Prince’s Diamonds And Pearls deluxe is brilliant news for Martika freaks like me

The latest release in the generally excellent wave of reissues from the Prince estate is the 1991 classic Diamonds And Pearls. The new expanded version is released on 27 October 2023.

As always, Super Deluxe Edition has the full track listings for all the formats. Obviously, I only care about the CD editions.

This time around, I’ll need to splurge for the full 7-CDs-plus-Blu-ray variant because disc 4 includes demos for three of the tracks which Prince co-wrote and produced for Martika’s 1991 album Martika’s Kitchen. Those demos have circulated on bootlegs, but I’d much rather have an official release.

The two biggest singles from that album, ‘Love . . . Thy Will Be Done’ and ‘Martika’s Kitchen’ both have Prince’s songwriting and production fingerprints all over them. He also co-wrote and produced the lesser-known album tracks ‘Spirit’ and ‘Don’t Say U Love Me’ (clock the Prince-inflected spelling).

Three Martika demos entitled ‘Beautiful Fabulous’, ‘Rub U Down’ and ‘The Do’ have circulated amongst fans and are sometimes said to be intended for Martika’s Kitchen. While it’s occasionally claimed that Prince worked on these (‘Rub U Down’ does sound like a Prince title), the expert consensus is that he wasn’t involved – and the fact there aren’t any demos for these tracks on the reissue bears that out.

Observant folks will notice that Prince’s recording of ‘Love . . . Thy Will Be Done’ is also not present on this set. That’s because it was already released on the 2019 compilation Originals, which contains Prince’s demo versions of tracks he wrote for other performers, including the Bangles’ ‘Manic Monday’ and Sheila E’s ‘The Glamorous Life’.

This level of obsession isn’t cheap, I might add. The official Prince store is charging US$160 (which translates to roughly $250 Australian) and won’t ship to Australia.

The Australian Warner Music store has decided to max out its margins and is charging a whopping $315, with an extra $13 thrown in for postage. Ouch. But I know I’ll succumb.

I choose to write about stuff I like, and this post includes some affiliate links which means I might make a little money if you make a purchase from the link. That helps me run the site. It doesn’t influence my choices.

One response to “Prince’s Diamonds And Pearls deluxe is brilliant news for Martika freaks like me”

  1. Don’t forget “Open Book” which was written as a response to “Safe In The Arms Of Love” and was not chosen by Martika (Although I wouldn’t be shocked if she did secretly record it). It also has “Work That Fat”, a less-than-fan-favorite which reuses Martika’s Kitchen’s backing track, with all the other Martika songs being released, I’m shocked they left out “Boombox” which is a short instrumental with some sampled Martika vocals, although they probably left it off to avoid paying her.

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