Fans expecting to hear an EP of previously unheard Prince material today will have to wait. Just days after announcing the release of Deliverance, iTunes have removed the collection of songs from its holding page.
Shortly after news of the six-track compilation was reported, the Soundcloud featuring its taster track was taken down. While this song is now back on sale, it looks as if the EP, recorded between 2006 and 2008, will be delayed.
According to the New York Times, Prince’s estate and Paisley Park Enterprises filed a lawsuit against sound engineer George Ian Boxill, who is credited for working on Deliverance. They claimed he had violated a confidentiality agreement made with the musician, and was not authorised to sell the compositions independently. The label behind the project, Rogue Music Alliance, claims a judge’s temporary ban on releasing the tracks does not apply to the single.
“The Federal Court located in Minnesota has temporarily enjoined the release of the remaining unreleased tracks on the Deliverance EP. The court order has not enjoined the released single Deliverance. Therefore the Deliverance single will continue to be sold,” Matthew Wilson, a lawyer for the label, said in a statement to the publication. The track is now on sale via a website set up by RMA, who believe it is not covered by the restraining order because it was released before the judge’s order.
The late star’s estate alleges that tracks featured on the EP are “unauthorised”, with Boxill reportedly violating a signed agreement that states the Prince sessions remain his property.
Reports claim that, on Wednesday night, a judge agreed with the estate, writing that Boxill “shall not publish or otherwise disseminate any unreleased recordings that comprise the work of Prince Rogers Nelson that are alleged to be within the scope of the Confidentiality Agreement between Boxill and Paisley Park Enterprises”.
In February this year, it was announced that Universal had struck a deal with Prince’s estate that gave it exclusive licensing rights to the late artist’s work.
On announcing news of the EP, Boxhill originally stated: “Prince once told me that he would go to bed every night thinking of ways to bypass major labels and get his music directly to the public. When considering how to release this important work, we decided to go independent because that’s what Prince would have wanted.”