Emancipation (album)

from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Prince's studio album


November 19, 1996


January 1995 - October 1996

Label (s) NPG Records / EMI

Format (s)

Triple album , compact cassette , record

Genre (s)

Funk , pop , rock music , R&B , soul

Title (number)


running time

180: 00

occupation All songs were produced, arranged, composed and performed by Prince . The following people added to the recordings: '
  • Brian Lynch - trumpet and saxophone in We Gets Up , Emale and Style
  • Walter Chancellor Jr. - Flute and Saxophone in Jam of the Year , Saxophone in Style
  • The NPG Hornz - Courtin 'Time , Damned If Eye Do , Savior , Sleep Around
  • Rhonda Smith, Kat Dyson, Montalbo Stewart - additional vocals in Get Yo Groove On ; Rhonda Smith - E-Bass in Get Yo Groove On , We Gets Up , Eye Can't Make U Love Me , Sex in the Summer , Dreamin 'About U ; Kat Dyson - guitar in Sex in the Summer , Emale , Dreamin 'About U , The Love We Make
  • Todd Burell - additional keyboard in Eye Can't Make U Love Me
  • Morris Hayes - additional vocals in Get Yo Groove On , keyboard in Betcha by Golly Wow! , Savior , One of Us
  • Tommy Barbarella - Keyboard in Betcha by Golly Wow! , Savior , One of Us
  • Sonny Thompson - E-Bass in Betcha by Golly Wow! , Savior , One of Us
  • Michael Bland - Drums in Betcha by Golly Wow! , Savior , One of Us
  • Ricky Peterson - piano in Sex in the Summer , additional keyboard in Savior
  • Poet 99 - Vox Sample in Right Back Here in My Arms and Face Down , spoken words in Joint 2 Joint
  • Hans-Martin Buff - Taxi driver in Joint 2 Joint
  • Scrap D. - Rap in Mr. Happy and Da, Da, Da
  • Smooth G., Michael Mac, Scrap D. - Calls in Style
  • Prince - unemployed stoner in style
  • Kathleen Bradford and her sister Rhonda Johnson - additional vocals in Friend, Lover, Sister, Mother / Wife
  • Chanté Moore - additional vocals in La, La, La Means Eye Love U
  • Mike Scott - Guitar in La, La, La Means Eye Love U
  • Kate Bush - additional vocals in My Computer
  • Janice Garcia - "Bold Girl" in White Mansion
  • Janelle Garcia, "friend" of Janelle - Spanish text in Damned If Eye Do -
  • Randee St. Nicholas - additional photo ops
  • Steve Parke, Prince - computer graphics , package design; Park the car horn in Face Down
  • Debbi McGuan - "Endorphinbed" - painting
  • Kim Lawler - "Holly River" painting
  • Kirk Johnson, Tom Tucker, Ray Hahnfeldt, Steve Durkee, Shane TK, Hans-Martin Buff, Cesar Sogbe, Joe Galdo, Peter Mokran - sound engineers and mixing
  • Cesar Sogbe, Joe Galdo - additional programming in The Human Body and Sleep Around
  • Kirk Johnson - producer-partner, arranger, drums, additional keyboard, programmer (all contributions not precisely defined)



Studio (s)

Paisley Park Studio ( Chanhassen )

Chaos and Disorder
Emancipation Crystal Ball / The Truth
Single releases
2nd December 1996 Betchy by Golly Wow!
January 13, 1997 The Holy River
September 12, 2019 My computer

Emancipation ( English for emancipation ) is the 19th studio album by the American musician Prince . It was released on November 19, 1996 as a triple CD album on the music label NPG Records and on the major label EMI . Emancipation is Prince's first album not sold through Warner Bros. Records ; due to differences with Warner, he had given up his stage name in 1993 and instead carried an unpronounceable symbol as a pseudonym .

The triple album can be described as Prince's most autobiographical album because some of the lyrics relate to his private situation at the time, such as his wedding to Mayte Garcia in February 1996 and their unborn son, who was born in mid-October 1996 with severe disabilities and died after a week. In addition, the lyrics are about love, interpersonal relationships and allegations against the music industry .

On Emancipation , Prince released cover versions of a studio album for the first time , which he did very rarely in his career. Each CD has a playing time of exactly 60 minutes and contains twelve songs. Brian Lynch , Eric Leeds, Kate Bush , his then-wife Mayte Garcia, Rosie Gaines , Savion Glover and the former members of The New Power Generation will be performing as guest musicians . The music on the album belongs to the genres funk , pop , rock music , R&B and soul .

Music critics rated emancipation mostly positively; the album went double platinum in the US and reached number one in Switzerland. On the occasion of the album release, Prince played two tours in 1997 , with his second tour, called the Jam-of-the-Year tour, being commercially successful with revenues of $ 30 million.

On September 13, 2019 The Prince Estate published (dt .: The Princeton discount ) Emancipation for the first time on record ; the album is available as a box set with six records in purely purple vinyl.


Prince had been under contract with the Warner Bros. Records label since 1977 when he and the label broke up in 1993. As a result, Prince dropped his stage name and instead wore an unpronounceable symbol as a pseudonym . Emancipation is his first album that he did not release with Warner, but with the EMI Group . Still, he had his current contract with Warner until December 31, 1999 meet and brought in this major label continues to sound recordings under the name "Prince" out - but in parallel with the Warner contract he concluded and contracts under its symbol with other record companies , and released albums and singles.

Prince described emancipation as "born to make" and emphasized that it was his most important in his career so far. Usually he strictly shielded his private life and rarely spoke about it in public, but at Emancipation he deals with topics such as his wedding in February 1996 and his impending fatherhood.

In January 1995, Prince began working on the album Emancipation . He recorded various songs, but the album concept only took shape in the course of the year. Ultimately, Prince stayed busy until October 1996, recording all of the songs in his Paisley Park studio in Chanhassen , Minnesota. The mastering was carried out by Vlado Meller in the Sony Music Studios in New York City .

Prince worked closely on the album recordings with Kirk Johnson (born September 22, 1964 in Minneapolis), who mainly supported him as a sound engineer . Johnson knows "how to use a computer to build a rhythm track," said Prince. He himself “didn't like doing something like that” because he “often lost the song”. Ultimately, Johnson created the rhythm track for each track on Emancipation and oversaw most of the recordings, with Prince always making the final decision. Prince had already met Johnson in 1984 while filming the film Purple Rain , in which Johnson played a minor supporting role as a dancer. In 1990 Prince integrated him as a dancer in his backing band The New Power Generation , and later as a drummer. Over the years, Johnson became his personal assistant until Prince's death in 2016.

Prince recorded Right Back Here in My Arms in 1995 as the first emancipation track . Other songs included Slave 2 the System and Slowly Candle Burns , which Prince later renamed Slave , but has nothing in common with Slave 2 the System . In 1995 Prince put together a first tracklist of songs for emanipation :

No. Emancipation : 1995 publication
01 Slave 2 the system until today (2020) unpublished
02 New World Emancipation
03 Slowly Candle Burns Renamed to Slave on Emancipation
04th 2020 until today (2020) unpublished
05 Feel good until today (2020) unpublished
06th Right Back Here in My Arms Emancipation
07th Journey 2 the Center of Your ♥ 1998 by Chaka Khan on Come 2 My House
08th Eye am the DJ until today (2020) unpublished
09 Goodbye 1998 on the Prince album Crystal Ball
010 Emancipation Emancipation

In March 1996 Warner Bros. Records released the album Girl 6 , on which 13 Prince productions are located, which serve as the soundtrack for the Spike Lee film of the same name . Prince also recorded songs in February and March 1996 that he released on his July 1996 album Chaos and Disorder , also distributed by Warner Bros. Records.

When Prince finished more than half of the album Emancipation in July 1996 and other songs like Betcha by Golly Wow! , Friend, Sister, Mother / Wife , My Computer and One of Us , he worked with the German sound engineer Hans-Martin Buff (born June 18, 1969 in Garmisch-Partenkirchen ). On his first day at work, Prince recorded the four pieces Dreamin 'About U , Emale , Sleep Around and The Love We Make with Buff . According to Buff, Prince invited sound engineer Peter Mokran to rework the song Sleep Around , but Prince did not release his version. Mokran was the sound engineer for R. Kelly's studio album of the same name, published in November 1995, which sold three million times in the United States alone by June 1996.

