Prince’s Unreleased
Prince's "Welcome 2 America," an album written and recorded before a 2010 tour.

The Release of Prince’s “Welcome 2 America”

An unreleased Prince album recorded in 2010, Welcome 2 America, will finally be heard on 30 July.

The late funk star’s estate has partnered with the Sony label Legacy Recordings to release the archived material, one entry in a vast archive of unreleased recordings.

The title track has been released, a loping, spacey funk song with spoken-word lyrics that feature a typically arch and withering examination of a US characterised as the “Land of the free / home of the slave” – harking back to the early 1990s when Prince cast himself as enslaved to his record label Warner.

Prince wrote and recorded the album before embarking on his 2010 "Welcome 2 America" tour, but he didn't perform songs from it. He never said why, Prince's longtime keyboardist, Morris Hayes, told 60 Minutes correspondent Jon Wertheim.

"And I remember asking him about it. And he says, 'Well, we'll just have to revisit that down the line.' Because he was like onto the next project," Hayes said.

What would the album feature?

A deluxe version will feature a previously unreleased concert film of a 2011 Prince gig at The Forum in Inglewood, California, a 23-song set that includes cover versions of Bob Dylan’s Make You Feel My Love, Janet Jackson’s What Have You Done For Me Lately, and, closing the show, Roxy Music’s More Than This. It will also feature a 32-page book, photographic art print, poster and replica items from the era: a sticker, setlist, ticket, VIP invitation and backstage passes.

A double vinyl edition will featured an etched design on the fourth side. An additional 7-in release will feature the title track, alongside a live rendition on the B-side recorded in 2011 as a medley with the song Dreamer.

The release will excite fans eager for the release of further archive material, drawn from Prince’s mythically enormous vault, that required drilling into after his death in 2016 – reportedly only he had access to it.

Prince, November 2015 (Kevin Winter/Getty Images)
Prince, November 2015 (Kevin Winter/Getty Images)

Where and How to Watch Prince’s “Welcome 2 America”

60 Minutes cameras went to Prince's Paisley Park studios outside Minneapolis for the report. That's where Prince kept a vault of unreleased music, as many as 8,000 songs by one estimate.

A team of archivists works full-time at listening to the music and proposing new releases. The estate has kept pace with Prince, putting out roughly an album a year since his death - a mix of re-releases and newly-mined gems. "Welcome 2 America" is the latest.

The report, and the unreleased music, will air on 60 Minutes, Sunday at 7 p.m. ET/PT on CBS.

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