BIG Music News: Van Halen, Prince

VAN HALEN:  Former bassist Michael Anthony says now is the time for a reunion

Former Van Halen bassist Michael Anthony has always taken the high road about being fired from the band, and he still harbors no ill will. As a matter of fact, he's open to reuniting with the Van Halen brothers, who replaced him with Eddie's son, Wolfgang.

Speaking to The News-Herald, Anthony tells the suburban Cleveland paper that now is a good time for the band to get back together. 

"Well, I mean, partly because you obviously see all of these other bands doing it these days. And also for Van Halen’s fans. Maybe some kind of proper closure or something. I’m not sure. Everybody in the band is still relatively healthy and alive. So there’s one thing right there. And Sammy [Hagar] has brought it up quite a few times in interviews he’s done. He’d be open to doing a tour with him and Dave [Lee Roth] singing... I personally am through with all of the drama that comes with everything. I want to go out, play music and have a good time. I want to go to my grave a happy guy."

Until then, Anthony is on tour with Sammy and The Circle, with a show in Northfield, Ohio on Saturday.

And in other Van Halen news, an alternate version of their 1979 song "Dance the Night Away" has been leaked. It features less of David Lee's screams and more of him actually singing.

PRINCE & THE REVOLUTION:  Purple Rain returns

Prince and the Revolution's Purple Rain gets its long-awaited reissue today (Friday). Here are 10 things you should know about the reissue of his biggest album.

It was originally released on June 25th, 1984. Since then it's sold more than 13 million copies in the U.S. It spun off five Top 40 hits -- the number-one smashes "When Doves Cry" and "Let's Go Crazy," the number-two hit "Purple Rain," the Top 10 entry "I Would Die 4 U" and the Top 30 song "Take Me With U."

This reissue was initially announced in 2014 when Prince returned to Warner Brothers in a deal that gave him control of his back catalog. He approved the remaster of the album as well as the unreleased tracks included at some point in 2015.

There's two versions of this package -- a two-disc version with the remastered album and disc of unreleased songs from that era, and a three-disc, one-DVD version that adds all the single edits and B-sides plus a show from 1985.

The 10-minute B-side version of "I Would Die 4 U" was recorded during tour rehearsals and features Sheila E. along with The Revolution.

The 12-minute version of "Computer Blue" is one of many attempts at the song, which Prince kept editing before he got down to the four-minute version that appears on the original album.

One of the unreleased tracks, "Electric Intercourse," got bumped off the album by "The Beautiful Ones."

Prince originally recorded "The Dance Electric" weeks after the Purple Rain film was released. He gave it to his friend Andre Cymone, who released his own version as the first single from his third album, A.C.

Among the unreleased tracks, "Possessed" was a tour staple for Prince and the Revolution when they toured before and after Purple Rain.  An instrumental snippet from it pops up in the background of the scene in Purple Rain where Morris Day attempts to woo Apollonia. It's also on the DVD of the concert from 1985.

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