The acoustic, intimate demo of the Grammy-winning track features nothing but Prince, who was 20 at the time, and his acoustic guitar for over four minutes.
It was recorded on a cassette tape recorder in the winter of 1978-1979, according to his estate, “around the time Prince was preparing to make his solo debut at the Capri Theater in North Minneapolis.”
“I Feel For You” first appeared on his sophomore album, which was released on October 19, 1979, but gained commercial success years later following Chaka Khan’s cover in 1984. Her rendition won Prince a songwriting Grammy Award for Best R&B Song, in addition to Best Female R&B Vocal Performance for Khan.
The new music release comes more than three years after Prince died of an accidental opioid overdose at his Paisley Park compound in suburban Minneapolis in 2016 at age 57.
His estate says the recording was “recently rediscovered on one of the countless cassette tapes stored in Prince’s legendary vault.”
“I was blown away,” says Prince vault archivist Michael Howe. “Here is 20-year-old Prince thinking aloud, feeling his way through the song. You hear his incredible talent shining through on acoustic guitar, which is not something he typically showcased, and his guide vocal is astonishingly great.”
Take a listen to “I Feel For You” by Prince