Prince’s First Avenue Memorial in 2016. Photo by Darin Kamnetz

In honor of the two year anniversary of Prince‘s untimely passing, the estate of the late, great MN music icon has released a brand new Prince song, albeit one that you’ve probably heard before in a slightly different context.

“Nothing Compares 2 U” has long been an example of The Purple One’s overwhelmingly prolific songwriting ability, in that Prince treated the song as a relative throwaway, giving it first to one of his side projects (The Family) as album filler before eventually allowing Irish alternative star Sinead O’Connor to record her own, platinum-certified version.

The version released by Prince’s estate predates O’Connor’s hit by six years. Recorded in 1984, arguably Prince’s creative apex, the song was tracked at an Eden Prairie studio called Flying Cloud Warehouse and features instrumentation performed almost entirely by the artist himself.

Prince estate official archivist Michael Howe stumbled upon the recording during a recent dig through Prince’s extensive “vault” of unreleased material, and immidiately knew he was in possession of something special.

“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,” Howe explained in a statement, “Even our ‘faders up’ rough mix was compelling enough to indicate that this was something very special indeed.”

The accompanying video was compiled from footage shot during Prince’s rehearsals at Flying Cloud Warehouse in 1984, and was directed by Andrea Gelardin and Ruth Hogben.

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