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Thread started 08/29/19 8:33am

Astasheiks

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Why did Prince sign such a Long Contract with Warner Bros?

I got a email from Prince Official Store about the re-rlease of Chaos & Disorder, his 18th and final album for WB in 1996. The email states how he entered in contract in 1977 at the age of 19. So 1977 to 1996 seems like a very time to be under contract to one label. Or was that the norm back then?

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Reply #1 posted 08/29/19 8:41am

BartVanHemelen

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Reply #2 posted 08/29/19 9:42am

Astasheiks

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Thanks.

And didn't know MJ's 2 albums sold that much:

"Since 1983, Madonna has made eight albums with combined worldwide sales of 76 million, or an average of 9.5 million each. Her bestseller is 1986's True Blue, with 17 million. Since 1979, the prolific Prince has released an album a year for Warner Bros. These 13 albums have sold nearly 53 million, or an average of 4.1 million each; his bestseller is 1984's Purple Rain, 14.7 million. Two of Jackson's four solo albums, Thriller and Bad, have combined sales of 73 million."

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Reply #3 posted 08/29/19 9:58am

Genesia

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His relationship with WB spanned multiple contracts. It wasn't one long, continuous deal.

We don’t mourn artists because we knew them. We mourn them because they helped us know ourselves.
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Reply #4 posted 08/29/19 10:14am

soladeo1

Warner Bros. was THE label to get signed on. A long contract for an 18 year old with almost unlimited artistic freedom was a great deal to sign for sure.
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Reply #5 posted 08/29/19 12:30pm

Astasheiks

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Genesia said:

His relationship with WB spanned multiple contracts. It wasn't one long, continuous deal.

It was continuous from 1977-1996... 19 years, a long time.

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Reply #6 posted 08/29/19 12:45pm

Genesia

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Astasheiks said:

Genesia said:

His relationship with WB spanned multiple contracts. It wasn't one long, continuous deal.

It was continuous from 1977-1996... 19 years, a long time.


It wasn't the same contract for all that time - which is what I said the first time.

We don’t mourn artists because we knew them. We mourn them because they helped us know ourselves.
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Reply #7 posted 08/29/19 12:57pm

TrivialPursuit

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Astasheiks said:

Genesia said:

His relationship with WB spanned multiple contracts. It wasn't one long, continuous deal.

It was continuous from 1977-1996... 19 years, a long time.


That's wholly incorrect. He had a continuous relationship, but it was a new deal each time, especially once the former contract's obligations by both parties were fulfilled. It's not quite like renewing a lease on an apartment. He could bargain and have a brand new contract written up with brand new payments, requirements, etc. However, it's often defined as "an extension". The basis of him being an artist on roster is one thing, but a contract for a set amount of time and albums is another. Contracts are complex and come in sections, parts, addendums. There were many deals in those contracts, and other projects that came up had their own contract (like the indie release of The Beautiful experience for one), or any protege act's release, and so forth.

[Edited 8/29/19 12:59pm]

This experience will cover courtship, sex, commitment, fetishes, loneliness, vindication, love, and hate.
http://bit.ly/1D3FG2U
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Reply #8 posted 08/29/19 1:39pm

BartVanHemelen

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Genesia said:

Astasheiks said:

It was continuous from 1977-1996... 19 years, a long time.


It wasn't the same contract for all that time - which is what I said the first time.

.

AFAIK/IIRC there were three: the first one from 1977, the extension where he wanted a movie (i.e. Purple Rain), and the 1992 extension.

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Reply #9 posted 08/29/19 5:30pm

OnlyNDaUsa

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I did not read any of this...from memory

his first contract was for 3 albums... after that he signed a 2nd deal and that let me develop other acts... then after Purple Rain he got his 3rd contract that let him have the label. Then there was likely at least one more between then and 92... it was the 92 that was the big one for $100 Million.


and FYI you the max time of a contract is about 10 years. (life time contracts are NOT enforceable after some time no matter what)

No one is coming for your abortion: they just want common-sense abortion regulations: background checks, waiting periods, lifetime limits, take a class, and a small tax.
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Reply #10 posted 08/29/19 5:34pm

OnlyNDaUsa

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TrivialPursuit said:

Astasheiks said:

It was continuous from 1977-1996... 19 years, a long time.


