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20Ten

NPG Records

Distributed exclusively by five European newspapers as a free covermount on 10 July in the UK (2.5 million copies shipped) and 22 July in France and Germany.

I just think it’s a year that really matters.

In the UK 20Ten was distributed by the Daily Mirror newspaper, whom noted an increase in copies purchased that day of 334,000. Upon striking the deal for the release Prince was relieved: “no charts, no internet piracy and no stress.” The release of 20Ten was done in a wider distribution though deals with five European newspapers following the success of Planet Earth which was a free covermount in the UK under a similar arrangement with the Mail on Sunday newspaper in 2007. Prince did tour 20Ten, albeit on the festival circuit, and during that tour in June 2011 Prince declared he had ‘no plans’ to record another album again.

20Ten was intended for retail distribution in the US through Warner Bros. Records as 20Ten Deluxe, however these plans did not come to fruition. In Prince standards 20Ten is mediocre, however, and bizarrely, Laydown, the standout track on the album, is hidden as track number 77.

Performers

All instruments
Prince
Saxophone
Maceo Parker
Trombone
Greg Boyer
Trumpet
Ray Monteiro

Data

Producer
Prince
Label
NPG Records
Distributor
NPG Records
Cover Art
Debbie McGuan and Anthony Malzone
Released
8 years ago, on 10 July 2010
Running Time
39:18
US Chart Peak
No Release
UK Chart Peak
Ineligible
Prince Album
#35

Tracklist

  1. Compassion (3:57)
  2. Beginning Endlessly (5:27)
  3. Future Soul Song (5:08)
  4. Sticky Like Glue (4:46)
  5. Act Of God (3:14)
  6. Lavaux (3:04)
  7. Walk In Sand (3:30)
  8. Sea Of Everything (3:49)
  9. Everybody Loves Me (4:09)
  10. Laydown (3:07) 1

1 Hidden Track (#77)

Singles from 20Ten

20Ten produced no singles.

Supporting tour

20Ten Tour

20Ten Tour

2010

  • 20Ten Tour (Denmark, Germany, France, Belgium, Austria, Portugal)
    7 shows from 4 to 25 July 2010
  • Prince Live 2010 (Norway, Denmark, Italy, Belgium, UAE, The Netherlands)
    8 shows from 18 October to 18 November, 2010

20Ten – review

20Ten is about pleasant beats rather than forging new ground. Prince was never going to split the atom with 20Ten, but it still shows Prince is honing his sound in his homage to the Linn drum machine, right from the off with the excitable opener Compassion. 20Ten is heavy on technology, low on guitar and with flavourings of backing vocals and anchored by trusty old Hornz. Afterwards we move to Beginning Endlessly, a punching, funk-fuelled track showcased Prince’s craftsmanship remains as sharp as we expect of any of his music. As ballads go Future Soul Song is a true highlight. Sung, unusually, out of falsetto, Prince’s deep voice pulls this writhing beauty of a song that will find you cranking up volume and reminiscing ’96s The Most Beautiful Girl In The World. 20Ten regains tempo with the bouncy although sadly average Sticky Like Glue and Act Of God before heading back to 1980s synths with Lavaux closing the chorus-friendly middle section of 20Ten. In the back half it closes with Everybody Loves Me, a happy but again average electro track, though with a little patience comes the reward, the hidden track, Laydown. Rocky, hard-edge and swathed in a truly fantastic driving beat Laydown seems an afterthought but brings life to and an end to a not totally exciting but competent 20Ten with aggressive and gorgeously arrogant form. But is Prince listening to too much easy listening radio? Should he not want appeal to the under 30s market? Full of oddments and considering the success of recent albums, fans expect more Prince in their Prince albums.

20Ten

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