Two of Prince’s 1996 albums and one rare collection from the same era will be released by Sony Legacy on Sept. 13, the next wave of reissues approved by the late Minneapolis rock legend’s estate.
“Chaos and Disorder” and “Emancipation” -- the titles of which signal Prince’s exit from his longtime label Warner Bros. Records in 1996 -- will be available in new CD editions as well as first-ever vinyl versions, including limited-release purple-disc LPs. Originally a three-disc collection, “Emancipation” amounts to a six-LP bundle on vinyl even without any bonus cuts.
The third set to land that day will be “The Versace Experience (Prelude 2 Gold),” a quirky but fun sampler of remixes and oddities originally issued as a cassette for the Versace runway show at Paris Fashion Week in July 1995 to promote the soon-to-be-released “Gold Experience” album. Thus, tracks include remix versions of such “GE” cuts as "Pussy Control," "Gold" and "Eye Hate U."
Sony dropped a new cassette version of “Versace Experience” for collectors on Record Store Day this past April and is now making the collection widely available in digital, CD and vinyl formats. For a taste, Sony has posted the "Versace" remix of "Pussy Control."
The real prize here is probably the reissue of “Emancipation,” which has been out of print for decades but is widely considered one of his best late-'90s releases. Our little megamind rocker was not only celebrating his freedom from Warner Bros. – a point made obvious in such tracks as “Slave” and “White Mansion” -- but he also trumpeted his new marriage to Mayte Garcia in “Right Back Here in My Arms,” “Sex in the Summer” and his cover of “La La (Means I Love You),” among many other songs.
That Delfonics tune is part of a rare mix of studio-made cover songs featured on “Emancipation,” also including Joan Osborne’s “One of Us” and Bonnie Raitt’s “I Can’t Make You Love Me” – retitled with an eye for the “I,” of course. Maybe the best song on the album, however, is “Holy River,” one of the most overtly religious and gospel-injected recordings in Prince’s entire canon.
In our guide to Prince's original 37 albums, "Emancipation" earned 3½ stars, while "Chaos and Disorder" -- whose only charting track was the little-remembered "Dinner With Delores" -- only nabbed 1½. But hey, who's counting?