Prince's “United States of Division” available for streaming

Prince's “United States of Division” available for streaming

After some albums of little artistic value and commercial success (“The Rainbow Children” – 2001 – “N·E·W·S” And “Xpectation” – both from 2003) Prince in 2004 he published “Musicology” a new album that brings him back to the center of the scene with a more approachable work, which abandons certain experiments and brings him closer to the more “classic” style of the Minneapolis musician.

“Musicology” also brought him recognition that he hadn't received for a long time; in fact it's worth two Grammys for “Best Traditional R&B Vocal Performance” and for “Best Male R&B Vocal Performance” (Call My Name”). Prince gets nominations in the categories “Best Male Pop Vocal Performance” (“Cinnamon Girl”), “Best R&B Song” (“Call My Name”) and “Best R&B Album”. Furthermore, Bilboard, in its ranking, awarded him with two platinum records. Finally a month before the album's release Prince had entered the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

The album's distribution was innovative and helped boost sales. In fact, for the first time a record was combined with the purchase of a concert ticket on the North American tour, the lucky “Musicology Live 2004ever”. For a surcharge of 10 dollars you got a copy of the album and a ticket for access to the concert.

This policy was the subject of controversy and controversy. The May 8, 2004 issue of Billboard magazine carried the following note referring to records sold with tickets: “Nielsen SoundScan counts those copies as sales. Of the 191,000 copies of “Musicology” recorded by Nielsen SoundScan as sold for the week ending April 18, 12,600 (6%) were matched by ticket sales from its April 21 concert in Columbia, South Carolina.”

In subsequent years this sales policy was followed by other artists and in 2020 Billboard stopped counting album sales that were part of the ticket/record package.

Now to mark the 20th anniversary of the album's release, NPG Records and Paisley Park Enterprises, in collaboration with Sony Music Entertainment, will release its rare B-side for the first time.”United States of Division” on streaming platforms. Previously available as an mp3 download to members of Prince's NPG Music Club, “United States of Division” is a six-minute soul-funk jam that addresses the Iraq War, the growing global reputation of America and internal social divisions.