Looking back to 1978's 'For You' album, right up to 2015's 'HITnRUN Phase Two'
Prince Rogers Nelson passed away at the age of 57, having recorded no less than 39 official albums, winning seven Grammys, an Oscar, a Golden Globe and selling hundreds of millions of records the world over.
The influence of his career has been felt almost from the moment it began, and will likely to be felt for as long as there is music in the world.
1975–84: For You, Prince, Dirty Mind, Controversy, 1999
Recording a demo and signed by a businessman at 17, Prince's first album For You found the artist producing, arranging, composing and playing all 27 instruments used in the recordings. "Soft And Wet" was a moderate single success, which allowed him to release the self-titled follow up, which featured the single "I Wanna Be Your Lover", and it all exploded from there, culminating in the highlights of his early career, "1999" and "Little Red Corvette".
1984–87: Purple Rain, Around The World In A Day, Parade, Sign O' The Times
It was around here that Prince began to refer to his band as The Revolution, and he won an Oscar for his work on the movie Purple Rain. His song "Darling Nikki" was the instigator behind what are now the 'Parental Advisory' stickers on albums, while "When Doves Cry", "Raspberry Beret", "Kiss" and "Sign O' The Times" continued to keep him as on of the most popular artists in the world.
1987–91: Lovesexy, Batman, Graffiti Bridge, Diamonds And Pearls
The Revolution disbanded, and Prince went back to being solo. Around this time he worked with Madonna, reportedly co-writing and playing guitar on "Like A Prayer" and "Keep It Together". He released "The Batdance" in tandem with the Michael Keaton superhero movie, which topped the charts. Meanwhile, the likes of "Gett Off", "Cream", "Diamonds And Pearls" kept the hits coming.
1991–94: Love Symbol Album, Come, The Black Album
Prince formed and worked with The New Power Generation, releasing an album with an unpronounceable symbol as the title (it would later be known as Love Symbol #2), before 1993 arrived and Prince changed his name to a symbol too, which was explained to be a combination of the symbols for both male and female. But since it didn't have a title, he simply became known as The Artist Formerly Known As Prince.
1994–2000: The Gold Experience, Chaos And Disorder, Emancipation, Crystal Ball, The Truth, The Vault: Old Friends 4 Sale, Rave Un2 The Joy Fantastic
"The Most Beautiful Girl In The World" became the first single from the beginning of Prince's most productive period, releasing seven albums in seven years. Following a series of well received but poorly selling albums, Prince left Warner Bros music, releasing several multi-disc albums off his own label NPG Records.
2000–06: The Rainbow Children, One Nite Alone..., Xpectation, N.E.W.S., Musicology, The Chocolate Invasion, The Slaughterhouse, 3121
In May 2000, Prince became Prince again, the symbol no longer is use. 2004 saw him inducted into the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame. His Musicology album saw him return to the charts, his most commercially successful since Diamonds And Pearls. Later, 3121 would become his first album to debut at the top of the Billboard Charts, thanks to the singles "Black Sweat" and "Te Amo Corazon". In 2006, he became the first major artist to release an entire album exclusively on the internet.
2007–10: Planet Earth, Lotusflow3r, MPLSound
On February 4th 2007, Prince played the Super Bowl XLI. Having performed his "Earth Tour" for 21 nights at the 02 Arena in that summer, the Mail On Sunday then released his Planet Earth album for free. He cancelled a gig in Croke Park for June 2008, settling out of court with MCD Productions.
In July 2010, Prince said, "The Internet's completely over. I don't see why I should give my new music to iTunes or anyone else. They won't pay me an advance for it and then they get angry when they can't get it... Anyway, all these computers and digital gadgets are no good. They just fill your head with numbers and that can't be good for you." His album 20Ten was released with certain publications around Europe, and Prince refused to release the album online.
2013–2016: Plectrumelectrum, Art Official Age, HITnRUN Phase One, HITnRUN Phase Two
Working with 3rdeyegirl as his backing band, Prince released "Breakfast Can Wait" in 2013 on, yep, 3RDEYEGIRL.com. In 2014, he re-signed with Warner Bros. Records, who released a remastered 30th anniversary edition of Purple Rain that year, in exchange for returning the master recordings to Prince. His final album, HITnRUN, was one of the first Tidal early exclusive major releases.
The Tom Dunne Show talked with Prince biographer Matt Thorne following the tragic news of the artist's death. The entire interview can be heard here: