The Prince estate unveiled the musician’s original 1984 recording of “Nothing Compares 2 U,” pairing it with a video filled with previously unreleased rehearsal footage of Prince and the Revolution. Prince periodically performed “Nothing Compares 2 U” in concert – a live version appears on 1993’s The Hits/The B-Sides – but this marks the first time his studio version has been released.
“Nothing Compares 2 U” became a global hit for Sinéad O’Connor in 1990, but Prince originally wrote the tune for one of his side projects, the Family (the track appeared on the group’s 1985 debut to little fanfare). Prince’s version of the track captures a unique mix of styles: It simmers with the same potency as the power ballad O’Connor would later record, but packs more rock and roll punches, from fiery guitar riffs and a blazing saxophone solo to Prince’s electric vocal runs and wails.
Prince recorded “Nothing Compares 2 U” at the Flying Cloud Drive “Warehouse” in Eden Prairie, Minnesota with his longtime engineer Susan Rogers. Prince composed, arranged and performed the entire track, except the backing vocals, which were provided by Susannah Melvoin and Paul “St. Paul” Peterson. Eric Leeds played saxophone.
Prince’s version of “Nothing Compares 2 U” is available to stream and download through digital retailers. A seven-inch vinyl single will also be released May 25th, while a limited-edition picture disc will be available exclusively through the Prince “HtNRun” online store.