Prince upset with Warner Bros.
When it comes to his old record label, the Artist formerly on Warner Bros. has never been afraid to act like a royal pain, but now he’s really mad. In recent posts to his official website, the feisty funk-meister rails against Warner’s relaunching of his 1983 hit ”1999” to capitalize on its currency. ”The rerelease…most benefits the owner of the master recording (not the artist and creator of the work, [Prince]),” reads one message. ”The bulk of the profits received will continue 2 b taken by ‘the owners’ until this absurd concept is challenged.” Responds a Warner rep: ”It’s our right to do this, and we’re doing it. But we don’t begrudge him anything. He’s a free agent, he can do what he wants.” What he wants, it seems, is to rerecord the song. Details are cloudy, with the website dropping mysterious hints about a possible collaboration with Michael Jackson; Jackson’s label couldn’t confirm any plans. More likely is a stylistically similar remake — the key difference being that the Artist could cut Warner out of the profit equation this time. But does anyone really want to hear ”1999 (’99)”? ”We’ll listen to the new one with an open mind,” says Paul ”Cubby” Bryant, music director of New York Top 40 station Z100. ”But my gut tells me that you can’t go wrong with the one that got it going.” Looks like the Artist will still be singing ”Why You Wanna Treat Me So Bad?” into the next millennium.