It wouldn’t be an exaggeration to say that Prince fucking hated the idea of letting his music be streamed online. The reason was simple: money. “I don’t see why I should give my new music to iTunes or anyone else,” he said. “They won’t pay me an advance for it and then they get angry when they can’t get it.”
Well, His Royal Badness is now shredding on guitar up in heaven, as Mozart looks on with envy—which means his estate is finally starting to make all that funky music available for streaming. Billboard reports a massive chunk of the late artist’s tracks from 1995-2010 are now accessible through all major digital platforms, along with Anthology, a 37-track collection of songs from that era curated by the Prince estate. This initial wave of posthumous digital catalog releases contains a whopping 23 albums, or more than 300 Prince songs finally available online.
There’s a lot of good stuff in the mix, but the best news for fans is that these new streaming offerings include a number of rare or out-of-print releases, such as 1996's Emancipation, 2001's The Rainbow Children, and Musicology from 2004. In the coming years, the remainder of the 35 releases from throughout his career that were covered in this new distribution agreement will be made available. But for now, enjoy this bounty of music from the Prince Of Funk—and if you’ve never heard it before, allow us to suggest taking a listen to the title track off 1999's Rave Un2 The Joy Fantastic, and just revel in that sweet opening guitar lick.