Album: The Black Album

From Prince Vault
Jump to: navigation, search
Come.jpg 1994: Come All Albums All Related Artists Albums 1995: The Gold Experience Thegoldexperience.jpg
"The Black Album"

Blackalbum.jpg

Album details


Released: 21 November 1994 (Germany, UK)
22 November 1994 (USA)
Length: 44:44
Label(s): Warner Bros. Records
Studio(s): Sunset Sound, Hollywood, CA, USA; Galpin Blvd Home Studio, Chanhassen, MN, USA; Washington Avenue Warehouse, Eden Prairie, MN, USA; Paisley Park Studios, Chanhassen, MN, USA

Charts, Certifications & Awards


Charts
America
Country: Chart Entry Date Peak Position Weeks in Chart
USA: The Billboard 200 10 Dec. 1994 47 11
USA: Billboard Top R&B Albums 10 Dec. 1994 18 13
 
Europe
Country: Chart Entry Date Peak Position Weeks in Chart
Germany: Muzikmarkt Top 100 Albums 12 Dec. 1994 9 11
The Netherlands: Album Top 100 3 Dec. 1994 35 2
U.K.: UK Albums Chart 28 Nov. 1994 36 3
Certifications
This album has not received any certifications in in the USA
Awards
This album has not received any awards in in the USA

Singles released


  • None.

See also


When 2 R In Love
(music video)
  
When2Rinlove vid-tb.png
"The Black Album" is the 16th full-length studio album by Prince. Officially, it has no title and no credited artist. It's known as "The Black Album" due to its plain black sleeve, which contains no information apart from the catalogue number printed on the spine in peach letters. The sticker on the 1994 release labeled it "The legendary Black Album". It was originally intended to be released on 8 December 1987, but was canceled at Prince's request just prior to release (on 1 December 1987). It was finally given a limited release in November 1994 (just three months after his previous new release Come).


Recording process

The album is essentially a compilation of individual tracks; it was not recorded as a thematic album.

The track, Superfunkycalifragisexy, was the first to be recorded in September 1986. The bulk of the tracks were recorded between October 1986, and March 1987.

The final track recorded, When 2 R In Love, came much later, in October 1987. Thematically the song is very different to those recorded earlier, perhaps prompting Prince's decision to keep it for use on Lovesexy.


1987 cancellation

While Warner Bros. were concerned about releasing the album in December 1987, only nine months after Sign O' The Times, the album's original cancellation was solely Prince's decision. He felt the album was too negative and hateful, and not the message he wanted to release. He has spoken of a "dark night of the soul" where everything came to a head, prompting his cancellation of the album (close associates have discussed that this was a result of a one-time use of the drug ecstasy by Prince and the hallucinations caused by it).

Following the cancellation, Prince immediately began work on Lovesexy, which is commonly viewed as a direct response to "The Black Album". Prince kept the track When 2 R In Love for Lovesexy; it was kept on "The Black Album" for its eventual release also, giving the track the distinction of the only recording to appear on two separate Prince studio albums in exactly the same form.

Prince referred to the album during the video for Alphabet St., where a message is written in the floating letters behind Prince: "Don't buy "The Black Album" - I'm sorry". Despite Prince's opposition to the album, however, he played songs from the album regularly on the Lovesexy Tour, during the first half of the show (focusing on Prince's darker music).


1991 release project

A release for "The Black Album" was planned by Warner Bros. in 1991 as the second disc of a planned greatest hits package (following the relative commercial disappointment of Graffiti Bridge), but when Prince submitted Diamonds And Pearls, the planned greatest hits package was discarded.


1994 release

Prince's eventual motivation for the album's release appears to have been financial, as he received around $1,000,000 for the release. His publicist stated that he was still "spiritually against" the album at the time.

The release was fairly low-key, and no singles were released from the album (although an all-black video with lyrics was produced for When 2 R In Love), but the album was widely regarded in the music industry and the music press as a legendary album. Due to the nature of its original release plan (no artist credit, no title etc.) and its cancellation at the last minute, the album was widely bootlegged, and is commonly regarded as the most heavily bootlegged album of all time, by any artist.

The 1994 release of the album reached number 47 on The Billboard 200, and number 18 on the Billboard Top R&B Albums chart.



Track listing
CD LP

The compact disc version is the original issue.

  1. Le Grind (6:44)
  2. Cindy C. (6:14)
  3. Dead On It (4:37)
  4. When 2 R In Love (3:58)
  5. Bob George (5:36)
  6. Superfunkycalifragisexy (5:55)
  7. 2 Nigs United 4 West Compton (7:00)
  8. Rockhard In A Funky Place (4:30) 1 

The long play vinyl was released at same time as the CD.

  • Side 1:
  1. Le Grind (6:44)
  2. Cindy C. (6:14)
  3. Dead On It (4:37)
  4. When 2 R In Love (3:58)
  • Side 2:
  1. Bob George (5:36)
  2. Superfunkycalifragisexy (5:55)
  3. 2 Nigs United 4 West Compton (7:00)
  4. Rockhard In A Funky Place (4:30) 1 

All songs written by Prince, except where noted.

1  Music written by Prince and Eric Leeds



Personnel
Musicians


Production
  • No credits were given for the album; credits below are unofficial
  • Prince - producer and arranger


Thanks
  • none.



