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Music Review: Ultimate Prince

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Ultimate Prince is a great, greatest hits collection that highlights the singles and 12” singles issued by Paisley Park and Warner Brothers from 1979-1993.

It’s far from perfect, but for an artist like Prince anything but a multiple-CD, box set, complete historical retrospective is going to be severely lacking, and Ultimate Prince is the perfect example of this. For even though both disks clock in at about 80 minutes of music each, there are still things that the serious Prince-o-phile would be looking for in a collection.

But any criticism of this release on the grounds that there are certain selections missing, is a discussion for the most hardcore Prince fans, and ignores the reality that greatest hits releases such as Ultimate Prince are made for the masses.  And in the case of Ultimate – which can be had for about 20 bucks – this isn't a bad thing.

Ultimate Prince is a great choice for people who are just finding their way to Prince, or for people who want a greatest hits selection that offers more than just the radio hits with which they are familiar. And since all of these selections have been remastered, Ultimate is the best sounding Prince greatest hits collection available.

Ultimate will appeal to fans of the top notch 12 inch dance mix versions of Prince’s best stuff. If you’re old enough to remember the days of vinyl records, you’ll jump at the opportunity to get the most popular extended versions of Prince’s dance hits.

And if you are a hardcore fan who already has all of these recordings, buy Ultimate and give it to a friend or family member so that you can introduce them to the wonders of Prince.

Disk one of Ultimate contains enough hits to satisfy anyone, however I’m not sure why the shorter, radio edit versions of I Wanna Be Your Lover and 1999 are included here at the expense of the longer, album versions. Particularly in Prince’s case, the longer, album versions are always superior, but this is a minor quibble.

Disk two contains most of Prince’s best dance mixes and will definitely appeal to hardcore Prince fans. Of particular interest is the inclusion of the rare, 8 minute-plus 12 inch version of Let’s Work, which is considered to be something of a collector’s item and can be seen for auction on Ebay.

Ultimate Prince is a great buy and offers a great opportunity to own some of Prince’s best sounding and most unique recordings in a 2 disk collection.

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