Top 10 Favorite Unreleased Prince Records

It’s quite known that Prince makes records and never releases them because of label problems or his own demons. It’s a sad but true state of affairs. Luckily there are typically leaks. And sometimes A+ quality. The leaks were more frequent in the 80s. But that’s ok as that was his most creative and adventurous era, in my humble opinion.

  1. Dream Factory (1986) – This would have been the 5th Prince record with the Revolution. That is, if you include 1999 as a “Prince and the Revolution” record. It was planned as a double LP, like 1999. This record became what would have become Crystal Ball (see below) and eventually became Sign O’ The Times after the Revolution disbanded. Some of the songs that were recorded early on for this project (but didn’t make the final cut of tracks) eventually showed up on 1990’s Graffiti Bridge. I true believe this was, and still is, Prince’s most diverse and creative record.
  2. High (2000) – Many of these tracks were eventually released via Prince’s NPG Online Club and instead put out The Rainbow Children which some people believe was a let down. Religious spew aside, I really enjoyed The Rainbow Children.
  3. Camille (1986) – This album had 8 tracks. All were sped up vocals and were sung by his alter-ego, Camille, a la U Got The Look, Erotic City & Housequake.
  4. The Rebels (1979) – This was more of a side-project, per se, than a Prince record. But none-the-less cool and new-wavy. Dez Dickerson & Andre Cymone helped Prince out as well as Gayle Chapman who sang a few tracks. A notable note is that Paula Abdul eventually covered “U” on her 1991 Spellbound record.
  5. Crystal Ball (1987) – Many tracks from Dream Factory were on this record, however this was definitely not a “Prince and the Revolution” record. And this record is not to be confused with 1998’s 3-disc Crystal Ball which is an entirely (and if you ask me, a well below par collection horribly sequenced and chosen) different record. This Crystal Ball was planned to be a 3 LP set. The label was not happy this this radical idea of so many LPs and Prince eventually huffed and puffed and put out the 2 LP Sign O’ The Times which was basically a slimmed down Crystal Ball.
  6. Madhouse: 24 (1988) – This was to be the 3rd Madhouse record. One track was released on Eric Leeds 1991 record, Time Squared. Other tracks were released via NPG Online.
  7. Rave Unto The Joy Fantastic (1988) – This album is not to be confused with 1998’s Rave Un2 The Joy Fantastic which is a completely different record. This album was eventually shelved because of Tim Burton asking Prince to be involved with the Batman Soundtrack.
  8. The Black Album (1987) – While it was officially released in 1994 due to the popularity of it’s bootleg, it would feel wrong to not include it on this list. There are so many rumors as to why this was never released in 1987. The label’s distaste with the lyrical content. The label thinking it was too funky. Prince ODing on ecstasy and having a revelation. Prince eventually scrapped the project and released Lovesexy in record time. Some say this is the yang to The Black Album’s yin.
  9. The Undertaker (1994) – This was to be released with Guitar Player Magazine, but the label disagreed with it. So it never came out. This was basically a “live in the studio” performance with Sonny T on bass on Michael Bland on drums. Most notable on this release is Prince’s Stones cover of “Honky Tonk Woman” and “Bambi” from Prince’s 1979 record.
  10. Roadhosue Garden (1998) – Prince was trying to get The Revolution back together in the late 90s. There were some songs recorded. One song was released via the NPG Music Club. I’ve never heard anymore than that. It’s assumed that other members of the Revolution were not happy with this release. Bummer.

2 Responses to “Top 10 Favorite Unreleased Prince Records”


  • I am looking to purchse the Crystal Ball CD that was releaseed in 1987. Do you have any suggestions where I may purchase this? Thank you

  • I think we will have to honestly wait until Prince Nelson decides to release a large box set of his “unreleased music” because he is still producing and recording. It would be wrong of him to release music that he still relies on for perspective. Besides the fact that he is extremely prolific as was Miles Davis, Sun Ra, Carlos Santana and Jimi Hendrix. What can we say but enjoy these titles and mountains of unreleased music and albums as a concept.

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