Sidetrips: Prince – Best Obscure Tracks Vol. 1 & 2

These are all finished Prince tracks that didn’t appear on his general release albums. Many of them were released online through the NPG Music Club. One appeared as a CD b-side. Some remain unreleased.

If you like 1990s Prince, and don’t know this material, you will be knocked out. If you like Prince, but aren’t sure you can name any of his 1990s albums, these compilations are probably a good way to persuade you to look into that decade. He could seem to be trying a little too hard (to do/be what?) on some of those albums, but this stuff all sounds effortless.

The two fake albums presented here came about in the usual way. I swam around in oceans of non-album/unreleased Prince for a long time, until tracks I couldn’t get tired of started to sort themselves into groups. (The dates with the titles are recording dates taken from the invaluable Prince Vault site.)

Pop Album (52 minutes)

  • Vavoom (2000)
  • Eye Am the DJ (1995-1996)
  • Van Gogh (1995)
  • Peace (1999-2000)
  • Northside (2000-2001)
  • Horny Pony (1991)
  • The Sex of It (1987)
  • Get Blue (1990)
  • Feel Good (1995)
  • Beautiful Strange (1998-2000)
  • Empty Room (live 2002)

Groove Album (72 minutes)

  • The Daisy Chain (2000)
  • Sadomasochistic Groove (1997)
  • Well Done (1990-1993)
  • Poor Goo (1993)
  • Good Life (2000)
  • Paradigm (1990-1992 & 2000 with George Clinton)
  • The Undertaker (1993)
  • Habibi (1998)
  • Nagoya (2002)
  • My Pony (1990-1991 with George Clinton)
  • U Gotta Shake Something (1985)

Both in one mp3 file here

8 responses
Downloaded this a while back. listening to it (and all the other Prince i had already acquired) tonight. amazing. (The Undertaker is playing right now).
Glad you dig it, Phoebe. I hope they re-release all this fan club stuff. The reason the bit rate is low on this it came from one of those multi-gigabyte style Prince downloads of which you speak. Honestly, I play circa '87-'97 Prince more than the early years.
i need to listen to more from that era. i think Sign of the Times was one of his last albums that i bought (or my parents bought for me?). Parade remains a favorite since anotherloverholeinyourhead is my go-to Prince song, though Gett Off and 7 have been in heavy rotation on my playlists over the last couple of years. when i read "97" i just thought about how lucky i am to have seen him on that surprise tour. somehow i got free floor seats at the Pyramid and it remains one of my top 3 concert experiences ever. i had been planning on going wherever was within 8 hours driving distance for the tour that he was starting when he died. thanks again. really enjoying delving into stuff i wouldn't have found otherwise.
I never saw Prince live; I should have made the effort, given my obsession with his recorded archive. "Crystal Ball" is a tragically out-of-print document of the middle period. There are at least 15 tracks on it that I consider core Prince canon.
i am checking out Crystal Ball on Amazon music right now. yeah, the concert was completely just right place, right time, right otherwise terrible boyfriend (who, less than a month later broke up with me the night before we were supposed to see Johnny Cash at the Mid-South Fair). somehow he got tickets from his boss and asked me if i wanted to go (hell yes!). i was so entrenched in work (coming off of opening Elvis Presley's Memphis and Elvis Death Week) that i had no idea Prince was even in town until that day. Here's the setlist: my favorite memory from the show was that some guy behind us had a bottle of something (cognac?) that he was just passing around and all of us taking swigs from it. a good crowd goes a long way.
3 visitors upvoted this post.