|Planet Earth is the 32nd full-length studio album by Prince. It was initially available included on CD with the 15 July 2007 edition of the Mail on Sunday newspaper in the UK and Ireland (using simple slipcard packaging), with a retail release (using a full CD case containing a lenticular cover) following a week later in the rest of the world (sixteen months after the previous album, 3121).
The album (using slightly different slipcard packaging to the Mail on Sunday edition) was given to every audience member at each night of Prince’s 21 Nights In London : The Earth Tour residency in August and September 2007.
Strangely, the album’s packaging on each edition does not include a tracklist, indicating that the final tracklist may have been decided upon at a very late stage. Album credits only mention recording personnel by name, but do not specify which tracks feature each musician. The listing below reflects a best effort to compile accurate credits, but may not be completely accurate. Corrections will be made if further information becomes available.
Sessions and compiling
Little is known about the recording sessions for the album. Basic tracking for most tracks took place between November 2004 and Spring 2007, at three locations: Paisley Park Studios, Chanhassen, MN, USA; 3121 at The Rio Las Vegas, NV, USA; and Circle House, Miami, FL, USA. Two of the songs Planet Earth, Guitar were recorded in November 2004, during a three-and-a-half hour session with Michael B. on drums and Sonny T. on bass at Paisley Park Studios in Chanhassen, Minnesota. Songs that were included on the 3121 album (the title track 3121), released in 2006 and his next studio album Lotusflow3r (From The Lotus..., ...Back 2 The Lotus, Colonized Mind, Love Like Jazz and Wall Of Berlin) were also recorded during this session.
Most of the songs from Planet Earth appeared on an early configuration of the Lotusflow3r which contained 15 tracks at that time (early 2007): Guitar, Chelsea Rodgers, Mr. Goodnight, All The Midnights In The World, Lion Of Judah, Future Baby Mama, and Resolution (see the Lotusflow3r album page for the full configuration). Of note, the song Planet Earth is missing from this configuration. It is not entirely clear whether this 2007 project evolved into Planet Earth with the inclusion of what became the title track or was an entirely separate project. A four-song "Man Opera" consisting of I Am, Touch Me, Sunrise Sunset and No One Else was tentatively placed on an early configuration of Planet Earth in May 2007 but left off the album.
The album produced only one commercially-released single, Guitar (which preceded the album), but also produced three promotional singles, Chelsea Rodgers (in the USA only), The One U Wanna C (in France only) and Future Baby Mama (in Holland only).
Prince launched the 21 Nights In London : The Earth Tour residency, but rather than the tour promoting the album, the album was in essence a promotion for the tour, as a copy was given to every audience member.
The album entered The Billboard 200 at number 3 and the Billboard Top R&B/Hip Hop Albums Chart at number 1 but failed to be certified by RIAA.
On 8 February 2019, The Prince Estate re-released the album with Sony’s Legacy Recordings (Musicology and 3121 were also re-released on the same day).