Prince Greatest Hits Collection “Prince 4Ever” With Vault Track Out 11/22/16 – Comparison to 1993 “Hits”


Warner Brothers Records in conjunction with NPG Records announced today that they’re releasing a new 40-track greatest hits collection titled Prince 4Ever. Due out strangely on Tuesday 11/22 (the release day in the US was moved generally to Fridays), this marks the first posthumous new release for Prince since his untimely death in April.

This release marks the first of the legendary “Vault” of unreleased recordings seeing the light of day since his estate has been taken over. Prince had released some things in the past– notably on the Crystal Ball box set as well as the Warner Brother contract-obligation release The Vault: Old Friends for Sale.

This release reminds me of the 1993 releases The Hits 1, The Hits 2 and the 3-CD collection The Hits/The B-Sides.  The way I remember those releases was that The Hits 1 was considered a “clean” release, and The Hits 2 was more of a “dirty” release, so people could choose to avoid the racy songs. I can’t find any reference to that being the case, but if you look at the tracklists, certainly 2 has the racy singles on it. Sadly, the epic anthem “Purple Rain” is on the 2nd disc, so it would be disappointing to just buy one of the CD’s. The 3-CD version has both 1 & 2 and adds a third disc of B-Sides. As a collector of Prince 7″ and 12″ singles, I was delighted to get CD versions of those songs, which were often as good or better than the album songs.

Prince 4Ever’s track list, as you might imagine is very close to that 1993 collection. The 1993 collection was based on the single versions of the songs instead of the album versions. I don’t have track times to compare it to verify, however. I think that Prince 4Ever does a much better job of featuring a wider selection of the Warner Brothers catalog. The 1993 collection seemed to stay away from the deeper tracks on All Around The World In A Day and Parade and we get a few more here.

Also interesting about this collection is that it stops at the same year the 1993 collection does– with tracks from the 1992 Love Symbol Album. It does not include the four contentious Warner Brothers albums that followed: Come, The Black Album, The Gold Experience, Chaos and Disorder, or The Vault: Old Friends For Sale. Admittedly, those albums didn’t have many big singles on them, so stopping at 1992 marks the last of the big singles period for Prince. Below is the tracklist of Prince 4Ever and I’ve indicated what tracks were not on the original compilation.

1. 1999
2. Little Red Corvette
3. When Doves Cry
4. Let’s Go Crazy
5. Raspberry Beret
6. I Wanna Be Your Lover
7. Soft and Wet
8. Why You Wanna Treat Me So Bad
9. Uptown
10. When You Were Mine
11. Head
12. Gotta Stop (Messin’ About) ** on The B-Sides, non-album single from 1981, but was B-Side to “Let’s Work”
13. Controversy
14. Let’s Work ** not on Hits
15. Delirious
16. I Would Die 4 U
17. Take Me With U ** not on Hits
18. Paisley Park ** not on Hits
19. Pop Life
20. Purple Rain
21. Kiss
22. Sign ‘O’ The Times
23. Alphabet Street
24. Batdance ** not on Hits
25. Thieves In The Temple
26. Cream
27. Mountains ** not on Hits
28. Girls & Boys ** not on Hits
29. If I Was Your Girlfriend
30. U Got The Look
31. I Could Never Take The Place of Your Man
32. Glam Slam ** not on Hits
33. Moonbeam Levels ** not on Hits – the lone song from the Vault on here.
34. Diamonds and Pearls
35. Gett Off
36. Sexy MF
37. My Name Is Prince ** not on Hits
38. 7
39. Peach **debuted on Hits as a non-album single
40. Nothing Compares 2 U

This compilation is in many regards a better compilation than Hits was. I like the songs that they added to this, and some of the songs that Hits included are not missed: “Adore,” “Pink Cashmere (debuted on Hits 1),” “Pope” (A tribute to comedian Bernie Mac. Not a bad song, but certainly not really a great single from Prince.). The loss of the essential “Dirty Mind” is unfortunate, and I think that “Do Me Baby” is essential in the catalog. “I Feel For You” is probably better known as a Chaka Khan track than a Prince one.

