|Chaos And Disorder is the 18th full-length studio album by Prince, and the second to be released using the name . It was the last album of previously-unreleased material to be released by Warner Bros. while Prince was under exclusive contract (although Warner Bros. would later also release The Vault... Old Friends 4 Sale).
It was released worldwide in July 1996 (just nine and a half months after The Gold Experience and three and a half months after the Girl 6 movie soundtrack).
Sessions and compiling
Although Prince has stated in an interview for the Los Angeles Times that the album was recorded quickly ("Someone told me that Van Halen did their first record in a week. That’s what we were going for—spontaneity, seeing how fast and hard we could thrash it out. It was done very quickly, and we achieved what we wanted to achieve in that period of time."), Chaos And Disorder is actually a selection of songs written and recorded over a period of almost three years. Prince (as ) began recording songs specifically for the album in late 1994, soon after completing work on The Gold Experience, but the album was worked on further and assembled in April 1996 (at the same time The Vault... Old Friends 4 Sale was compiled). The tracks date between 1993 and early 1996, however.
Zannalee was recorded in May 1993, while Chaos And Disorder and Right The Wrong were recorded in October 1993. I Like It There and The Same December were recorded in late 1994 when Prince began to compile the project. Empty Room and 18 & Over were considered for the album in late 1994.
Videos for 18 & Over, The Same December, Zannalee and Empty Room (with a loose storyline between 18 & Over, Zannalee and Empty Room) were recorded in December 1994, and the videos for 18 & Over, The Same December, Zannalee and Empty Room were shown before concerts on The Ultimate Live Experience tour. An additional video for I Like It There was filmed in late 1995.
The rest of the tracks were recorded in early 1996, although Dinner With Delores was likely committed to tape in a different version in mid 1995 as well.
Bandmembers Michael B. and Sonny T. appeared on eight of the album’s eleven tracks, during their last sessions as regular members of the New Power Generation - Chaos And Disorder, I Like It There, Dinner With Delores, The Same December, Right The Wrong, Zannalee, Into The Light and I Will.
Additionally, Mr. Hayes and Tommy Barbarella appeared on six of those tracks. The album marked the return of Rosie Gaines, who sang background vocals on five tracks - Chaos And Disorder, I Rock, Therefore I Am, Into The Light, I Will and Dig U Better Dead. The release was very much a band-oriented album, with other musicians and vocalists appearing on all tracks with the exception of Had U, the album’s final track.
Had U is the only solo performance by Prince on this album.
The album produced only one commercially-released single, Dinner With Delores (which preceded the album).
Prince (as ) did not tour to support the album, and talked about the album (even on the album’s packaging) as a contractual obligation to fulfill his recording contract after his relationship with Warner Bros. had soured. The liner notes state:
"Originally intended for private use only, this compilation serves as the last original material recorded by for Warner Brothers."Notably, the album was on the Warner Bros. label alone, rather than being shared with NPG Records.
The album reached number 26 on The Billboard 200 Chart, but failed to chart in the Billboard Top R&B Albums chart.
On 13 September 2019, the album was re-released by The Prince Estate and Sony’s Legacy Recordings on the same day as reissues of Emancipation and The Versace Experience (Prelude 2 Gold).