Prince had his greatest mainstream popularity in the 1980s. It was the decade where each year brought more and seemingly greater music from the prodigiously talented songwriter and musician from Minneapolis. Of course, Prince never stopped creating, working right up to his untimely death on April 21, 2016. He reportedly left a huge amount of unreleased music in the vault.
Most of the material on the new "Originals" album dates from those peak years of the 1980s. Using his own name or a pseudonym, Prince wrote material for other artists at the same time that he was making his own records. Those artists included friends and proteges such as Morris Day & The Time, Apollonia, Sheila E., Jill Jones and more.
All but one of the tracks on "Originals" (the exception is "Nothing Compares 2 U") are the previously unreleased demos that Prince recorded as a guide for what would eventually become someone else's record. While these tracks are not as meticulously crafted as a song you would hear on "Purple Rain" or "Sign o' the Times," they are far from rough demos. Prince's vocals and the detailed arrangements of the songs are first-rate. At the same time, he knew these were demos, so Prince perhaps gets a bit looser than he would on a record intended to be heard by the public.