No Prince compilation could ever be vast enough to please completists. From 1978, when he released his first album, to April this year, when his death shocked the world, The Purple One was so prolific that curating a definitive best-of is a thankless task – but this 40-track, two-disc set gives it an honourable go.
The huge hits are all present and correct: 'When Doves Cry', 'Purple Rain', 'Kiss', 'Sign O' The Times' and, for the first time on a Prince retrospective, 'Batdance'
(so bonkers it's like the whole of Tim Burton's two-hour movie mashed into just four minutes).
The anthems are here too, like 'The Most Beautiful Girl In The World' and the epic extended version of 'Purple Rain', although the edited 'Let's Go Crazy' scrambles the opening sermon and it's annoying we only get a paired-down 'Alphabet Street'.
Top marks though for the inclusion of a lot of the funk-meister's earlier work, plus the previously unreleased 'Moonbeam Levels' (originally laid down during the 1999
album sessions) that hints at the goodies we can expect to see being unearthed from the Paisley Park vaults.
Barack Obama's eulogy in the accompanying booklet praises Prince “as one of the most gifted and prolific musicians of our time” and, while far from exhaustive, this compilation backs him up. Closing with 'Nothing Compares 2 U' it's proof that no-one compares to Prince.
Prince 4Ever is out now.
Words: Simon Button
One of London’s longest-running fetish clubs is closing
'Prince dared to see sexuality for the kaleidoscopic spectrum we now know it to be'