Prince did a lot of things by himself, Buff said, especially his singing; Usually his microphone was installed above the mixer and Prince recorded everything himself. He only needed help with the mix . Sometimes Prince wanted “something at a certain tempo ”, on which - not as usual - first the verse and then the chorus were programmed. Most of the time he played guitar or keyboard over it and the respective song was finished. If a song was already finished, Prince recorded his vocals and optimized it with already finished arranged "bits and pieces". Other pieces in which Buff was involved as a sound engineer were the five songs Curious Child , Jam of the Year , Mr. Happy , Sex in the Summer , We Gets Up and Joint 2 Joint , which Prince recorded as the last track for Emancipation . Prince worked with Buff until July 2000.

Content of the contract

After being signed to Warner Bros. Records for over 18 years, Prince met with the top management of the EMI Group on October 10, 1996 in New York City and presented the completed triple album Emancipation . As early as the 1980s he wanted to release a triple album called Crystal Ball with Warner , but the music label refused to do this because it was feared that the high sales price would jeopardize commercial success.

Within 24 hours, Prince concluded a contract with the EMI-Capitol label belonging to the EMI Group, which was publicly announced on October 17, 1996 in a press release . The contract only included the album Emancipation , for which Prince had signed a so-called "P&D deal" (production and distribution); So he was responsible for the production of the CD as well as for the distribution and for the entire music promotion. EMI-Capitol made an advance payment to Prince, who in turn had to pay a percentage of the price of 22.80 US dollars (then about 34.26 DM) to the music label that retailers had to pay for emancipation . Although specific details were not publicly disclosed, then Prince attorney L. Londell McMillan (* 1966) confirmed that the agreement was part of a typical P&D deal in which music companies usually receive 10 to 30 percent of the wholesale price. As soon as the artist has earned the money invested in production and distribution, he earns 70 to 90 percent on every CD sold. Compared to a conventional license agreement, a P&D deal essentially reverses the business roles of who pays for what and who achieves the greatest profits with above-average sales success. For the music promotion of Emancipation , Prince was allowed to use the sales network as well as marketing, advertising and promotion staff of EMI-Capitol. He also kept ownership of the master tapes .

In April 1997, however, the music label EMI-Capitol was closed due to financial problems and Prince's current contract lost its importance with immediate effect, causing him to lose interest in the Emancipation project . During this time Prince was on his Love-4-One-Another-Charities-Tour in the USA and then concentrated on new projects, such as his Jam-of-the-Year tour from July 1997, as well as the Album recordings by Crystal Ball and Newpower Soul , both of which he released in 1998.


At the end of October 1996, Prince organized the pre-planned music promotion for emancipation , although his son had died on October 23, 1996. He appeared on several popular television shows in the United States and gave more interviews than ever before in his career. During his music promotion, Prince tried to hide the truth about his late son and urged journalists not to interfere in his private life and that of his wife Mayte Garcia. EMI-Capitol originally planned to launch a two-year advertising campaign .

On October 26, 1996, Prince hosted EMI-Capitol at his Paisley Park studio; he played some tracks from the album Emancipation in front of about 150 people from the music industry and journalists and gave a press conference . From October 30 to November 3, 1996, Prince traveled to Japan and Australia to promote emancipation .

On November 4, 1996, was talk show presenter Oprah Winfrey as part of its then very popular The Oprah Winfrey Show guest at Paisley Park studio to interview Prince and his wife Mayte Garcia. It was his first television interview in eleven years. Garcia was still suffering from the grief over the death of her son and did not want to take part in the interview, which Prince forbade her. He showed Winfrey through the Paisley Park Studio and presented her with a children's room and a playroom that Garcia himself did not yet know. Prince had these rooms and a playground built in front of the Paisley Park Studio when she was in the hospital due to pregnancy complications. It was intended as a surprise for Garcia when she and their son came home from the hospital. When Winfrey Prince asked directly, “How is your child?” He replied, “Our family exists. We are at the beginning of our family life ”. Garcia was instructed by Prince not to say “a word” about the deceased child. The interview with Oprah Winfrey was broadcast on US television on November 21, 1996.

Apart from The Oprah Winfrey Show , Prince appeared on TV on January 7, 1997 with Rosie O'Donnell , on February 7 with Chris Rock and on February 26, 1997 with Top of the Pops .

Prince's son

On July 25, 1995, the then 37-year-old Prince proposed to the then 22-year-old Mayte Garcia on the phone while he was in Los Angeles , California, and she was promoting his then-current album The Gold Experience in Barcelona . The wedding took place on February 14, 1996 in Minneapolis , Minnesota with close family and friends; The witnesses were Kirk Johnson and Garcia's sister Janice. Prince's father John L. Nelson (1916–2001) was not invited because the two were not in contact at the time. The wedding dance was the piece Friend, Lover, Sister, Mother / Wife , which Prince and Let's Have a Baby had composed specifically for the wedding.

When Garcia was pregnant, Prince and his wife made the official press release on April 1, 1996. The calculated date of birth was November 6, 1996 and the couple agreed on the first name Amiir, which means “prince” in Arabic. On May 12, 1996, Garcia began to bleed vaginally because the placenta had separated from the wall of the uterus . An amniotic fluid test recommended by the doctors , with which a possible genetic defect can be diagnosed in the child, Prince refused on the grounds that "We trust in God". From that day onwards, the couple prayed for their unborn child every day.

Mayte Garcia, 2013

On September 13, 1996, the attending physicians noticed abnormalities in the sonography images and expressed the suspicion of a possible "form of short stature ", which the 160 cm tall Prince humorous noted with "So what?" Again, the couple was advised to have an amniotic fluid test because it could be "a life-threatening genetic disorder," for which one must be "prepared", which Prince refused again. When Garcia went into labor in a doctor's office in the seventh month of pregnancy , she signed, against medical advice, to be immediately admitted to a hospital; Prince urged them to take this measure because he felt his authority had been violated because he was not used to it, someone opposed him with energetic vehemence. Nonetheless, the couple drove to the nearest hospital in Minneapolis, where Garcia was eventually hospitalized until their son was born in October 1996.

On October 16, 1996, the child was delivered prematurely by caesarean section , with Prince present. The child suffered from the Pfeiffer syndrome type 2 genetic defect with mental and physical disabilities, such as craniosynostosis , short fingers and a malformation of the rectum . In addition, the child was not breathing but was successfully resuscitated . Nevertheless, the child had to be artificially ventilated and received an surgically created artificial anus on the day of birth .

When the attending doctors told Prince and Garcia on October 22 that further operations such as inserting a tracheostomy tube into the windpipe were necessary so that the child could breathe, the couple decided not to have any further medical measures carried out. The doctors supported this decision and the couple signed the necessary documents. Prince and Garcia also decided to turn off the ventilator on October 23, 1996, and the child died at 8:45 a.m. that same day. At that time, the couple was staying at home and was informed of this by telephone. A few hours later, the ashes were brought home in an urn that the couple were allowed to keep. The urn "meant everything" to her, said Garcia.

Prince made very few public comments about his son's death, and the ones he made were largely inaccurate. Even after the mass media reported the child's death, Prince remained silent and refused to confirm the baby's death.

At the end of August 1997, Garcia was pregnant again and the expected due date was May 10, 1998, but on November 19, 1997, she miscarried , which Prince noted without emotion. Garcia had a molar pregnancy , for which, for example, possible hereditary diseases can be responsible. She underwent a DNA analysis that did not reveal any abnormalities, but did not inform her husband about the examination or the result; Prince did not have a corresponding DNA analysis performed on him and also refused a possible adoption of a child.

The couple separated physically in the summer of 1998, and Garcia later learned from a friend that Prince had instructed one of his assistants to burn everything that reminded Amiir, such as the playroom, the crib, toys, baby clothes and the urn. In May 2000, Prince and Garcia officially divorced.

Design of the cover

The triple album is predominantly designed in red-orange tones. At the lower edge of the front cover , two hands are clenched into fists on the right and left, Prince's inexpressible symbol emblazoned in the middle, which seems to have broken the chains torn at the side of the picture. The album title "emancipation" can be read above the symbol. The tracklist is printed on the back cover.

