^
Keep Houston Press Free
4

This "New" Prince Track Lets You Party Like It's 1979

The ghost of Prince past is hauntingly good
The ghost of Prince past is hauntingly good
Album cover art

Rejoice fellow Prince fans because tonight we’re gonna party like it’s 1979. Newly released, previously unheard music from the late artist’s storied music vault debuted Thursday and the track is a blueprint of sorts, a window into Prince’s evolution from the decade he emerged in to the next decade, which he dominated.

The track is familiar to even casual fans who’ve listened to the Purple One’s epic 1987 double album, Sign O’ The Times. It’s an early version of “I Could Never Take the Place of Your Man,” first recorded in Los Angeles in 1979. The song was released this week to build excitement for this fall’s expanded reissue of Sign O’ the Times, slated for a September 25 release.

The Prince Estate, in partnership with Warner Records, released the track and noted it will be the oldest recording on this fall’s “Super Deluxe Edition.” This version was recorded in Los Angeles for sessions for Prince’s eponymous 1979 album, the one which featured a bare-chested, fresh-faced artist on the cover and all-out jams like “I Wanna Be Your Lover,” “Sexy Dancer” and “I Feel For You” etched into the vinyl and music history.

I Support
  • Local
  • Community
  • Journalism
  • logo

Support the independent voice of Houston and help keep the future of Houston Press free.

We had a listen or 17 yesterday once the song released and the differences are noticeable, though both versions are Prince and both groove. The “new” song is a pared-down version of the 1987 track, with live drums and a heavy synth sound. The 1980s version features drum machines and a guitar solo, but the prototype boasts something extra special – nine layers of Prince’s voice.

This is actually the second track from the upcoming reissue to emerge in as many months. In June, “Witness 4 The Prosecution (Version 1)” was made available to fans. Both will be among 63 previously unreleased tracks and a never-'til-now released two-hour Paisley Park concert from New Year’s Eve 1987. These gems were culled from Prince’s vault for the album’s new edition, in addition to the first remaster of the classic album.

Last year, the Houston Press visited Paisley Park and a highlight of the trip was viewing Prince’s handwritten lyrics to some of his biggest hits, scrawled across lined paper in spiral notebooks. The artist’s official Instagram and Twitter pages shared never-before-seen handwritten lyrics to “I Could Never Take the Place of Your Man” with fans to celebrate this week’s release of the song’s earliest version. Nice, but Prince might be the first to suggest celebrating by listening to the tracks and dancing, if you felt like it. Both versions are presented here, so you can decide whether you wanna party like it’s 1979 or 1987.

Keep the Houston Press Free... Since we started the Houston Press, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Houston, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Houston with no paywalls.

We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.