That's wholly incorrect. He had a continuous relationship, but it was a new deal each time, especially once the former contract's obligations by both parties were fulfilled. It's not quite like renewing a lease on an apartment. He could bargain and have a brand new contract written up with brand new payments, requirements, etc. However, it's often defined as "an extension". The basis of him being an artist on roster is one thing, but a contract for a set amount of time and albums is another. Contracts are complex and come in sections, parts, addendums. There were many deals in those contracts, and other projects that came up had their own contract (like the indie release of The Beautiful experience for one), or any protege act's release, and so forth.

[Edited 8/29/19 12:59pm]

but Prince could have left in 1980 and likely 1984 and again 88 or 89 and yet again in 92... or at least at several points along the way. An extension IS a new contract...even if all the terms were the same... they are new contracts.

Like when I joined the Army it was an 8 year contract...4 years active the other 4 inactive... I could have re-uped or exteneded or even been extened (for up to the remaining 3ish years I had left)

No one is coming for your abortion: they just want common-sense abortion regulations: background checks, waiting periods, lifetime limits, take a class, and a small tax.
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Reply #11 posted 08/29/19 5:39pm

OnlyNDaUsa

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BartVanHemelen said:

Genesia said:


It wasn't the same contract for all that time - which is what I said the first time.

.

AFAIK/IIRC there were three: the first one from 1977, the extension where he wanted a movie (i.e. Purple Rain), and the 1992 extension.

the first extention was in 1980. That allowed him to develop other talent, thus the Time and Vanity 6.

And another in 84/85 that created Paisley Park Records. And I beive one between then and the big 1992 contract.

He joked about being able renegotiate his contract by saying he wanted to do a country album...(I think the 85 Rolling Stone interview)

[Edited 8/29/19 17:43pm]

No one is coming for your abortion: they just want common-sense abortion regulations: background checks, waiting periods, lifetime limits, take a class, and a small tax.
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Reply #12 posted 08/29/19 9:15pm

TrivialPursuit

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OnlyNDaUsa said:

but Prince could have left in 1980 and likely 1984 and again 88 or 89 and yet again in 92... or at least at several points along the way. An extension IS a new contract...even if all the terms were the same... they are new contracts.


Well, in 1992, when NPG Records came along, that was his stuff, so that was a different sort of contract. He was, in effect, independent - to an extent. Sorta. The Hits/The B-sides sorta ened any Prince related contract. Those last 7 years That's why post-mortem NPG stuff was handled different (ie: streaming, anthology, etc.) than anything from 1992's prince and before. So that was totally a new and different contract from anything prior.

This experience will cover courtship, sex, commitment, fetishes, loneliness, vindication, love, and hate.
http://bit.ly/1D3FG2U
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Reply #13 posted 08/29/19 9:38pm

WhisperingDand
elions

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Astasheiks said:

Genesia said:

His relationship with WB spanned multiple contracts. It wasn't one long, continuous deal.

It was continuous from 1977-1996... 19 years, a long time.

Not accurate at all. It's why some org'ers roll their eyes at the whole "slave" era, because the man literally signed like his third or fourth extension of his own free and conscious adult will maybe 2-3 years prior to complaining about being unfairly marginalized.

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Reply #14 posted 08/29/19 9:57pm

feeluupp

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The "SLAVE" era all started in 1992 with the $100 million contract he could never abide by in terms of commercial standards. This came right after the adequate sales of D&P and WB was assuming Prince could keep the consitant sales of over 5 million world wide, which didn't happen with the very next album Love Symbol, which sold at best 2 million world wide. Right after that WB paid Prince 1 million to stay OUT of The Hits 1, 2 and The B-Sides project... Meanwhile for his first greatest hits configuration compared to all the other major artists, flopped, selling 1 million each.

Clearly the 5 million figure was long and gone with D&P as Love Symbol and The Hits albums weren't pushing the figures WB expected to... As a matter of fact The Hits 1,2/The B-Sides were the last WB albums released to ever reach platinum. Come was released when he was promoting TGE the whole time, and none of his WB albums after that ever went platinum again.

Come went GOLD, The Black Album didn't sell well at all, the hype was long gone in 94, making it seem very tame compared to the grunge and gangster rap during the time, and TGE barely went GOLD in the U.S. Chaos & Disorder failed to reach GOLD, The Vault sold nothing as well.

[Edited 8/29/19 22:04pm]

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Reply #15 posted 08/29/19 11:25pm

TrivialPursuit

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feeluupp said:

Come went GOLD, The Black Album didn't sell well at all, the hype was long gone in 94, making it seem very tame compared to the grunge and gangster rap during the time, and TGE barely went GOLD in the U.S. Chaos & Disorder failed to reach GOLD, The Vault sold nothing as well.


