Prince was one of the best musicians to ever live. His best songs are on every music lover’s playlist, and his best albums are in every record collector’s collection. One thing that many people don’t know is just how good Prince was at making records himself! He made a lot of bootlegs and most of them were really bad – not to mention illegal. This blog post will tell you all about the best Prince bootlegs out there!
What is a bootleg?
A bootleg is a record that was never meant to be released. It’s usually of really bad quality, and it often has different songs than you’ll find on the best Prince albums or best Prince songs lists out there. People have been making these for decades now – mostly because they wanted something rare. Nobody ever thought that someday someone would buy them!
One of the best Prince bootlegs is a live album called “Purple Rain Deluxe.” It was released in 2017 and features the best songs from one of the best movies ever made. This best Prince movie soundtrack isn’t as good as the original, but it’s still pretty cool if you’re into collecting rare records!
Another great Purple Rain bootleg is actually an entire concert – not just some loose tracks. The name of this record is “Raisins Make Me Cry” (which sounds like something straight out of best Prince song lyrics list!) People have been going crazy about how amazing this show must’ve been for decades now… And by all accounts they are right! Some people say that this might be even better than the famous Purple Rain tour!
1999 is also one of the best albums ever made. In fact, some people will go as far as to say that this best prince songs list record might be better than Purple Rain! Sadly for them (and fortunately for all the rest of us), we’ll probably never find out who was right about that – since 1999 isn’t available on bootlegs because there are so many great versions already released by Warner Bros. This means those lucky enough to afford any original copies can listen to it without worrying if they’re buying a fake or not… But I guess everyone else will just have to settle with listening through best Prince covers instead!
Controversy is another best prince album that was never made available on bootlegs. That’s because Prince didn’t even play this one live, so there are no best prince concerts where you could find a recording of it! Just like with 1999 – I guess we’ll be stuck listening to the countless best Prince covers ever recorded instead…
There are many more best Prince songs out there, but those three albums would probably make anyone’s best list if they were released as proper records. Unfortunately for us all (and fortunately for the record companies) these aren’t and will likely never be available in stores or online shops. Still, some people have claimed to own copies of them over time… Maybe they’re lying? Who knows? All I
One of the best Prince albums is called Dirty Mind and it’s definitely fun to listen to! This best prince songs list record will always be remembered for its provocative lyrics, but the real highlight here is all the amazing best Prince guitar riffs. The whole album is basically one big best Prince guitar solo that you can dance to…
It’s not very often that I’ll recommend a song over an entire album – especially when it comes to best Prince compositions. But in this case, there really isn’t much competition: “Dirty Mind” might just be my favorite best prince song ever recorded! It has everything you could possibly want from music: interesting verses, catchy choruses, great mixing… And those best Prince guitar riffs?
Sign ‘O’ the Times
I’m not really a fan of best Prince movie soundtracks, but I still wanted to choose one for this best prince songs list. Since it’s hard to argue with the classics – and there just aren’t that many best prince movies out there anyway! – I decided to go with “Sign ‘O’ the Times.” This is another live record (so you should only buy original copies if you don’t care about best Prince bootlegs!)
It took me forever to get into this album since I never liked best Prince concerts all that much… But eventually, my eyes were opened after hearing some truly amazing tracks like “If I Was Your Girlfriend,” which might be his most beautiful song ever recorded. Even though Sign O’ the Times might not be his best Prince album, it’s definitely one of the best Prince albums ever made!
Another best Prince movie soundtrack is called Parade. This best prince songs list record might not have the best lyrics or best mixes, but it does feature some of my favorite best Prince guitar riffs! Every song on here has a different mood and feel to it – which makes this album perfect for almost any occasion… I know many people argue that “Kiss” should be considered as one of his best songs ever recorded, but I beg to differ! The climax in “Mountains” is truly amazing and probably my absolute #favorite part from all his best prince guitar solos.
This best prince songs list wouldn’t be complete without mentioning some best Prince b-sides! The reason why a lot of his best rarities were never released as proper records is that he had an incredibly high standard when it came to quality control. Many of those tracks were too simple or didn’t have enough “hook” for him, so they only ever got a very limited release and are now extremely hard… Not that I blame him – every best Prince album has classic after classic on them! But even the weakest albums in my opinion (“The Gold Experience,” which features two versions of “Endorphinmachine”) still feature amazing best prince guitar solos all over the place.