The booklet has 24 pages and Prince wrote a note in the liner notes for each of the 36 songs , which he had not done before on any of his albums or did on any later album. On the first photo in the booklet, Prince has the term “slave” on his right cheek, but this word is not present in the last photo of him in the booklet. Apart from some Prince photos, the booklet also includes pictures of his father John L. Nelson, the parents of Mayte Garcia, photos of children of Garcia and her sister Janice, Garcia's pregnant belly, Prince's Paisley Park Studio, his car, a BMW Z3 , as well as a current photo of Kirk Johnson and a photo of him as a child.

The 36 lyrics are not printed in full, but only individual text passages. The booklet also features advertising for the 1995 albums Exodus by The New Power Generation and Child of the Sun by Mayte Garcia. Prince also promotes the album Kamasutra , released in February 1997, and announces the album Crystal Ball , which he did not release until January 1998.

Music and lyrics

The music of Emancipation belongs to the genres funk , pop , rock music , R&B and soul , whereby the following music styles can be assigned to the three CDs: On Disc I, Prince concentrates mainly on R&B, Disc II is dominated by ballads and on Disc III is predominantly To hear dance pop with rap influences. For some songs, Prince uses various audio tricks , such as the sound of clocks ticking, doors slamming and thunderstorms. "We had a huge library of sounds called Sound Ideas," said sound engineer Hans-Martin Buff; In 1996 such a sound library cost 12,995 US dollars (then about 19,800 DM).

The lyrics described Prince as "three hours of love, sex, and liberty" (dt .: "three hours love, sex and freedom"). Emancipation is considered the most personal album of his career; his wedding to Mayte Garcia and his impending fatherhood served as inspiration for many songs, some of which - very unusual for Prince - are personal and serious and show a high degree of vulnerability. For example, in Courtin 'Time he sings "All the friends I thought I had found they weren't there at all," and in The Holy River he deals with feelings of being depressed and lost: " People say they love you and they want to help you, but how can they if you can't help yourself ”. The song Slave is about how his "enemies" lie to him and break his heart, and on My Computer shows Prince as a lonely and isolated person who can count "his friends with a peace sign , one, two". In the title track Emancipation he recognizes that his mind was “restless”. In addition to his characteristic falsetto singing , Prince also uses lower voices on the album.

Disc I.

Jam of the Year is a mid-tempo funk dance number that has a relaxed but at times sluggish feel to it. The song is built on a soft bass line , decorated with jazz- inspired piano playing . The lyrics, sung in falsetto, are light-hearted and cheerful; it's about partying and enjoying life to the fullest. For example, Prince is in a club with a woman from Puerto Rico when suddenly his favorite song is played. Apart from Prince, Rosie Gaines also sings , but she has not received a fee for her contribution .

Right Back Here in My Arms has dance, funk and pop influences. Prince wrote the piece in a minor key, which creates a depressed and obsessive mood. One in pitch-shifting catchy played synthesizer - hook line replaces a conventional chorus and sparingly arranged song is dominated by a low-frequented bass synthesizer. The lyrics are about failed love.

The soul ballad Somebody's Somebody has a sitar- like sounding bass synthesizer as its motif . Similar to Right Back Here in My Arms , the lyrics are about disappointed love and nights spent alone and sleepless.

The upbeat dance song Get Yo Groove On has a similar structure to Jam of the Year . The lyrics performed in falsetto are light-hearted and cheerful, with Prince making a respectful allusion to D'Angelo , among other things . Keyboardist Morris Hayes can be heard under the pseudonym "Montalbo Stewart" with additional vocals.

Courtin 'Time is a fast-paced jazz and swing inspired song based on blues and rockabilly . The original version was 25 minutes long, with Eric Leeds playing "the entire time over the saxophone, " said Prince. The lyrics are about love, devotion, commitment and desire.

The cover version of the pop-soul ballad Betchy by Golly Wow! Prince didn't add anything of his own, apart from the current production status of the 1990s. The song is representative of the Philly sound , which was very popular in the USA in the early to mid-1970s. Prince said, Betcha by Golly Wow! have the "most beautiful melody" he has ever heard. Like Courtin 'Time, the lyrics are about love, devotion, commitment and desire.

The upbeat rock song We Gets Up has a hectic rhythm . Apart from a few lively brass parts , performed by Brian Lynch , the track seems monotonous at times. When it comes to the lyrics, Prince was inspired by Michael Jordan when he once made a dunk . In addition, Prince praises the musical abilities of his backing band The New Power Generation and boasts of the "new power soul" music that defies competition.

Bonnie Raitt, 1990

White Mansion has influences from funk, paired with elements from rock and pop. The mid-tempo song gives a relaxed relaxed feeling and the chorus is reinforced by string-like syntheses. There are some audio tricks in this song in particular; sings Prince, he needs a new guitar, a guitar twang can be heard. If he is sitting in a bar you can hear the audience, if he is a player in the song you can hear the sound of a slot machine throwing coins, if he flies back to Minneapolis the sound of a plane taking off follows. In the lyrics, Prince looks back at the beginning of his career as a struggling artist. But after he has achieved his goals, which he has always dreamed of, he wonders if he is really happy. The song contains the samples "Yo, Anita" and "Yo, check out that ass!" From the US sitcom Martin (1992–1997). Prince also makes references to Gucci and Versace . The woman in the liner notes , referred to as "Bold Girl", is Janice Garcia (* 1969), Mayte Garcia's older sister.

Damned If Eye Do starts like a conventional rock song, but develops into a salsa reminiscent of Carlos Santana . The lyrics are about disappointed love and the sentence spoken in Spanish is from Janelle Garcia, the mother of Mayte and Janice. The line of text "I'll fill your cup, I won't do it like Kevin" refers to Kevin Costner , who among other things drinks his own urine in his film Waterworld (1995).

The R&B ballad Eye Can't Make U Love Me is similar to the original version by Bonnie Raitt and the lyrics again deal with disappointed love.

Mr. Happy is from the funk genre with rap influences, performed by Scrap D. The song combines verses sung in falsetto with a powerful chorus that contains a penetrating line of synthesizers. The lyrics are sexually suggestive at times. The piece also has a sample from the song What Can I Do (1993) by Ice Cube .

In the song In This Bed Eye Scream, Prince Pop and soul influences merge, combining elements from rock and pop. Instead of a sung refrain, he uses shrill-sounding synthesizers, reminiscent of a bagpipe . Prince said the song was created by triggering feedback from his guitar lying on the floor. He wanted to know whether instruments have a soul of their own and could write their own songs. According to the liner notes, Prince has dedicated the piece to Wendy Melvoin , Lisa Coleman and their twin sister Susannah Melvoin , which he mentions in the booklet in mirror writing as “for Wendy and Lisa and Susannah”. Coleman was surprised by Prince's dedication: "He's never really tried hard to build a relationship," but she "sometimes misses him." At the time of recording, Prince had no contact with The Revolution members. The passage he sings in the lyrics of the song “How have we ever lost communication” and “How often do I feel a thousand times whatever I do to you” can be interpreted by Prince for forgiveness and reconciliation. He sings the song in both falsetto and lower voices.

Disc II

Sex in the Summer has influences from dance, funk and pop. The song begins with a three-second drum intro that Prince took over from Funkadelic's song Good Old Music (1970) . He integrated the ultrasound heartbeat of his unborn son as a loop in the texture , which thus represents part of the rhythm . The lyrics of the song sometimes have spiritual features and are about a “new day” because “all believers will see an end to suffering and every disease”. Prince also makes reference to the song In the Upper Room (1957) by Mahalia Jackson (1911-1972). The working title of Sex in the Summer was Conception (dt .: Conception ) and the lyrics dealt with the feel of a sperm on its way to the egg . Ultimately, however, Prince found this topic "too heavy" and rejected the idea.

