Prince, who once scrawled "slave" across his face to make a point about his record company, is now working with his old bosses again. After a 20-year break from Warner Bros., the label that released his very first album way back in 1978, the mercurial artist has signed a new partnership deal with them.

Depending on whom you want to believe, Prince and Warners initially clashed over the artist's way-too-prolific output in the '80s. He made records so quickly back then that the record company couldn't keep up with his recording schedule. So many of the albums were shelved while Warner Bros. focused on promoting Prince's current work.

This led to a ton of Princely music never getting released during his greatest decade, including 'The Black Album,' which became one of the most in-demand, and best, bootleg albums ever. Warners eventually got around to releasing it several years later as a limited-edition LP, in addition to cleaning out the vaults with a handful of mediocre records that were assembled without Prince's contribution.

Either way, the Purple One and WB are back in bed again, making some sweet, sweet noises about reissuing some of Prince's classic albums, starting with an expanded edition of the great 'Purple Rain.' There's also talk of a new studio album soon.

Part of the new deal throws all of Prince's material -- owned by Warner Bros. all these years -- back into his hands. Which is probably part of Prince's plan all along. Now that he owns the rights to his best music again, maybe he can get around to actually coming close to recreating that golden period on record again.

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