The previously unreleased original version of Prince's iconic hit "Nothing Compares 2 U" was issued for the first time on Thursday (Apr. 19) by the Prince estate in collaboration with Warner Bros. Records.
The original take on the heartbreak anthem that became a breakout Billboard Hot 100 No. 1 hit for Irish singer Sinead O'Connor in 1990 was recorded at the Flying Cloud Drive "Warehouse" in Eden Prairie, Minnesota, by Prince's longtime engineer Susan Rogers and was originally composed, arranged and performed entirely by Prince (with backing vocals by Susannah Melvoin and Paul "St. Paul" Peterson and saxophone by Eric Leeds on the original track).
“I spotted the 2" multitrack reel in the Vault some weeks back while doing a 1984-era inventory," said Michael Howe, Prince expert and official vault archivist for the Prince estate, in a press release announcing the single. "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. Even our 'faders up' rough mix was compelling enough to indicate that this was something very special indeed... No Prince-penned song performed by another artist has enjoyed more chart success (#1 in over a dozen countries) and overall cultural impact than Sinead O'Connor's 1990 recording, so hearing the song in its original context performed in its entirety by the author makes it particularly noteworthy.”