Prince’s rarest release titled ‘The Black Album’ broke Discog’s record for the most expensive item ever sold on the online marketplace, having sold for $27,500.
In June, a former record pressing plant employee revealed that he found an original Canadian pressing of Prince’s ‘The Black Album’, considered his rarest album and one of the most expensive records of all time. Originally, the Canadian pressing was the only one known to exist until music historian and record dealer Jeff Gold of Recordmecca uncovered five sealed copies of US variants of the album earlier this year. An American variant of ‘The Black Album’ previously held the record on Discogs, having sold for $15,000.
Gold was called in to inspect the Canadian pressing in person and after considerable research, he confirmed its authenticity. Also, based on the listing images in the Discogs Database, Discogs’ Discography Specialist, Brent Greissle confirmed it to be legitimate as well.
According to Discogs, ‘The Black Album’ was originally styled as ‘The Funk Bible’ in press releases and was slated for release in December 1987. At the last minute, Prince decided the album was “evil” and ordered Warner Bros. to shelve the album and destroy every copy. Some promos had already been circulated, so they were out there to be passed around. Consequently, those promo copies are how ‘The Black Album’ became one of the most bootlegged records of all time. Last year Discogs announced it’s goal to remove the sale of unofficial releases.
Gold spoke about the discovery of this ultra-rare piece of vinyl: “As word spread of the discovery of the five sealed copies, a former Canadian record pressing plant employee contacted me with an unbelievable story of his own. In 1987 he was working at the Columbia Records Canadian pressing plant in Canada. When ‘The Black Album’ was pulled and the copies that had been made marked for destruction, he kept one copy for himself. He never realized its rarity or value until reading about the discovery of the US copies in Rolling Stone and contacted me.”
Now the Canadian pressing of ‘The Black Album’ has officially sold for $27,500, becoming the most expensive item ever sold on Discogs.
In other Prince related news, a cassette recording of Prince’s ‘Mary Don’t You Weep’ from the 1980s will appear in the upcoming Spike Lee film titled BlacKkKlansman. Jay-Z is also producing the next Prince album featuring never before heard material that will apparently be released on the artist’s 60th birthday. Listen to a previously unheard version of ‘Nothing Compares 2 U’ here.