There’s undoubtedly a wealth of Prince recordings still left unheard by the general public. According to a federal judge, however, that fact won’t be changing this Friday, or any other day before early May at the absolute earliest. Even before Deliverance, an EP of unreleased Prince music recorded between 2006 and 2008, became available for preorder on Amazon, Apple, iTunes, and Google Play, Prince’s estate had filed a lawsuit against Rogue Music Alliance producer-engineer George Ian Boxill. According to their filings, Boxill has no legal standing to release the tracks as he planned to do this week, having signed a confidentiality agreement in 2006. The estate also alleges the producer has refused to return the master tracks of the six Prince songs in question. According to TMZ, a federal judge agreed, demanding Boxill turn over the recordings, putting in place a restraining order until May 3 and delaying the release of Deliverance for the foreseeable future. The album has been swiftly removed from online vendors, so if you got to hear the titular song when it was available to stream, well, you probably love it more than you did when it was yours.
Update, April 20: The “Deliverance” single, not the EP, is now available to buy. In a statement to Pitchfork, label attorney Matthew Wilson explained how this occurred: “The Federal Court located in Minnesota has temporarily enjoined the release of the remaining unreleased tracks on the Deliverance EP. The court order has not enjoined the released single ‘Deliverance.’ Therefore the ‘Deliverance’ single will continue to be sold.”