The Prince Estate, In Partnership With Warner Records to Release 1999 Remastered and Expanded November, 29th

Prince's standout album 1999 that included "Little Red Corvette", "1999" and "Delirious" first released in 1982 when 1999 seemed a long way off gets the deluxe treatment in time for the holidays. Along with the standard remastered by Bernie Grundman at 192/24 bit edition (as double 180g purple vinyl LP and CD sets) there will be a Deluxe 2 CD/4LP version and a Super Deluxe 5 CD+DVD/10LP+DVD edition (all will include downloads and streaming).

With Bernie Grundman remastering at 192/24 bit and cutting lacquers we can expect good sound but as long as the tapes were there why not just cut the original from the goddamned tapes instead of from files? Was there a problem with the original master tape of 1999 that required cutting from digital files? AnalogPlanet will try to find out.

This is getting seriously annoying. Major labels let the tapes out for AAA releases back when they didn't think money was involved and it was just a few nuts playing with records, but now that there's real money to be made, they insist on doing it themselves and the bean counters are more interested in maximizing moolah instead of sound quality.

The 1999 Super Deluxe Edition includes a total of 65 audio tracks across five CDs and ten 180g vinyl records. The set consists of all of the "officially" released tracks released "in and around 1982" as well as 23 unreleased tracks records between November 1981 and January 1983, as well as a complete live audio performance of the 1999 tour recorded at the late show (the second of two that day) in Detroit, MI on November 30, 1982. Both CD and vinyl sets also include a brand new DVD containing another complete, previously unreleased concert from the 1999 tour, recorded in multi-cam live at the Houston Summit on December 29, 1982.

The Super Deluxe Edition set also features Prince’s previously unseen handwritten lyrics for several songs from the era, including the hit “Little Red Corvette,” plus images of the analog tape reels from the vault and rare photography from Prince’s early ‘80s photographer, Allen Beaulieu. The Super Deluxe Edition is completed with brand-new liner notes by longtime Rolling Stone critic David Fricke, revered Guns N’ Roses bassist and author Duff McKagan, Minneapolis historian and radio host Andrea Swensson, and Prince scholar Duane Tudahl.

So we'll get a picture of the tape box but not the sound from the tapes transferred to lacquer in the analog domain. Swell!

Preston's picture

The 2011 reissue of 1999 will be very hard to beat. One of the best pressed and best sounding reissues I have. Didn't Ludwig master that as well from the analog tapes?

Michael Fremer's picture
DaK's picture

• Premium HQ-180 Gram Vinyl
• Mastered at Bernie Grundman Mastering from the Original Tapes
• Pressed at RTI
• Replicates Original Packaging

Michael Fremer's picture
So if I get this digitally remastered one I can compare... Thanks, pal!
PeterPani's picture

Mastered at Bernie Grundman Mastering from the Original Tapes says nothing. There is a lot of vinyl around quoting mastered from tapes, but do not mention that it was done to digital domain and pressed with digital cutter heads. Only if a record says AAA or mastered all analog it might be real analog.

Michael Fremer's picture
Back then was before the bean counters decided vinyl was a money maker so I think it was AAA.
Chemguy's picture KNOW you’re right!

I know it, too.

audioguy3107's picture

Hi Michael, enjoyed your presentation at RMAF last weekend! I don’t know anything about the cost involved with mastering records etc and maybe some of your other readers don’t as well.....talking about a reissue such as this, roughly what is the cost involved with mastering from analog tapes vs. mastering using digital files? Is it that cost prohibitive from a labor/materials standpoint to use analog tape? I’ve always wondered. Thanks!

Michael Fremer's picture
Hard for me to say but no doubt $$$$ saved by using the digital master since it's more important for the label to create it for streaming and archiving. Once it's done, cutting lacquers for the record costs much less? To bean counters, pennies matter I guess.
mraudio's picture

...WAY more to reissue a pure analog release than a digital one. That's why the labels are doing it. Also, pretty easy and inexpensive to transfer/send digital files wherever the hell they need to go.

Anton D's picture
Anton D's picture know what!

I will buy it, wrap it, and put it under the tree marked..."From Santa."

labjr's picture

The vocals on 'Little red Corvette' sound distorted on the digital versions I've heard. I hope that gets fixed.

Too bad they're using digital masters for the vinyl release. Takes all the value out of it. I wouldn't buy it.

Ivan Lietaert's picture
Ivan Lietaert's picture

I own the 1983 version, single lp, no double lp, because some songs we censured at the time. I still remember being so disappointed because 'International Lover' was not on it. "This is your pilot Prince speaking.
U r flying aboard the Seduction 747
And this plane is fully equipped
with anything your body desires"

Read more: Prince - International Lover Lyrics | MetroLyrics

The song ends with an orgasmic finale. I was 16 when I bought this record...

