On what would have been the legendary artist's 60th birthday, Thursday, June 7, Prince's estate announced a new album is being released in celebration of the singer's life, according to Variety. The album, titled Piano & a Microphone 1983, will be released on Sept. 21 and is said to be a selection of solo songs that were recorded during a rehearsal at his home studio in Minnesota that year, The Fader reported.
The album's lead single, a cover of the spiritual “Mary Don’t You Weep,” was released on his birthday on Thursday, with Variety pointing out that it will be featured in Spike Lee’s forthcoming BlacKkKlansman film, which is slated to be released in August. Plus, the song gives you an idea of what you can expect from the full album.
Prince's third posthumous release also includes a rendition of Joni Mitchell’s “A Case of You,” previously unreleased versions of “Purple Rain,” “17 Days,” and more. The 35-minute-long album reveals a track listing of nine songs in total:
- "17 Days"
- "Purple Rain"
- "A Case Of You"
- "Mary Don’t You Weep"
- "Strange Relationship"
- "International Lover"
- "Cold Coffee & Cocaine"
- "Why The Butterflies"
The album notably shares its title with Prince’s final concert tour in 2016. However, the album's recordings predates the tour by approximately 33 years, according to Variety.
Although many of the songs have been around for years in the form of a bootleg called Intimate Moments with Prince, as noted by Variety, Prince Estate entertainment advisor, Troy Carter, said that the new album will share more "exploratory" tracks upon its release. In a statement to Billboard, Carter described the project, calling it “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." He continued, saying, "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 cover photo for Piano & A Microphone 83 features a backstage snapshot of Prince taken during his 1999 tour. The pic was reportedly snapped by the Purple One's personal photographer, Allen Beaulieu, who, per Variety, is said to have worked closely with the artist between the years of 1979 and 1984.
In addition to June 7 being the day the singer was born in 1958, the date also became a point of reincarnation in 1993, when at the age of 35, Prince announced that he was changing his name to an unpronounceable symbol after reportedly wanting out of an album contract, according to Entertainment Weekly. The move prompted journalists to begin referring to him as "the artist formerly known as Prince," up until 2000 when he restored his name to Prince after his unwanted contract expired.
A musical and cultural icon, Prince died suddenly on April 21, 2016, at the age of 57. This year, his life will be celebrated by fans with a three-day festival in Henderson, Minnesota, where the movie Purple Rain was filmed, according to Billboard. The event, in honor on his 60th birthday, will reportedly include a bus tour of Purple Rain filming locations, as well as a screening of the movie and live music.
Twitter was flooded with tributes for the dynamic entertainer's birthday, from celebs and fans alike, further proving that he's left a mark on this world which will remain everlasting.
This past May, Prince's estate also announced that another album of unreleased music that will be curated by JAY-Z is due to be released on Tidal next year, according to Spin.
There's no better day to listen to Prince's music than his birthday, and with the first single from Piano & a Microphone 1983 now available, fans should get ready to party like it's 1999.