Less than a year after we lost him to a prescription drug overdose, Prince is now entering the posthumous phase of his musical career with the release of a new greatest-hits collection, Prince 4Ever. The 40-track collection—which will be released tomorrow—will span the entirety of Prince’s multi-decade career, as well as a few unreleased songs from his fabled Paisley Park vaults.
The first of those songs, “Moonbeam Levels,” was written and recorded in 1982, during the sessions for his 1999 album, although it sounds like it could have been an outtake from Purple Rain as well. (Prince reportedly also considered putting it on his ultimately scrapped 1988 album, Rave Unto the Joy Fantastic.) Either way, it’s a stirring, stomping ballad full of wailing guitars and raw vocals; in quintessentially Prince fashion, the beat is seemingly designed to thrust along, but the lyrics have loftier things in mind. As Prince sings in the chorus, “Please send all your moonbeam levels to me/ I’m looking for a better place to die.”
The song was premiered (officially, anyway; it’s appeared on bootlegs in the past) on an ABC News live stream earlier today. You can hear ”Moonbeam Levels” in its entirety starting about 45 seconds in, followed by 20 minutes of Prince superfans talking about their love for the Purple One.
Prince 4Ever is in stores now.