Sandra St. Victor, 2010

The four songs One Kiss at a Time , Soul Sanctuary , Curious Child and Dreamin 'About U are from Prince sensually sung melodic R & B ballads , the three pieces of Soul Sanctuary , Curious Child and Dreamin' About U some influence of New Age have . The lyrics of the four songs are almost identical in content; he is concerned with love, devotion, commitment and desire. Prince wrote the lyrics to Soul Sanctuary together with the American Sandra St. Victor (born May 28, 1963), who is the lead singer of the R&B and soul band The Family Stand, founded in 1987. Although St. Victor received a check from Prince for her contribution, she did not receive the publishing rights or royalties , which is why she originally wanted to sue Prince. In the end, however, she said that he had "much better lawyers than me", whereupon she refrained from filing a lawsuit. It was similar with the song Dreamin 'About U , for which saxophonist Eric Leeds took the opinion that Prince should have named him as a co-author because the piece was based on a saxophone motif of his.

Emale is a leisurely relaxed funk number with a dominant bass line. The title name is a play on the term e-mail and in the chorus Prince uses the URL he invented "www.emale.com". In the lyrics of the song he deals with computer media that were new at the time, in which the two of them meet after appropriate communication between a man and a woman. The man, however, turns out to be not what the woman expected and tries to rape her.

Joint 2 joint is of a recurring organ - Motif embossed. The song begins as a relaxed funk number, but takes a structural turn towards rap, dance and a funky sounding bass solo. At the climax, the individual layers of the respective sections are placed on top of one another. Minute by Minute 3:10 to 3:53 is Savion Glover with tap dancing to hear. The lyrics are sexually suggestive and the line of text performed by the Nuyorican rapper Poet 99 “I never sucked sour splints from a chew stick. Don't lick bics cuz fire sticks 2 flame (flame). Get wicks 2 catch brothers who choose 2 let burns remain. Now I see all Dicks, Toms and Harrys are not the same. Some dipped in my lower lip, sipped a supple poison ”, she took from the song Burn 1 (1994) by the Canadian hip-hop duo Dream Warriors, in which she was a guest rapper. The voice of sound engineer Hans-Martin Buff can also be heard in Joint 2 Joint , who plays a taxi driver and described the piece as his personal favorite song on emancipation .

The Holy River is a folk- inspired pop song, with acoustic guitar playing played by Prince in the foreground . In the course he increases the dynamics and the piece develops into a rock song with a guitar solo. The song ends with classically inspired guitar playing and a synthesizer part that seems a little unsuitable for the rest of the piece. The Holy River is one of the most profound songs on emancipation and is about a confession of a depressed state of mind to a confession of Prince's belief in God. He claims that he can no longer do anything with relationships that are exclusively about sex. Prince hits "like a fist on the wall" with the realization that he should be grateful just to live. The river is a traditional symbol of the course of soul development from material to spiritual life, and Prince seems to be making an analogy between his life and the river: since the river never stops flowing until it reaches the sea, Prince never becomes stop searching until every part of his being is perfectly one with God. The lyrics end with a marriage proposal that Prince makes to his lover. The spiritual awakening is thematically reminiscent of Anna Stesia (1988) from Lovesexy .

The soul ballad Let's Have a Baby is dominated by Prince's piano playing. In the lyrics he describes his longing for a child and admits that he cannot do anything “without thinking of a little baby”. He wonders what his wife's eyes "would look like on a newborn baby" and what the voice of a newborn girl or boy might sound like.

For the title name Savior , Prince chose the British spelling , ie with the letter "u", and not the US-American spelling in which the word "Savior" is written. The rock ballad has an at times overloading music production , including Prince's pompous piano playing with embellishment. His voice has been recorded in multiple tracks to achieve a gospel- like effect. In the lyrics of the song, Mayte Garcia is his soul mate, which he expresses with the line of text "like two branches from the same tree".

The calm instrumental piece The Plan was arranged by Clare Fischer and has New Age influence. In 1997 Prince released the piece on The NPG Orchestra's album Kamasutra .

The soul ballad Friend, Lover, Sister, Mother / Wife served as the wedding dance for Prince and Mayte Garcia in February 1996. The lyrics refer directly to Garcia, such as the line of text: "I see my child's eyes every time you look at me". In addition, the lyrics are about love, devotion, commitment and desire. Prince secretly wrote the song in January 1996 while touring Tokyo with his band and Garcia.

Disc III

The song Slave is dominated by electric bass, drums and Prince's vocals, but the piece does not have a recognizable melody . Towards the end, Prince added drumming that sounds like a marching army, similar to his song Sign "☮" the Times (1987). The lyrics can be interpreted as a direct reference to Warner Bros. Records and sometimes borders on self-pity when Prince laments his bad treatment and asks, "How did you keep me under control for so long?"

New World is reminiscent of current (as of 1996) electronic pop music , a music genre to which Prince devoted himself primarily in the 1980s. The melody of New World seems insubstantial, similar to Slave . The lyrics paint a bleak George Orwell- like picture of the future when "they always listen, especially on the phone". Maybe Prince of was Aldous Huxley's novel Brave New World (dt .: Brave New World ) influences from 1932, of a future society, utopia is, as a living nightmare.

The Techno- inspired song The Human Body has an unstoppable pumping bass-synthesizer line and ends in an overloading, unfocused cacophony . Prince only sings in falsetto and the lyrics contain sexual themes.

Face Down can be described as Prince's take on gangsta rap ; he raps angry verses over a funky electric bass, while the chorus contains a dominant synthesizer line with spoken vocals "face down". In addition, a loop fragment by rapper Poet 99 with the text line “dead like Elvis ” is integrated into the song . The piece has playful and humorous accents; In the middle of the song, Prince orders his backing band "Orchestra" several times, to which synthesizers respond with an exhausted sigh. In the lyrics, Prince deals intensively with the suppression of artists, which he can again interpret as a direct allusion to Warner Bros. Records. The song shows more anger than anyone else at emancipation and Prince is full of resentment for the people who called him a "broken singer".

The cover version La, La, La Means Eye Love U is a pop-soul ballad from the Phillysound genre , with Prince, similar to Betcha by Golly Wow! , added little of its own. The lyrics are about love, devotion, commitment and desire.

Style is an energetic funk number with a dominant bass line. The refrain consists of a combination of a brass motif with the spoken chant “you got it”, which refers to the song Brothers Gonna Work It Out (1990) by Public Enemy . In the lyrics, Prince makes comments about culture and society; he tries to define the term “style”, which for him means, among other things, “to keep a promise”, to renounce alcohol and “to love yourself until everyone else does too”. The song contains a sample from Atomic Dog (1982) by George Clinton .

Kate Bush, 1986

The up-tempo song Sleep Around has influences from dance, funk and pop, paired with a house- inspired beat . The track includes a sample of the Tower of Power song Squib Cakes (1974) , and the lyrics once again deal with love, devotion, commitment and desire.

Da, Da, Da is a dramatic funk rock number based on a repetitive bass figure . The lyrics are socially critical ; Prince describes the point of view of a poor Afro-American from the ghetto who is looking for a job and wants to get his life under control. To achieve this goal, “loving one another” is the “only way,” proclaims Prince.

My Computer is rock and pop music, decorated with sitar-style synthesizers. In the sometimes thoughtful lyrics, Prince “scans” his computer and longs for company and a better life. Concerned about the world his child will inherit, he remarks, "I have a child, I have a lot to explain". According to the liner notes , Kate Bush can be heard in the backing vocals , but her voice is very alien so that she cannot be identified. The track contains the AOL samples of a male voice, "Welcome, you've got Mail" and "Goodbye", which the media group used from 1990 to 1996.

The cover version of One of Us turned Prince into an anthem- like and guitar-dominated rock song. The lyrics of the song deal with the physical presence of God on earth. Prince said he wanted to cover the piece because "it's nice to hear God's name on the radio".

The rock ballad The Love We Make begins with a sparse cautious opening and ends in a loud hymn-like, gospel -like finale. Prince's singing seems passionate, but it is weakened by a sometimes overloading and strongly reverb-like music production . About the lyrics, Prince said he was "talking to the ghost of a friend who died of drugs," which explains his anti-drug message, "Put the needle down, put the spoon down." He also mentions a “new world” and preaches a positive outlook on life; In the face of adverse circumstances, showing love for one another is important.

The title track Emancipation is from the funk genre, focused on a percussion bass line and a solemn chorus. The lyrics can again be interpreted as a direct allusion to Warner Bros. Records, but this time Prince is not filled with defiance, but declares his artistic freedom.

