Prince onstage in 2009 | photo by Kristian Dowling/Getty Images
Prince’s first posthumous album, Welcome 2 America, set for release on July 30th
Prince‘s 40th studio album, Welcome 2 America, has just been announced for release on July 30th and will mark his first posthumous album of new material.
In the five years since his passing, there have been collections of demos and outtakes released — including the breathtaking Piano and a Microphone 1983 — along with re-issues of his music. But this album will mark the first release of an entire album after the Artist’s death. Recorded in 2010 before his “Welcome 2” tour, Welcome 2 America is speculated to have been slated for release in 2011, but was abandoned for unknown reasons.
The assumed tracklist for the album includes a few songs that were ultimately released on other albums, such as “When She Comes” and “1,000 Lightyears from Here.” Meanwhile “Hot Summer,” while unreleased in Prince’s lifetime, did receive airplay on Minnesota public radio station The Current back in 2010. The first song released from the album is the title track, “Welcome 2 America,” which was also unreleased in Prince’s lifetime, though there are claims that he performed it live in December 2010 at Madison Square Garden.
The song “Welcome 2 America” is a criticism of modern technology, the general culture of the United States, and the music industry. The late legend had made his thoughts on the music industry fairly clear, and a big part of that tied into his efforts to have full control over his music. The content of the song and the very clear stance he had about music ownership pose an interesting question about what Prince himself would have thought of his music being released posthumously. Ultimately, there’s no sure way to know for sure, as he left no will and no instructions for what to do with the overwhelming amount of music he left unreleased.
You can listen to “Welcome 2 America” below. The LP is available for pre-order here.