Almost two years after Prince's death, the estate of the singer, songwriter and producer will be releasing Piano & A Microphone 1983. Featuring 9 songs, they are culled directly from the Purple One's vault and is set to feature many rare recordings made in his home studio 35 years ago.
The first single off this new album is a cover of "Mary Don't You Weep," an early spiritual first recorded in 1915 and first made famous by The Caravans in the mid-'50s. Many of the biblical references are missing from his take, which features just his vocals and a soulful piano. Instead, he characterizes Mary and Matha as women looking for missing their lover. "Oh, Mary don't you weep / Oh, Martha don't you moan / I got a bad, bad feeling your man ain't coming home," he bluesily belabors at one point, showing his penchant to excel at almost any genre he decides to play with.
"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 in a press statement. "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."
Piano & A Microphone 1983 is set to feature "Mary Don't You Weep" - which will also appear in Spike Lee's upcoming BlacKkKlansman - along with early takes on "Purple Rain" and "Strange Relationship" and a cover of Joni Mitchell's "A Case Of You," as well as other recordings. The posthumous Prince album will arrive at retailers on September 21st.
Prince Piano & A Microphone 1983 tracklist:
1. 17 Days
2. Purple Rain
3. A Case Of You
4. Mary Don't You Weep
5. Strange Relationship
6. International Lover
8. Cold Coffee & Cocaine
9. Why The Butterflies