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Prince - Piano & A Microphone 1983 (Limited Edition, 180 Gram) (LP)

Prince - Piano & A Microphone 1983 (Limited Edition, 180 Gram) (LP)

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View Artist: Prince

  |  UPC: 603497861286
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Limited 180gm vinyl LP pressing. Archive release from the late soul/funk icon. Recorded in 1983 at Prince's Kiowa Trail home studio in Chanhassen, MN and engineered by Don Batts, Piano & A Microphone 1983 is a nine track, 35-minute album features a previously unreleased home studio cassette recording of Prince at 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 his critically acclaimed Sign O' The Times album), and 'International Lover'. The album also includes a rare recording of the 19th Century spiritual 'Mary Don't You Weep', featured during the end credits of Spike Lee's 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 striking cover photo was shot by photographer and Prince's close collaborator Allen Beaulieu backstage at the 1999 tour.

As the first major release from Prince's vault (the 2017 expanded edition of Purple Rain was announced prior to his 2016 death), Piano & a Microphone 1983 is disarmingly casual. Its prosaic title is a precise description of the album's content -- it is nothing more than Prince sitting at a piano, playing whatever comes to his mind for just over half an hour -- yet even if the record delivers upon that promise, it's not quite as simple as it seems. For one, there's a level of intimacy on Piano & a Microphone unlike anything else in Prince's catalog. While there may have been some editing sleight of hand to make these 35 minutes appear to be a continuous performance, there's no production to speak of, yet it still bears the hallmarks of a studio recording; the music is too clear to be anything but. Despite early appearances of "17 Days," "Purple Rain," and "Strange Relationship," this can't be called a demo session: Prince plays his recent "International Lover," hauls out the spiritual standard "Mary Don't You Weep" -- a song he could in no way have been considering for inclusion on an album -- and plays a bit of Joni Mitchell's "A Case of You." The brevity of "A Case of You" and "Purple Rain" -- both hover around 90 seconds -- highlights this session's informality, but that point is hammered home at the end of the record when Prince goofs through "Cold Coffee and Cocaine" in a voice he'd later perfect on "Bob George" and tries to find a concrete song within "Why the Butterflies." Far from detracting from Piano & a Microphone, these loose ends are the reason to listen to the album. The whole affair plays like the listener is eavesdropping on Prince creating, and there simply can't be a reissue more valuable than that. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine

  • Format: Vinyl
  • Genre: Pop



17 Days 6:23
Purple Rain 1:27
A Case Of You 1:41
Mary Don't You Weep 4:13
Strange Relationship 2:39
International Lover 3:36
Wednesday 2:00
Cold Coffee & Cocaine 5:13
Why The Butterflies 6:27


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Meta Artist: Prince

Product Tags: In-stock, JMC, Pop, Vinyl