Hear Prince's intimate demo of '17 Days'
To celebrate what would’ve been Prince’s 60th birthday this past June, the Prince estate announced Piano & A Microphone 1983 – a nine-track, 35-minute album that gathers rare and unreleased solo rehearsals of the Purple One at home in Minnesota.
Now we get another raw, revealing preview of the album – a demo of Prince’s much-loved B side ’17 Days’.
Released in 1984 as a B-side to ‘When Doves Cry’, the ’17 Days’ most fans are familiar with is emblematic of his Purple Rain-era – a funked-out, full band version sharing credits with Wendy Coleman and Lisa Melvoin, and keyboardist Matt ‘Doctor’ Fink.
This early version shows not only Prince’s skill at the ivories, evident from the moment he stomps out a gospel groove at the keys, but also how he could write in the moment. You can hear him riffing on ideas and even improvising other arrangements with some vocal improvisations towards the end.
Compare and contrast the intimate 1983 home recording and the studio version from 1984 (below), and you it's clear Prince had a vision for the lonely track, even in its earliest stages.
The ’17 Days’ demo follows on from the release of ‘Mary Don’t’ You Weep’, a version of the 19th Century spiritual featured in Spike Lee’s film BlacKkKlansman.
Piano & A Microphone 1983 is set for release on Friday 21 September.