Want List: Prince Estate Drops Robust ‘1999’ Boxed Set Of God®

NPG Records | US | 5xCD+DVD | 2019

Prince: 1999 SUPER DLX RM US 5xCD + DVD [2019]

CD1 | Album

  1. 1999
  2. Little Red Corvette
  3. Delirious
  4. Let’s Pretend We’re Married
  5. D.M.S.R.
  6. Automatic
  7. Something In The Water (Does Not Compute)
  8. Free
  9. Lady Cab Driver
  10. All The Critics Love U In New York
  11. International Lover

CD2 | Promo Mixes & B-Sides

  1. 1999 (7″ stereo edit)
  2. 1999 (7″ mono promo-only edit)
  3. Free (promo-only edit)
  4. How Come You Don’t Call Me Anymore (“1999″ b-side)
  5. Little Red Corvette (7″ edit)
  6. All The Critics Love U In New York (7” edit)
  7. Lady Cab Driver (7″ edit)
  8. Little Red Corvette (Dance Remix promo-only edit)
  9. Little Red Corvette (Special Dance Mix)
  10. Delirious (7” edit)
  11. Horny Toad (“Delirious” b-side)
  12. Automatic (7″ edit)
  13. Automatic (video version)
  14. Let’s Pretend We’re Married (7″ edit)
  15. Let’s Pretend We’re Married (7″ mono promo-only edit)
  16. Irresistible Bitch (“Let’s Pretend We’re Married” b-side)
  17. Let’s Pretend We’re Married (video version)
  18. D.M.S.R. (edit)

CD3 | Vault, Part 1

  1. Feel U Up
  2. Irresistible Bitch
  3. Money Don’t Grow On Trees
  4. Vagina
  5. Rearrange
  6. Bold Generation
  7. Colleen
  8. International Lover (Take 1, live in studio)
  9. Turn It Up
  10. You’re All I Want
  11. Something In The Water (Does Not Compute) (Original Version)
  12. If It’ll Make U Happy
  13. How Come U Don’t Call Me Anymore? (Take 2, live in studio)

CD4 | Vault, Part 2

  1. Possessed (1982 version)
  2. Delirious (full length)
  3. Purple Music
  4. Yah, You Know
  5. Moonbeam Levels
  6. No Call U
  7. Can’t Stop This Feeling I Got
  8. Do Yourself A Favor
  9. Don’t Let Him Fool Ya
  10. Teacher, Teacher
  11. Lady Cab Driver / I Wanna Be Your Lover / Head / Little Red Corvette [tour demo]

CD5 | Live In Detroit – November 30, 1982

  1. Controversy
  2. Let’s Work
  3. Little Red Corvette
  4. Do Me, Baby
  5. Head
  6. Uptown
  7. Interlude
  8. How Come U Don’t Call Me Anymore?
  9. Automatic
  10. International Lover
  11. 1999
  12. D.M.S.R.

DVD | Live In Houston – December 29, 1982

  1. Controversy
  2. Let’s Work
  3. Do Me, Baby
  4. D.M.S.R.
  5. Interlude
  6. How Come U Don’t Call Me Anymore?
  7. Lady Cab Driver
  8. Automatic
  9. International Lover
  10. 1999
  11. Head

All eyes R on Prince… and his eyes R on U…

Am I mistaken or has the Prince Estate been issuing editions at an ever increasing rapid clip of late? The “Versace Experience” cassette was for RSD in April, then the “Originals” album in June? Then the trio of “Emancipation,” “Chaos + Disorder,” and [grrrrr.…] “The Versace Experience” came out on vinyl and CD in August.  I would have skipped that “Versace” cassette had this been known earlier! Now one of the big daddy Prince albums is getting the SDLX love and it’s “1999.” The album that finished off his impeccable New Wave arc that had begun with “Dirty Mind” in 1980, continued through 1981’s “Controversy,” and plateaued here in 1982’s “1999.”

It was an audacious double album worth of material due to Prince’s penchant for expanding the material to mostly 12″ single length as was the wont of most funk artists in the late 70s as well as the hippest way to consume the coolest New Wave imports from England. As this was the peak of his Funk/New Wave synthesis period, that made perfect sense to me. Following this period, he would experience a sea change in popularity when the slinking and grinding pop of “Little Red Corvette” finally gave him that second Top 10 single after a gulf of three years as a one-hit wonder. Then Warner Brothers wisely reissued the impeccable title track so that it could ascend into the Top 10 charts on its second try – like it should have as the pre-release single that grabbed my lapels and didn’t let go.

