There’s a new Prince album out today. Piano & A Microphone 1983 is fairly self-explanatory: a nine-song live set mastered from a cassette recording Prince made of himself playing alone at a piano in his home studio 35 years ago.
The album includes some real fascinating tracks. There’s an early, stripped-down version of “Purple Rain,” which one year later become the basis of Prince’s blockbuster album and movie. There’s a similar treatment of “When Doves Cry” B-side “17 Days.” There’s a cover of Prince favorite Joni Mitchell’s Blue classic “A Case Of You.” There are previously unheard songs like “Why The Butterflies.” And regardless of his choice of material, it’s a private Prince concert at the peak of his powers.
Yesterday, ahead of the album’s release, the Prince estate released a video for his take on the spiritual “Mary Don’t You Weep.” Directed by Salomon Ligthelm, it’s intended as an extension of Prince’s activism work in Baltimore in 2015. The short film is dedicated to teens affected by gun violence in America.
Stream the album and watch the video below.
Piano & A Microphone 1983 is out now via NPG/Warner Bros.