It was in the summer of 1984, at the Flying Cloud Drive Warehouse, that Prince went into a room with a notebook and emerged within an hour with the lyrics to Nothing Compares 2 U. Susan Rogers, Prince’s sound engineer, told The Guardian, “The song came out like a sneeze.” According to The Guardian, within three days, the song was complete, including the saxophone bit.
However, Prince never released the song under his own name, even though it was exceptional. Apparently, he didn’t want to be associated with the “domesticity” of the song. “He released his material based on what he wanted us to know about him and, wonderful as it is, he didn’t want it to represent him,” said Rogers. “He realised he had to socially handicap himself to be the artist he wanted to be, and that to do that without being an a**hole he had to be a complete enigma.”
And so Prince gave the song over to the Family, a band he had assembled, whose version of the song faded into obscurity. Until 1990, when Irish singer Sinead O’Connor reimagined the song and turned into an international hit (video below). But Prince’s original version remained unreleased, unheard...until a few days ago.
After Prince’s death on April 21 two years ago, his estate has been rolling out previously unheard or unseen footage and recordings on their YouTube channel. On April 21, to commemorate the anniversary of his death, the estate released Prince’s original studio recording of the song, accompanied with previously unseen rehearsal footage of Prince & The Revolution from the summer of 1984 (video on top). The video states, “It was in this very room at Flying Cloud Drive Warehouse in Eden Prairie, Minnesota that Prince created and committed to tape one of his most beloved and iconic compositions.”
To please Prince’s fans even further, the estate also released an extended version of Cream by Prince & The New Power Generation, which you can watch below.