In 2007, Prince threatened to file lawsuits against YouTube and other websites in order to “reclaim the Internet” and put a stop to the unauthorized use of his music and image on the web. Though the threat turned out to be just that, Prince still uses a legal team to monitor the Internet and issue takedown notices for material uploaded without his consent. Recently, one vintage Prince show was added to YouTube without his permission, but it won’t be removed any time soon.
This past summer, the website Music Vault uploaded more than 17,000 concerts to YouTube. Music Vault, a division of a company called Norton LLC, obtained the footage from a few different entities, including Clear Channel, who owned the video archive of legendary concert promoter Bill Graham.
The concert dates from January 30th, 1982, and was captured at a theater show in New Jersey during the tour for Prince’s fourth album, Controversy. Though he had a few hits under his belt by this point, this is still very much a young and hungry Prince. What a treat it is to see him on the cusp of his first major success with 1999, which was released later in 1982. Of course his career exploded a couple of years later with Purple Rain, and he’s now considered one of the definitive pop artists of the ‘80s. In this incredible black and white video recording we see the Prince the masses would soon come to love, one full of confidence and exhibiting the kind of showmanship he’d soon be known for worldwide.
Hopefully Prince is cool with this concert being available online, because it’s truly awesome footage of the man. I, for one, am way-thankful it gets to stay on the web for all to see. Enjoy!