Album: Emancipation

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Chaosanddisorder.jpg 1996: Chaos And Disorder All Prince Albums All Related Artists Albums 1998: Crystal Ball Crystalball album.png


Album details

Released: 19 November 1996
Length: 60:00; 60:00; 60:00
Label(s): NPG Records / EMI Records
Studio(s): Paisley Park Studios, Chanhassen, MN, USA

Charts, Certifications & Awards

Country: Chart Entry Date Peak Position Weeks in Chart
USA: The Billboard 200 7 Dec. 1996 11 21
USA: Billboard Top R&B Albums 7 Dec. 1996 6 26
Country: Chart Entry Date Peak Position Weeks in Chart
France: Top 50 Albums 16 Nov. 1996 9 4
Germany: MusikWoche Top 100 Albums 2 Dec. 1996 21 10
The Netherlands: Album Top 100 30 Nov. 1996 13 10
U.K.: UK Albums Chart 25 Nov. 1996 18 6
Institution, Country Date Certification
CRIA, Canada 22 Nov. 1996 Gold (100,000)
RIAA, USA 31 Jan. 1997 Platinum (1 million)
RIAA, USA 7 Feb. 1997 Platinum x2 (2 millions)
Institution, Country Date Award
Minnesota Music Awards (USA) 17 Jul. 1997 Best R&B Recording

Singles released

Slave promo only
b/w New World
Given out as a promo cassette single at Paisley Park Studios concert, 9 Dec. 1995
Slave single.png
Betcha By Golly Wow!
b/w Right Back Here In My Arms
Betchabygollywow single.jpg
The Holy River
b/w Somebody's Somebody
Theholyriver single.jpg
Somebody's Somebody promo only
b/w Somebody's Somebody
Somebodyssomebody single.jpg
NYC (Jam Of The Year live)
b/w Face Down live
Direct order only
Nyc single.png
Face Down promo only
b/w I Can't Make You Love Me
Facedown single.jpg

See also

Love 4 One Another Charities Tour Jam Of The Year World Tour
L4OaPass.png 1997 JOTY VIP pass.jpeg

Alternate Album Configuration

early 1996 configuration
Disc 1:

  1. Slave
  2. New World
  3. Journey 2 The Center Of Your ♥
  4. Right Back Here In My Arms
  5. Feel Good
  6. Courtin' Time
  7. Betcha By Golly Wow!
  8. Get Yo Groove On
  9. Da, Da, Da
  10. She Gave Her Angels
  11. Emancipation

Disc 2:

  1. One Kiss At A Time
  2. Soul Sanctuary
  3. Extraordinary
  4. Coincidence Or Fate?
  5. Van Gogh
  6. Let's Have A Baby
  7. A Thousand Hugs And Kisses
  8. (If It Ain't) Gutbucket
  9. EyeBlue.png Will
  10. Saviour
  11. Goodbye

Disc 3:

  1. Into The Light
  2. Dig U Better Dead
  3. Face Down
  4. Stone
  5. Heart In My Hand
  6. One Of Us
  7. Mr. Happy
  8. The Holy River
  9. With God As My Witness
  10. Friend, Lover, Sister, Mother/Wife
  11. nǫiƨɘᗡ yʞnuᖷ
Emancipation is the 19th full-length studio album by Prince (his third using the name SymbolSmallerBlue.png) and the first album to be released following the end of Prince's contract with Warner Bros., which ended less than a week prior to this album's release. It is also Prince's first released triple album. It was released worldwide in November 1996 (just four months after Chaos And Disorder).

Recording process

Prince (as SymbolSmallerBlue.png) began recording songs for the album in January 1995, and work continued on the album until October 1996. Two early configurations, from July 1995, and a later unknown date in 1995, are known, but both were single-disc sets and should be viewed as works-in-progress (see below for details).

The album was largely a solo work, although it also contains tracks showing Prince's transition from the 1993-5 version of The New Power Generation (with Michael B., Sonny T., Tommy Barbarella and Mr. Hayes) to the new 1996, version of the band (containing Kirk Johnson, Rhonda Smith, Kat Dyson, Mr. Hayes and Eric Leeds).

