From the Lotus...:30
Crimson and Clover:30
Feel Good, Feel Better, Feel Wonderful:30
Love Like Jazz:30
77 Beverly Park:30
Wall of Berlin:30
...Back 2 the Lotus:30
(There'll Never B) Another Like Me:30
Dance 4 Me:30
U're Gonna C Me:30
Better with Time:30
Ol' Skool Company:30
No More Candy 4 U:30
In the early 2000s Prince was experimenting with many different ways to release his music, including online via his NPG Music Club and as a free offering in a daily newspaper, a distribution model he would use for both 2007’s Planet Earth and 2010’s 20Ten. For his 2009 three-album set, however, he opted to release the albums on his new website, lotusflow3r.com, and to return to a more conventional method and partner with a major retailer, the Minnesota-based Target, to get his music back into brick-and-mortar stores.
Prince likes defying conventions, and this time he's doing it with a 3D sonic assault.”
Steve Jones, USA Today, 2009
Unlike his previous triple albums like Emancipation and Crystal Ball, the new release included three separate, full-length albums: the psychedelic Lotusflow3r, the funky MPLSound, and the dreamy Elixer, an album he co-wrote and recorded for his protege Bria Valente.
Songs on Lotusflow3r were developed around the time that Prince was recording his 2006 album 3121, and many of the same musicians that appeared on that release re-emerge on Lotusflow3r, including original NPG bassist Sonny Thompson and drummer Michael Bland, and members of Prince’s mid-2000s touring band like Joshua and C.C. Dunham, Morris Hayes, Shelby J., and Marva King.
MPLSound, on the other hand, was recorded by Prince alone in the studio, with the only additional contribution coming from the rapper Q-Tip on the song “Chocolate Box.” The album’s title is a reference to the iconic sound that Prince made world-famous in the 1980s, and the song “Ol’ Skool Company” reflects on the “old school melody” that “ruled in the community” back when Prince and his peers were coming of age in North Minneapolis, and shouts out Minneapolis Sound artists like Jellybean Johnson of the Time, Sheila E., and Mint Condition.
Prince played every instrument on MPLSound — just like the old days.”
Gavin Edwards, Rolling Stone, 2009
Prince’s decision to release the three albums exclusively through Target in the U.S. proved that listeners were still more than eager to purchase his music in stores. The album debuted at number 2 on the Billboard 200 chart in the U.S. and reached number 1 on the Top Independent Albums and Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums charts.
Although no official singles were released from Lotusflow3r or MPLSound, the song “Dreamer” was featured in a Target commercial promoting the album, catapulting it into the national spotlight. The song, which reflects on the impact that the assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr., had on Prince’s understanding of race, was nominated for a Grammy for Best Solo Rock Vocal Performance in 2010.
Lotusflow3r and MPLSound Album Credits
Prince vocals and various instruments Michael B. drums C.C. Dunham drums Sonny T. bass guitar Joshua Dunham bass guitar Mr. Hayes keyboards Shelby J. vocals Marva King vocals Bria Valente vocals Támar Davis vocals Maceo Parker saxophone Greg Boyer trombone Mike Phillips saxophone Lee Hogans trumpet Q-Tip vocals