Rare Prince track released
Image © Afshin Sahadi (courtesy of the Prince Estate)

NPG Records and Paisley Park Enterprises release rare Prince song to celebrate the 20th anniversary of Musicology

To commemorate two decades of Musicology, NPG Records and Paisley Park Enterprises, in partnership with Sony Music Entertainment, have released United States Of Division.

The rare 2004 Prince song was initially offered as a virtual B-side download for Cinnamon Girl exclusively from Prince’s NPG Music Club and eventually as a non-LP bonus track for the UK CD single of Cinnamon Girl, but has not been distributed via streaming services until now.

Rare Prince Track Released

Protest Song

United States Of Division is a powerful protest song that sees Prince boldly confronting the social and political issues that continue to plague the nation to this day. Over a percussive backbeat and slinking bassline colored by synths and horn stabs, Prince laments the state of a fractured nation: “How far from heaven must we go? / Before the winds of change will blow and show / This world how it’s supposed to be / Land of peace and harmony.”

Released in the midst of the US war in Iraq, United States Of Division serves as a potent reminder of Prince’s often underappreciated passion for social commentary.

Listen below:

Prince’s Grammy winning 28th studio album Musicology received rave reviews from critics and fans alike when it was released nearly 20 years ago. Its revolutionary direct-to-fan marketing strategy, effectively changed music promotion forever.

The new spotlight on this song also celebrates the 20th anniversary of Prince’s landmark Musicology Live 2004ever tour, a remarkable run of shows that saw the trendsetting star distributing copies of his most recent album Musicology to thousands of concert attendees along the tour route.


On Prince’s request, the tour featured reasonable ticket prices that encouraged fans young and old to attend shows. Devised by Musicology executive producer L. Londell McMillan, this grassroots approach to album marketing profoundly changed that way the music industry.

Prince Musicology cover

Creative Innovator

Speaking about this era of Prince’s career, McMillan noted: “Some called it his comeback, Prince called it Musicology. The brilliance of this classic album was coupled with the commercial success executed on his tour with ticket sales, resulting in Prince’s highest chart position since the 80s. Prince was simply awesome and the music world owes him a great debt for his creativity and innovation.”

In an interview clip, Prince described how his creative process had changed at this stage in his career. He said: “This record…remember it’s made by someone who’s been there and back. Hopefully people feel that and listen to it with that set of ears. Music is music ultimately. If it makes you feel good? Cool.”

Read More: Prince – The making of Sign O’ The Times

Watch below:

Read More: Remembering Diamonds And Pearls

Musicology  was first released on 29 March 2004 (appearing in stores in the UK on 19 April 2004).

A major critical and commercial achievement, Musicology proved to be Prince’s most successful album in years. It reached No.3 on the Billboard Top 200 and won two Grammy Awards.

Stream United States Of Division here

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In the mood for more Prince? Find out the story behind the making of Purple Rain