The album is also Prince's first to include cover versions of others' songs (indeed the first commercial single release, Betcha By Golly Wow!, was a cover version). He has occasionally included cover versions on albums since Emancipation. Each of the album's three CDs contains 12 tracks and lasts exactly 60:00 - Prince mentioned in interviews that this was planned based on his studies of Egypt, "the building of the pyramids and how the pyramids were related to the constellations. They were a message from the Egyptians about how civilization really started."


The album produced two commercially-released singles, Betcha By Golly Wow! and The Holy River. Eleven months prior to the album's release, Slave was given out as a cassette single to concert goers at a Paisley Park Studios show.

Additionally, following the album's release, Somebody's Somebody and Face Down were available as promotional releases. EMI Records went bankrupt during the album's promotional run, however, stalling all promotion for the album. Prince (as SymbolSmallerBlue.png) also independently released a live single, NYC, containing live versions of Jam Of The Year and Face Down.

Prince (as SymbolSmallerBlue.png) toured extensively to promote the album on the Love 4 One Another Charities Tour and the Jam Of The Year World Tour, although the tours focuses largely on past hits, with only a few songs from Emancipation played regularly. Prince (as SymbolSmallerBlue.png) also made multiple television appearances and media interviews to support the album, and labeled it "the album I was born to make".

The album reached number 11 on The Billboard 200, and number 6 on the Billboard Top R&B Albums Chart.

Track listing

The compact disc version is the original issue.

  • Disc 1:
  1. Jam Of The Year (6:09)
  2. Right Back Here In My Arms (4:33)
  3. Somebody's Somebody (4:43) 1 
  4. Get Yo Groove On (6:31)
  5. Courtin' Time (2:46)
  6. Betcha By Golly Wow! (3:30) 2 
  7. We Gets Up (4:17)
  8. White Mansion (4:47)
  9. Damned IfEyeBlue.png Do (5:20)
  10. EyeBlue.png Can't Make U Love Me (6:37) 3 
  11. Mr. Happy (4:46) 4 
  12. In This BedEyeBlue.png Scream (5:40)
  • Disc 2:
  1. Sex In The Summer (5:56)
  2. One Kiss At A Time (4:40)
  3. Soul Sanctuary (4:41) 5 
  4. Emale (3:37)
  5. Curious Child (2:57)
  6. Dreamin' About U (3:52)
  7. Joint 2 Joint (7:51)
  8. The Holy River (6:55)
  9. Let's Have A Baby (4:07)
  10. Saviour (5:48)
  11. The Plan (1:46)
  12. Friend, Lover, Sister, Mother/Wife (7:37)
  • Disc 3:
  1. Slave (4:51)
  2. New World (3:42)
  3. The Human Body (5:41)
  4. Face Down (3:16)
  5. La, La, La MeansEyeBlue.png Love U (3:58) 6 
  6. Style (6:40) 7 
  7. Sleep Around (7:41) 8 
  8. Da, Da, Da (5:15)
  9. My Computer (4:36)
  10. One Of Us (5:19) 9 
  11. The Love We Make (4:38)
  12. Emancipation (4:12)

The MC was released at same time as the CD.

