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Publishing rights in Prince’s first single for sale on eBay

By | Published on Thursday 15 February 2018


Would you like to have written a Prince song? Well now you can have. Sort of. Well not really. But the publishing rights owned by the co-writer of his debut single, ‘Soft & Wet’, are up for sale on eBay. What would that set you back? A million dollars? Half a million? No, a bargain $490,000.

Chris Moon produced Prince’s original demo tape in 1976. Everything on the tape was done by Prince, from songwriting to playing all 27 instruments that appeared on it. All except for ‘Soft & Wet’, for which Moon contributed lyrics. Fortuitously for Moon, although Prince also took over production duties on his music after he signed to Warner, the song he co-wrote was selected as the musician’s debut single in 1978.

The single was not exactly a hit, although it reached number twelve in Billboard’s Hot Soul Singles chart. However, it later received a new lease of life when it was sampled by MC Hammer for the song ‘She’s Soft And Wet’ on his debut album ‘Please Hammer, Don’t Hurt Em’ in 1990.

Moon puts the entire financial value of the song at the feet of MC Hammer, rather than Prince. In his eBay listing, he writes: “Around 1990, MC Hammer came out with one of the top albums of the year featuring his hit song ‘Can’t Touch This’ and on that top selling album was my song ‘Soft & Wet’, licensed by MC Hammer to be used in a rap version of that very same song”.

He brags on: “When it came out he sold 10,000,000 copies of that album, which meant I sold 10,000,000 copies of ‘Soft & Wet’. To date that MC Hammer album has now sold over 22 million copies worldwide and each time that album sells so does a copy of ‘Soft & Wet'”.

That’s right, think about all the future sales of that MC Hammer album. That’s what makes this copyright so valuable. Sure, the song might also get included on a Prince re-issue or two, and gain a boost from renewed interest in the musician’s catalogue since his death. But that’s nothing compared to the continued success of MC Hammer.

“I have owned ‘Soft & Wet’ since I wrote it”, continues Moon. “I have enjoyed hearing the song countless times over the years, been paid well and am proud of it. I would now like to see someone else enjoy owning it. It has achieved everything and more for me so I feel it is time to pass the torch to a Prince fan who will continue to cherish and enjoy owning it as much as I have. If you love Prince and his music I cannot imagine anything better than co-owning his first hit song with him”.

Oh I see, it’s not about the money. It’s about the closeness to Prince. And, by association, a closeness to MC Hammer. What a treat! Buy it here now.