Questlove’s Album-By-Album Guide To Prince’s Warner Bros. Catalog

Questlove Shares Album-By-Album Reviews Of Prince's Catalogue [Exclusive]
Original illustration by Jaeil Cho for Okayplayer.
Questlove Shares Album-By-Album Reviews Of Prince's Catalogue [Exclusive]

Original illustration by JaeilCho for Okayplayer

This is the second year since Prince Rogers Nelson has left us, so we throwback to when we asked Questlove to put together an album-by-album guide to his Warner Bros. catalog.

Since Prince‘s passing, delving into Prince’s vast recorded catalogue has become something of a national, if not global, pastime, as record nerds rank their favorites and offer discographical wisdom and guidance to those seeking more purple in their day, every day. Or as longtime Okayplayer member Jose3030 puts it:

“Sometimes in life, to learn something properly, we need the right person guiding us. Flash back to September 2015— I made a post on Facebook asking my friends the following: ‘If one were to listen to Prince’s entire discography, which method would you use? Oldest to newest or newest to oldest albums?’

I was serious. I was expecting snark and all things that come with posting such a thing on the internet. However, Ahmir “Questlove” Thompson came through and absolutely blessed my post. I was able to listen to Prince’s albums, learn about who was on which songs and with Ahmir’s amazing post, I was able to absolutely absorb the music and was forever changed into a Prince fan. Thanks for the guidance, Ahmir.”

What follows underneath is Questlove‘s complete, album-by-album guide to Prince’s Warner Brothers catalog, ranked and with ratings on a scale of 1-6 @s—updated, amended and expanded exclusively for this Okayplayer #PrinceDay feature. For Prince fanatics, an invaluable, personalized set of liner notes/DVD extras from Prince’s most studious disciple.

For beginners, seeking a way into the winding purple labyrinth of Prince’s ouevre — this is the doorway you seek. As a wise woman once said, “Closed moths don’t get fed.” Sometimes to receive the keys to the kingdom, all you have to do is ask the right person.

Questlove of The Roots SXSW

Photo Credit: Vickey Ford of Sneakshot Photography


next 2 religion & politics, sharing your opinions on Prince is some risk yo’ rep ish.
in my FB network my boy Jose wanted a Prince expert to “break it down” to him.
it was like 3 something in the morning and i was bored. so i broke it down.

i gave him the Prince snob rating of Prince albums.

first of all Prince is a cult audience. meaning his audience comes to him not the other way around.

but there are different levels:

@-i saw purple rain. like the album
@@- kiss, little red corvette, controversy, delirious, when doves cry, 1999, let’s go crazy, alphabet street IQs (knows the hits)
@@@- will still attend concerts might own the black album and a bootleg
@@@@- “hey ahmir i have The Work does that count”
@@@@@-psycho level of knowledge, will risk oversleeping to see him perform til 7am the next morning.
@@@@@@- level of access (music, former associates, seen the vaults) so skrong even humble bragging will seem illegal.

so before all feathers get ruffled, this was a copy/paste job from a Facebook post done some time ago when i decided to properly guide a newbie into Paisleyville.
all opinions are my own. and are subjective. many will disagree but hey… that’s pop life.

i decided to stick to the Warner catalog starting with for you, ending with chaos and disorder (well actually i added the truth cause i love it so much)



@@-OH LAWD (SMH)…..




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