Prince’s greatest-hits compilation “Prince 4Ever,” the first album release since his death on April 21, debuts at No. 80 on the Billboard 200 this week, and becomes the 40th album of his career to grace the chart.
The album was released off-cycle on Nov. 22 (instead of the normal Friday release of Nov. 18 or Nov. 25), so it arrives on the chart with only two days of sales and consumption activity, notes Billboard. Still, “Prince 4Ever” sold 8,000 copies in the week ending Nov. 24, according to Nielsen Music, and earned 9,000 equivalent album units.
As previously reported, the new 40-track offering includes one never-before-released song, “Moonbeam Levels.” It was originally recorded in 1982 during sessions for the “1999” album.
The other 39 songs on “4Ever” mark his greatest hits from 1978 to 1993 during his time with Warner Bros. Records — from his first charting single “Soft and Wet,”, to “Nothing Compares 2 U” in 1993.
Of Prince’s 30 singles to reach the top 40 on Billboard Hot 100, 24 of them appear on the “4Ever” compilation. His only top 40 hits absent from the set are “Partyman,” “The Arms of Orion” (both from the Batman soundtrack), “Money Don’t Matter 2 Night,” “The Most Beautiful Girl in the World,” “LetItGo” and “I Hate U.”
Also of note, “4Ever” includes the first ever appearance of Prince’s Hot 100 No. 1 hit “Batdance” on any of his hits compilations. Though he released a number of greatest-hits albums since “Batdance” topped the chart in 1989, the track was absent from all of those albums (including “The Hits/The B-Sides,” “The Very Best of Prince” and “Ultimate”).
Since Prince died on April 21, his catalog of albums have sold 2.6 million in the U.S. Further, after his passing, his albums were so popular, that on the May 14-dated chart, he had a record 19 concurrently charting titles on the list.
(Photo Source: Herb Ritts)