Prince Unreleased Recording from 1983 Due

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Today (June 7), on what would have been his 60th birthday, the Prince Estate, in partnership with Warner Bros. Records, announced the release of the Piano & A Microphone 1983 album. The nine-track, 35-minute album features a previously unreleased home studio cassette recording of Prince at his piano captured in 1983.

“This raw, intimate recording, which took place at the start of Prince’s career right before he achieved international stardom, is similar in format to the Piano & A Microphone Tour that he ended his career with in 2016,” said Prince Estate entertainment adviser Troy Carter in a press release. “The Estate is excited to be able to give fans a glimpse of his evolution and show how his career ultimately came full circle with just him and his piano.”

The private rehearsal provides a rare, intimate glimpse into Prince’s creative process as he worked through songs including “17 Days” and “Purple Rain” (neither of which would be released until 1984), a cover of Joni Mitchell’s “A Case of You,” “Strange Relationship” (not released until 1987 on his Sign O’ the Times album), and “International Lover.” The album also includes a rare recording of the 19th century spiritual “Mary Don’t You Weep,” which will be featured during the end credits of Spike Lee’s BlacKkKlansman in theaters August. For fans of Prince’s spontaneous live medleys, tracks 1-7 of the album are presented in that same format as they were originally recorded.

Related: Our review of the Purple Rain deluxe reissues

The album cover photo captures a rare view of Prince backstage during the 1999 tour. The photo was taken by Prince’s photographer and creative collaborator Allen Beaulieu, who worked closely with Prince between 1979-1984. Allen’s work with Prince includes the cover shots for the Dirty Mind and Controversy albums and iconic promotional photos for the 1999 album.

The album was recorded in 1983 at Prince’s Kiowa Trail home studio in Chanhassen, Minn., and engineered by Don Batts.

The Deluxe CD+LP format will include a 12” booklet featuring brand new liner notes written by Prince’s then engineer Don Batts, as well as candid shots of Prince including never-before-seen images. Pre-order the Deluxe edition here; the vinyl here.

Listen to the track here.

Reflecting on what would have been Prince’s 60th birthday, fans are invited to visit the interactive Prince2Me website to express what Prince means to them. The Prince Estate’s Annotated Discography website also provides a rich platform for fans old and new to immerse themselves in the inimitable creative genius of Prince.

Track Listing
1. 17 Days
2. Purple Rain
3. A Case Of You
4. Mary Don’t You Weep
5. Strange Relationship
6. International Lover
7. Wednesday
8. Cold Coffee & Cocaine
9. Why The Butterflies


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