New Prince Unreleased Tracks Release In Question

We're supposed to get an EP of unreleased Prince songs this week, but it might not happen because of a lawsuit.

The late, great Prince made so much music in his career his record label couldn’t keep up. The artist released music online, at concerts and used all forms of independent distribution and still there is a vault of unreleased tracks sitting in Paisley Park. It was announced yesterday that Deliverance, a new EP with three previously unreleased songs recorded between 2006 and 2008, will hit on the first anniversary of Prince’s death.

Today, it looks like that the package might not be delivered.

The Prince estate filed a federal suit against George Ian Boxill, the longtime Paisley Park engineer who co-wrote and produced the songs. The lawsuit was filed in a district court on Friday and re-filed in federal court on Tuesday. Boxill has five unpublished Prince tracks from 2006 in his possession and hasn’t handed them over to the family.

Variety cited court documents obtained by KTSP news in Minnesota to report that Boxill is “now trying to exploit one or more songs for his personal gain at the expense of the Prince estate.”

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According to the press release, the Deliverance EP includes the title track, plus four other songs which are part of an eight-minute piece called “Man Opera.” Boxill finished recording and mixing the songs after Prince’s death.

The suit claims the recordings are worth more than $75,000 and that Boxill had violated an agreement saying that the recordings were Prince’s “sole and exclusive” property. Boxill reportedly agreed to not use them “in any way whatsoever.”

The Deliverance EP is scheduled to be released on iTunes, Google Play, Amazon, Walmart, Target and other outlets by Rogue Music Alliance, a Christian label based in Vancouver, Washington.

You can listen to one track from it here, for the time being.

Prince died of an accidental overdose on April 21, 2016. His famed “vault” still has thousands of unreleased recordings. Only one has been released since his death, “Moonbeam Levels” from 1982. the Purple Rain deluxe reissue will include a full album of previously unreleased material. That comes out on June 9.

Universal Music Group is seeking to nullify an agreement Prince’s family made with may violate a contract with Warner Music Group, the artist’s label for the first 19 years of his career.

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Variety wrote that the Prince estate will issue a statement later today. More as this develops.