Prince’s 1996 albums Chaos and Disorder and Emancipation, as well as the rare Versace Experience (Prelude 2 Gold) mixtape from 1995, will be reissued on vinyl and CD on Sept. 13. It will be the first vinyl release for each, and the first CD release for the mixtape. Ironically, the reissue doesn’t include a cassette release for The Versace Experience; initially a giveaway to fashion show attendees, it was re-released on cassette in a limited edition for Record Store Day this year.
The reissues are being bundled under the heading “Prince Emancipated: 1995-1996.” In a series of tweets this morning, the estate emphasized how “pivotal” the era was for Prince, who left Warner Bros. after Chaos and Disorder and dropped the aptly-named triple album Emancipation.
"This is what freedom sounds like," Prince told USA Today in 1996.
Over two decades later, Chaos and Disorder, Emancipation, and The Versace Experience serve as fascinating time capsules to a tumultuous, defiant, and artistically triumphant era.
— Prince (@prince) August 1, 2019
One result of Prince’s newfound independence, though, was that as the turn of the 21st century approached, his new releases started to make less of a splash — in part because of their frequency and, sometimes, eccentricity, and in part because they were simply harder to come by for casual fans. With Prince’s entire catalog now on streaming services, and albums like these being reissued in regular installments, many fans are discovering previously unknown dimensions of a musical genius.
A low-key release, Chaos and Disorder didn’t have a U.S. single, but “Dinner With Delores” became a Top 40 hit when released in the U.K. The three-hour Emancipation has long fascinated fans with its triumphant tracks like “Jam of the Year” and intimate details like the heartbeat of Prince’s child, sampled as percussion on “Sex in the Summer.” The Current’s Sean McPherson spoke with keyboardist Morris Hayes about the making of this remarkable album.