  • Side 1:
  1. Jam Of The Year (6:09)
  2. Right Back Here In My Arms (4:42)
  3. Somebody's Somebody (4:43) 1 
  4. Get Yo Groove On (6:31)
  5. Courtin' Time (2:46)
  6. Betcha By Golly Wow! (3:30) 2 
  • Side 2:
  1. We Gets Up (4:17)
  2. White Mansion (4:47)
  3. Damned IfEyeBlue.png Do (5:20)
  4. EyeBlue.png Can't Make U Love Me (6:37) 3 
  5. Mr. Happy (4:46) 4 
  6. In This BedEyeBlue.png Scream (5:40)
  • Side 3:
  1. Sex In The Summer (5:56)
  2. One Kiss At A Time (4:40)
  3. Soul Sanctuary (4:41) 5 
  4. Emale (3:37)
  5. Curious Child (2:57)
  6. Dreamin' About U (3:52)
  7. Joint 2 Joint (7:51)
  • Side 4:
  1. The Holy River (6:55)
  2. Let's Have A Baby (4:07)
  3. Saviour (5:48)
  4. The Plan (1:46)
  5. Friend, Lover, Sister, Mother/Wife (7:37)
  • Side 5:
  1. Slave (4:51)
  2. New World (3:42)
  3. The Human Body (5:41)
  4. Face Down (3:16)
  5. La, La, La MeansEyeBlue.png Love U (3:58) 6 
  6. Style (6:40) 7 
  • Side 6:
  1. Sleep Around (7:41) 8 
  2. Da, Da, Da (5:15)
  3. My Computer (4:36)
  4. One Of Us (5:19) 9 
  5. The Love We Make (4:38)
  6. Emancipation (4:12)

All songs written by Prince (as SymbolSmallerBlue.png) except where indicated.

1  Written with Brenda Lee Eager and Hilliard Wilson
2  Written by Thomas Randolph Bell and Linda Creed
3  Written by Mike Reid and Allen Shamblin
4  Contains a sample of What Can I Do? by Ice Cube (written by Leon Ware, Arthur Ross, Ice Cube, Mychal-Kaye Simmons and Victor Nathan Taylor)
5  Lyrics co-written with Sandra St. Victor and T. Hammer (uncredited)
6  Written by Thomas Randolph Bell and William Hart
7  Contains a sample of Atomic Dog performed by George Clinton (written by Garry Marshall Shider, David Lee Spradley and George Clinton Jr.)
8  Contains a replay section from "Squib Cakes" (miscredited as "Squibcakes") by Tower Of Power (written by Chester Thompson)
9  Written by Eric M. Bazilian




LP, CD, Cassettes and Other versions
Country Format Cat. Number Comments Front Back Label 1 Label 2

This section is under construction

Variants, Special Editions and Reissues
Country Format Cat. Number Comments Front Back Label 1 Label 2

This section is under construction

Additional Information

Promotion (at time of release) Trivia

  • Prince (as SymbolSmallerBlue.png) promoted the album heavily with multiple interviews, television performances and concerts. Click here for more details.
  • The album marks the first time Prince released a cover version on a studio release.
  • Press release (NPG Records: 22 November 1996):
"The Freedom Train Rolls In Minneapolis; Live Performance And Video Simulcast Via Satellite."

"Chanhassen, Minneapolis - "Free at last! Free at last! God Almighty, we're free at last!" was the chant that began the birth of the Emancipation era. Broadcast live around the world by MTV, VH1 and BET in a rare show of cross-network unity, SymbolSmaller.png delighted millions with a liberating performance at his Paisley Park Studios. celebrating both his artistic freedom and the November 19th release of his new album Emancipation on NPG records, SymbolSmaller.png and his four-piece New Power Generation band performed selections fro mthe new albul on a heavenly all-white soundstage. The half-hour long set included new album tracks "Jam Of The Year", Joan Osbourne's "One Of Us", and "Get Your Groove On", as well as old favorites "Purple Rain" and "If I was Your Girlfriend". The video for the first single, "Betcha By Golly Wow" (directed by SymbolSmaller.png) kicked off the broadcast. Among thos swaying in gleeful attendance and snacking on SymbolSmaller.png's favorite cereal (Cap'n Crunch) were Boys II Men, Donatella Versace, Phish, Bill Belamy, Mavis Staples and D'Angelo."

"At a press conference following his performance, SymbolSmaller.png commented:"

"The whole process of this record was different. I'm a free man, I'm a happy man, I'm a married man and I'm a clear man. All the tracks on this record are free, happy and clear. making this record was uplifting for me."

"Emancipation is SymbolSmaller.png's historic celebration of personal freedom, the album he states he was "born to make", times three: three discs, three hours of love, sex and liberty".

Chaosanddisorder.jpg 1996
Chaos And Disorder
All Albums All Related Artists Albums 1998
Crystal Ball
Crystalball album.png