Prince Greatest-Hits Collection, '4Ever,' Due Nov. 22; 'Purple Rain' Deluxe Edition -- With Unreleased Songs -- Coming in 2017

Prince 2016
Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images

Prince performs live at the Fabulous Forum on February 19, 1985 in Inglewood, Calif.

As Billboard exclusively reported last week, a Prince greatest-hits collection and a Purple Rain deluxe edition are on the way.

The 40-track greatest-hits album, Prince 4Ever, is due on Nov. 22 in the U.S. (Nov. 25 in other territories) and features his best-known songs -- including "1999," "When Doves Cry," "U Got the Look," "Diamonds and Pearls," "Nothing Compares 2 U" and many more -- along with the previously unreleased "Moonbeam Levels." That song, which has been available on bootlegs since the '80s and was even covered by Elvis Costello at a Prince tribute concert, was recorded in 1982 during the 1999 sessions and was considered for the unreleased 1989 album Rave Unto the Joy Fantastic -- not to be confused with the similarly-named Rave Un2 the Joy Fantastic album released a decade later -- several songs from which eventually appeared on the Batman and Graffiti Bridge soundtrack albums. (That preceding sentence should give an idea of the size and complexity of Prince's recorded work, which sprawls across four decades.) Nearly every other track on Prince 4Ever was released as a single at one time or another, apart from a few album cuts like "Why You Wanna Treat Me So Bad?" and the 1981 B-side "Gotta Stop (Messin' About)." The package contains a 12-page booklet with previously unpublished photos by Herb Ritts. (The full track listing appears below.) 

Even more tantalizing is the remastered Purple Rain deluxe edition, slated for release early next year. While details are incomplete, the set will include "a second album of previously unreleased material," according to the press release, which also notes that plans for the set "were agreed with Prince before he passed away." As for what that second album might include, multiple unreleased contemporaneous tracks -- such as "Electric Intercourse," "G-Spot," "Father's Song," "Wednesday," "All Day, All Night" and "Possessed" -- have appeared on bootlegs or were re-recorded with different Prince-related acts.

Also, several full concerts from the Purple Rain era were professionally recorded, including a March 1985 show that was released on the now out-of-print home video Prince and the Revolution: Live; B-sides from the era such as "17 Days" and two versions of "God" either appeared in the film or are commonly associated with the album. 

Both albums will be released by Prince's NPG Records with Warner Bros., the label to which he was signed for the first half of his professional career. All of the songs on Prince 4Ever date from his Warner Bros. era, which spanned from his signing in 1977 until 1996.

The albums represent the first releases since Prince's death from an accidental overdose on April 21 and are likely the first of many to come from the singer's vast archive of recordings. The advisers to his estate, Charles Koppelman and L. Londell McMillan, are currently considering proposals to license more material, which includes both previously unreleased music as well as catalog items.  

Track listing for Prince 4Ever:

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)
13. Controversy
14. Let’s Work
15. Delirious
16. I Would Die 4 U
17. Take Me With U
18. Paisley Park
19. Pop Life
20. Purple Rain
21. Kiss
22. Sign ‘O’ The Times
23. Alphabet Street
24. Batdance
25. Thieves In The Temple
26. Cream
27. Mountains
28. Girls & Boys
29. If I Was Your Girlfriend
30. U Got The Look
31. I Could Never Take The Place of Your Man
32. Glam Slam
33. Moonbeam Levels
34. Diamonds and Pearls
35. Gett Off
36. Sexy MF
37. My Name Is Prince
38. 7
39. Peach
40. Nothing Compares 2 U