The estate of late musician and performer Prince and Sony Music Entertainment have reached an exclusive distribution agreement that will launch an expansive reissue campaign of 35 of the artist’s albums, according to a report in Billboard.
While back catalog concerns have seemingly been in limbo since the musician’s 2016 death, the new arrangement solidifies imminent plans for Prince’s albums from 1995-2010 to be reissued under Sony’s archival Legacy Recordings imprint.
The deal reportedly includes the rights to many B-sides and non-album tracks in the artist’s vault. Beginning in 2021, Legacy will then obtain the rights to reissue the musician’s “non-soundtrack catalog albums” from the 1978-1996 period.
The first phase of reissues will comprise The Gold Experience (1995), Emancipation (1996) and Rave Un2 The Joy Fantastic (1999). Also included are The Rainbow Children (2001), 3121 (2006), Musicology (2004) and Planet Earth (2007).
SME Commercial Music president Richard Story called Prince a “true artist and visionary” in a statement obtained by Billboard. “Sony Music is honored to play a part in keeping Prince’s music alive. And making it available for generations,” he said.
“[Their] enthusiasm and deep knowledge of Prince’s music make them the ideal partner,” added the estate’s Troy Carter. “We’re looking forward to working with Sony on giving fans what they’ve been waiting for: more great music from Prince.”
Relive the iconic performer’s Super Bowl halftime show below:
Prince’s estate and the changing tide
At the same time, the late artist’s estate is also looking at other agreements currently in place. As recently reported by Complex, a judge apparently denied some family members’ request to terminate a deal with music streaming service Tidal.
A lawyer for three of Prince’s siblings — Sharon, Norrine and John Nelson — requested a reevaluation of the musician’s Tidal deal due to reports of the company “inflating the streaming numbers,” an accusation recently covered by Variety.
But they “fail[ed] to raise any issue that merits reconsideration,” Prince’s estate responded to the siblings’ claim. “The Nelsons’ request is based on accusations about Tidal reported in one newspaper article in Norway over six weeks ago.”