Have you heard “Moonbeam Levels” yet? No, we’re not talking about the latest viral video or another prank from Chris Hadfield. We’re talking about Prince‘s first single released posthumously.
The song was released late last year, and was the first new song we’d heard since the singer’s untimely death last April 21. In true Prince style the lyrics are pretty prophetic, containing the line, “Please send all your moonbeam levels to me/ I’m looking for a better place to die.”
The song, which was first recorded back in 1982 when Prince was working on “1999,” was the only new thing we thought we’d hear from the artist… until now, that is. Because six new tracks are set to be released on Friday to commemorate the one-year anniversary of his death.
The release of Deliverance is being overseen by Prince’s former sound engineer, George Ian Boxill, and is said to be available on iTunes, Google Play and Amazon.
“I believe Deliverance is a timely release with everything going on in the world today, and in light of the one-year anniversary of his passing, I hope when people hear Prince singing these songs it will bring comfort to many,” Boxill said in a statement. “Prince once told me that he would go to bed every night thinking of ways to bypass major labels and get his music directly to the public. When considering how to release this important work, we decided to go independent because that’s what Prince would have wanted.”
It sounds like the tracks are worth about $75,000, and that the majority of the profits will go to Prince’s estate. IF they’re actually released that is. Because almost as soon as news of the release was announced a lawsuit popped up trying to block Boxill and company Rogue Music Alliance from releasing the music.
According to the suit, representatives from the singer’s estate claim that Boxill was supposed to return the songs, and by not doing so he was in violation of the contract he signed with the singer before his death. According to Boxill, he co-wrote and co-produced all of the songs, and has spent the past year arranging and finishing them.
So… does that mean the songs won’t be released after all? Not necessarily. For now all we know for sure is that as of today the EP is still scheduled to drop two days from now. So until a court stops that from happening we’ll have itchy fingers waiting to snatch it up and listen to all the new songs while dancing in glorious, purple rain.
UPDATE: You won’t be hearing Deliverance any time in the near future. A Minnesota state judge has blocked the release of the EP, and ordered the return of Prince’s music to the Paisley Park estate. Whether the estate has any intention to release the recordings? Only time will tell.