As I had heard music from “Dirty Mind,” Prince had gotten on my radar and by the time I heard tracks from “Controversy,” I was a believer. I was buying promo 12″ singles from that one that I wish I still had! I jumped right in on “1999” and I was fascinated how he had simply made the entire album as a series of extended 12″ mixes. The Linn Drum Machine still had the cachet of New Wave in 1982; before it killed off live drums on records for a generation. Most of the tracks had long buildup intros; just like was common on 12″ singles. “Automatic” skirted with a ten minute running time; boldly expansive for 1982 when most 12″ singles were about six minutes.

I finally bought the CD of this in 2015 and I’ll be happy to supersede that for the large box on offer as of November 29, 2019. The first disc will have the remastered album. Disc two will be the B-sides, which I’ve not heard, and the many remixes and edits that trimmed these long dance floor fillers down to radio size. I was astonished to see even late in the day mono promo mixes included in a very canonical fashion! But it’s the next two CDs that are the goods. They are packed with contemporaneous material from The Vault. I have greatly enjoyed the program of such included with the merely 3xCD+DVD “Purple Rain” DLX RM, and can only imagine that more unreleased Prince from this period would show similar fire and promise. The guy was insanely prolific. And at this time, his taste and vision was unparalleled.

Then a hot live concert from Detroit will go far in compensating for the time in early 1983, when the “1999” tour hit Lakeland, Florida 50 miles away with no one I knew who wanted to go. I just found out this week that the “Little Red Corvette” music video was shot in rehearsals at the Lakeland Civic Center on Zachary Hoskins’ compelling dance/music/sex/romance Prince-centric blog. Then the DVD had a different concert from a multi-cam shoot in Houston, Texas. All very welcome, but the retail price of $69.95 [pre-order at the official Prince webstore here] shows that the cost is getting away from my comfort zone. But $69.95 was way better than the $249.95 10xLP version!

More metallic foil artwork on this six disc binder

That said, the form factor was decidedly different from the “Purple Rain” tri-fold digipak®. This time we get a library periodical binder/box approach. A gatefold sleeve for the discs and a booklet of the liner notes from [among others] David [Rolling Stone] Fricke and… Guns + Roses Duff Kagan…? Well, I still want to buy it. I like the metallic foil motif they have carried over from the “Purple Rain” set. But I still have at least 3 boxed sets I have wanted before this, [Heaven 17, OMD, Wang Chung] and I don’t see the scratch to get any of them, frankly. I seems like I already missed out on the OMD set and they’re one of my absolute favorite bands. Well, I suspect they’ll press up more of this Prince box.

– 30 –

About postpunkmonk

graphic design | software UI design | remastering vinyl • record collector • satire • non-fiction
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14 Responses to Want List: Prince Estate Drops Robust ‘1999’ Boxed Set Of God®

  1. dhrichards says:

    I Know you don’t stream, but for my money ( or lack thereof) this is what streaming was made for.

    Like

    • postpunkmonk says:

      dhrichards – Yeah, but when the license expires the music vanishes. Unacceptable to me.

      Like

      • dhrichards says:

        True, true (Last month they took down all the Buggles singles they had up)

        Like

        • postpunkmonk says:

          dhrichards – Aieeeee!! See?! Streaming to me is a worst case scenario. It was bad enough when they decided that lawyers running record companies was acceptable. Now they have engineered the entire thing to stroke a lawyer’s sensibilities! It’s been a wet dream of the music industry to have compete control over what music we can potentially hear, and now without corporeal form, this is not only finally possible, but inevitable.

          Like

          • jsd says:

            Totally don’t agree about streaming. It’s great for previewing stuff, especially expensive box sets. If you like what you hear and want to keep it forever you can go buy the physical product (or less ephemeral digital product from bandcamp or whatnot.) Best of both worlds!

