A year since Prince's sudden passing from an accidental overdose of painkillers, the music legend's estate is blocking the release of unpublished tracks. But Prince's Revolution lives on as former band hits the road.
On April 21, the anniversary of Prince's untimely death, an independent label plans to release a six-track EP of Prince songs titled "Deliverance." But the musician's estate sees things differently, moving on Wednesday to block the release of tracks that Prince recorded with his long-time sound engineer Ian Boxill, between 2006 and 2008.
"Mr. Boxill is now trying to exploit the Prince recordings unlawfully in his possession," said a lawsuit filed in a Minnesota court by the estate led by Prince's siblings.
While the The Purple One's estate argues the songs "remain Prince's sole and exclusive property," Boxill, who has worked with the likes of rapper Tupac Shakur, said that the pop legend would have appreciated the independent release and was always looking for ways to distribute his music outside of major labels - "Deliverance" will appear on the indie label Rogue Music Alliance (RMA).
"I believe 'Deliverance' is a timely release with everything going on in the world today, and in light of the one-year anniversary of his passing," said Boxill.
The EP's title track, "Deliverance," was released Tuesday, with the five other songs part of the full EP digital release on Friday. A CD release is planned for June.
Meanwhile, Prince's 1980s backing band, The Revolution, is reuniting and hitting the road for a spring US tour.
A Prince portrait and flowers left by grieving fans outside his Paisley Park compound in Minneapolis
"We're taking it to the people who are grieving like we are, and letting them have a little bit of relief," said guitarist Wendy Melvoin on Wednesday while rehearsing in Minneapolis, the city in which Prince died at the age of 57.
After three sold-out September shows at the fabled First Avenue nightclub where Prince's hit 1984 film, "Purple Rain," was set, The Revolution is preparing to kick off a tour in Paisley Park, in the Minneapolis suburb of Chanhassen, one year to the day after Prince passed away in the same location.
"We have the ability now to give people a glimpse of what we experienced with him," bassist BrownMark said. "And I think that's a powerful thing. I know it helped me heal."
sb/eg (AP, AFP)