Prince's reluctance to release music through a major label won't prevent him from teaming up with a major retailer. The singer has inked an exclusive deal with Target to release all three of his new albums as one three-disc set starting March 29th. The package will bundle both Prince's guitar-heavy Lotusflow3r and funky MPLSound with Elixir, the debut album by his newest protégé, Bria Valente.
While these big exclusive deals with retailers are partially the reason why there won't be any more Virgin Megastores come September, it's hard to complain at the price: Target will offer the three-album bundle for the recession-friendly price of $11.99. So even if you had no interest at all in Elixir, because you probably didn't, you're still only paying $11.99. The Prince deal catapults Target into the retailers' battle over exclusive music, giving them a name as big as Walmart's AC/DC Black Ice or Eagles Long Road Out of Eden and Best Buy's ill-fated Chinese Democracy release. So why Target? The press release announcing the partnership gives one big clue: the "Minneapolis-based Target Corporation" is run out of the Purple One's beloved hometown.
"Prince has long been renowned as one of the world's most original and iconic musical artists," said Mark Schindele, Target's senior vice president of merchandising. "We are thrilled to have the opportunity to share his most recent work with our Target guests." Prince also plans to release a whole slew of extras via a membership to his recently launched Lotusflow3r.com Website, which currently features a song from each of the new albums, photos of Valente and a link to Rock Daily's report from Prince's Oscar Party. Prince also recently allowed Rock Daily into his awesome Los Angeles mansion to preview the new albums.
• Prince Breaks Out Beatles, Rolling Stones at Oscar Party
• Prince Unveils Plan to Release Three LPs Via Lotusflow3r Website at Private Gig
• Prince Premieres Four New Songs On L.A.'s Indie 103; New Album On the Way