The lone Vault track on here is “Moonbeam Levels” a song originally recorded in July of 1982 for 1999 and re-recorded for the aborted Rave Unto The Joy Fantastic (not to be confused with Rave Un2 The Joy Fantastic which was released in 1999, or Rave In2 The Joy Fantastic released in 2001). Incidentally, “Pink Cashmere,” from Hits 1 was also a track considered for the aborted album.

According to Wikipedia, The Hits/The B-Sides sold 40,000 copies following Prince’s death, allowing it to re-enter the Billboard 200 at #6. With the Warner Brother reissue campaign in full swing, it makes sense to capitalize on Prince’s catalog with a new compilation of his best-known songs. Just in time for the holiday rush, and before Black Friday, it’s sure to end up in stockings and under trees. The only pre-sale information I’ve seen lists this as a 2 CD. I have to believe they’ll do vinyl, but It would have to be 3 or 4 LP’s.

Happy New Year! A Look Back at 2009 for

A recurring tradition for me is to recap the site statistics for with some commentary on the content that was seeing the most traffic for the site. I said it last year– but probably I’m the only person who really is interested in this information, but again, I’m going to do it for posterity sake.

February 21st, 2010 will be the fourth year of! The traffic to the site increased pretty dramatically over the last couple of years. Some of the new traffic is a result of my use of twitter and facebook to share new article posts. Some of it is that I happened to blog about some things that people were really interested in and I got some new inbound links. I also undertook a substantial site redesign and introduced the new “Play B-Sides” logo you see at the top of the page which was designed by the very cool guys at Check out their “I Buy Vinyl” tee! I also got rid of the ineffective Google AdWords campaign that was doing very little and replaced it with a MOG campaign. The nice thing about MOG is that it is music-blog centric and there are some blogger bennies like free access to their MOG music streaming.

In 2009 I had 42,113 unique page views! This is over twice 2008’s 18,964 unique page views– a pretty good feat, I think, and showing that the crowd of viewers is steadily growing. When those 18,964 unique page views happened, folks spent an average of 2:27 minutes there, which is pretty good. Around 71% of those visits end up leaving the site, which is generally supported by the high number of search hits to the site– most people are only reading one article when they get here. This really isn’t surprising or revelatory.

The rundown of most popular articles are:

At #1 for the third year running is the home URL of which was visited 3,283 times. 1,077 of those visits came from someone entering the URL in a browser which is surprising. 917 of those visits came from The rest of the major hits came from facebook and other places where I use the URL of the site in an e-mail signature.

At #2 is my article comparing the Fender Baritone guitars— this is the third year running for this article #2. Obviously people find the article useful even though none of the guitars compared are still in production. An astonishing 3,018 hits to this article! 2,007 hits came from google with the rest of the hits coming from a number of guitar sites.

At #3 for the third year running is my article on the Fender Hard Tail Stratocaster. 2,324 hits on that article, with 1,758 views coming from google.

At #4 is yet another guitar article– this time it’s about my 2008 acquisition of one of a Guitar Center-exclusive Gibson Les Pauls. I’m assuming that there are a lot of people looking at getting these entry-level American Gibsons and are trying to find more information. In fact, I think that my article might be the only place where this information is collected. Gibson doesn’t have any information about this particular Les Paul. 2,173 views with 1,200 of those coming in via the google express. Interestingly, someone in October on the Portland Craigslist was linking to the article which drove 60 views on 10/11.

At #4 is a 2009 article about David Sylvian’s new album Manafon at 1,828 hits– 1,145 of which came from google. Whew! I was getting worried that I wasn’t creating any new content of interest! Still– what kind of article can topple my guitar ones? Maybe I need to just write guitar reviews– Fender, Gibson, Taylor, et al– feel free to contact me about where to send guitars for me to review.

At #5 is a 2009 article about one of Ryan Adam’s digital download releases under his PaxAm label. 1,439 page views on that one. Ryan mysteriously stopped releasing these previously-unreleased gems. There was a lot of chatter about it and interest. He even pressed a 7″ single with a promise of some more physical and digital releases. I hope that Mandy can talk him into doing more releases!

What will 2010 bring? Well, I’m hoping for more opportunities for interviews and concert reviews. I’ve got a couple of things starting to solidify already and I’m pretty jazzed about it, so I hope it pans out. Stay tuned, gentle reader!