MUSIC: Born Again

Years after Prince suppressed it, his fabled Black Album appears

In the 1980s Prince -- yes, he now goes by an incomprehensible glyph, but we're old-fashioned -- became a huge star by ingeniously weaving together two powerful strands of pop music: the guitar-based rock of Jimi Hendrix and the rhythm-heavy funk of George Clinton. With a great gift for melody and a protean instrumental talent, Prince released such commercial and artistic triumphs as Purple Rain and Sign o' the Times. In his persona, meanwhile, he presented himself as a sort of pansexual sprite. Tiny, mascara wearing, lubricious, he gave erotically charged performances and bestowed on his records titles like Lovesexy.

It...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now

Subscribe
Subscribe

Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on TIME.com

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!