Two years after his untimely death in April 2016, the Prince estate along with Warner Bros. Records have announced a new album from the music icon, to commemorate what would have been his 60th birthday (June 7).
The album, Piano & a Microphone 1983, stands at nine tracks and features a previously unreleased home studio cassette recording of Prince at his piano captured in 1983. The deluxe edition will feature liner notes written by Prince's engineer, Don Batts, as well as never before seen images of Prince.
"This raw, intimate recording, which took place at the start of Prince's career right before he achieved international stardom, is similar in format to the Piano & A Microphone Tour that he ended his career with in 2016," said Prince Estate entertainment adviser Troy Carter. "The estate is excited to be able to give fans a glimpse of his evolution and show how his career ultimately came full circle with just him and his piano."
The album finds Prince in creation mode, working on songs that would later show up on subsequent albums in fully developed form. Tracks including, "17 Days" and "Purple Rain" (both released in 1984), a cover of Joni Mitchell's "A Case of You," "Strange Relationship" (issued in 1987 on the Sign O' The Times album) and "International Lover," as well as "Mary Don't You Weep" (included above) show up on the collection, the latter of which will be heard on the end credits of Spike Lee's upcoming film BlacKkKlansman, which arrives this August.
The album cover, taken by Prince's longtime photographer, Allen Beaulieu, is a rare shot of Prince backstage during his 1999 tour. Beaulieu also shot Prince's Controversy and Dirty Mind album covers, and additionally, shot promo photos for 1999.
The announcement of a new Prince album coincides with his friend, Questlove's announcement that he's honoring Prince with 4U: A Symphonic Celebration of Prince, a 30-city tour which kicks off in early September.
Prince, Piano & a Microphone 1983 track listing:
"A Case Of You"
"Mary Don’t You Weep"
"Cold Coffee & Cocaine"
"Why The Butterflies"
LISTEN TO "MARY DON'T YOU WEEP BELOW: