It is a known fact that Prince has had a trove of unreleased music but a recent feature in the Guardian reveals specific details about the collection. In the feature, it revealed that Prince has a physical vault in his Paisley Park estate in Minneapolis.
Mobeen Azhar from The Guardian talked with many longtime Prince associates. The vault even goes as far back to before the release of Purple Rain according to his former sound engineer, Susan Rogers.
“I joined Prince in 1983 when he was preparing to do Purple Rain. I realized it would be smart for me to get his tapes together in one place. I was aware there were a lot of pieces missing. It became an obsession. I wanted us to have everything he’d ever recorded. I called up the studios he’d been using and said: ‘Have you got any Prince tapes’? This is his legacy. We need to protect these things. It’s an actual bank vault, with a thick door. It’s in the basement of Paisley Park. When I left in 87, it was nearly full. Row after row of everything we’d done. I can’t imagine what they’ve done since then.”
Brent Fischer who, over the last 30 years has worked with Prince, said that 70% of their collaborations are yet to be released.
“There are a lot of songs that were sent to us clearly with the idea that they would never be released. They were almost comical songs that he would work out with his horn players. There was lot of wild horn parts and experimentation with samples. I’d like to see ‘All My Dreams’ come out. We enjoyed that song so much. I think it’s nine-and-a-half minutes. It’s this epic journey.”
Azhar had also shared Alan Leeds’, Prince’s former manager’s, anecdote about how a federal investigation was launched about the leaking of material even though it was likely that it was Prince’s fault.
“We actually organised a federal investigation but we never got it down to one source. Prince gave the combination to the vault door to way too many of the staff at Paisley, in my opinion. He was careless. I remember driving Prince to the airport and on the way back I saw there were tapes in the glove compartment, tapes under the [sun] visor, tapes in the back seat. He would ride around listening to his unreleased music and just leave things all over the place.”
It is yet to be revealed whether or not the music in the vault will ever be released but according to Leeds, Prince once said “that one day he’d just burn everything.”
The full article can be found the Guardian‘s website. Azhar also created a documentary named Hunting for Prince’s Vault which will air on BBC over this weekend.