Illusion, Coma, Pimp & Circumstance:30
A Million Days:30
Life 'o' the Party:30
Call My Name:30
What Do U Want Me 2 Do?:30
The Marrying Kind:30
If Eye Was the Man in Ur Life:30
On the Couch:30
Dear Mr. Man:30
After spending the beginning of the new millennium releasing music directly to his “fams” through his pioneering online NPG Music Club, Prince returned to the mainstream in a major way in 2004 with Musicology. Although he’d been recording and releasing music continuously throughout his career — and had actually increased the volume of his musical output in recent years, issuing new music to his online base every month — many in the media and recording industry hailed Musicology as Prince’s “comeback” record.
Don’t call it a comeback. I’ve been here for years.”
Prince, Entertainment Weekly, 2004
Prince seemed to be relishing his time back in the spotlight. He began 2004 by delivering an unforgettable performance with Beyoncé at the February 8 Grammy Awards, where they performed a medley of hits like “Let’s Go Crazy,” “Baby I’m a Star,” “Purple Rain,” and Beyoncé’s single “Crazy in Love.” The next month, he was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and participated in an all-star tribute to George Harrison alongside Tom Petty, Jeff Lynne, and Steve Winwood, delivering what is widely regarded as one of the most iconic guitar solos in rock history.
Excitement about Prince’s re-entrance onto the global stage was at an all-time high, and the release of Musicology in April 2004 could not have come at a better time. The album was his first to be co-released with a major label, Columbia Records, since 1999, and Musicology was heavily promoted with a media blitz and the highly successful Musicology Tour.
Musicology the CD is more or less a companion to the concert. Live interaction with the audience is what it’s really all about. Letting the music come first, before the business.”
Prince, San Francisco Examiner, 2004
As a result of all of this attention, Musicology skyrocketed to the top of the charts, breaking into the top 5 in the U.S., Austria, Denmark, the Netherlands, Norway, Switzerland, and the U.K. It was certified gold in Canada, Switzerland, and the U.K., and went double-platinum in the U.S., selling over 2 million copies.
The album sales were boosted by an innovative new method for releasing physical CDs: On the Musicology Tour, CDs were included in the price of each ticket, ensuring that all 1.47 million concertgoers received a copy of the album. The distribution method was so revolutionary that it caused Billboard and Nielsen SoundScan to re-evaluate their charting methodology; Prince had once again turned the traditional recording industry on its head.
Musicology was received warmly by critics, with many hailing it as a return to form, and the album received a total of five Grammy nominations and two awards: one for Best Traditional R&B Vocal Performance for the song “Musicology,” and another for Best R&B Vocal Performance — Male for the song “Call My Name.” That same year, Prince was chosen as the “Best Male Performer” by the readers of Rolling Stone.
Musicology Album Credits
Prince vocals and various instruments Candy Dulfer vocals Chance Howard vocals Stokley vocals Kip Blackshire vocals Rhonda Smith vocals Renato Neto keyboards John Blackwell drums Sheila E. shaker Clare Fischer string samples Maceo Parker horns Greg Boyer horns, spoken word
Unfortunately a lot of kids didn’t learn how to play music. One of the reasons we’re going out on the road and we’re titling this tour as Musicology because we want to bring that back. We want to teach the kids and musicians of the future the art of songwriting, the art of real musicianship.”
Prince, The Today Show, 2004