Jack White’s Third Man Records is reportedly planning to release Prince’s unreleased 1986 album, Camille.
The label’s co-founder Ben Blackwell broke the news in a recent interview with Mojo (via the fansite, Ultimate Prince, and social media screen grabs). While no release date or details were given, Blackwell confirmed the label obtained the rights to the 1986 LP, saying, “We’re finally going to put it out. Prince’s people agreed — almost too easy.”
A rep for Third Man could neither confirm nor deny the planned release. A rep for the Prince Estate did not immediately return Rolling Stone’s request for comment.
The fabled Camille came about as Prince began experimenting with pitch-shifting his vocals, and he planned to release the album under his feminine alter-ego, “Camille.” While a handful of test-pressings of the album were made, a full release was ultimately scrapped.
In the decades since, those test pressings have become major record collector grails, occasionally popping up at auction. White told Mojo he paid $49,375 for one of the copies because, as he put it, “We had to show we had some skin in the game.”
While Camille never saw the light day, all eight tracks were eventually released in a different form. The record includes several Sign o’ the Times cuts, including “Housequake,” “Strange Relationship,” and “If I Was Your Girlfriend,” plus B-sides like “Feel U Up” and “Shockadelica.” Other cuts include “Good Love,” which later appeared on the soundtrack of Bright Lights, Big City, and “Rockhard in a Funky Place,” from 1994’s The Black Album.
Joel Blistein/Rolling Stone