Prince’s already extensive recording catalogue is about to get a lot bigger—if legal proceedings pan out, the singer’s legendary cache of unreleased music could finally see the light of day.
The contents of Prince’s infamous vault—a literal bank vault nestled in the basement of the recently departed superstar’s Paisley Park recording complex—were unearthed last week by Bremer Trust, the temporary executor of his estate. Because the key code was known only to the Purple One himself, the vault had to be drilled open by the Minnesota-based bank.
“One day someone will release them,” Prince said of the songs on The View in 2012. “I don’t know that I’ll get to release them. There’s just so many.”
Although some of them need “significant editing,” according to entertainment attorney Donald David, the vault contains enough songs to release a new album every year for the next 100 years, including material recorded before 1984’s Purple Rain made Prince into a household name and catapulted him into the stratosphere.
“When I left in ’87, it was nearly full,” Susan Rogers, Prince’s former sound engineer, said in an interview with The Guardian last year. “Row after row of everything we’d done. I can’t imagine what they’ve done since then.”
Because he didn’t have a will at the time of his death, Minnesota law states that Prince’s estimated $300 million fortune must be divided among his siblings. A hearing was held today to determine the fate of his inheritance.