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First wave of rare Prince albums now available to stream

Photo: ZUMA Press via MGN Online

(WENN) - More than 20 of Prince's "highly-collectible" albums have been made available to stream and download for the first time.

In June (18), it was announced that Prince's estate had reached an exclusive distribution agreement with Sony Music Entertainment (SME) that covered 35 of the late icon's previously-released efforts, which hadn't been widely accessible through streaming platforms, and on Friday (17Aug18), they launched the first round of their digital releases, made up of 23 of Prince's albums from 1995 to 2010.

Released through Legacy Recordings, a division of SME, the albums, many of which are "long sought-after by fans and collectors" because they are hard-to-find or out-of-print, begin with 1995's The Gold Experience and run through to 20Ten, with other titles including Emancipation, The Rainbow Children, Xpectation, Musicology, and LOtUSFLOW3R.

These records have been made available on streaming platforms including Spotify, Tidal and Apple Music.

Prince’s relationship with streaming was frequently hostile. In 2015, he pulled his albums from all streaming services except JAY-Z backed Tidal. Following the singer’s death in April 2016 at the age of 57, his estate allowed for various Prince LPs and compilations to reappear on services like Spotify and Apple Music beginning in February 2017.

In addition to the 23 albums, they have also released Prince Anthology: 1995-2010, a newly curated anthology comprised of 37 key tracks from that period. According to a press release the new compilation "provides a coherent musical chronicle of Prince's artistic and spiritual evolution through the late 20th and early 21st centuries in songs that continue to resonant in the culture".

In 2021, albums that Prince released through Warner Bros. between 1978 and 1996 will be distributed by Legacy Recordings in the U.S.

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