TORONTO (CelebrityAccess) A former pressing plant employee in Toronto says he has kept a single copy of Prince’s disavowed The Black Album and has auctioned it off starting at US$27,500.
Prince asked for all 500,000 copies of the album be destroyed one week before the album’s release in December 1987. Only eight copies were known to exist in the U.S., and one was sold for $42,298 in February by L.A.-based memorabilia company Recordmecca. No copies were believed to exist in Canada, according to Recordmecca. Five of the copies were found in a closet in 2017 by a former Warner Bros. Records employee.
Recordmecca owner Jeff Gold said the seller wants to remain anonymous, who kept a single copy when the whole run was destroyed.
The record was sold at press time, according to Recordmecca.
“The all-important vinyl disc is in near mint condition, having been played perhaps 2-3 times,” according to Recordmecca’s website. “The original off white paper innersleeve has handwritten pressing plant notations and a “Library” stamp. As this copy was taken off the factory floor and never shrink wrapped, there are no stickers or shrink wrap.”
Gold said the owner contacted him in April and he didn’t believe him.
“Nobody’s ever heard of a Canadian one,” he told the CP, “but he sent me some pictures and he told me his story and I thought, ‘God that really sounds and looks real.’”
Gold is a former exec VP of Warner Bros. and worked with Prince.
Recordmecca is billing it as “one of the rarest records in the world.”
The album was originally intended to be a surprise release by Prince, wanted it to have no information on it, including his name, and it was to be released without advertising or promotion. The album was dubbed The Black Album only because that was the color of the cover. Warner Bros. was skeptical because of the timing of the release. It also convinced Prince to at least put a catalog number on the cover. Then, Prince did an about face, dubbing the album “evil” and the work an entity called “Spooky Electric, a “demonic, low-voiced alter-ego.” The decision to pull the album have have been induced by a bad experience on MDMA, according to Recordmecca.