List of titles and publications

Disc I.

No. song author length
01 Jam of the Year Prince 6:10
02 Right Back Here in My Arms Prince 4:43
03 Somebody's Somebody Prince, Brenda Lee Eager, Hilliard Wilson 4:43
04th Get Yo Groove On Prince 6:31
05 Courtin 'time Prince 2:46
06th Betchy by Golly Wow! Thom Bell , Linda Creed 3:30
07th We Gets Up Prince 4:18
08th White Mansion Prince 4:47
09 Damned If Eye Thu Prince 5:21
010 Eye Can't Make U Love Me James Allen Shamblin III, Michael Barry Reid 6:37
011 Mr. Happy Prince 4:46
012 In This Bed Eye Scream Prince 5:40

Disc II

No. song author length
01 Sex in the Summer Prince 5:57
02 One kiss at a time Prince 4:41
03 Soul Sanctuary Prince, Sandra St. Victor 4:41
04th Emale Prince 3:38
05 Curious Child Prince 2:57
06th Dreamin 'About U Prince 3:52
07th Joint 2 joint Prince 7:52
08th The Holy River Prince 6:55
09 Let's have a baby Prince 4:07
010 Savior Prince 5:48
011 The plan Prince 1:47
012 Friend, Lover, Sister, Mother / Wife Prince 7:37

Disc III

No. song author length
01 Slave Prince 4:51
02 New World Prince 3:42
03 The human body Prince 5:42
04th Face down Prince 3:17
05 La, La, La Means Eye Love U Thom Bell , William Hart 3:59
06th Style Prince 6:40
07th Sleep around Prince 7:42
08th Da da da Prince 5:15
09 My computer Prince 4:37
010 One of Us Eric Bazilian 5:19
011 The Love We Make Prince 4:39
012 Emancipation Prince 4:12
  • The use of the English pronoun "I" (German: "I") has been stylized as an "eye symbol" in almost all of Prince's songs since 1988 .

Emancipation was released worldwide on November 19, 1996 as a triple album on CD and as a compact cassette with six pages. Each CD has a playing time of exactly 60 minutes and contains twelve songs. With a total length of three hours, Emancipation is one of the longest albums with newly released songs in music history. The triple album is available for purchase in two different versions; as an edition with the sticker " Parental Advisory Explicit Lyrics " and as a censored version in which the words " Fuck " or "Motherfucker" from the three songs Get Yo Groove On , Face Down and Da, Da, Da have been deleted.

On September 13, 2019, The Prince Estate released the album as a box set with six records in exclusively purple vinyl. Furthermore Emancipation in digipak available with three CDs.

Single releases

Only two songs were released from the 36 tracks as a single: on December 2, 1996 the CD single Betcha by Golly Wow! which was only published in some countries in Europe and Australia. The single contains both the album version of Betcha by GollyWow! as well as Right Back Here in My Arms . The Holy River was released on January 13, 1997 , also only in some European countries and in Japan. The single version is shortened to 4:00 as radio edit and also contains the radio edit version of Somebody's Somebody shortened to 4:30 minutes . Moreover, it is Somebody's Somebody in "Live Studio Mix" and heard in "Ultra Fantasy Edit". Also, the song On Sale Now! Is based on Somebody's Somebody ! available, a 48-second track in which Prince plays a customer who calls 1-800-New-Funk at the US telephone service at the time and orders Prince's products.

The following four promotional records were also released; As early as December 9, 1995, Slave appeared on a compact cassette with the B-side New World . On January 13, 1997, the versions of Somebody's Somebody were released as a CD single and a vinyl maxi single. Then on January 31, 1997, Prince released the NYC compact cassette , which featured live versions of Jam of the Year and Face Down on January 11, 1997 in New York City at the Roseland Ballroom. The compact cassette could only be ordered via his homepage and the 1-800-New-Funk telephone service . In April 1997 Face Down appeared in the album version as well as "X-tended Rap Money Mix", "Instrumental Money Mix" and "A Cappella" on CD single and vinyl maxi single.

On the occasion of the release of Emancipation on record, My Computer was released as a single on September 12, 2019 , which was only available for purchase as a vinyl single via the October 2019 edition of the German music magazine Musikexpress . The song is identical to the album version and the B-side is the album version by Shhh (Xcerpt) , extracted from The Versace Experience (Prelude 2 Gold) from 1995.

Music videos

Dominque Dawes, 1999

Prince produced with Betcha by Golly Wow! , The Holy River , Somebody's Somebody and Face Down a total of four music videos on songs by Emancipation . The video for Betcha by Golly Wow! he shot on November 9th, 1996 in his Paisley Park Studio. He also drives in his BMW Z3 to a hospital in hospital clothing to visit his wife Mayte Garcia in the emergency room. She sits on a treatment stretcher in her nightgown, Prince hugs her happily and the audience is told that the couple are expecting a child. Prince had the filming take place in the hospital in Minneapolis where his son died two weeks earlier. In addition, 50 ballet dancers appear in the video in white leotards , each of which is printed with one or two black letters that put together the refrain “Betcha by Golly Wow! U're the one that I've been waiting 4 4ever. And ever my love will 4 u keep growing strong ”. The main dancer is American Dominique Dawes (* 1976), who won a gold medal in gymnastics at the 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta .

At the end of 1996 Prince produced the music video for The Holy River in his Paisley Park Studio, although all recordings by Mayte Garcia come from the music video for Empty Room from 1994, which has not been officially released to this day (as of 2020) . Further information about the filming of The Holy River is not known to the public.

On January 25, 1997, footage to the music video of Somebody's Somebody was shot at Paisley Park Studio. The video begins with a flash of lightning while Prince - apparently suffering from a cold - is lying in bed with a handkerchief in his hand. A t-shirt hangs over him, with Mayte Garcia's face printed on it. Prince walks around the balcony of his New York penthouse at dawn ; he seems thoughtful and lonely, occasionally a young woman appears on the balcony as an illusion . Sitting alone in the back seat of a stretch limousine , he is chauffeured through the streets of New York to his concerts. As a contrast to his loneliness, film recordings of his concerts on his then Love 4 One Another Charities tour in 1997 can be seen as he is surrounded and celebrated by fans. The concert recordings are from January 7th in Philadelphia, as well as from concerts on January 10th in the DAR Constitution Hall in Washington, DC and the following day in the Roseland Ballroom in New York City.

The music video for Face Down was filmed at Paisley Park Studio in 1997, but further information is not publicly available. Mayte Garcia does not appear in the video.

Cover versions

For the first time in his career Prince released cover versions of other musicians on a studio album , which he did very rarely again in the following years. On Emancipation he covered the following four songs: La-La (Means I Love You) , Betcha by Golly Wow! , I Can't Make You Love Me, and One of Us .

The piece La-La (Means I Love You) , which Prince renamed La, La, La Means Eye Love U , was composed by the music producer Thom Bell , who is known for the Philly sound . He passed it on to The Delfonics in January 1968 , who reached number one on the US Billboard charts with the song.

Joan Osborne, 2009

In 1970 Bell wrote the piece Keep Growing Strong with Linda Creed , which was then released as a single by Connie Stevens , but was not commercially successful. It wasn't until two years later that The Stylistics was able to reach number 3 in the US single charts in 1972, but brought the song under the title Betcha by Golly Wow! out, which Prince ultimately reinterpreted.

In 1991 Michael Barry Reid and James Shamblin III composed the number I Can't Make You Love Me , which Prince renamed Eye Can't Make U Love Me . The two wrote the song for Bonnie Raitt , which was released as the second single from their album Luck of the Draw . Prince had never commented on why he corverted a Raitt piece, but the singer was also signed to Warner Bros. Records in the 1980s and had disagreements with the record label, much like Prince did in the 1990s. Her album with the working title Tongue and Groove from 1983 was only released by Warner in 1986 under the new title Nive Lives - then Raitt and Warner separated. Danny Goldberg, Warner boss in the 1990s, however, was of the opinion that Prince had "simply used Bonnie for texts" that "could have been written" for Sheila E. or Vanity 6 . According to Goldberg, Raitt sang the song composed by Prince called Jealous Girl in 1987 , which she has not released until today (as of 2020).

