Rejoice, Prince lovers! After a two-year absence, and almost a year since the artist’s untimely demise, 27 of his albums and compilations are now streaming on Spotify, Apple Music, and Pandora. It’s currently limited to the albums released on Warner Music, which isn’t a bad batch. You get Prince’s first fifteen albums, including 1999, Lovesexy, Sign ‘O’ The Times, and the Purple Rain and Batman soundtracks, the sort-of-okay Old Friends 4 Sale, and two newer releases from 2014, PLECTRUMELECTRUM and ART OFFICIAL AGE. While we’re sore about the exclusion of classics like Musicology and Crystal Ball, this is a good start to Prince’s exhaustive discography being available on popular streaming services. “Popular” is a good word, as previously the only people legally allowed to stream Prince were the 580,000 listeners of subscription-based music streaming service Tidal (compare that to Apple Music’s 20 million, Spotify’s 40 million, and Pandora’s 80 million).
Prince, famously protective of the rights to his music, chose Tidal to exclusively stream his new music, along with his older catalog, because of the financial equity of the deal. The artist died shortly after in April 2016 without a written will, causing all decisions regarding his intellectual property to be handled by his estate. In November, the estate sued Roc Nation, record label of hiphop mogul Jay Z, for hosting Prince’s music on Tidal, also owned and developed by Jay Z. What happened after that isn’t entirely clear, but on Sunday, Warner Bros. Records chairman and CEO Cameron Strang made the announcement. “Prince recorded his most influential and popular music during his time with Warner Bros.,” said Strang, “and we are deeply aware of our responsibility to safeguard and nurture his incredible legacy. Warner Bros. is thrilled to be able to bring Prince’s music to his millions of fans around the world via streaming services, fittingly on music’s biggest night.” That biggest night, of course, being the 59th Grammy Awards, which featured a wonderful tribute to Prince by Bruno Mars and Prince’s old associates The Time. While we’d love to add that clip on the end of this article, it seems that the ban on any unauthorized source of Prince’s music is still in effect. Instead, enjoy this clip of His Purple Majesty rocking “Baby I’m a Star” at the Grammys in 1985, the year of his first win.
Warner Music also announced plans to release a remastered Purple Rain along with two albums of unreleased music and two concert films. These are planned for a June 9 release, two days after what would have been Prince’s 59th birthday.
Of course, if you’re on the go and want to rock out to “Nothing Compares 2 U” on Pandora, “Little Red Corvette” on Spotify, or “When Doves Cry” on Apple Music, it helps to have your smartphone working perfectly. If your speakers or headphone jack are pumping out music that sounds fuzzy and unclear, or your battery life is so bad that you can’t even make it through the first half of 1999, bring your phone in to iFixYouri so we can check it out. Not near one of our walk-in locations? We offer mail-in service from anywhere in the world!