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NPR Arts & Life

Why All The Fascination With A New Prince Song?

Prince performs onstage in March 2005.
Prince performs onstage in March 2005.

Prince died one year ago today, and for the first anniversary, fans had been told to expect six new songs, as part of an EP titled Deliverance. The first single, also called "Deliverance," is a soaring, stirring mix of rock and gospel.

It's also the subject of a highly publicized legal challenge: The six songs on Deliverance were recorded by Prince's sound engineer, George Ian Boxill, around 2006; Boxill cleaned them up for release and was set to release them himself. Prince's estate, claiming ownership of the recordings, requested a temporary injunction on Wednesday, and a federal judge agreed. For now, Deliverance is in limbo, though its first single is still available for streaming and sale. (Because the injunction was against the release of the EP and not the single, the latter is apparently fair game, though more legal challenges may follow.)

In this discussion, NPR's Steve Inskeep raises several key questions: What are the arguments for and against release? Why the fascination with a new Prince song? And, given the many logistical and ethical issues involved, when is the right time to put out an album posthumously?

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