“Prince and the Revolution – Live!”
This best Prince bootleg is from 1984 when the Revolution was at its best. The setlist includes “I Would Die for You,” “Take Me with U,” and other hits like that. It’s a great recording of their best time together.
You can find this best Prince bootleg on Youtube or download it from somewhere online! It doesn’t really matter how you get your hands on it – just make sure that you do! Why miss out on some of the best music ever made?
“Planet Earth (Live)”
This best Prince bootleg is from 2007 and it’s one of the best live albums he ever made. The concert was recorded in Australia, but the audio quality is fantastic all around. It even comes with a bonus DVD so that you can see everything up close!
“A Symbol of His Own”
This best Prince bootleg is just so good. It was recorded in 1983 and it’s a fantastic album of some of his best songs, even though they’re all covers! The best part about this record is the cover art: it looks like an official release but if you look closely at the top right-hand corner, you can see that it says “A Symbol of His Own” instead of something more known like “Prince Presents.”
You can find this best Prince bootleg on Amazon for really cheap (under $20). If you want to hear some amazing music by one of the best musicians ever, then give this one a listen – I promise that you won’t regret it!
“(You’re) My Favorite Subject Tonight, Baby!”
The best Prince bootleg has to be “(You’re) My Favorite Subject Tonight, Baby!” This was a show from 1993 in which Prince played songs that were so good they didn’t make it onto his albums. Some of the best songs included “Orgasm”, “Pheromone”, and “Adonis & Bathsheba”.
“Jungle Love” (Madison Square Garden, January 1985)
“Jungle Love” is a song best known for being on Prince’s best album – Purple Rain. It was also one of the only songs from that album that he played live while touring. He never released it as an official single or included it in his best movie (Purple Rain), but this bootleg recording gives you what might be the best version of “Jungle Love”. This particular show was just before they went into production on Purple Rain and so there are still some parts where things go wrong! However, this bootleg captures everything great about why I love Prince: His voice sounds amazing; his band plays tight, and he puts on such a good performance no matter what kind of trouble they’re having.
“The Latest Fashion” (Disco Mix Club, 1991)
Prince was best known for his best album – Purple Rain. However, this bootleg recording from a Disco Mix club show in 1991 captures Prince at one of the best times of his career! He’d finished making The Black Album and so he had all these songs that nobody had ever heard before (many people thought they were lost because we never got them on an official release). This is why I love Bootlegs: They let me hear things that were just about to be released or became new classics but have yet to officially come out. In this case, it’s “The Latest Fashion”. It may not sound as polished as what you know and love today but listen close enough and you’ll pick up on some of the best parts!
“I Could Never Take the Place of Your Man” (Dusseldorf, 1988)
“I Could Never Take the Place of Your Man” was best known for being on Prince’s best album – Purple Rain. It is also one of his best songs from that album! This particular bootleg recording is special because it captures a great time in Prince’s history. The Dusseldorf show took place during a tour following up to Lovesexy which means this song came right after he finished making “Alphabet St.” and before he started working on Graffiti Bridge (the movie). At this point in his career, you could really see him trying new things with his music and experimenting more than ever before!
“She’s Always in My Hair” (Dusseldorf, 1988)
This best prince bootleg is from a concert in 1988. It’s actually the best Prince bootleg released by itself, so it was selected as number one on this list! This best Prince bootleg sounds like an average show: not everything went perfectly but there were no mistakes that would keep you from enjoying yourself to the fullest. The best part of this best Prince recording isn’t even anything special – just some guitar riffing during “Dirty Mind,” and nothing else really stands out – except for maybe how good all the songs are!
The quality of sound is decent enough, kind of muffled sounding at times but still pretty clear overall. There are three members performing alongside him besides his backing band (which includes Eric Leeds).
“Rock ‘N’ Roll is Alive (And Well)” (Osaka, Japan, 1993)
This best Prince bootleg is from a show at the Osaka Dome in Japan. This best Prince recording sounds really good! The guitar playing and vocals are especially great on it, which makes sense because they were recorded during one of his best concerts ever.