Releases
LP, CD, Cassettes and Other versions
Country Format Cat. Number Comments Front Back Label 1 Label 2

America
USA LP PRO-A-7330 promotional in black die-cut sleeve
Princevaultsinglecover.png
Princevaultsinglecover.png
Princevaultsinglecover.png
Princevaultsinglecover.png
USA LP 1-45793 promotional peach marbled vinyl (1,000 units)
Princevaultsinglecover.png
Princevaultsinglecover.png
Princevaultsinglecover.png
Princevaultsinglecover.png
USA LP 1-45793 promotional white vinyl (300 units)
Princevaultsinglecover.png
Princevaultsinglecover.png
Princevaultsinglecover.png
Princevaultsinglecover.png
USA LP 1-45793 promotional grey marbled vinyl (50 untis)
Princevaultsinglecover.png
Princevaultsinglecover.png
Princevaultsinglecover.png
Princevaultsinglecover.png
USA CD 2-45793 promotional
Princevaultsinglecover.png
Princevaultsinglecover.png
Princevaultsinglecover.png
Princevaultsinglecover.png
USA Cassette 4-45793
Princevaultsinglecover.png
Princevaultsinglecover.png
Princevaultsinglecover.png
Princevaultsinglecover.png
► See more  ► See more 
Country Format Cat. Number Comments Front Back Label 1 Label 2
Canada CD CDW 45793
Princevaultsinglecover.png
Princevaultsinglecover.png
Princevaultsinglecover.png
Princevaultsinglecover.png
Canada Cassette 24 57934 CR
Princevaultsinglecover.png
Princevaultsinglecover.png
Princevaultsinglecover.png
Princevaultsinglecover.png
Europe
Germany LP 9362-45793-1
Princevaultsinglecover.png
Princevaultsinglecover.png
Princevaultsinglecover.png
Princevaultsinglecover.png
Germany CD 9362-45793-2
Princevaultsinglecover.png
Princevaultsinglecover.png
Princevaultsinglecover.png
Princevaultsinglecover.png
Germany Cassette 9362-45793-4
Princevaultsinglecover.png
Princevaultsinglecover.png
Princevaultsinglecover.png
Princevaultsinglecover.png
Poland Cassette PCW-655
Princevaultsinglecover.png
Princevaultsinglecover.png
Princevaultsinglecover.png
Princevaultsinglecover.png
Turkey Cassette 9362 45793 4
Princevaultsinglecover.png
Princevaultsinglecover.png
Princevaultsinglecover.png
Princevaultsinglecover.png
Africa
South Africa CD WBCD 1811
Princevaultsinglecover.png
Princevaultsinglecover.png
Princevaultsinglecover.png
Princevaultsinglecover.png
Asia / Pacific
Japan CD WPCR-160 with OBI
Princevaultsinglecover.png
Princevaultsinglecover.png
Princevaultsinglecover.png
Princevaultsinglecover.png
Thailand Cassette 4-45793 USA import w/ sticker
Princevaultsinglecover.png
Princevaultsinglecover.png
Princevaultsinglecover.png
Princevaultsinglecover.png
Indonesia Cassette 45793 4
Princevaultsinglecover.png
Princevaultsinglecover.png
Princevaultsinglecover.png
Princevaultsinglecover.png
Australia CD 9362457932 with limited edition Virgin Megastore slipcase
Princevaultsinglecover.png
Princevaultsinglecover.png
Princevaultsinglecover.png
Princevaultsinglecover.png

Variants, Special Editions and Reissues
Country Format Cat. Number Comments Front Back Label 1 Label 2

1987 canceled Issue
USA LP 25677-1
Princevaultsinglecover.png
Princevaultsinglecover.png
Princevaultsinglecover.png
Princevaultsinglecover.png
USA CD 25677-2 long box
Princevaultsinglecover.png
Princevaultsinglecover.png
Princevaultsinglecover.png
Princevaultsinglecover.png
USA Cassette 25677-4
Princevaultsinglecover.png
Princevaultsinglecover.png
Princevaultsinglecover.png
Princevaultsinglecover.png
USA LP 25677 DJ Promotional
Princevaultsinglecover.png
Princevaultsinglecover.png
Princevaultsinglecover.png
Princevaultsinglecover.png
Germany LP 925 677-1
Princevaultsinglecover.png
Princevaultsinglecover.png
Princevaultsinglecover.png
Princevaultsinglecover.png

 

 

 
Additional Information

Promotion (at time of release) Trivia

  • German and USA press adverts:
    German advert published in Hamburger Morgenpost   USA press advert published in Billboard
  • French pre-order coupon mentioning album availability until 27 January 1994:
    Blackalbum-preordersheetFrance.jpg
  • Before its official release in 1994, "The Black Album" was widely considered to be the most bootlegged album of all time by any artist.
  • The planned 1987 release carried the catalogue numbers (9)-25677-1 (for the vinyl), (9)-25677-2 (for the CD) and WX 147 (in the UK).
  • Some copies exist from the original 1987 pressing.
  • UK Press release published on 14 Nov. 1994 by Wea Records, London, UK:
    PRINCE
    black In black


    After seven years, Prince's infamous lost classic, The Black Album, is about to see the light of day. To be released on 21st november, The Black Album (shelved in 1987 just days prior to it's original release date) has been the subject of endless discussion, achieving mythical status in the process.

    The Lp itself features some of the heaviest funk workout's of Prince's career, "Rockhard In A Funky Place", "SUPERFUNKYCALIFRAGISEXY", and Le Grind", the brutally funny "Bob George", the low-down "2 Nigs United 4 West Compton" and the perfect pop of "When 2 R In Love" (a totally different version of the track featured on the "Lovesexy" Lp).

    The album will only be available until 31st january 1995. After that, it's history.
    Going down.

References
Come.jpg 1994
Come
All Albums All Related Artists Albums 1995
The Gold Experience
Thegoldexperience.jpg