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How About If We Let Jack White Control Prince’s Vault?

Cindy Ord / Paul Zimmerman, Getty Images
Cindy Ord / Paul Zimmerman, Getty Images

Six months after the shocking death of Prince, the people in control of his estate are starting to share their first plans for marketing his music and image with the public.

So far, in addition to converting his Paisley Park home and recording studio into a museum, they’ve announced a new compilation album entitled Prince 4Ever, and the 2017 release of Prince’s previously planned expanded edition of his biggest album, Purple Rain.

It seems we as a culture don’t have the self-control to leave Prince’s vault closed – and despite previously writing an article urging we do just that, I doubt I could actually make that call myself. So if it’s true that the thousands of unreleased songs, videos and live concerts he amassed are being offered for sale for tens of millions of dollars, then let’s put the right person in charge of this once-in-a-lifetime curation project: Jack White.

Prince was a ridiculously talented, extremely prolific, genre-blending multi-instrumentalist with very clear and unique ideas about how his music and image should be presented. Sound familiar? In addition to checking off all of those boxes himself, White has proven himself to be an innovator in the art of marketing and selling physical music products in this new digital age.

Just imagine what the first edition of the Third Man Records quarterly Prince Vault Package could look like. Maybe he’d focus on 1988’s Lovesexy, with the first-ever U.S. release of the amazing concert film from that tour, and a bonus polka-dot vinyl edition of the famous Small Club, Second Show That Night after-show bootleg. Or maybe we get the real Crystal Ball, or The Second Coming, or any of dozens of other fabled unreleased projects.

White’s proven to be quite the music historian, using his knowledge and influence to preserve and re-promote the catalogs of everybody from Loretta Lynn to the Melvins to Sun Records. Plus – final argument – Prince’s beloved purple seems to be the only hue that the color-obsessed White hasn’t added to his palette yet.

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