Minneapolis, MN - Executors for the late music icon, Prince, have announced that they will release what the singer called his masterpiece, The Weeping Feather Trilogy.
From the 72-song box set, recorded over three decades, only one song has ever been released from the trilogy, the 1984 hit, When Doves Cry.
When we first spoke to long-time sound engineer, Axel Cable, immediately after the singer's death, he had said that the trilogy would likely never be released, but has now confirmed that all 72 songs about really sad birds will be available to the public.
"If it were up to me, I wouldn't do it," told Cable. "I mean, don't get me wrong, there is some good material in there. For instance, A Penguin loses its Egg, has some beautiful piano work in it. But it's a painful song to listen to."
But the engineer says he doesn't think Prince's true fans, who will have to shell out $135 dollars for the 3-CD/5-vinyl record set, will be ready for some of the sounds that they hear.
"Most of it isn't even really what his fans would consider music," warns Cable. "Just a lot of birds crying, with Prince's synthesizer and guitar seemingly egging them on, pardon the pun."
We were able to get our hands on just a few tracks before the release date, set for late this fall, to find that the engineer was being truthful. For example, the track, A Parrot Breaks Its Wing, was quite hard to listen to. Eighteen minutes of the distressed bird squawking the words, ' please, just shoot me,' overlaid with Prince's electric guitar, wailing in response, was, to say the least, an emotional journey.
But there were some danceable songs too. Woodpecker Gets A Headache has a fun afro-calypso beat to it, and will probably get some radio air-play. Also, The Lost Sparrow has a heart-wrenching piano solo in the bridge, that will make fans understand where Prince was trying to take this music.
But, for the most part, Cable, who refused to work on the tracks, was right. The music was mostly disturbing and hard to listen to. Ravens Ruckus, a sixteen-minute track about Ravens getting into an argument, accompanied by blasts from a squealing saxophone (an instrument that Prince admittedly really never got the hang of) was hard on the ears.
"I told ya!" warned Axel. "I'm worried that this is just a cash grab from Prince's estate. "I mean, I understand keeping up his longtime home, Paisley Park, ain't cheap. The bird-themed hedge work alone is a full-time job. But I don't think Prince ever meant for songs like Ravens Rukus to reach his fans' ears."
So, to all you devotees of this musical genius, The Weeping Feather Box Set will be out in time for the holidays, but we would be remiss not to warn you, that it will probably ruin your Christmas.
(Prince's estate would like to assure his fans that no birds were harmed during the recording of these songs.)