Two days after the second anniversary of Prince's death (which was this past Saturday) the estate for the late singer released a bevy of stuff related to the icon. This included an unreleased original version of "Nothing Compares 2 U," and two new websites (one with a plunge into his discography, that also includes rare photos and videos, and another for fans to share their Prince memories).
The estate has also discussed releasing a new book with never-before-seen pictures and poetry.
According to Variety, the lead caretaker of that estate (Troy Carter) revealed that a new album of previously unreleased material would be made available on September 28. As many a Prince fan will tell you, he was very protective of his catalog, and kept a large percentage of it locked away in his "vault." Those archives have since been taken to a climate-controlled facility in Los Angeles for the sake of being either archived, restored, or released.
On Monday, Variety spoke to Carter, who provided specifics of the full-length album slated for a fall unveiling.
Asked whether the album was from a "specific time," or whether it was a compilation put together over several years/decades, Carter confirmed that it was the former.
"This will be more time-specific," he said. "Michael Howe, who’s been working with us on the archive, has done a tremendous job of finding some special pieces of work, and one of the pieces that he found, all of us fell in love with it and decided this was special enough for fans to hear. So we’re putting the final touches on it — it’ll come in the fall."
Variety also asked Carter whether the caretakers had uncovered everything Prince left in his vault. Which is, apparently, a very, very daunting task.
"Prince recorded and rehearsed and performed constantly, and he taped everything, so once you think you’ve gotten close [to finding everything], you find new things," Carter said. "The vault was just one room and that room ran over into multiple rooms, and this was [mostly] before digitization so you have hard drives, and tapes and things like that. So we’re still in the process, and the fun part of my job is finding new things — every week I’m getting a new call about something special. Just two weeks ago we were doing a tape transfer and in one of the two-inch boxes we found the original lyrics to “Kiss”! It’s amazing, the things that are starting to surface."
When asked if there was any plan to re-release the out-of-print concert film Sign O' The Times, Carter said it was important to keep Prince's vision in mind while putting out his unreleased works for the public.
"We’re basically looking at all options," Carter said. "We have a very specific plan around the music, because we don’t want to just dump things into the marketplace and have things out just to have them out. Prince was very thoughtful in the way he released music and toured, and being able to preserve and protect that is important as well."
Finally, when asked what it was like to see all this stuff unavailable to the masses (while simultaneously being entrusted to take care of it) Carter said: "You know what? It’s emotional. I’m very cognizant of how important this role is. I took a trip to Paisley Park to go through the archives, lyric books and letters and photos and mementos, and I had to stop several times in the process just to breathe a little bit, because it’s heavy — you can still feel his energy in the work. And there was one piece of video that we came across — I got home and popped it in, and it was 11:30 at night, and I had tears running down my face watching this video. It was just incredible that I was witnessing what I was witnessing, just beautiful. His spirit and his creative energy are in the work, and I think you can feel it."
You can read the whole interview (which I would suggest) over at Variety.