Listen to a 20-Year-Old Prince Record a Breathtaking First Version of “I Feel for You”
In honor of the 40th anniversary of Prince’s sophomore album Prince, the Purple One’s estate has dropped the previously unreleased demo for the album track “I Feel for You.” The song became a mega-hit for Chaka Khan in 1984, earning her two Grammys.
“The special, stripped-down demo recording captures a 20-year-old Prince in a raw, intimate moment, and begins with the sound of the artist pressing the record button on a cassette tape recorder and picking up an acoustic guitar,” read a statement from Prince’s estate. “The recording was created in the winter of 1978-1979, around the time Prince was preparing to make his solo debut at the Capri Theater in North Minneapolis, and it was recently rediscovered on one of the countless cassette tapes stored in Prince’s legendary vault.”
Prince vault archivist Michael Howe told Rolling Stone he was “blown away” when he found the tape.
“Here is 20-year-old Prince thinking aloud, feeling his way through the song,” Howe said. “You hear his incredible talent shining through on acoustic guitar, which is not something he typically showcased, and his guide vocal is astonishingly great.”
The demo is available on streaming services and on a limited edition 7″. The physical release will be available to purchase for one week on Prince’s site and consists of the stripped down acoustic demo on the A-side and the Prince album track on the B-side.
Prince’s eponymous second album turns 40 on Saturday, October 19.