Whenever a musical icon dies, the understandable convention is to look squarely backwards. Grief is formalised in obituaries. Back catalogues are hastily appraised, then reappraised. Above all, there’s a sense of reluctant finality: show’s over, folks, nothing more to see here.
Prince Rogers Nelson – the man known best as Prince but also, variously, as The Artist Formerly Known as Prince, and simply an unpronounceable glyph – never was much for convention.
When he died in April 2016, aged 57, of an accidental overdose at Paisley Park, his Minnesota home, together with a sense of loss fans experienced a peculiar feeling of anticipation. As music legend had it, Prince kept a vault deep in the bowels of Paisley Park containing hundreds of hours of unreleased recordings and other material. The hope was that it might now be opened.