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Black Album
Black Album
Genres: Dance & Electronic, Alternative Rock, Pop, R&B, Rock, Classic Rock
  •  Track Listings (8) - Disc #1

The legendary Black album.


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CD Details

All Artists: Prince
Title: Black Album
Members Wishing: 16
Total Copies: 0
Label: Warner Bros / Wea
Original Release Date: 1/1/1989
Re-Release Date: 11/22/1994
Album Type: Original recording reissued
Genres: Dance & Electronic, Alternative Rock, Pop, R&B, Rock, Classic Rock
Styles: Dance Pop, Funk, Soul, Album-Oriented Rock (AOR)
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaCD Credits: 1
UPCs: 093624579328, 093624579342


Album Details
The legendary Black album.

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CD Reviews

Legendary and controversial album by Prince
Jon Marin | Elmwood Park, NJ | 09/10/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)

"What is there to say about the Black Album that hasn't already been said. This album was supposed to be the follow-up to the 1987 masterpiece Sign o' The Times. The album was made but weeks before it's release Prince refused to put it out there and went to work on another album. The album released instead was Lovesexy, which (if you've heard the Black Album) proves to be great in its own way but the exact opposite of the Black Album. For Prince this was a spiritual thing. He said that something told him not to put out the Black Album. But what Prince didn't know is that while WB destroyed most copies, some of the promotional LPs were sent out. That's when the bootlegging began. The Black Album was one of the most bootlegged albums in history. The Black Album was still alive when Prince began performing some songs on stage during his Lovesexy Tour.

Years went by and in 1994 Prince had to fufill his contract with WB and did something he didn't want to do back in '88. Release the Black Album to the mass public. For years he'd been warning people not to buy the Black Album and now it was available but with a catch, it was limited. The Black Album's shocking lyrics and overt sexuality threw many people off. Here was the guy that sang "Little Red Corvette" talking in this pimped out voice calling a woman something besides her name. But even with all the controversy it was well praised.

Prince's The Black Album is an all out funk fest. With jams like "Le Grind", "Cindy C." and "Superfunkycalifragisexy". The only ballad on the album that was also featured on Lovesexy, "When 2 R In Love" is great and among the greatest Prince songs. "Dead On It" is a cool parody of rappers with an addictive yet simple beat that's sure to having you bobbing your head. "2 Nigs United 4 West Compton" is mostly an instrumental but has a little intro at beginning that has a conversation between Prince and Cat behind the drums of his song "Housequake". But listen closely and you'll hear a slew of voices chattering spewing curse words and conversations of their own. "Rockhard In A Funky Place" is a cool song too, with Prince ripping the guitar while Shiela, Cat and anothers yell "Rock!". But the infamous and controversial "Bob George" takes the crown for the best cut on the album. It is Prince in rare form. A deep voice and a pimp attitude. He's even making suggestions to using a gun, something that shocked critics and even made them come to the conclusion that Prince pioneered "gangsta rap".

To those that love Purple Rain and the legendary status of the man will find this album and "Bob George" in particular somewhat different and very disturbing. But to those that can enjoy Lovesexy and all of his work that the albums that weren't lighting up the pop charts, this is a masterpiece. Enough said."
Legendary but underwhelming bootleg
Greekfreak | Pusan Korea (South) | 11/27/2003
(3 out of 5 stars)

"The history of this album is well-documented, but in a nutshell (for those not in the know), Prince wrote and recorded it for Sheila E.'s birthday one night, and eventually decided not to release it due to religious reasons. The acetate got out, however, and the rest is history. This version is the Warner Brothers 1994 re-issue, and it contains no liner notes. The songs are merely listed on the disc itself.It's unfortunate that the hype machine got ahold of this album before it could be properly reviewed. It contains exactly HALF an album worth of good material, and the rest is experimental at best.The gems? "2 Nigs United For West Compton"; a funk/fusion classic that probably belonged in a live set somewhere. "Rock Hard In A Funky Place", a low-key funkfest that's similar to "Housequake", but way more minimalistic. "Superfunkicalifragisexy", a rave-up that surely belonged on "Parade"."
Prince's Greatest Album that Never Was
Sonny | Florida, USA | 02/03/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)

"If you don't know the story behind Prince's Black Album, here is a quick rundown. After the break-up of the Revolution and the commercial failure of the excellent Sign O' The Times, Prince wanted to reinvent his image, to do something shocking and different to show the music world that not everything was Starfish and Coffee. Hence The Black Album, the supposed follow-up to Sign O' The Times. It was supposed to be his most controversial album to date, and was a key starting point for his feud with Warner Brothers.

The label, looking for Prince to deliver another Purple Rain, instead received The Black Album, which contained no material suitable for a hit single. And worse, Prince insisted that the cover of both sides of the case to be black with no writing, and his name nor the album title was to appear anywhere on the album. Obviosly, the record label was not thrilled but went into production with the hope that the bizarre marketing strategy and Prince's name alone could carry the album.

With the album days away from release, and hundreds of thousands of albums already produced, Prince called the label and demanded them to pull the album. The label reluctantly agreed and most of the albums were destroyed. A few leaked out to the general public, bootlegs were sold, and the legendary status behind the album grew.

The explanation for Prince's abandonment of the album was that he had a religious revelation, and that God told him the album was evil (there have been rumors that he received this "revelation" while under the influence of ecstasy, but there is no substantial evidence to support this). So Prince went into the studio to create the opposite of The Black Album, Lovesexy.

Warner Brothers reissued the album in 1994 during the height of their feud with The Artist, and it was virtually ignored by Prince and the general public. But with such a history, could this album actually be any good? The answer is surprisingly yes.

While it does contain many instances of Prince's self-indulgence that plague many of his albums, The Black Album contains some of the funkiest songs that The Artist has ever laid down. The lyrics, while uncharacteristically violent and sexist for Prince, are not nearly as bad as what rap artists of today are producing.

It is a shame that this album was dropped with no promotion because it is a very solid album. While not in the same league as his classics, it is better than Lovesexy and pretty much anything he has released since except for The Gold Experience.

Because this album is hard to find and will cost around $30 for a good used copy, and upwords of $100 new, it is not for everyone. Any casual fan expecting a Purple Rain experience should stay away. But for diehards and completists, this is a definate must have. It is the lost gem from The Artist's extensive cannon."