It was intended for Bonnie Raitt.
The Prince estate released the previously unheard track "I Need a Man" on Thursday (Sept. 17) in advance of the song's inclusion on the upcoming expanded reissue of Sign O' The Times. The sly, predictably funky song was recorded on Jan. 22, 1987, by engineer Susan Rogers just months before Prince's iconic Paisley Park Studios opened for business, according to the press release announcing the tune.
Once the singer opened the sprawling complex that would become his home and recording base, he reached out to blues singer/guitarist Bonnie Raitt after seeing her perform to offer her the track, according to the release. It was the first of four songs he offered to Raitt, who briefly considered signing with Prince's Paisley Park label before she inked with Capitol and released her long-sought career breakthrough, 1989's Grammy-winning Nick of Time.