Prince, who to the shock of his many fans worldwide died two years ago, would have celebrated his 60th birthday this June.
Now, for all of 35 minutes, he is back, sitting at the piano and playing music, back in the early 1980s. Listening to the tracks, it is easy to imagine lounging in a comfortable chair, reading a book while Prince sings and tinkers on the piano. It sounds as if he were all by himself, very relaxed, raw and intimate.
Of course he is not playing in his living room, but in in a studio, where occasionally, sound engineer Don Batts gave the artist brief instructions during the recording, for instance to lower his voice.
Start of a career
Some of the songs recorded in this 1983 session became world hits, including “Purple Rain,” which many see as the best song of all times, and “17 Days,” which was the B-side of When Doves Cry.
He covered Joni Mitchell’s “A Case of You,” and the track “StrangeRelationship” appeared on the album Sign O’ The Times in 1987.
The first single from the new album, “Mary Don’t You Weep,” released on June 7, Prince’s birthday, is a song that shows the artist’s incredibly wide range of vocal range and pitch. The song takes the listener on a roller-coaster ride of moods and right into Prince’s passionate universe.
Other songs, including “Cold Coffee & Cocaine,” were never previously released, so fans can look forward to unfamiliar tracks as well as quite a few private, previously unpublished photos of the artist.
Prince is said to have written more than 1,000 songs, many of them under pseudonyms and many of which have yet to be released.
Prince left no will, so legal issues had to be clarified before the release of Piano & A Microphone 1983. Prince’s sister and five half brothers and sisters were declared the heirs to his estate and they have been careful with new releases. Two best-of compilations were released posthumously so far.
This newly released album is a true gem — intimate, playful and soulful songs by a musical genius who wasn’t aware at that point that he’d one day become one of the world’s top icons of pop.