It’s been just over a month since the untimely death of musical icon Prince. A midst the countless memorials and tributes, the worldwide grieving process humanity faced brought with it an unexpected grace period in terms of sharing his music online, something the artist formerly known as The Artist Formerly Known As Prince was incredibly protective over. For longtime fanatics and curious newer fans, the unprecedented influx of seldom heard Prince material made for a silver, or is that purple, lining in the black cloud that he death brought over the world.
Thus, while supplies last, we at the Weekly wanted to make sure you caught these excellent Prince rarities while they’re still available. Given the tremendous price increase from both eBay and bootleggers, this might be you last chance to catch some of the more elusive Prince brilliance in all its purple glory. Here’s our picks for five must-hear Prince rarities.
Your eyes do not deceive you. In 1982 Prince completed a video for the cherished 1999 track “Automatic.” The S&M themed clips had no chance of even sniffing MTV airplay, so the handful of airings it received from local music video shows and closed-circuit dance clubs made it largely the subject of rumors and urban legend for years. Not only can we confirm it’s real, but we have it right here. Even having watched it a few times, we’re still stunned it exists.
“Rock and Roll is Alive and it Lives In Minneapolis” 1995
One of Prince’s best late-era b-sides, “Rock and Roll is Alive and it Lives in Minneapolis” was Prince’s response to Lenny Kravitz’s “Rock and Roll is Dead.” The b-side to “Gold,” Prince made a genuine funky hard rock jam with multiple vibrant styles of rock all seamlessly woven into one track, peppered with a few hyper-local in-jokes for Minneapolitans. The track jams on its own, but Prince’s fun Elvis-centric clip works as both a sweet subtle love letter to his hometown, as well as a surprisingly infectious filming of a straight up great jam.
“The Same December” 1995
While Chaos and Disorder is a somewhat polarizing album amongst Prince fans, the one element universally agreed upon is that it showed off Prince’s tremendous guitar talents like few other of his releases. With Prince infamously having only shot the “Dinner With Delores” video to promote the album with no other singles to follow to spite his label Warner Bros., the previous year he released a promotional video for the track “The Same December,” which eventually found a home on Chaos and Disorder. Little is known about it, other than really appearing to be one of the Prince clips where he’s left to his own devices but in complete creative control for the visual component of a pretty underrated jam.
The Chocolate Invasion 2004
The question most Prince fanatics seemed to get in wake of Prince’s death, after condolences of course, was which of Prince’s later albums were worth checking out. We at the Weekly like quite a few of these, especially 1997’s acoustic album The Truth, 2004’s The Slaughterhouse and 2014’s Art Official Age. Our favorite, however, is The Chocolate Invasion. You wanted minimalist thump-punk-funk Prince back with tracks so infectious and ahead of their time you don’t know what hit you? That’s The Chocolate Invasion.
“Hot Summer” 2010
The lead single from Prince’s still-unreleased Welcome 2 America album, “Hot Summer” premiered one June Monday on Minneapolis radio station The Current. A great way to kick off your summer season, it’s a real shame that even with the tour of the same name that followed, we never got to hear the full proper album it was to appear on. Still, it crosses genres and makes us feel good in a way that only Prince can, so catch it and savor it while it’s up.