The Prince Estate, in partnership with Warner Bros. Records, has announced the release of the Piano & A Microphone 1983 album on what would have been the late music icon’s 60th birthday. 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. “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 which include “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 Sign O’ The Times) 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 new film BlacKkKlansman. 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.
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. Fans who pre-order the album via digital download will immediately receive an instant download of “Mary Don’t You Weep.”