On a recent track, rapper Jay Z enigmatically bragged: “Prince left his masters where they safe and sound—we never gonna let the elevator take him down.” The lyric now makes a lot more sense.
Tidal, Jay Z’s subscription music streaming platform, just dropped 15 rare Prince albums from the late singer’s back catalog in honor of what would have been his 58th birthday today (June 7). The albums are exclusively available on Tidal—a platform to which the business-cautious Prince gave his nod of approval last year for its focus on artists’ rights—and include a handful of B-sides, unreleased recordings, and live performances.
To serious fans, it could be something of a gold mine. Offerings include The Black Album, which was held from its planned 1987 release because Prince decided it was too dark, and Indigo Nights, an assortment of Prince’s 2007 aftershow performances at the Indigo club in London when he played at the O2 for 21 nights; these new releases add to the three dozen Prince albums already available on Tidal.
Most of Prince’s tracks are absent from Spotify and other major streaming platforms, as the musician was notoriously finicky about making deals with big industry players. Today’s new additions further contribute to the exclusives for which Tidal has become known.
Ever since Prince’s death on April 21, there’s been overwhelming attention to his music in general. His album sales recently beat out a record previously held by the Beatles, and several music awards ceremonies continue to capitalize on his popularity with miscellaneous tributes and honors.