Could there be a posthumous release of unheard Prince material coming soon?
That is the distinct possibility that Prince fans will be salivating over this morning, after a new development in the bitter battle over a tiny portion of Prince’s vast archive of unreleased music.
Prince was a celebrated perfectionist, and there are said to be hundreds upon hundreds of hours of unreleased material in the vault of his Paisley Park mansion.
Now it seems the first posthumous music to come out of the Prince estate may be imminent, with his former sound engineer George Boxill claiming victory, according to TMZ, over the estate in their battle over the song rights of an EP titled Deliverance, on which, he alleges, he is the co-writer.
The Daily Beast’s Stereo Williams described the EP as “a great record that offers the umpteenth example that Prince was still excited by guitar flourishes even after decades of pushing himself on the instrument.”
TMZ does not specify exactly what shape the “victory” will take, but says that Boxill is now claiming that the estate recently conceded in open court he did indeed have the right to release the tracks and profit from them.
Boxill and the estate have been locked in litigation over the Deliverance EP (an EP, for the benefit of millennials, is an “Extended Play” record and typically comprises four to six songs) for some time now.
The estate appeared to hold the upper hand after it got an injunction that forbade Boxill from releasing all but one song; but the estate was ordered to post a $1 million bond that will go to Boxill if he ends up winning the trial, to cover his losses.
Meanwhile, other eyes are on the main prize, the secret Prince “vault” that is said to contain hundreds of hours of unreleased music recorded by the star.
Tyka Nelson, the sister of the iconic musician, claimed Prince had intended for his fans to hear the music contained within the vault.
She told The Sun: “It was always Prince’s plan to release those songs. I want what Prince wants. We have to preserve everything. So as soon as we can release it, don’t worry—we sure will.”
Along with unreleased demos and new versions of classic Prince tracks, the vault is said to also contain extensive concert footage and live recordings.
Prince’s perfectionism and workaholism were legendary in the business. According to numerous reports, his brother-in-law Maurice Phillips claimed the singer worked for six days non-stop before his death in 2016.
Speaking after a private family service at the singer’s estate following his death, Phillips reportedly said: “He worked 154 hours straight. I was with him just last weekend. He was a good brother-in-law.”
Universal Music Group announced a $31 million deal to release the music earlier this year, but it collapsed after negotiations broke down.
On Wednesday it was also announced that a Prince exhibition featuring rare and iconic items from the singer’s life will open in London later this year.
The exhibition will include guitars, stage costumes, jewelry, and items from iconic tours such as Purple Rain in 1984 and LoveSexy in 1988.
Opening on Oct. 27 at the O2, the My Name Is Prince exhibition will run for 21 days.