In fairness, there were only 500K printed & shipped, so it would've went Gold at most anyway. But you're right about the hype. There was so much flooding out at that time, trying to get out of the contract that much got lost in the wave.

This experience will cover courtship, sex, commitment, fetishes, loneliness, vindication, love, and hate.
http://bit.ly/1D3FG2U
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Reply #16 posted 08/29/19 11:32pm

BartVanHemelen

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TrivialPursuit said:

OnlyNDaUsa said:

but Prince could have left in 1980 and likely 1984 and again 88 or 89 and yet again in 92... or at least at several points along the way. An extension IS a new contract...even if all the terms were the same... they are new contracts.


Well, in 1992, when NPG Records came along

.

Wrong as usual.

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It is not authorized by Prince or the NPG Music Club. You assume all risk for
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Reply #17 posted 08/30/19 12:22am

Sydney

Prince's contract was long but Warner Bros did great things for Prince while they were working together.

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Reply #18 posted 08/30/19 1:49am

leecaldon

BartVanHemelen said:

https://musicfans.stackex...m/a/89/129

That was a good read.

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Reply #19 posted 08/30/19 2:22am

PURPLEIZED3121

$ + EGO = Stupid decision!

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Reply #20 posted 08/30/19 7:47am

feeluupp

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leecaldon said:

BartVanHemelen said:

https://musicfans.stackex...m/a/89/129

That was a good read.

So basically Prince created this whole SLAVE stuff because his albums couldn't sell and meet the deal that WB set in place stating he must sell 5 million... Instead of proper promoting and touring he just wanted to go on to the next project, hence why he felt as a "slave"... Then why did he sign the deal in the first place. lol

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Reply #21 posted 08/30/19 7:54am

BartVanHemelen

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feeluupp said:

leecaldon said:

That was a good read.

So basically Prince created this whole SLAVE stuff because his albums couldn't sell and meet the deal that WB set in place stating he must sell 5 million... Instead of proper promoting and touring he just wanted to go on to the next project, hence why he felt as a "slave"... Then why did he sign the deal in the first place. lol

.

Because he wanted to boast about having the biggest record deal ever, hence him releasing the infamous "$100 million deal press release". He was still obessing over having the biggets deal in the late 2000s when Madonna signed her 360 deal.

© Bart Van Hemelen
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It is not authorized by Prince or the NPG Music Club. You assume all risk for
your use. All rights reserved.
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Reply #22 posted 08/30/19 9:13am

TrivialPursuit

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BartVanHemelen said:

TrivialPursuit said:


Well, in 1992, when NPG Records came along

.

Wrong as usual.


[Snip - luv4u], as usual. NPG Records was already in the works, while not on a CD yet, when Prince was looking to renegotiate the deal around that time. Shit takes time, you [Snip - luv4u].

This experience will cover courtship, sex, commitment, fetishes, loneliness, vindication, love, and hate.
http://bit.ly/1D3FG2U
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Reply #23 posted 08/30/19 10:14am

BartVanHemelen

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TrivialPursuit said:

BartVanHemelen said:

.

Wrong as usual.


NPG Records was already in the works, while not on a CD yet, when Prince was looking to renegotiate the deal around that time. Shit takes time, you [Snip - luv4u].

.

And your evidence for that is what? Zero zilch nada nothing. NPG Records was created in 1993, a year after the 1992 deal was announced. https://www.princevault.c...PG_Records .

© Bart Van Hemelen
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It is not authorized by Prince or the NPG Music Club. You assume all risk for
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Reply #24 posted 08/30/19 11:27am

feeluupp

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BartVanHemelen said:

feeluupp said:

So basically Prince created this whole SLAVE stuff because his albums couldn't sell and meet the deal that WB set in place stating he must sell 5 million... Instead of proper promoting and touring he just wanted to go on to the next project, hence why he felt as a "slave"... Then why did he sign the deal in the first place. lol

.

Because he wanted to boast about having the biggest record deal ever, hence him releasing the infamous "$100 million deal press release". He was still obessing over having the biggets deal in the late 2000s when Madonna signed her 360 deal.

So in the end he literally created his whole "SLAVE" situation, signed a deal he knew he couldn't deliver...

Strange thing is he could've been able to achieve the 5 million sales per album IF HE WANTED TO... but his artistic thought process was too quick for a 2 year promotion and tour for each album...

