Back in March, we reported that Jack White and Third Man Records had acquired the rights to Prince’s famed, mythic Camille album from 1986. For the uninitiated, Camille is the album where Prince pitch-shifted his vocals to sound like the feminine alter ego that bears the album’s title. And in fact, each of the eight tracks on Camille has been released by Prince in the past, either as a b-side or as some other under-the-radar format, but never as the entire album that Prince had laid out in the mid-80s. But it seems as though some people have misconstrued White’s intention with Camille and assumed that he would be re-mastering or re-editing the recordings in the Third Man Records release.
To be fair, White didn’t do himself any favors when he told the Daily Star newspaper’s “Wired” column (as NME reports), “We are able to re-edit it as it was originally planned.” Adding that, “[But]I don’t think [releasing] it goes against his will, because he ended up issuing many of the songs on different recordings over the years. It’s not like he didn’t want them to see the light of day.
This statement found White under fire from fans, as outlets like MSN have taken liberties in their headline writing and insinuated that White was going to alter the composition of the material. “I want to make sure the message is clear, neither I nor third man records, have any intention of “editing” or “remixing” Prince’s music,” White said in an Instagram post, calling the headline “misleading.” He also added, “I was referring to simply putting the songs in the original order that the album Camille was in, as those songs have been put out in multiple releases since Camille was first taken off the presses. I would never mess with Prince’s music. Hopefully, that clears up any misunderstanding, and this album can see the light of day in its original form.”
Effectively, in saying “re-editing,” White just meant “sequencing.” But this is the nature of hearsay: You have to say it explicitly, especially when it comes to Prince, his legacy, and his fans.
No official release date has been set yet for Camille.