As the late artist’s first posthumous release, Piano & A Microphone 1983 intimately encapsulates an entire musical legacy. A look behind the curtain, so to speak, the LP was unveiled by Prince’s estate on Sept. 21 and comes from deep within the artist’s personal archives.
Piano & A Microphone 1983 was initially recorded in one take at the artist’s Kiowa Trail home studio, as a demo cassette, with recording engineer Don Batts. For a rambling first sketch, it’s surprisingly cohesive. The tracklist features a brief first look at “Purple Rain,” a heart-wrenching rendition of the spiritual “Mary Don’t You Weep” and — to reach for a local connection — a version of Joni Mitchell’s “A Case of You.”
Whether or not we were meant to hear it, Piano & A Microphone 1983 is an important piece of the artist’s work in life, and I promise it’s more than worth your time to listen.
Emily Migchels / Editor-in-Chief