Nothing Compares 2 U

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Nothing Compares 2 U

Thefamily album.jpg
from the album The Family
Thehits1.jpg
from the album The Hits 1
Song details
Performer: The Family; Prince and the New Power Generation
First Released: 19 August 1985 - The Family (The Family version)

14 September 1993 - The Hits 1 (Prince and the New Power Generation version)

Album(s): The Family
The Hits 1
The Hits / The B-Sides
One Nite Alone... Live!

Prince 4ever

Writer(s): Prince
Producer(s): Prince (credited to David Z. Rivkin and The Family); Prince
Live Appearances
First and last live appearance:
Performed regularly on tour:
Performed occasionally in shows:

Nothing Compares 2 U is the sixth track on The Family's first and only album The Family. Prince wrote seven of the eight songs on the album, but Nothing Compares 2 U is the only track for which Prince takes official credit.

After becoming a worldwide number one single when covered by Irish singer Sinead O'Connor, Prince began playing the song live, and in 1993, he released a live version (sharing lead vocals with Rosie Gaines) as the eleventh track (one of two new tracks) on The Hits 1.

He has played it live consistently since 1990, and in 2002, released another live version as the twelfth track on the second disc of his first live album, One Nite Alone... Live! (along with Xenophobia, Extraordinary, Avalanche, Family Name, Raspberry Beret, The Everlasting Now, EyeBlue.png Wanna B Ur Lover, Diamonds & Pearls, The Beautiful Ones and How Come U Don't Call Me Anymore from the same show).

Prince's own studio version remains unreleased, however.

Initial tracking for Prince's original version took place on 18 July 1984 at the Flying Cloud Drive Warehouse, Eden Prairie (the same day Let's Go Crazy was released as a single). St. Paul Peterson and Susannah Melvoin overdubbed vocals onto the track in late 1984 - early 1985, and Clare Fischer added orchestral overdubs during the same period.

Miles Davis had requested an instrumental of Nothing Compares 2 U to record his trumpet on. But Prince wasn't keen on that and thought it was kinda corny just to do a trumpet on top of a song that already existed. So around 1991 Prince re-cut it and gave it a different flavor.

Prince was inspired to write the song about Sandy Scipioni, his personal assistant in 1980, who had to leave suddenly after her father's death (Prince and Scipioni were not in a romantic relationship, however).

Prince's live version from The Hits 1 went on to be simulcast on US radio stations at 5:07 p.m. CT (6:07 ET/3:07 PT) on May 4 2016, marking exactly "7 hours and 13 days" since Prince was pronounced dead.


Recording Information
Recording Sessions
Date Studio Additional info
18 July 1984 Flying Cloud Drive Warehouse, Eden Prairie, MN, USA Initial tracking
Late 1984 - early 1985 Flying Cloud Drive Warehouse, Eden Prairie, MN, USA Vocal overdubs by St. Paul Peterson
Late 1984 - early 1985 Unverified studio, CA, USA Orchestral overdubs
1991 (assumed) Paisley Park Studios, Chanhassen, MN, USA Re-recording
Recording Personnel

The Family version


Prince and the New Power Generation version


Unreleased version


Unreleased 1991 version

  • Prince - all instruments (assumed)

Versions
Released Versions
Title Length Released on Version Additional info
Nothing Compares 2 U 4:31 The Family Studio The Family version
Nothing Compares 2 U 4:57 The Hits 1

The Hits / The B-Sides
Nothing Compares 2 U promo

Live Prince and the New Power Generation version; 27 January 1992 (a.m.): Paisley Park Studios, Chanhassen, MN, USA
Nothing Compares 2 U 4:17 Peach single

Nothing Compares 2 U promo
Prince 4ever

Live edit Prince and the New Power Generation version; edit of version above
Nothing Compares 2 U 3:47 One Nite Alone... Live! Live 30 April 2002, Portland Center for the Perf. Arts - Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall, Portland, OR, USA
Video Versions
Title Length Released on Version Additional info
Nothing Compares 2 U 5:03 Promotional release only Live promo video 27 January 1992 (a.m.): Paisley Park Studios, Chanhassen, MN, USA intercut with footage from past videos; see Nothing Compares 2 U for details
Nothing Compares 2 U T.B.C. Rave Un2 The Year 2000 VHS/DVD Live 18 December 1999, Paisley Park, Chanhassen, MN, USA
Broadcasts/streaming
Title Length Released on Version Additional info
Nothing Compares 2 U T.B.C. Live concert radio broadcast Live 22 July 1990, Estadio Vicente Calderón, Madrid, Spain
Nothing Compares 2 U T.B.C. Delayed concert TV broadcast Live 29 July 1990, Estadio Santa María del Mar, La Coruña, Spain
Nothing Compares 2 U T.B.C. Delayed performance TV broadcast Live 2 March 2004, The Ellen Degeneres Show, NBC Studios, Burbank, CA, USA
Nothing Compares 2 U T.B.C. iHeartRadio Music Festival video stream Live 22 September 2012, MGM Grand Garden Arena, Las Vegas, NV, USA; guesting with Mary J. Blige
Nothing Compares 2 U T.B.C. iHeartRadio Music Festival TV broadcast Live 22 September 2012, MGM Grand Garden Arena, Las Vegas, NV, USA; guesting with Mary J. Blige; same performance as above with different camera angles and editing
Nothing Compares 2 U T.B.C. Live concert online stream Live 10 May 2015, Baltimore, MN, USA, Royal Farms Arena
Unreleased Versions
Title Version Additional Info
Nothing Compares 2 U Studio Prince's original studio version
Nothing Compares 2 U Alternate mix Alternate mix of The Family's version, with stronger synth element
Nothing Compares 2 U Studio Instrumental re-recording for Miles Davis
 
Additional Information

See also Trivia

  • Businessman and future US presidential candidate Donald Trump was in the 200-person audience for the 27 January 1992 (a.m.): Paisley Park Studios, Chanhassen, MN, USA live version that was included on The Hits 1. By coincidence, when the track was simulcast on US radio stations at 5:07 p.m. CT (6:07 ET/3:07 PT) on May 4 2016, marking exactly "7 hours and 13 days" since Prince was pronounced dead, Trump had just secured the Republican party nomination for US president a few hours earlier.

References
Northside   < < < All Songs Unreleased Songs > > >   Now