Prince estate releases first song from Paisley Park vaults, Moonbeam Levels

Prince Album Art

Prince’s estate have revealed a formerly unreleased song which appears on his greatest hits collection, Prince 4ever, due out in the coming days.

Entitled Moonbeam Levels, the track was originally recorded in 1982 and was premiered at a private listening party that was hosted by ABC News. The video of which you can view via their website.

According to the news station, the song was first recorded while Prince was working on his 1999 album, with some bootleg versions of the track in circulation. The song – a dream-like, slow burgeoning funk ballad – was covered by Elvis Costello at 2013’s The Music of Prince tribute concert at Carnegie Hall.

Moonbeam Levels was reportedly previously included as the final track on the aborted album Rave Unto the Joy Fantastic before being shelved for Prince to work on the Batman soundtrack.

Since Prince’s death in April, aged 57, of an opioid overdose, his estate has gradually unveiled plans for his posthumous releases. The drip-feed from the vast amount of unreleased music in his vault has started with Prince 4ever, the 40-track album, which was released on Tuesday via NPG and Warner Bros Records and will be widely available from 25 November, followed in 2017 by a reissue of his 1984 album Purple Rain as a deluxe, remastered version, featuring a second disc of previously unreleased material.

Ownership of his music has not all been straightforward, however. Last week Prince’s label NPG Records and his estate announced they are suing Jay Z’s management firm Roc Nation over a disagreement about how much of the pop star’s back catalogue streaming service Tidal made available to its customers. They claim the tech company “is exploiting many copyrighted Prince works” and may have breached exclusivity agreements and copyright in a suit filed in Minnesota. Roc Nation claims to have “the right to exclusively stream [Prince’s] entire catalogue of music, with certain limited exceptions”, and that it has written and oral licences to stream the late star’s music.

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