Celebrate Prince’s birthday with this beautiful gospel cover, newly uncovered from 1983

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Prince’s Piano & A Microphone 1983 | via Brooklyn Vegan

Today would have been Prince‘s 60th birthday, and to mark the occasion, a new release from his storied archives has been announced. Piano & A Microphone: 1983 is nine solo songs performed by Prince and recorded at his studio in Chanhassen, Minnesota.

The track list includes renditions of “Purple Rain” and “International Lover,” a cover of Joni Mitchell’s “A Case of You,” and a cover of “Mary, Don’t You Weep,” a gospel song with roots dating back before the Civil War that is best known in its 1957 recording by The Swan Silvertones.

Gospel scholar Jerry Zoltan, a contributor to XPN’s Gospel Roots Project, calls the song “one of the ethereal African American spirituals–a freedom song–born in the anonymity of slavery and drifted across time to bubble up as the need arose.”

Read more about the history of “Mary, Don’t You Weep” here and listen to Prince’s cover of the song below. It will also appear on the soundtrack to Spike Lee’s upcoming film BlacKkKlansman.

Track List
1. 17 Days
2. Purple Rain
3. A Case Of You
4. Mary Don’t You Weep
5. Strange Relationship
6. International Lover
7. Wednesday
8. Cold Coffee & Cocaine
9. Why The Butterflies

(h/t Gospel Roots Project, Brooklyn Vegan)

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