came out.

  • thumper

    !!!!! those live sets “…since purple rain.” *dies*

  • Anonymous

    there was a time when i would hope in anticipation with each new prince album that it might be a return to greatness. that time has passed…

    Prince’s last great album – the Gold Experience (1995 – so underrated!!)

    after that:
    Chaos and Disorder – 2/3rds fun, ends bitterly.
    Emancipation – too much, too slow, with too little.
    Crystal Ball – a mixed up mess of 3rd rate funk and smaltzy showtunes, with a few killer jams.
    New Power Soul – boring vamps with audience shouts that go nowhere.
    Rave un2 the joy fantastic – the Santana model with pointless guest musicians and more flaccid drum machines!
    Rainbow Children – Sounds more alive than anything in ages but ruined by retarded religious wankery.
    N.E.W.S – i listened to this twice. i think.
    Musicology – nope. overrated hype. 2 or 3 passable songs, if that. only one i can remember bits it’s title from neil young.
    3121 – hey look at that, 4 pretty good jams! an improvement, maybe the next one will…
    Planet Earth – sucks. still hasn’t learned how to rap.

    there’s a couple i missed, cuz i was never enough of a sucker to shell out $100+ for NPGmusic club crap. anyway, what the world needs now, is not another prince protege.

  • Anonymous

    I have to agree with most of your assessments eriq78. “The Gold Experience” is probably his most underrated album. And “3121″ did have 4 pretty good jams on it.

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