Prince: Piano & a Microphone

I don’t usually like listening to posthumously released albums. If the artist didn’t want me to hear it, I don’t think I should hear it. It may be weird, but listening to “gems” from the vault have always felt like crossing some kind of line. What I do love, however, is hearing songs stripped down to the basics.

Prince Piano & a Microphone 1983 sounds like Prince playing around. That’s what I love about it. It’s not perfect. It’s not clean. It’s an artist at work, an artist at play.

Is it something I’ll listen to every day? Probably not. But I do wonder what benefits a songwriter could find in just listening to what working sounds like and reminding themselves what it feels like to just play.

Here are a few of the songs that were previously released and are stripped down to just piano and vocals on this album:

“17 days”

I wanna call you every day
Beg you to be near me
I know your head is underwater
I doubt that you could hear me

“Strange Relationship”

I bet you wish this was a movie
Then you could rewrite my every line

“International Lover”

Appears to me
You could use a date tonight
A lover that’ll do you right
Am I qualified?

And this is just a treat:

“Mary Don’t You Weep”