|Lotusflow3r is the 33rd full-length studio album by Prince (sold in a package with his 34th album MPLSound). It was initially released as a download on the launch date of Prince’s website lotusflow3r.com, with a CD release exclusively at Target five days later, in a 3CD package that also included MPLSound and Bria Valente’s first and only album Elixer.
In September 2009, the album was released in France as part of a 2CD package that also included MPLSound. At the same time, a single-disc set was released in France, titled Lotusflow3r but including the MPLSound disc (this was a deliberate marketing decision, not an error). In November, the album was released on vinyl in France as part of a 2LP package, again also including the MPLSound album.
The album’s download version contains one alternate track from the CD version. The Morning After is included as the third track on the download, while the CD includes Crimson And Clover in its place. The change has not been explained.
Sessions and compiling
Little is known about the recording dates for the album. Prince stated around the time of release that some tracks stem from the sessions for the album 3121.
From The Lotus..., ...Back 2 The Lotus, Colonized Mind, Love Like Jazz and Wall Of Berlin were recorded in November 2004, during a three-and-a-half hour session with Michael B. on drums and Sonny T. on bass at Paisley Park Studios in Chanhassen, Minnesota. Songs that were included on the 3121 album (the title track 3121), released in 2006 and Planet Earth (the title track Planet Earth and Guitar) released in 2007 were also recorded during this session.
Some lyrics from ...Back 2 The Lotus are sampled in the track 3121, corroborating this further.
Támar Davis appears on 4ever, suggesting that the song was recorded before Summer 2006, at the latest. A clip of Feel Better, Feel Good, Feel Wonderful was streamed by the NPG Music Club in June 2006, stating it was a work-in-progress, suggesting it was recorded around that time (although the album version is a different recording from 2008).
An early configuration from 2007 of Lotusflow3r includes 8 songs that were released on Planet Earth a few months later (Guitar, Chelsea Rodgers, Mr. Goodnight, All The Midnights In The World, Lion Of Judah, Future Baby Mama, Lion Of Judah and Resolution). Of note, Lotusflower (Part 1) and Lotusflower (Part 2) are listed in this configuration, but the song Planet Earth is missing. It is not entirely clear whether Prince viewed them as entirely separate projects or if this 2007 project evolved into Planet Earth with the inclusion of what became the title track.
Dreamer, Boom, Crimson And Clover were recorded at Sunset Sound, Hollywood, California in August-September 2008 (along with songs later released on 20Ten). Overdubs on Feel Better, Feel Good, Feel Wonderful, $ and 77 Beverly Parkwere also recorded during these sessions.
The album did not produce any singles, but Prince promoted the album with a Target commercial (using the song Dreamer), as well as various TV appearances and one-off shows. There was no full tour to support this album, however.
The album reached number 2 on The Billboard 200, and number 1 on both the Billboard Top R&B/Hip Hop Albums chart and the Billboard Independent Albums chart, perhaps due in part to the sale of three CDs together for the low retail price of $11.98.