Prince may have left this earth three years ago, but his underground vault of unreleased music continues to provide fans with new mementos. Today, the funk legend’s family estate has unearthed a special something from that undercroft: a previously unheard acoustic demo of 1979’s “I Feel for You”.
Dating back to winter 1978-1979, this demo version finds a young Prince recording in an incredibly intimate, informal setting. Careful listeners can even make out the sound of The Purple One picking up his guitar and pressing the record button on a cassette player.
“I was blown away,” Prince vault archivist Michael Howe remarked in a statement. “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.”
A final version of “I Feel for You” would later appear on Prince’s 1979 self-titled album, which is celebrating its 40th anniversary this year. A rendition recorded by Chaka Khan was later released in 1984 and earned her a Grammy.
The acoustic demo of “I Feel for You” is available to stream below. It’s being included on a 7-inch coupled with the studio version of the single, which can be ordered on Prince’s website.
In related news, a reissue of Prince’s 1999 — featuring 35 bonus rarities — drops next month. Additionally, his rare cassette tape The Versace Experience finally saw an official release this past summer.
“I Feel for You” Acoustic Demo Artwork: