Prince and the New Power Generation’s 1991 classic Diamonds and Pearls is getting the special reissue treatment complete with 47 unreleased tracks and over two hours of live concert footage. The reissue (in all of its various formats, available to pre-order now) will be released on Oct. 27.
Two of those unreleased recordings are available to hear now: “Alice Through the Looking Glass,” a Prince vault track originally recorded May 28, 1991 at Larrabee Sound Studios, Studio A, in Los Angeles. And an early mix of the Diamonds and Pearls cut “Insatiable,” which features both lyrics and additional instruments cut from the song’s final version.
Diamonds and Pearls marked Prince’s 13th studio album and the first one he recorded with the New Power Generation. The new backing band, comprised of musicians from the Twin Cities area, featured Sonny Thompson, Damon Dickson, Rosie Gaines, Michael Bland, Kirk Johnson, Tony M, Levi Seacer, Jr., and Tommy Barbarella. The first album they created spawned a slew of hits, including “Insatiable,” “Cream,” “Diamonds and Pearls,” and “Gett Off.”
The new Diamonds and Pearls reissue will feature the first proper remaster of the 1991 album. The remastered album will be released on its own, though there’ll also be a deluxe edition and a super deluxe edition packed with bonus material.
The 7-CD (or 12-vinyl LP) super deluxe edition will come with the original album, a collection of single mixes and edits, and a whopping 33 unreleased songs pulled from the fabled Prince vault. The unreleased tracks include a mix of alternate versions of album tracks, songs Prince gave to other artists, and tunes he recorded while touring in 1990. (The pared-down deluxe edition will just come with the remastered original album and the set of single mixes and edits).
Capping it off is an unreleased concert recording, Live at Glam Slam, documenting Prince and the New Power Generation’s Jan. 11, 1992 show at the Minneapolis club Glam Slam. Video of the Glam Slam show will also feature on the super deluxe edition’s Blu-ray disc, alongside Prince and the New Power Generation’s performance at the 1991 Special Olympics, a previously unseen soundcheck, and the long out-of-print Diamonds and Pearls Video Collection (originally released on those venerable formats, VHS and LaserDisc, back in 1992).
The super deluxe edition will also come with a 120-page book featuring unseen photos taken by Randee St. Nicholas and a smattering of essays from scholars and Prince experts. Public Enemy’s Chuck D penned the intro.
The Diamonds and Pearls reissue follows similarly expansive reissues for other classic Prince albums, like 1999 and Sign O’ the Times. In between these massive projects, the Prince estate has regularly shared odds-and-ends from the vault, like a recent pair of rarities: A version of “7” (off his 1992 “love symbol” album) recorded in a lower key of E-flat, and the previously-unreleased “All a Share Together Now,” which Prince recorded in 2006, right after the release of 3121.