After a series of deluxe reissues of three of Prince's biggest albums of the 1980s, his estate is exciting hardcore fans with the long-awaited emergence of the previously unreleased "Welcome 2 America" album from 2010.
The 12-tune, politically charged album, which includes "One Day We'll All B Free" and a cover of Soul Asylum's anthem "Stand Up and B Strong," will be released July 30 via Legacy Recordings, it was announced Thursday. To trumpet this project, CBS's "60 Minutes" will offer a report Sunday on Prince, shortly before the fifth anniversary of his death.
The deluxe version of "Welcome 2 America" will include a Blu-ray film of a Prince concert from April 28, 2011, which was part of his "21 Nite Stand" at the Forum in Los Angeles. Ledisi made a guest appearance at that show.
On Thursday, the estate released the nearly 5½-minute "Welcome 2 America" title track on streaming services. It is a slow-burn social commentary about corporations, mass media, technology, taxes and women's rights, among other topics. Prince says "there's no arguing with the Book" and "transformation happens deep within." The most biting lyric: "Land of the free, home of the slave."
"Hot Summer," a track from "Welcome 2 America," was debuted on 89.3 the Current on June 7, 2010, Prince's birthday.
Two other tracks from "Welcome 2 America" — "When She Comes" and "1,000 Light Years from Here" — appeared on 2015's "HitnRun Phase Two," his last album before he died.
Although Prince never released "Welcome 2 America," it was the title of an on-and-off tour from December 2010 to September 2012. He announced the tour at Harlem's Apollo Theater. None the 83 shows was in the Twin Cities. His current album at the time was "20Ten," released exclusively in Europe via two U.K. newspapers and magazines in Germany, France and Belgium.
Meanwhile, Prince's album "The Truth," which was part of his four-CD "Crystal Ball" package in 1998, will be released as a single disc in a limited run for Record Store Day on June 12.
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