That was the whole paradox, artistic genius vs commercial value, it was very hard to manage both, and as his catalouge shown only 3 albums were able to do that, 1999 PURPLE RAIN and DIAMONDS & PEARLS... To be honest one can argue 1999 achieved those sales after the PURPLE RAIN explosion because prior to PURPLE RAIN the sales for 1999 were just average, alot higher than his previous albums but it really got those sales figures due to the success of PURPLE RAIN, and the sales figures for D&P was more due to the promotion.

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Reply #25 posted 08/30/19 11:42am

CynicKill

feeluupp said:

BartVanHemelen said:

.

Because he wanted to boast about having the biggest record deal ever, hence him releasing the infamous "$100 million deal press release". He was still obessing over having the biggets deal in the late 2000s when Madonna signed her 360 deal.

So in the end he literally created his whole "SLAVE" situation, signed a deal he knew he couldn't deliver...

Strange thing is he could've been able to achieve the 5 million sales per album IF HE WANTED TO... but his artistic thought process was too quick for a 2 year promotion and tour for each album...

That was the whole paradox, artistic genius vs commercial value, it was very hard to manage both, and as his catalouge shown only 3 albums were able to do that, 1999 PURPLE RAIN and DIAMONDS & PEARLS... To be honest one can argue 1999 achieved those sales after the PURPLE RAIN explosion because prior to PURPLE RAIN the sales for 1999 were just average, alot higher than his previous albums but it really got those sales figures due to the success of PURPLE RAIN, and the sales figures for D&P was more due to the promotion.

Correct me please, but 1999 was the 5th biggest selling album of 1983?

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Reply #26 posted 08/30/19 11:58am

feeluupp

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CynicKill said:

feeluupp said:

So in the end he literally created his whole "SLAVE" situation, signed a deal he knew he couldn't deliver...

Strange thing is he could've been able to achieve the 5 million sales per album IF HE WANTED TO... but his artistic thought process was too quick for a 2 year promotion and tour for each album...

That was the whole paradox, artistic genius vs commercial value, it was very hard to manage both, and as his catalouge shown only 3 albums were able to do that, 1999 PURPLE RAIN and DIAMONDS & PEARLS... To be honest one can argue 1999 achieved those sales after the PURPLE RAIN explosion because prior to PURPLE RAIN the sales for 1999 were just average, alot higher than his previous albums but it really got those sales figures due to the success of PURPLE RAIN, and the sales figures for D&P was more due to the promotion.

Correct me please, but 1999 was the 5th biggest selling album of 1983?

Yes with sales around the 2 million mark at that time... Most of the sales came after the Purple Rain explosion.

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Reply #27 posted 08/30/19 12:13pm

CynicKill

Like many others I blame ego.

Prince always got in his own way though.

He wanted mass success and fame, yet cared less about sales and publicity.

Made artistic decisions that countered wide appeal at every turn.

I think he was afraid of success.

When he conciously went for it he hit bullseyes (Little Red Corvette, Purple Rain) but mostly he took a lot for granted.

He was way too far into the game to up and care about his masters all of a sudden.

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Reply #28 posted 08/30/19 12:37pm

Astasheiks

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Genesia said:

Astasheiks said:

It was continuous from 1977-1996... 19 years, a long time.


It wasn't the same contract for all that time - which is what I said the first time.

The way the official site put it, it was the same contract; They didn't clarify it was different contracts in those 19 years... Well, I understand now.

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Reply #29 posted 08/30/19 12:42pm

Astasheiks

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feeluupp said:

The "SLAVE" era all started in 1992 with the $100 million contract he could never abide by in terms of commercial standards. This came right after the adequate sales of D&P and WB was assuming Prince could keep the consitant sales of over 5 million world wide, which didn't happen with the very next album Love Symbol, which sold at best 2 million world wide. Right after that WB paid Prince 1 million to stay OUT of The Hits 1, 2 and The B-Sides project... Meanwhile for his first greatest hits configuration compared to all the other major artists, flopped, selling 1 million each.

Clearly the 5 million figure was long and gone with D&P as Love Symbol and The Hits albums weren't pushing the figures WB expected to... As a matter of fact The Hits 1,2/The B-Sides were the last WB albums released to ever reach platinum. Come was released when he was promoting TGE the whole time, and none of his WB albums after that ever went platinum again.

Come went GOLD, The Black Album didn't sell well at all, the hype was long gone in 94, making it seem very tame compared to the grunge and gangster rap during the time, and TGE barely went GOLD in the U.S. Chaos & Disorder failed to reach GOLD, The Vault sold nothing as well.

[Edited 8/29/19 22:04pm]

How many units you have to sale for Gold? TGE was a darn good Album and it barely went Gold in the US. Can't believe it barely went Gold!

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