In 1987, Prince was supposed to release an LP called The Black Album. But after he became convinced that the album was “evil,” the Purple One decided to shelve the project and ordered all 500,000 copies pressed by Warner Bros. destroyed. Last year, shortly after Prince’s death, an original 1987 promo copy of The Black Album sold for $15,000, becoming the most expensive vinyl record ever sold on Discogs. And now, Rolling Stone reports that several actual sealed copies of the album — the ones that were supposed to be destroyed — have surfaced.
When the daughter of a former Warner Bros. staffer bought her first turntable, she asked her father to send her some records. That’s when he looked through some boxes in his closet and discovered two sealed Warner Bros. mailers containing five copies of The Black Album, untouched for over 25 years. He contacted Jeff Gold, a former Warner Bros. Executive Vice President who now runs the music memorabilia store Record Mecca, to see how much they were worth, and when it turned out that they were worth $15,000 each, he sent three copies to Gold to be sold. “I sold the first one with a single phone call to a client,” Gold says. “I’m guessing the others will sell very quickly.”
You can find two more copies for sale here on Record Mecca’s website. The anonymous Warner Bros. employee plans to keep one and may sell another at auction next year.