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Music

Rare Prince cassette of ‘The Black Album’ goes up for auction

@TomTaylorFO

A hefty price tag is no doubt inbound after a rare promo cassette of The Black Album by Prince has recently been entered into auction bidding.

Back in 1987, Prince culled the album after an epiphany convinced him that the record was evil. It was withdrawn only a week before its intended December release date and all remaining copies were destroyed, only resurfacing in 1994. 

Naturally, this makes original surviving copies of the record rarities, and this unique promo cassette may well be the best surviving one of them all. 

Complete with ‘The Tape Gallery’ tracklisting and added promo titbits, the simple monochrome workings of the humble tape might not look like much, but it certainly offers an insight into Prince’s workings before the doomed record took a turn towards the manic. 

The hammer is due to go down on the auction on January 13th, and currently, the highest bid received for the cassette stands at $3384 at the time of writing, with the next bid rising to $3723.

The description explains: “A week before its release date, Prince had the album withdrawn after having a spiritual experience that convinced him the album was ‘evil.’”

Adding: “Warner Bros. worked extremely hard to destroy all of the 500,000 copies pressed on vinyl, CD, and cassette—very few survived, making extant examples among the rarest in the world. To our knowledge, this is the only UK album cover proof and the only UK promo cassette tape of The Black Album in existence.”

Current speculation is rife on music memorabilia message boards regarding what the piece is likely to fetch as a final price. However, with experts failing to agree, only time will tell.