Tom L's picture

It's "censored", not "censured".
If you wanted the uncensored version you bought the wrong one. The full track list was on the two LP set, not the single LP that was available in some places. Did your Mom make you get the single LP?
I never understood Prince as a sex symbol, all that fake orgasmic stuff seemed silly to me, but some of my female friends would strongly disagree.

Ivan Lietaert's picture

censure in British
(ˈsɛnʃə )
severe disapproval; harsh criticism
to criticize (someone or something) severely; condemn

Ivan Lietaert's picture

If you censure someone for something that they have done, you tell them that you strongly disapprove of it.
The ethics committee may take a decision to admonish him or to censure him. [VERB noun]
I would not presume to censure Osborne for hating his mother. [VERB noun + for]

Tom L's picture

I was not attacking you in any way, but the correct word in this case is censor.
There was certainly censure involved from some parties, but the practice of removing some songs due to their content is clearly censorship, not censureship (not a word, BTW).
censor: examine (a book, movie, etc.) officially and suppress unacceptable parts of it.
Example: "The Prince album was censored"
cut, delete, delete parts of, redact, make cuts in, blue-pencil, unpublish; examine, inspect; edit, make changes to; make acceptable, expurgate, bowdlerize, sanitize; informal clean up.
"letters home from the front line were censored"

Tom L's picture

if the above sounds snarky, I didn't mean that.

Ivan Lietaert's picture

Welcome to the world with English as lingua franca.
I speak Dutch. Do you?????

Tom L's picture

I'm pretty rough but can make myself understood.

Ivan Lietaert's picture

well... yes it did sound snarky

Ivan Lietaert's picture

The double LP was out of stock. My mom has nothing to do with it.
Unlike many other artists, I never thought of Prince being fake...
As a matter of fact, Prince has been instrumental in me becoming an unbigoted human being. His music has been a great help on finding my own identity.
All of that plus he was a musical prodigy.
His orgasmic singing is scat singing taken to a whole new level, as was his androgynity.

Tom L's picture

all those years ago to buy the real album?
That's too bad.
Also, androgynity not a word.

Ivan Lietaert's picture

Define 'real'.... Is mine less real than yours?

Tom L's picture

All physical objects are real...but the two-LP 1999 may be considered the "real" album as it is the configuration Prince always intended to be released. The one-LP version was produced by Warner Brothers for Walmart and some other retailers who would not stock the uncensored version.

Now take a look at the supersized 1999 that was recently announced!

Ivan Lietaert's picture

If you look at the discogs website of 1999 it is remarkable how many different releases this record has. I'm not experienced at all in this matter, though. Could it have to do with its explicit lyrics?

Tom L's picture

It's surprising how many versions of some albums are released, especially when you look at the international ones. Take "Underwater Moonlight" by the Soft Boys, a nice record that wasn't a huge hit and has no troublesome lyrics or any other strange factors...there are 20 versions listed!
That's how the record biz once worked, I guess.

Michael Fremer's picture
We've explored that subject well before The New York Times story ran! However, Prince was the kind of guy who kept his tapes in his own vault, though my man Malachi says he was not particularly concerned with his older material and there were some issues with older tapes. Still better than being burnt in a fire!
BillK's picture

The 180g Carpenters box and individual LPs sounded very digital, and Richard was straightforward about stating he had to do it from digital masters because the originals burned. :-(

The difference was obvious as soon as I played the 180g versions, now I am on a hunt for GOOD copies of the originals but they're all very pricy on Discogs for anything that wasn't used as a Frisbee or drink coaster. :-(

Now, back to Prince. :-)

Ivan Lietaert's picture

1999 was recorded in Hollywood.... An official list of burned tapes was never released.

Michael Fremer's picture
I believe he would have taken the tapes home to Minneapolis following mastering.
DangerousKitchen's picture

..and as devastating a loss as it is, Prince was not named on it. More to the point, I feel the better bet for 1999 at this time is not the "newest" but the older re-issue from 2011, which you should still be able to find in both US and UK pressings (featuring the same US matrices.)

Ivan Lietaert's picture

... Prince began performing with the word “SLAVE” written on his cheek because WB treated him so badly.

Shouldn't Prince fans boycot this release, if there is any decency left in this world?

Ivan Lietaert's picture
BillK's picture

Feel free to boycott anything you want for any reason.

But regardless of whether you purchase 1999 or listen to any of the tracks online, WB gets a cut.