David Browne
May 14, 1993 AT 04:00 AM EDT

Did Warner Bros. rain on Prince’s parade? A mini-album the singer was planning to release on his June 7 birthday could be the reason behind his April 27 announcement that he would stop recording. Prince biographer Jon Bream says Warner may have quashed the record and stirred up the royal temperament. ”It boils down to a pissing match,” Bream says.

While the singer’s spokesman says he’s unaware of any bitterness, others speculate that the decree — which came seven months after his $100 million contract with Warner — is related to disappointing sales (1 million copies) of The Love Symbol Album. Warner is mum on Prince’s odd promise to fulfill his contract by delving into ”500 unreleased recordings” for upcoming albums.

If the label lets Prince stay out of the studio, the recordings in his vault could allow him to release one 14-song album a year until 2028. Talk about a purple reign.

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