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Prince Estate Plots New Album ‘Piano and a Microphone 1983’

Record captures early versions of “Purple Rain,” “Strange Relationship,” “International Lover”

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The Prince estate will release a new album, 'Piano and a Microphone 1983,' filled with early home recordings of future Prince classics.

The Prince Estate/Allen Beaulieu

On what would have been his 60th birthday, the Prince estate announced Thursday that it is prepping a new album of previously unreleased home recordings, Piano and a Microphone 1983, set to arrive September 21st.

The LP’s nine tracks were culled from cassette recordings Prince made at his piano at his Kiowa Trail home studio in Chanhassen, Minnesota. The estate teased the project with Prince’s rollicking and rumbling rendition of the 19th century spiritual, “Mary Don’t You Weep,” which will also play during the end credits of Spike Lee’s upcoming movie, BlacKkKlansman.

Much of Piano and a Microphone 1983 captures Prince working through future classics like “Purple Rain,” “17 Days,” “Strange Relationship” and “International Lover,” while it also boasts a cover of Joni Mitchell’s “A Case of You.” The album’s first seven tracks are presented in the same format as they were originally recorded and will reportedly play like one of Prince’s spontaneous live medleys.

Piano and a Microphone is available to pre-order and will be released digitally alongside CD and vinyl. A deluxe edition, featuring both a CD and LP, will come with a booklet featuring new liner notes from Prince’s then-engineer Don Batts, who presided over the original sessions. The booklet will also include never-before-seen images of Prince.

Along with Piano and a Microphone 1983, the Prince estate plans to release another new album of unreleased Prince material next year as part of a deal with Tidal. An exact release date and title have yet to be announced.

Recently, the Prince estate partnered with Roots drummer Questlove to organize an orchestral tour, “4U: A symphonic Celebration of Prince,” which kicks off September 6th in New Brunswick, New Jersey.

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