This collection documents the late Prince Far I's (aka Michael Williams) final period with the Trojan label. These are frequently referred to as his best years, despite the fact that Psalms for I and Under Heavy Manners are graded as his finest albums. But it comes down to track-for-track, the dub 12" singles, and the sound system tracks that he cut with one of the greatest bands in the history of reggae, the Arabs – mainly made up of the Roots Radics band with cats like Flabba Holt, Style Scott, Chinna Smith, and Bingy Bunny. Prince Far I's Cry Tough Dub Encounter albums are well known for their visionary quality and stridently spaced out effects. Far I was his own producer from 1977 on, and he did a better job than anybody who had worked with him previously, whether it be Adrian Sherwood, Joe Gibbs, or Bunny Lee. With the exception of the first cut on this two-disc set, "Heavy Manners" produced by Joe Gibbs, the Prince was at the helm for everything else here. Of the 40 selections, four complete albums are represented, and a few singles. The albums are Free from Sin, Jamaican Heroes, Voice of Thunder, and Musical History.
Prince spent the latter half of the '80s courting the pop audience, and by the time of Graffiti Bridge, he had lost much of his R&B fan base. As a response, he formed the New Power Generation and recorded Diamonds and Pearls, his first record to reconnect with the urban audience since 1999, as well as his first to acknowledge the hip-hop revolution. The New Power Generation is a more skilled band than the Revolution, and they are able to make Prince's funk jazzier, particularly on "Willing and Able," the breezy "Strollin'" and "Walk Don't Walk." It's clear that these subtly textured songs are where his heart is at…
Prince 4Ever will bring together 40 of PRINCE’s best-loved songs, including the hits “When Doves Cry,” “Let’s Go Crazy,” “Kiss,” “Little Red Corvette,” “Purple Rain,” “Raspberry Beret,” “Sign O’ The Times,” “Alphabet Street,” “Batdance,” and “Cream.” Prince 4Ever includes “Moonbeam Levels” – a previously unreleased song originally recorded in 1982 during the "1999" sessions and later considered for the never released "Rave Unto The Joy Fantastic" album. Prince 4Ever will also arrive with a 12-page booklet of never-before-seen photos by photographer Herb Ritts.
The Manhattan Jazz Quintet have been an on-again, off-again collective of New York City-based musicians who primarily record for the Japanese market. Co-founding members David Matthews (piano and arranger) and trumpeter Lew Soloff are still on hand, though the remainder of the group on this occasion consists of tenor saxophonist Andy Snitzer, bassist Charnett Moffett, and drummer Victor Lewis.
The unexpected death of Prince has shook the musical world, not only because of dying at an early age, but mostly, because we have lost one of the greatest talents of pop culture of the last 50 years. The Many Faces Of Prince is a heartfelt tribute to his work, and shows the lesser known facets of his career, like his beginnings as part of the funk group 94 East. You will also find his songs in versions performed by pop stars like The Art Of Noise, Ice T, Gary Numan and Sheila E. Finally, the Many Faces also takes a tour through his influences. The Many Faces Of Prince is a compendium of fantastic music that will delight not only fans of the artist but also anyone who wants to dive into the legacy of one of the greatest artists of our time.