Just 500,000 copies of the Black Album were pressed thirty years ago, only to be destroyed on orders from Prince when he decided the record was “evil”. Although Prince gave permission for a limited re-release of the album on CD and cassette in 1994, vinyl editions remain extremely difficult to find.
As reported by Rolling Stone, five copies were unearthed by a former Warner Bros. Employee, who was searching for records to send his daughter when he discovered two unopened mailers from his days at the label containing the Black Album vinyls in immaculate condition.
When Jeff Gold, former Warner Bros. Executive Vice President and current owner of a music memorabilia store, received an email about the value of a sealed Black Album, he “naturally assumed it was a fake.” However, he soon realised he was corresponding with a former colleague whose find was indeed genuine.
“I couldn’t believe it,” said Gold. “In a few minutes we were talking on the phone for the first time in many years.”
The five copies are already disappearing fast; one has been sold by Gold to a client for $15,000, another two will be sold on his website, he’ll keep one for himself, and the last could potentially be auctioned by Gold in the future.
At the time of writing, only one record remains available for purchase on Gold’s website for $20,000.