            Like

            • SimonH says:

              I understand the benefits of streaming but it’s not for me. I’m happy to go my own retro-uncool way… Of course if Urban Outfitters start selling CD players like they now sell cassette machines, then I become some version of retro cool… maybe:)

              Like

            • postpunkmonk says:

              jsd – My immunity to the lure of streaming is primarily down to access/control issues but also down to my music consumption lifestyle. I listen to CDs in my car. Occasionally, CDs in my home. I do not have a cell phone. I won’t have a cell phone. So streaming is not going to happen.

              I have downloads that I have bought or have gotten from bands that give them away, but the “form factor” of music in a file form is anything but convenient for me to listen to. If I get a promo DL from a band for review it takes me about a half a hour to tag all of the files correctly and laboriously transfer them to my iPod touch in order to have the tracks play back in the right order and with an image associated as a “cover.” And that’s on a good day.

              Then I can hear it in my car where critical listening is done on my daily (long) work commute. Subsequently, if I’m not going to review something as a DL, I usually don’t hear it. I barely listen to music on my computer. I have hundreds of files that I never hear. But they are there for “collections.”

              Like

  2. Tim says:

    Guns & Roses? You’ve read The Pet Shop Boys vs. America, haven’t you?

    There was recently a really interesting (and long) read over on the Guardian by someone who was auditioned by Prince to help write his autobiography.

    This set has it’s moments but not enough to make me quadruple dip on buying 1999.
    They need to present ”the vault” as a download store where you could buy things ala carte.

    Like

    • postpunkmonk says:

      Tim – My good sir, I have not even heard of “Pet Shop Boys vs America” until right now! [checks online] hmmm. Never heard of that one, but Axel Rose is in it?! Weird. What did he say?

      Like

      • Tim says:

        He was a huge fan of Behavior and apparently followed the boys across the US. They were a combination of WTF? and bemused, couldn’t figure out what was up. Eventually they met up and he enthused to them about his love of Behavior.
        Both of the Chris Heath books are worth finding and reading, if you are only able to score one the first one is the one to go for. They’re in the ”Imperial Phase” and quite catty and it’s a fun read. I realized typing all this that the Axl Rose stuff is in the second Chris Heath book, not the first one.
        I always thought that Can You Forgive Her? sounded like something that could have been done by one of those mid to late 80s rawk bands – instead of guitar licks you have these awesome synths that replicate that sound. It’s a wonderfully sinister track.

        Like

        • postpunkmonk says:

          Tim – I bought “Literally” when it came out but it’s a mark of the times that following “Very” PSB quite literally disappeared from my map. All down to the patience straining remixes on those “Very” singles. Which I stopped buying after the first two singles.

          Like

  3. brynstar says:

    I am drippin’ with purple saliva over this release. At first I had no interest in single edits and mono mixes, but my intrigue is growing. The Vault material is very exciting. It’s a shame that it appears the estate have taken the moral high ground on two Vault songs that fans were hoping for inclusion – “Extravloveable” and “Lust U Always”, however with lyric lines that include “rape” in both of those, they were always going to prove contentious in this #metoo climate. I would love to have the 10-vinyl set, but the cost will be prohibitive for us in Australia.

    Like

    • postpunkmonk says:

      brynstar – I was trawling through the forum on prince.org to see what bigger Prince fans than myself made of the set and yeah; lots of mentions of “Extralovable” and “Lust U Always.” That said, the mention of rape in the lyrics is a valid reason to censure these now. I loved The Stranglers but “Bring On The Nubile” was simply vile. I only heard it that first time and have taken pains to always skip it on playing the “No More Heroes” album. Prince was often profane, but I find it hard to imagine that either of those two cuts would be more offensive than “Nubiles.” The 10xLP to OZ would be cripplingly expensive!

      Like

      • Tim says:

        I mentioned in a comment upstream that I recently read an interview with someone who was auditioned by Prince to help write his autobiography.
        Something in the piece that struck me was that the person used the word ”alchemy” in reference to Prince’s music and he didn’t like that at all, his reaction to it was tied into his religion, devil/evil connotations. Odd that he’d take offence to a term being applied in a complimentary manner to his creative process and yet no trouble writing about rape.
        Here’s the original piece if anyone is interested in reading it, I love reading these things about him, he was a very interesting person. In my original post i mis-referenced it as being from the Guardian, it was the New Yorker.

        https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2019/09/09/the-book-of-prince?fbclid=IwAR2ez8kG1XDsXu1ldNZzvmZk18stp2_NkX17QHROGM9dRitQgGsiw0bWDJE

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