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


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.


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.



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.

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