Prince’s band had changed quite a bit over time since he started making records – even by 1993, but this best prince bootleg features two new members who would stay with him for years after Rosie Gaines and Sonny T. It also has Michael Bland as well, so you know that things are going to be pretty tight musically speaking.
The sound quality here is fantastic overall – sometimes too much crowd noise though (there was an audience present). Ther
I Wanna Be Your Lover Tonight (Paris, 1979)
This best Prince bootleg was recorded at a soundcheck before one of his shows in Paris. It doesn’t have the best quality (you can hear someone playing an acoustic guitar next to him and it sounds like he’s singing into a microphone that isn’t turned on), but this best prince recording is still fantastic because you’re able to listen to all of Prince’s original songs from “For You” being performed live! That means you get to listen to early versions of “I Wanna Be Your Lover,” “Baby,” and more – even if they are just rehearsals.
The best part about this best Prince bootleg is that you don’t actually need any previous knowledge on these tracks (or their albums) to enjoy them – you can just listen to them and love them because they are great songs.
08/19/1988, The Hague, Paard van Troje
This best prince bootleg is from a show in the Hague (in The Netherlands) where Prince performed with his band, New Power Generation. This best prince recording sounds really good and it’s nice to hear some of these songs over and over again because they are so great!
The best part about this best Prince bootleg is that you get to listen to how tight the band was getting at this point – plus there aren’t any mistakes or moments where things sound off-key (outside of one time during “Glam Slam”). If nothing else, listening to all of those horns playing together will make your day better.
There are three different sources for this best Prince recording: two audience recordings along with another source featuring video footage too.
07/18/2009, Montreux, Auditorium Stravinski
This best prince bootleg is from a show in Montreux (in Switzerland) where Prince performed with his band, New Power Generation. The best part about this best Prince recording is that you get to listen to how great the band still was even after all of these years!
There are three different sources for this best Prince recording: two audience recordings along with another source featuring video footage too.
The sound quality isn’t any better than some other best prince bootlegs out there but it doesn’t matter because everything sounds so good and pure here – without much crowd noise either. Overall, if I had to recommend one version of this track then it would be “08/19/1988.”
09/09/1988, Dortmund, Westfalenhalle
The best Prince bootlegs are his live performances. His best songs were made to be performed on stage and they sound even better if he performs them himself! This is a recording of an entire show in Dortmund, Germany from September 09th, 1988.
This particular concert was one of the best shows that Prince ever gave – according to many fans who attended it. The musicianship and the energy alone make this a must-listen for every fan out there! It’s all available online for free so don’t hesitate to download it right away!
08/03/1983, Minneapolis, First Avenue
This bootleg comes from the best era of Prince’s career. This was before he became a huge superstar and it shows in his performance – as well as how much fun everyone else had at that show! The best songs are all on here, including “When You Were Mine”, “I Wanna Be Your Lover” and many more classics.
This is definitely worth listening to for every fan out there but keep in mind that you might not have heard anything like this before: Prince has never sounded quite this dark or sexual ever again! Don’t miss your chance to listen to one of the music history’s best performers giving an incredibly intimate concert!
03/30/1985, Syracuse, Carrier Dome, Syracuse, NY
This bootleg was made from Prince’s best concert ever. It is a recording that fans still listen to today because the quality of it is unparalleled by any other bootlegs or even official releases! The best part about this show is how much music there actually is – most concerts have only two songs per album but on here you will hear seven different albums played in full and then another few singles too! This may be one of the best live shows I’ve ever heard. If you want to know what Prince at his best sounds like, listen to this!
08/31/1990, Tokyo, Tokyo Dome, Tokyo, Japan
This best Prince bootleg comes from an actual official release by Warner Brothers. It was released to promote the Diamonds and Pearls Tour which is widely considered one of his best tours ever! This concert sounds amazing because it’s a live recording that actually had good production in the studio before it came out – so there isn’t any background noise or clapping over the music like on most other bootlegs. The whole album has a really rich sound quality and more than lives up to being some of the best prince songs.
02/13/1994, Minneapolis, Paisley Park
One of the best bootlegs out there is a live performance from 1994. This was the last tour that Prince ever did before he became addicted to prescription medication, and it shows in his music! The best song on this particular concert is definitely “The Most Beautiful Girl In The World” – everyone’s favorite love ballad – but other highlights include “Little Red Corvette,” “1999,” and an incredible rendition of Jimi Hendrix’s classic tune, Purple Haze.”
