After years of releasing his music independently in unconventional ways, Prince has returned to Warner Bros. Records, the label that issued most of his biggest hit singles and albums from the late 1970s into the ’90s, and which is set to put out the artist’s new studio album at an unspecified date.
“A brand-new studio album is on the way,” Prince said in a statement issued Friday, “and both Warner Bros Records and Eye are quite pleased with the results of the negotiations and look forward to a fruitful working relationship.”
His use of “Eye” is a playful allusion to his latest project, a stripped-down ensemble called 3rdEyeGirl. Prince recently announced his next album would feature 3rdEyeGirl and be called “Plectrumelectrum,” but Friday’s announcement didn’t specify if that would be the new studio album to which he alluded.
The new contract, announced by Warner Bros. chairman and CEO Cameron Strang, coincides with this year’s 30th anniversary reissue of his 1984 blockbuster album and film, “Purple Rain.” A deluxe remastered reissue of the album is planned.
Release dates have not been announced for either album, and financial terms of the contract were not revealed.
The announcement also suggested other “long-awaited, previously unreleased material” will be surfacing as a result of the deal, which gives Prince ownership of the master recordings to his biggest hits.
Strang said in the same statement: “Everyone at Warner Bros Records is delighted to be working with Prince once again: he is one of the world’s biggest stars and a truly unique talent.”