Prince’s original 1984 recording of “Nothing Compares 2 U” released by The Prince Estate

Prince's original 1984 recording of "Nothing Compares 2 U" released by The Prince Estate

JUST THIS WEEK, for no reason in particular, I was listening to YouTube covers of “Nothing Compares 2 U,” a song written by Prince and reimagined most famously in 1990 by Sinéad O’Connor. And now, today, as if my thoughts and emotions have been tied so intimately with press releases over the years that they now foreshadow PR campaigns in a prophetic and annunciatory way, the Prince Estate has released the original 1984 recording of Prince’s “Nothing Compares 2 U.”

This is a big deal for Prince fans. But don’t take it from me! Take it from Michael Howe, Prince “expert” and the Prince Estate’s official Vault Archivist:

I spotted the 2” multitrack reel in the Vault some weeks back while doing a 1984-era inventory. After retrieving my jaw from the floor, we took the reel upstairs, analyzed it, put it up on the Studer 24 track machine, and digitized it to 24/192. Even our ‘faders up’ rough mix was compelling enough to indicate that this was something very special indeed.

No Prince-penned song performed by another artist has enjoyed more chart success (#1 in 20+ countries) and overall cultural impact than Sinead O’Connor’s 1990 recording, so hearing the song in its original context performed in its entirety by the author makes it particularly noteworthy.

Listen to the “particularly noteworthy” and “very special indeed” recording of “Nothing Compares 2 U” via YouTube, which includes rehearsal footage of Prince & The Revolution from the summer of 1984.

RIP Prince.

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