Skip to main content

Have we heard the last from Prince? What about what's in The Vault?

  • Author:
  • Updated:
    Original:

People around the world are mourning the death of Prince, especially those of us in Minnesota.

The loss of a musical genius led fans to listen again to all that he produced – sending his albums back to the top of the charts on Thursday.

But by some accounts, we haven't heard all the music Prince produced. Maybe not even half of it.

For decades, those close to Prince have described a vault in Paisley Park where Prince stashed thousands of recordings.

Urban legend?

Last year Mobeen Azhar of the BBC came to the Twin Cities to find out.

He spoke with Susan Rogers, who started working with Prince as a sound engineer in 1983. That's just before the release of Purple Rain made Prince a megastar and allowed him to build Paisley Park.

Rogers said she quickly learned that Prince had a habit of requesting his old tapes, so she decided they should be centralized and catalogued, telling Azhar:

"Then it became a bit of an obsession…I wanted everything he's ever recorded right here. So I started amassing them and I started making a database for all these things and then that's when we began Paisley Park and we realized if we're going to have a vault, let's have a vault."

Rogers worked with Prince until 1987 and said by then the vault was filled with "row after row" of tapes, most of which were never released.

https://twitter.com/Patrick_Fenelon/status/723289596390330369

The vault, according to The Express is a bank-style storage facility with a massive door and a combination lock.

A New York Times reporter who painted a vivid portrait of the scene at Paisley Park on the eve of Prince's release of "Emancipation" in 1996 and wrote then that "...his backlog of at least 1,000 unreleased songs and compositions, and new ones are constantly pouring out...."

Cat Glover, who worked with Prince on the Sign O the Times and Lovesexy albums and tours told the Guardian: “We would just write, write, write and then put things to the side and fix them later. Some of his best stuff is in the vault.”

Brent Fischer, a composer who started working with Prince told the BBC's Azhar he thinks 70 percent of the music they produced is unreleased.

https://twitter.com/ladyk3366/status/723326067876962309

https://twitter.com/bomani_jones/status/723311999480926209

How much is in the vault?

That question may steer us back toward the realm of the legendary.

But according to the Guardian there's an oft-repeated story that if the contents of the vault were packaged into albums and released at the rate of one per year ... there's enough music to for a century of Prince albums.

Next Up

Richfield High School

New threat prompts closure of Richfield secondary schools

The new threat comes after a shooting at the Richfield football game Friday night.

Screen Shot 2022-09-25 at 6.09.38 PM

Parkland shooting survivor David Hogg to headline Duluth rally

The rally will take place at Leif Erikson Park on Oct. 1.

Screen Shot 2022-09-26 at 6.09.43 AM

Stella's Fish Cafe closes temporarily to investigate viral rodent video

The Uptown restaurant said it was closing temporarily so it could investigate the claims.

Governor Tim Walz

Walz, judge in dispute over Feeding Our Future case

A Ramsey County judge disputed Walz's claims that the Minnesota Department of Education was ordered by the court to resume payments to Feeding Our Future.

ambulance

2 dead, 1 with life-threatening injuries in Hwy. 7 crash

Both drivers were not wearing their seatbelt, according to the State Patrol.

Screen Shot 2022-09-25 at 11.50.33 AM

15-year-old Richfield football game shooting suspect arrested

A 16-year-old accused of instigating the altercation is also in custody.

Police tape

3 arrested after homicide, burglary in Inver Grove Heights

Charges of first-degree murder and first-degree burglary are pending.

fire, firefighter

Woman dies after becoming trapped in Waseca house fire

Police tried to enter the home but heavy smoke prevented them from getting inside.

ambulance

1 dead, 2 with life-threatening injuries in Minnesota crash

The crash happened just after 7:30 p.m. Friday.

Image (1)

School bus carrying students plunges into river southwest of Fargo

None of the kids suffered life-threatening injuries, though some were taken to area hospitals.

Richfield High School

Richfield High School cancels weekend events after shooting

Two men were shot outside the school's football stadium

Related

Have we heard the last from Prince? What about what's in The Vault?

By some accounts, we haven't heard all the music Prince produced. Maybe not even half of it.