Prince’s estate and the late musician’s Paisley Park Enterprises are suing a onetime sound engineer and mixer, seeking to prevent him from releasing unpublished tracks that he wants to make public.
Despite the suit and request for a temporary injunction, George I. Boxill is releasing an EP titled “Deliverance” that is timed to coincide with Prince’s death one year ago this Friday from a drug overdose.
The title track is now available on iTunes and Apple Music, Boxill said in an announcement through Rogue Music Alliance, based in Vancouver, Wash.
Preorders are being accepted on iTunes, Google Play and Amazon, with plans for an EP disc going on sale at Target and other major retails outlets nationwide on June 2.
However, Target spokesman Lee Henderson said Wednesday the company is aware of the lawsuit and “does not have any plans to carry this title at this time.”
The legal action was filed last week in Carver County but moved Tuesday to federal court in St. Paul.
The plaintiffs say Boxill, 49, of Los Angeles, has no legal rights to the five tracks that were recorded from 2006 to 2008.
By releasing the tracks, the plaintiffs also allege, Boxill would be violating a 2004 confidentiality agreement he signed with Prince, who died at Paisley Park, his Chanhassen compound.
Paisley Park and Prince’s estate want Boxill to surrender the recordings and any copies. The federal suit puts the value of the recordings at more than $75,000.
The suit says Prince sings and plays guitar and keyboards on the songs, which Boxill worked on at Paisley Park.
“Mr. Boxill was not authorized to use any of the tracks in any way whatsoever,” reads the state court version of the suit, which also accuses him of dealing with an unspecified third party in connection with the songs as he tries “to exploit one or more songs for his personal gain at the expense of the Prince estate.”
Twice in late March, the plaintiffs say, Boxill refused their demands to hand over the recordings.
Messages were left Wednesday with Boxill and his Minneapolis attorney seeking a response to the allegations.
In a statement Tuesday by Rogue Music Alliance announcing the music’s release, Boxill said, “I believe ‘Deliverance’ is a timely release with everything going on in the world today and in light of the anniversary of his passing. I hope when people hear Prince singing these songs it will bring comfort to many.”
Boxill said that “the majority of all sales of ‘Deliverance’ will benefit Prince’s estate.”
Along with the title track, the other songs on the EP are “I Am,” “Touch Me,” “Sunrise Sunset” and “No One Else.” An extended version of “I Am” is also included.
Boxill said he co-wrote and co-produced all of the tracks.
Boxill added that Prince once said “he would go to bed every night thinking of ways to bypass major labels and get his music directly to the public. When considering how to release this important work, we decided to go independent because that’s what Prince would have wanted.”
Paul Walsh • 612-673-4482