Ahead of the July 30 release of Prince’s album Welcome 2 America, the legend’s estate has made album track “Hot Summer” available to stream and purchase. The funky jam is new to many fans, but familiar to The Current’s audience as we were able to present the song’s world premiere shortly after Prince recorded it — in June 2010. The song was in regular rotation on The Current for a few weeks after the premiere, and has been played on the station occasionally since.
“It was surreal to be invited to visit Prince at Paisley Park in the summer of 2010,” remembers The Current’s program director Jim McGuinn. “We had gotten along when he came to The Current’s fifth birthday party at First Ave earlier that year, not long after his return to Minnesota from L.A. I think he liked that I teased him about moving back in January, and we talked about some of the unique approaches he was taking to getting music out, with the 20Ten album soon to be delivered to millions in Europe with daily newspapers and magazines.
“Once at Paisley Park, he excitedly led me to the studio to play tracks from that album, but then more songs, newer songs, songs that weren’t in final form — he was mixing them as he played them to me, and excitedly sharing his thoughts. He played me the Soul Asylum cover, and ‘Hot Summer’ (which he told me was inspired by B-52’s), and said these were from the next album. A little later, Prince’s people reached out and sent us ‘Hot Summer,’ and we were proud to debut it for the world back in 2010. But the album never came. For years I wondered what happened to this record. Now we know.”
Also that year, Prince shared another single with The Current: “Cause and Effect,” which has yet to appear on an official release. Welcome 2 America — recorded in 2010 but never previously released — is the first stand-alone Prince album to be released posthumously, as opposed to re-releases (1999, Sign O’ The Times) or compilations (Originals). It will be available in digital, vinyl, CD, and deluxe editions (pre-order here).