In 1995, Eric Bazilian of the band The Hooters wrote the song One of Us for Joan Osborne , who released it from their album Relish and thus achieved international commercial success.

Only two cover versions are known of songs from the album Emancipation that were released on phonograms ; In 1999, the US a cappella band Counterparts recorded a new version of Somebody's Somebody and released it on their album Afterglow . In 2008, the Norwegian indie pop musician Arne Johan Rauan recorded a new version of The Holy River under his pseudonym Bellman and released it on the sampler Shockadelica: 50th Anniversary Tribute to The Artist Known As Prince .


Typical set list of the Jam of the Year tour from
July 21, 1997 - January 22, 1998
  1. Jam of the Year
  2. Talkin 'Loud and Sayin' Nothin '
    ( written by James Brown in 1972 )
  3. Let's work
  4. Delirious
  5. Purple Rain
  6. Little Red Corvette
  7. I would die 4 u
  8. The Most Beautiful Girl in the World
  9. Face down
  10. I Could Never Take the Place of Your Man
  11. The Cross
  12. Dreamin 'About U
  13. Do me, baby medley
  14. Sexy MF
  15. If I Was Your Girlfriend
  16. Take Me with U
  17. Raspberry Beret
  18. Kiss
  19. Gett off
  20. When Doves Cry
  21. (Eye Like) Funky Music (unreleased then, released on Newpower Soul in 1998 )
  22. Baby I'm a star
  23. 1999
All songs are authored by Prince , unless otherwise stated

On the occasion of the album release of Emancipation , Prince completed two tours , both of which led through the USA and Canada. The Love 4 One Another Charities tour began on January 7, 1997 in Pennsylvania in Upper Darby Township and ended on June 28, 1997 in Chicago at the United Center . Prince gave parts of the profits from the Love-4-One-Another-Charities-Tour to his charity organization "Love 4 One Another" at the time, which gave his tour its name. The total of 21 concerts were all sold out and took place in smaller halls with a capacity of 1,500 to 6,000 spectators. Sugar Blue performed at some concerts and on April 20, 1997, Carlos Santana played on stage at Prince's Event Center Arena in San José, California . During the tour Prince met his future wife Manuela Testolini (born September 19, 1976), who worked as a consultant for the charity and with whom he was married from 2001 to 2006.

Due to so-called ticket scalping - an unauthorized ticket speculator buys tickets for a concert and sells them at inflated prices - Prince canceled several previously announced concerts because he saw the goodwill of a charity work endangered by these illegal activities .

Just one month after the Love-4-One Another Charities Tour launched its Prince Jam-of-the-year tour, which he in on July 21, 1997 Clarkston (Michigan) in the Pine Knob Music Center opened, and on 22 Finished January 1998 in Oakland at Oracle Arena . The tour lasted six months, included 65 concerts, and led through many US cities that Prince had never visited before. Initially there was no opening act , but from September 1997 Larry Graham played with Graham Central Station for 50 to 60 minutes and Chaka Khan appeared with her backing band as opening act at six concerts . The concert length of the Prince concerts was 90 to 150 minutes and the setlist was similar to the Love 4 One Another Charities tour. Doug E. Fresh and the dancer Kamilah Woolfolk performed at some concerts . Carlos Santana performed again on October 10, 1997, this time in Mountain View at the Shoreline Amphitheater . The reviews of the Jam-of-the-Year-Tour were partly excellent. The Jam-of-the-Year tour was originally planned as a world tour, but when the EMI Capitol was closed in April 1997, the corresponding preparations were canceled by the music label.

In order to prevent possible ticket scalping again, Prince pursued a new concept in terms of business aspects on his Jam-of-the-Year tour, which from then on served as the standard for all of his subsequent tours in his career; his employees booked the dates for his concerts only two or three weeks in advance and not, as is usual in the music industry , three to six months in advance. Prince and his team were responsible for selling tickets through Ticketmaster or other authorized agencies themselves, a task normally handled by an outside booking agency. He took over the promotion of his spontaneously announced concerts by giving short interviews in many cities or answering questions that were faxed to him . His team also took care of appropriate advertising on the radio. Although only a few of the concert halls, which usually hold 15,000 people, were sold out, Prince usually played in front of more than 10,000 people. Ultimately, the Jam-of-the-Year tour was commercially successful with a total gross profit of 30 million US dollars (then about 54 million DM).

Prince's backing band The New Power Generation consisted of the following five members during the two tours:

The death of his son seemed to have preoccupied Prince, which also had an impact on his live concerts; he integrated very few songs by Emancipation and soon began to replace them with some of his top ten hits, so that the setlist of the Jam-of-the-Year tour was almost like a greatest hits tour by the end. In 1997 Prince played over 100 concerts and 20 years later Mayte Garcia described the two tours as an "escape" from him.


Larry Graham, 2011

From 1986 onwards, Prince occasionally played an aftershow after the main concert, i.e. another concert after midnight. His aftershows took place in smaller music clubs in front of mostly 300 to 1,500 spectators and Prince did without the lavish stage shows, choreographies and light shows of his main concerts. In addition, he designed the song selection differently and often did without his top ten hits. Some of the aftershows' highlights were guest appearances by well-known musicians.

During his Love-4-One-Another-Charities-Tour in 1997, Prince played an aftershow at 5 of the 21 concerts, although no internationally known musicians made guest appearances. This was different on his Jam of the Year tour from 1997 to 1998; Prince gave an aftershow at 26 of the 65 concerts, and on July 24, 1997, D'Angelo and Questlove performed at Tramps Nightclub in New York City.

On August 23, 1997, Prince invited bassist Larry Graham to his aftershow in Nashville , Tennessee at the Music City Mix Factory, whom he first met on the night of his main concert at the Nashville Arena . Graham was a Jehovah's Witness then as now and gave Prince the book You Can Live Forever in Paradise on Earth from the denomination, who also joined the Jehovah's Witnesses in 2001 and remained a member until his death. A close friendship developed between the two musicians "on a spiritual level". Apart from that, Graham was a regular guest musician at Prince concerts from 1998 and also worked as a studio musician in Prince productions.

Rufus Thomas performed at Prince's The New Daisy Theater in Memphis , Tennessee on August 24, 1997 , and Larry Graham starred with Jerry Martini, Cynthia Robinson and Rose Stone of Sly & the Family Stone on five other after-shows, including after the final concert on January 23, 1998 in San Francisco , California at Townsend.



Most music critics rated the album Emancipation mostly positive, and some believed it was Prince's best album since Sign "☮" the Times in 1987. Some critics, however, complained about a lack of experimentation and believed that Prince had in his Music does not set new standards. In addition, the triple album with a total playing time of three hours is too long and should have been reduced to a maximum of two CDs.

Various Prince authors such as Alex Hahn, Matt Thorne and Per Nilsen expressed the opinion that Emancipation was one of the strongest Prince albums of the 1990s or was the best one he recorded under his unpronounceable symbol as a pseudonym. Prince brought out the following seven albums as "Symbols": The Gold Experience (1995), Chaos and Disorder (1996) and Emancipation , Crystal Ball and The Truth (both 1998), Rave Un2 the Joy Fantastic (1999) and Rave In2 the Joy Fantastic (2001).

Edna Gundersen from USA Today called the album “outstanding” and gave it the maximum number of four stars. Emancipation amazes both through its “stylistic breadth” and through its “disciplined focus”. In 36 songs, Prince roams through "genres, moods and themes that capture his funk essence and distill his vision ". He shows the "rare ability" to "control and manipulate each motive". He also "reinvented four different songs", by which Gundersen Prince meant cover versions. In conclusion, she drew that, artistically, Prince had "lost nothing of his majesty".

The US music magazine Rolling Stone praised emancipation and gave it four out of five stars. Although the total playing time is three hours, Prince placed "surprisingly little" filler material. Nevertheless, the album is "too long" overall. But Emancipation contains "some of his most underrated songs," such as In This Bed Eye Scream . In addition, Prince's "fiery" cover version of One of Us and the "amazingly smooth version" of La, La, La Means Eye Love U were positively highlighted.

