In the early 1990s, Prince had over 500 songs in a vault waiting for Warner Brothers to release. In 1996 alone, he put out a 180 minutes of music on the album Emancipation. Prince released so much music even diehard fans couldn’t keep up. Well, now they are all in one place and ready for streaming. Sony Music Entertainment and the Prince Estate dropped Prince’s entire NPG era catalog of 19 previously released album titles originally released between 1995 and 2010. That’s more than 20 hours of music. How can listeners even get started. Discogs put together a comprehensive guide to the era with The Emancipation of Prince: A Guide to the NPG Era – 1995-2010.
“In the mid-’90s, Prince was bucking trends and blazing trails,” reads the official press statement. “He got rid of his name, founded NPG Records, and threw off the shackles of accepted music industry wisdom. Between 1995 and 2010, The Artist released new material at a maddening pace for a pop superstar. He experimented musically and logistically, even winning a Webby Award for his pioneering use of digital distribution.”
The list of NPG-era titles includes The Gold Experience (1995), Emancipation (1996), Chaos and Disorder (1996), Crystal Ball (1998), The Truth (1998), Rave Un2 The Joy Fantastic (1999) The Rainbow Children (2001), 3121 (2006), Musicology (2004), Planet Earth (2007), Indigo Nights (2008), 20Ten (2010) and other albums.
The guide was written by Sean Cannon and Mike Duquette who discuss the battle with Warners and The Name Change that had many people calling the “Purple Rain” singer “The Artist Formerly Known as Prince.” However you refer to him, The Emancipation of Prince: A Guide to the NPG Era – 1995-2010 is a handy reference point.