Before Metallica's Black Album, Prince
recorded an album of the same name and delivered it to Warner Bros
in 1988. The album was very dark and experimental, some of it culled from the Dream Factory
sessions (the 3LP undertaking that ultimately became the double LP Sign O' The Times
. The CD was prepped for distribution, and reviews were written, but the album was pulled at the last minute by Prince. At the time, he felt that he may die soon
and didn't want the album to be his last work, as he felt it was too angry and negative. He quickly kicked out Lovesexy
to replace it, and launched one of his most spectacular tours ever.
Several songs from the album showed up on the tour frequently: Bob George, Dead On It, and When 2 R In Love(which was also on Lovesexy). Prince's Black Album rapidly became one of the most bootleged titles to date, and was frequently doubled up with pirated copies of Lovesexy to symbolize the dark and light sides of Prince.
Ultimately, The Black Album was released by WB against the wishes of Prince while he was in his The Artist Formerly Known As Prince phase trying to get out of his record contract. The mix is slightly different from that of the original one delivered to Warner, indicating either an uncredited remastering or that the widely bootlegged 1988 release was not the final master. The former is most likely, as the bootlegs were largely created off review copies of the official '88 release.
Tracklist (official release):
- Le Grind 6:44
- Cindy C. 6:15
- Dead On It 4:38
- When 2 R In Love 4:00
- Bob George 5:36
- Superfunkycalifragisexy 5:56
- 2 Nigs United 4 West Compton 7:01
- Rock Hard In A Funky Place 4:32
Many bootlegs included the tracks Old Friends 4 Sale
and All My Dreams
, also outtakes from the Dream Factory sessions.