Stuart Maconie of British entertainment magazine Q also gave it four out of five stars. The "highlights" of the first CD are "the beautiful" White Mansion and "the pretty brilliant" In This Bed Eye Scream . Disc II is the weakest CD, but with the song The Holy River there is a "jewel" on it. On Disc III, Maconie praised the three tracks The Human Body , My Computer and especially Face Down , which he described as “great”; he even described the loop fragment “dead like Elvis” as a “masterpiece”. Overall, Emancipation is Prince's best performance since his 1991 album Diamonds and Pearls . But the triple album is too long, Maconie criticized. You need "probably a week's vacation" to do the album justice. But "most of us will have had worse vacations," he guessed.

The two music critics David Wilson and John Alroy also awarded four out of five stars. Prince is "more romantic than ever" and the three ballads One Kiss at a Time , Dreamin 'About U and Let's Have a Baby are among the best that he has written. Vocally he is “at its peak” and musically “overflowing with ideas”; all "his experiments work this time". The “only problems” of the album are “too much uptempo funk” as in Get Yo Groove On and Mr. Happy , as well as “too many babyface- sounding slow jams” as in the song Somebody's Somebody . Of the four cover versions only Betcha by Golly Wow! "It was worth the effort," said Wilson and Alroy, but " lyrically " Prince is "still very self-centered " on the album .

Music journalist Robert Christgau, 2011

Patrick Macias of the Internet magazine Salon.com praised the album and stated that Prince was switching "effortlessly from hip-hop to swing jazz , pure pop, Latin grooves , techno and the usual dance floor jams". Emancipation is developing "into a versatile and convincing high-flyer", roughly comparable to his album Sign "☮" the Times . The entire disc II of Emancipation offer the richest "offer for excellence," said Macias song The Holy River called "masterpiece" and the piece of joint 2 Joint as "mega-bassy vanguard - radio ," the "funny, scary and decided experimental "sound. The album was “one of Prince's most intimate and beautiful hours”, which “culminated with one of his strongest ballads of all time: Friend, Lover, Sister, Mother / Wife ”, Macias said.

Jim Farber of the New York Daily News was also convinced of emancipation and said that Prince managed "the hardly possible: he publishes 36 songs", of which "at least 25 are really" good, but not a weak one. Ultimately, Prince, “one of the craziest figures in pop”, “finally rewarded our patience” with the album Emancipation by “ reviving a feeling for songwriting ” that “long ago disappeared in modern R&B”. In addition, his singing sounds “more sober” than usual and he has made his lyrics more “thoughtful”.

The US music journalist Robert Christgau recorded Emancipation of having the third-best award "A-". Although there was no weak song among the 36, he could bet that Prince "would have trouble remembering them all himself," Christgau said with a wink. The album had "great grooves in abundance, great vocals and harmonies". In addition, Prince has “a sense of humor” on emancipation .

Brian McCollum of the Detroit Free Press described Emancipation as Prince's best album since Sign "☮" the Times . The triple album is a "powerful reminder that the former Prince is one of the most creative and innovative musicians of the late twentieth century - at least if he tries". McCollum described Prince's cover versions as "delicious", but the new songs in particular were characterized by funk and made "the juice splash".

Amy Linden of the US magazine People Weekly wrote, Prince jump "cheerfully from genre to genre" and move from "nasty bass lines" in Joint 2 Joint over the "dreamy" Soul Sanctuary up "the driving" Damned If Eye Thu . His falsetto singing sounds “perfect” and he transforms One of Us into a “raging guitar hymn”. She described Prince's "half-hearted rap attempts" as the only "missteps".

Music critic Stephen Thomas Erlewine, 2017

Stephen Thomas Erlewine from Allmusic was a little more reserved with praise and awarded three and a half stars out of five. Although the three CDs are "almost all of high quality", it is "difficult" to "process" all of them completely. Although Prince tries out a large number of musical styles on every CD, he is “not going new ways”, but rather “just confirms his strengths as a composer and musician”. Emancipation does not come close to his albums such as Dirty Mind (1980), 1999 (1982) and Sign "☮" the Times (1987). But "the soft ballads and complex jams" signaled that Prince [then 38 years old] had "developed gracefully into middle age". In conclusion, Erlewine drew that Prince's “craft” continues to grow.

Greg Kot of the national US newspaper Chicago Tribune described Emancipation as Prince's best album of the 1990s, but nevertheless it was "anything but flawless". It would have "clearly" been a stronger album if it had been reduced by a third and recorded on two discs. Above all, Kot would have deleted the four songs Mr. Happy , Emale , La, La, La Means Eye Love U and My Computer . Nevertheless, the musical range and the claim to emancipation is "stunning" and touches pop, rock, funk, gospel, hip-hop, soul, house and techno. He described the love songs with "full of determination and longing, emotions that can be felt through brilliant arrangements and orchestrations". The best song was Face Down , which was one of "the most compelling pieces in pop music" in 1996; the song proves "how vital the artist formerly known as Prince can still be".

Mark Beaumont from the British New Musical Express gave only five stars out of ten. In order to find “Diamonds and Pearls” on the album, one had to “rummage through” the 36 songs, which would be “sometimes like looking for a plot in the telephone book”. But songs like Courtin 'Time and Slave are indications that Prince didn't leave his talent "in a basement" at Warner Bros. Records, wrote Beaumont.

Christopher John Farley of the US news magazine Time gave no grade, but was disappointed with the album and titled "The Artist Who Was Known Formerly As Hot". Although own emancipation "its moments", but will the album "plagued by many fillers" and finally "there are just too many midsize Songs". But one could “make a great album” out of emancipation by recording the following ten songs on compact cassette : the three pieces Jam of the Year , Somebody's Somebody and In This Bed I Scream from Disc I, the five songs One Kiss at a Tim , Soul Sanctuary , Emale , Let's Have a Baby , Friend, Lover, Sister, Mother / Wife from Disc II, as well as My Computer and the title track from Disc III. Even if this is arduous, the work is worth it: "Freedom has its price," noted Farley.

Posthumously , Simon Price from the British daily The Guardian rated 37 Prince albums and placed Emancipation at number 24 with three out of five possible stars. If “you sieve”, you could “find jewels”, but he did not explain them in detail. In addition, Price expressed the assumption that EMI-Capitol could have thought that Prince was accompanying the label with “ Trolling ” when they signed him and he wanted to release “a triple album immediately”.

The two music journalists Albert Koch and Thomas Weiland from the German music magazine Musikexpress also reviewed the album Emancipation after Prince's death in April 2016 and gave it only two and a half out of six stars. Among other things, they wrote: "Unfortunately, emancipation is not followed by a comprehensive renewal or at least a refreshment, as suggested , for example, in the electronic The Human Body ." .


Charts Top ranking Weeks
Chart placements
Germany (GfK) Germany (GfK) 21st (10 weeks) 10
Austria (Ö3) Austria (Ö3) 13 (9 weeks) 9
Switzerland (IFPI) Switzerland (IFPI) 1 (11 weeks) 11
United Kingdom (OCC) United Kingdom (OCC) 18th (7 weeks) 7th
United States (Billboard) United States (Billboard) 11 (21 weeks) 21st

In February 1997, the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA for short) awarded emancipation in the USA for 2,000,000 records sold with double platinum status, but in fact only about 570,000 units of the triple album were sold; the number was automatically tripled because each CD was counted individually. A spokesman for the EMI-Capitol label said it was up to the RIAA. “You make the rules, not us”. The US magazine Entertainment Weekly described the label's claim to have achieved double platinum with Emancipation as a "large-scale discrepancy ". In addition, RIAA bases its certifications on the number of albums shipped to record stores rather than the number of CDs actually sold - 700,000 copies of the triple album were shipped to record stores. In Japan, Emancipation achieved gold status for 100,000 records sold, and platinum status for 100,000 copies in Canada.

year Title
Top ranking, total weeks, awardChart placementsChart placements
(Year, title, album , rankings, weeks, awards, notes)
1996 Betchy by Golly Wow! DE62 (9 weeks)
- CH27 (5 weeks)
UK11 (9 weeks)
The single was not released worldwide
1997 The Holy River DE92 (6 weeks)
- - UK19 (7 weeks)
The single was not released worldwide

Both singles and My Computer could not achieve gold or platinum status internationally.