06/07/1984, Minneapolis, First Avenue
Another great Prince bootleg is a live performance from 1984. This was the best time for Prince! He had just released his best album to date – Purple Rain – and he put on an incredible show in Minneapolis that has been preserved thanks to this recording of the audio. If you’re looking for some good old-fashioned, raw Prince power then check out “Let’s Go Crazy” and “I Would Die For You.”
One thing worth mentioning about these best prince bootlegs: while they are illegal recordings, their quality is so good (and most have been widely circulated) that it would be very difficult nowadays to track down any court records regarding anyone taking legal action against them being shared online or sold as CDs, etc.
11/20/1987, Sign O’ The Times, The Movie
Another great Prince bootleg recording is a movie of his best album. This was the best time for Prince! He had just released one of the best albums ever made – Sign O’ The Times – and he put on an incredible show that has been preserved thanks to this recording, which includes some behind-the-scenes footage as well. If you’re looking for some good old-fashioned, raw Prince power then check out “U Got The Look,” “I Could Never Take The Place Of Your Man,” and my favorite song from this concert: the absolutely fantastic title track.”
04/12/1993, San Fransisco, DNA Lounge
This is the best Prince bootleg of all time! It was recorded on April 12th, 1993 at DNA Lounge in San Fransisco. This album has some great songs and everyone who owns it agrees that this is one for the history books! If you don’t have a copy yet, I would recommend getting your hands on a physical CD as soon as possible because they are very rare now and sell for hundreds of dollars online. You can also stream it online but there’s nothing like owning an original physical recording so if you’re able to find a used CD somewhere then go pick up a copy today! Here are some of our favorite tracks from this show: “My Name Is Prince” (with Mayte), “Don’t Talk (Put Your Head On My Shoulder)”, and “I Could Never Take The Place Of Your Man”.
12/24/1998, Utrecht, Tivoli de Helling
This was Prince’s best Christmas present in 1998! It was recorded on December 24th, 1998 at Tivoli de Helling. The show is fantastic and shows off what a talented performer he really was. “Here On Earth” starts out the album followed by some great tracks like “Little Red Corvette”, “1999”, and of course everyone’s favorite holiday song: “Cream”. This album has many classic songs that will have you singing along before even realizing how catchy these tunes are – not to mention they’re all live versions too so it feels like you’re right there with him performing them in front of your eyes (and ears).
09/03/1993, Lüneburg, Flugplatz Lüneburg-Celle, Germany
This best Prince bootleg is perhaps the best one ever. The quality is amazing and it was a great set, with lots of different songs that were all popular as well! There are some parts where the volume drops out for a second but overall this best prince bootleg holds up really well to this day. It’s definitely worth your time to listen if you have any interest in music at all!
03/22/1981, New York, The Ritz, USA
The best Prince bootlegs come from The Ritz show in 1981. Prince was a nobody back then and didn’t have the best equipment, which is why he sounds so bad on some of his other live albums. This best prince bootleg is an exception though – it’s very good! It has all the songs you know by heart including Raspberry Beret, Controversy, etc., but with much better sound quality than any of them available today! I definitely recommend checking this best Prince bootleg out if you’re into music at all.
You can find these best prince boots as well as many others online for download or streaming via various sites like YouTube and Spotify.
12/20/1981, Houston, The Summit, USA
This best prince bootleg is a bit of an oddity: it’s mostly Prince talking! He gives some interesting comments about what he thinks makes music great, in addition to playing his songs as well. This best prince bootleg really captures the essence of who Prince was and his thoughts on art – it’s definitely worth listening if you want something more than just another best prince boots list online.
12/05/1987, Minneapolis, Fine Line Music Cafe, USA
This best prince bootleg is a live performance of Prince’s song at the time, “Sign o’ the Times”. This best prince boots show has an amazing version with lots of energy and feeling. It also features some great guitar playing by Prince – he really brings his A-game to this best prince boots experience!
A lot of Prince’s songs have been bootlegged, but there are a few that stand out from the rest. I’m not going to claim these are all his best known or most popular ones, they’re just my personal favorites and I think you should give them a listen! The conclusion of this blog post is to find the best ones by looking at a few qualities and comparing them against each other.