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Originally released as a download to fanclub members from npgmusicclub.com on 16 October 2001, it received full commercial distribution via the independent label Redline Entertainment from 20 November that year.
The Rainbow Children is essentially a concept album, and as a result showcases Prince's most diverse work. It explores several and complex themes, such as spiritualism and racism, and although it is critically acclaimed The Rainbow Children sold only 158,000 copies. The core musical theme of the album is funk/jazz and as a result is quite an inaccessible to for non-fans. It arguably, however, represents Prince at his creative and musical peak. It does not feature a drum machine and the sound is very raw and refreshing. The Rainbow Children was released six months after its single, The Work, Part I and peaked on the Billboard charts at 109, but is notable in that it is Prince's first album released under his proper birth name since previously changing it to The Artist Formally Known As Prince.
1 Released as a single
2 Hidden track (#21)