On July 17, 1997, Emancipation was recognized at the Minnesota Music Awards in the category "Best R&B Recording" (Best R&B Recording).


Web links

Individual evidence

  1. a b c d e f g h i j k l m n booklet from Emancipation , NPG Records / EMI-Capitol Music Group, 1996
  2. a b c d e f Uptown (2004), p. 402.
  3. ^ Uptown (2004), p. 172.
  4. Thorne (2017), p. 319.
  5. Thorne (2017), p. 323.
  6. Thorne (2017), p. 322.
  7. Azhar (2016), pp. 88-89.
  8. Hans-Martin Buff. In: dicogs.com. 2019, accessed on September 7, 2019 .
  9. Thorne (2017), p. 325.
  10. Gold & Platinum. In: riaa.com. 2019, accessed on September 7, 2019 .
  11. Thorne (2017), p. 324.
  12. a b c d Thorne (2017), p. 326.
  13. Max Lorenz: From "Prince" Minneapolis to "Wake" Munich. In: amazona.de. April 15, 2001, Retrieved September 7, 2019 .
  14. Uptown (2004), p. 196.
  15. a b c d Uptown (2004), p. 405.
  16. Garcia (2018), p. 305.
  17. a b Uptown (2004), p. 197.
  18. Uptown (2004), p. 200.
  19. Garcia (2018), pp. 285–289.
  20. Uptown (2004), p. 200.
  21. Uptrown (2004), pp. 201-204.
  22. Uptown (2004), p. 192.
  23. Garcia (2018), p. 245.
  24. ^ Uptown (2004), p. 193.
  25. Garcia (2018), p. 255.
  26. Garcia (2018), pp. 267–268.
  27. ^ Uptown (2004), p. 195.
  28. Garcia (2018), pp. 270-273.
  29. Garcia (2018), pp. 275-276.
  30. Garcia (2018), pp. 275-278.
  31. Garcia (2018), p. 280.
  32. ^ Jones (1997), p. 253.
  33. ^ Ro (2011), p. 285.
  34. Garcia (2018), pp. 282–284.
  35. Garcia (2018), p. 310.
  36. Garcia (2018), pp. 314-315.
  37. Garcia (2018), pp. 316-317.
  38. Garcia (2018), p. 330.
  39. Garcia (2018), pp. 353–354.
  40. Thorne (2017), p. 328.
  41. a b c d e f g Uptown (2004), p. 404.
  42. a b c d e f g h i j k l m n Uptown (2004), pp. 403-404.
  43. Hahn (2016), p. 283.
  44. Uptown (2004), pp. 402-403.
  45. a b Uptown (2004), p. 403.
  46. a b c Thorne (2017), p. 332.
  47. Thorne (2017), pp. 329-330.
  48. a b c d e Uptown (2004), pp. 402-404.
  49. Thorne (2017), pp. 330–331.
  50. Thorne (2017), p. 331.
  51. Thorne (2017), pp. 323-324.
  52. Direct Sample of Drums. In: whosampled.com. 2019, accessed on September 7, 2019 .
  53. Thorne (2017), p. 327.
  54. Garcia (2018), p. 256.
  55. a b Thorne (2017), p. 333.
  56. Hahn (2016), pp. 292–293.
  57. a b c d e Uptown (2004), pp. 403-405.
  58. Thorne (2017), pp. 326–327.
  59. Hahn (2016), p. 282.
  60. Azhar (2016), p. 90.
  61. ^ Uptown (2004), p. 190.
  62. Uptown (2004), p. 203.
  63. ^ Uptown (2004), p. 198.
  64. Garcia (2018), pp. 298-299.
  65. ^ The Holy River. In: princevault.com. December 9, 2018, accessed September 7, 2019 .
  66. Somebody's Somebody. In: princevault.com. November 18, 2018, accessed September 7, 2019 .
  67. Face Down. In: princevault.com. November 17, 2018, accessed September 7, 2019 .
  68. ^ The Stylistics - Chart History. In: billboard.com. 2019, accessed on September 7, 2019 .
  69. Thorne (2017), pp. 331. – 332.
  70. Jelous Girl. In: princevault.com. August 18, 2018, accessed September 7, 2019 .
  71. ^ Rebecca Christie: Counterparts - Afterglow (1999). In: rarb.org. February 25, 2000, accessed September 7, 2019 .
  72. Arne Johan Rauan. In: discogs.com. 2019, accessed on September 7, 2019 .
  73. ^ Uptown (2004), p. 585.
  74. Uptown (2004), p. 201 and p. 205.
  75. Rochelle Olson and David Chanen: Unsealed Prince divorce file shows luxe lifestyle, dispute over videos, jewels and photos. In: startribune.com. January 14, 2017, accessed September 7, 2019 .
  76. Uptown (2004), p. 201.
  77. a b Uptown (2004), p. 584.
  78. ^ Uptown (2004), p. 214.
  79. ^ Jones (1997), p. 240.
  80. Uptown (2004), pp. 583-584.
  81. Hahn (2016), p. 293.
  82. Uptown (2004), p. 201.
  83. Garcia (2018), p. 300.
  84. Uptown (2004), p. 209.
  85. Uptown (2004), pp. 211-212.
  86. Garcia (2017), pp. 311-312.
  87. Draper (2016), pp. 150–154.
  88. Azhar (2016), p. 94.
  89. ^ One-Off Performance - August 24, 1997 (am). In: princevault.com. December 20, 2016, accessed September 7, 2019 .
  90. ^ Uptown (2004), p. 219.
  91. Hahn (2016), pp. 291–292.
  92. Hahn (2016), p. 291.
  93. Thorne (2017), p. 318.
  94. ^ Edna Gundersen: Emancipation proclamation: Outstanding. In: princetext.tripod.com. November 21, 1996, accessed September 7, 2019 .
  95. a b Draper (2016), p. 134.
  96. ^ Prince - Album Guide. In: rollingstone.com. 2009, accessed on September 7, 2019 .
  97. ^ Stuart Maconie: Emancipation. In: princetext.tripod.com. 1996, accessed September 7, 2019 .
  98. ^ Wilson and Alroy: Wilson & Alroy's Record Reviews - Prince. In: warr.org. 1996, accessed September 7, 2019 .
  99. ^ Patrick Macias: Emancipation. In: princetext.tripod.com. 1996, accessed September 7, 2019 .
  100. Jim Farber: Emancipation From a Rut. In: princetext.tripod.com. November 19, 1996, accessed September 7, 2019 .
  101. ^ Robert Christgau: Prince. In: robertchristgau.com. 1996, accessed September 7, 2019 .
  102. a b Hahn (2016), p. 292.
  103. ^ Brian McCollum: The Artist Formerly Known as Prince - Emancipation. In: princetext.tripod.com. December 1, 1996, accessed September 7, 2019 .
  104. Amy Linden: Emancipation. In: princetext.tripod.com. 1996, accessed September 7, 2019 .
  105. Stephen Thomas Erlewine: Prince - Emancipation. In: allmusic.com. 2019, accessed on September 7, 2019 .
  106. Greg Kot, Triple Threat. In: princetext.tripod.com. November 22, 1996, accessed September 7, 2019 .
  107. Mark Beaumont: TAFKAP - Emancipation. In: princetext.tripod.com. 1996, accessed September 7, 2019 .
  108. Christopher John Farley: The Artist Formerly Known As Hot. In: princetext.tripod.com. November 25, 1996, accessed September 7, 2019 .
  109. Simon Price: Prince: every album rated - and ranked. In: theguardian.com. April 22, 2016, accessed September 7, 2019 .
  110. ^ ME editors: From the big Prince special - an overview of all albums. In: musikexpress.de. May 22, 2016, accessed September 7, 2019 .
  111. Prince. officialcharts.de, accessed on September 7, 2019 .
  112. Prince. austriancharts.at, accessed on September 7, 2019 .
  113. Prince. hitparade.ch, accessed on September 7, 2019 .
  114. Prince. officialcharts.com, accessed September 7, 2019 .
  115. ^ Prince - Chart History. billboard.com, accessed September 7, 2019 .
  116. ^ Ro (2011), p. 288.
  117. ^ Jones (1997), p. 233.
  118. Chart sources: DE AT CH UK US
  119. ^ Uptown (2004), p. 207.