by Jay Gabler
February 12, 2017
As was widely expected, Prince's music is being released today across major streaming services. 19 albums are now available on Spotify, Amazon, and elsewhere; as expected, the release includes much of Prince's Warner Bros. catalog, but not his releases between 1994's Come and 2014's Plectrumelectrum (with 3RDEYEGIRL) and Art Official Age. Prince's estate has just made a deal for the remaining albums to be released through Universal Music Group, so they may be added to streaming services in the near future.
The release coincides with a planned tribute at tonight's Grammys, which will feature a performance by Morris Day and members of the Time along with Bruno Mars. Previously, Prince's music had been available to stream only via Tidal, a service with which Prince had some form of exclusive agreement that's now being contested by his estate. His music remains on Tidal, including the non-Warner-Bros. material.
Also today, Warner Bros. officially announced a long-awaited reissue of Purple Rain that will include previously unreleased music and concert films. As Rolling Stone notes, "The reissue pairs the newly remastered Purple Rain with 'two incredible albums of previously unreleased Prince music and two complete concert films.' The exact contents of that bonus material have not yet been announced." That release is due out June 9.
Last year we polled our listeners: what are the very best Prince songs? We've now collected the results into a Spotify playlist, below.
Andrea Swensson contributed reporting to this story.