Published Mar 20, 2015It's no secret that Prince's enigmatic personality is part of his appeal, but it turns out the Minneapolis musical icon might be even more mysterious than we thought. Long-running rumours of a massive musical vault containing archived material from Prince have been confirmed by a sound engineer — who claims that she's the one that started it.
Speaking to the Guardian's Mobeen Azhar (on a mission to discover the vault), Susan Rogers revealed that the vault does exist and that it predates the singer's mass popularity following the release of 1984's Purple Rain.
"I joined Prince in 1983 when he was preparing to do Purple Rain," she told the UK newspaper. "I realised it would be smart for me to get his tapes together in one place. I was aware there were a lot of pieces missing. It became an obsession. I wanted us to have everything he'd ever recorded. I called up the studios he'd been using and said: 'Have you got any Prince tapes'? This is his legacy. We need to protect these things. It's an actual bank vault, with a thick door. It's in the basement of Paisley Park. When I left in 87, it was nearly full. Row after row of everything we'd done. I can't imagine what they've done since then."
Composer Brent Fischer, who has helped orchestrate Prince's albums since 1985's Parade, claimed, "I think over 70 percent of the music we've worked on for Prince is yet to come out." He especially looks forward to a day when a nine-and-a-half minute "epic journey" of a song called "All My Dreams" might see a release.
And as for bootlegs that have been exchanged amongst fanatics and found their way online, Prince's former manager Alan Leeds suspects that Prince himself might be behind the leaks.
"We actually organised a federal investigation but we never got it down to one source," he told the Guardian. "Prince gave the combination to the vault door to way too many of the staff at Paisley, in my opinion. He was careless." Leeds remembers Prince riding around in his car, listening to unreleased material and lending out tapes to friends and lovers.
The sheer volume of material in the vault makes it unlikely that anyone will ever hear it all, with estimates that there is enough to keep the Purple One's legacy going well beyond his time on earth.
Even if it did all see the light of day, it probably wouldn't stop Prince from adding to the pile of prolific back catalogue with his never-ending string of new releases. The singer most recently released two albums on the same day with Art Official Age and 3RDEYEGIRL's PlectrumElectrum.