This spring, Prince’s estate announced that an album of previously unreleased recordings would be released in the fall. Today, marking the 60th anniversary of the icon’s birth, Warner Bros. made it official: on Sept. 21, they’ll release a nine-track, 35-minute album recorded at his Chanhassen home studio in 1983.
The songs on Piano & a Microphone 1983 include “Purple Rain,” Joni Mitchell’s “A Case of You,” and “Mary Don’t You Weep” — a spiritual that will play during the end credits of Spike Lee’s upcoming movie BlacKkKlansman. That song has now been released.
“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 the estate’s 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.”
Recorded four years before Paisley Park opened, these rehearsal tracks were cut at Prince’s legendary purple house on Lake Riley. The album’s cover art is a photo taken by Allen Beaulieu, backstage on the 1999 Tour. “For fans of Prince’s spontaneous live medleys,” notes the press release, “tracks 1-7 of the album are presented in that same format as they were originally recorded.”
- 17 Days
- Purple Rain
- A Case Of You
- Mary Don’t You Weep
- Strange Relationship
- International Lover
- Cold Coffee & Cocaine
- Why The Butterflies