Prince's Paisley Park Records closed unexpectedly and abruptly in 1994. Were there any unreleased projects?
Paisley Park Records closed because Warner Bros. Records terminated its joint venture. The label had become a joint venture with Warners as part of the infamous "$100 million contract" Prince signed in 1992. This article contains an interesting quote from Alan Leeds:
Prince's original agreement called for him to deliver masters to Warner Bros., who would make, distribute and promote the albums. The deal was revised in 1992 when Prince re-negotiated his contract. Thereafter, the two entities operated as equal partners, sharing profits and investments.
"They said, 'We've supported you and we've never ever said no to something you wanted to do. So, when are you going to come with something that will help subsidize that?'" Leeds told City Pages in 2001. "My feeling was, that was a generous attitude to have."
(Their link to the City Pages article is now a 404, however, the article is available through the Wayback Machine.)
However, after years of disappointing results -- the label's only successes were Prince's own records -- Warner Bros. Records pulled the plug on 1 February 1994, according to this Variety article.
A tersely worded joint release called the termination mutual, but sources point to disappointing returns from the imprint as a prime factor behind Warner’s decision.
“Our relationship with Paisley Park Enterprises has been an exciting and creatively rewarding one,” said Mo Ostin, chairman of Warner Bros. Records, in a statement. “We look forward to working with them and the artist formerly known as Prince, who continues to be one of our most important artists and producers.”
The previously referenced article on UltimatePrince.com points out Prince's role in the failure of the label:
In fact, Prince basically abdicated any label responsibilities, beyond overseeing his own projects.
"I was under the assumption that it was a joint effort," Prince told the Los Angeles Times in 1996. "All we do as artists is make the music. I didn't think I'd have to be marketing the records, or taking them to the radio station. If Michael Jordan had to rely on someone to help him dunk, then there would be trouble."
That article details how Alan Leeds also puts the blame with prince:
Stunned that Prince "failed to disguise his lack of interest" in these outside acts, Leeds resigned his post as Paisley Park president in 1992. "Prince wasn't taking the responsibility to produce competitive records and turn the label around," Leeds says in Prince: Life and Times. "I ended up spending several very frustrating years trying to get Warners and the industry to take Paisley Park Records seriously when they simply didn't want to be taken seriously."
A fitting example of that is perhaps this:
During their 1992 contract renegotiation, Warner Bros. agreed to give Prince an office suite in Century City, complete with 12 staff members, to operate business affairs for Paisley Park Records. When the imprint was shuttered some two years later, Prince had still never set foot in the building.
The Variety article quoted above points to several artists with projects left in limbo:
Currently signed to the imprint are George Clinton, Mavis Staples, Belize, Rosie Gaines and Tyler Collins. The latter three artists have yet to release albums, and it is unclear how the pact termination will affect release dates.
The fate of Paisley’s execs and artists is expected to be decided by the end of this week.
PrinceVault details the fate of those projects:
Two of the Paisley Park Records acts, Belize and Tyler Collins, were left without contracts when the label folded. Belize had completed an album (without Prince’s involvement) but it was never released.
(An "engineering reference cassette" of Belize's debut album has surfaced.)
Note that Tyler Collins' Wikipedia page does say that:
Though a full-length release never materialized, the deal did yield Collins' recording of the Top 20 Adult Contemporary song Thanks to You, produced by Clif Magness, the theme song to the Paramount Pictures' film Andre. A music video for the song is included at the end of the movie.
WRT Rosie Gaines:
Rosie Gaines had a Paisley Park album titled Concrete Jungle on which Prince was involved, which was due to be released on 22 March 1994. A single for My Tender Heart backed with Pain was also scheduled for release. The album and single were withdrawn when the label was terminated.
Gaines later signed a deal with Motown Records and released an album entitled Closer Than Close in June 1995. The Concrete Jungle album was eventually released digitally in 2010 independently by Rosie Gaines.