Album: Piano & A Microphone 1983

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2018: Anthology: 1995-2010 All Prince Albums All Related Artists Albums 2019: His Majesty’s Pop Life
Piano & A Microphone 1983

Piano & A Microphone 1983 album artwork

Album details

Released: 14 September 2018 (announced official store release date)
21 September 2018 (retail store release date)
Length: 34:19
Label(s): NPG Records / The Prince Estate / Warner Bros. Records
Studio(s): Kiowa Trail Home Studio, Chanhassen, MN, USA

Charts, Certifications & Awards

Country: Chart Entry Date Peak Position Weeks in Chart
USA: 21 Sept. 2018 1(2) 13 (days)
Canada: 21 Sept. 2018 9 9 (days)
Brazil: 21 Sept. 2018 25 4 (days)
Australia: 21 Sept. 2018 6 14 (days)
UK: 21 Sept. 2018 7 10 (days)
Germany: 21 Sept. 2018 8 12 (days)
France: 21 Sept. 2018 2 18 (days)
Spain: 21 Sept. 2018 3 12 (days)
Italy: 21 Sept. 2018 22 10 (days)
Country: Chart Entry Date Peak Position Weeks in Chart
USA: The Billboard 200 6 Oct. 2018 11 2
USA: Billboard Top R&B/Hip Hop Albums 6 Oct. 2018 7 1
USA: Billboard R&B Album Sale 6 Oct. 2018 1(2) 45
USA: Billboard Top R&B Albums 6 Oct. 2018 1(1) 3
USA: Billboard R&B/Hip-Hop Album Sales 6 Oct. 2018 2 31
USA: Billboard Top Albums Sales 6 Oct. 2018 3 5
USA: Billboard Top Current Albums 6 Oct. 2018 3 10
USA: Billboard Internet Albums 6 Oct. 2018 3 2
USA: Billboard Digital Albums 6 Oct. 2018 5 1
USA: Billboard Vinyl Album 6 Oct. 2018 2 3
USA: Billboard Tastemaker Albums 6 Oct. 2018 1(1) 6
This album has not received any certifications in the USA
This album has not received any awards in the USA

Singles released

17 Days (Piano Version)
Released as cover mount with the October 2018 edition of Rolling Stone magazine in Germany

b/w 1999 (Single Edit)

See also

Piano & A Microphone 2016  
Piano & A Microphone 1983 is the first stand-alone album of previously unreleased material by Prince and the fourth posthumous release overall. The album is a solo piano rehearsal recorded between Spring and Autumn 1983 by Prince, at his Kiowa Trail Home Studio, Chanhassen, MN, USA. The album was announced on 7 June 2018 (which would have been Prince’s 60th birthday) with the release of the track Mary Don’t You Weep as a preview, and was released in September 2018, a month after the Anthology: 1995-2010 digital compilation.

The album was released on CD, and digital download, as well as deluxe CD+LP format, packaged in a hardback 12” gatefold book, containing the album on CD and 180g LP. The announcement also states that the package will include a 12” booklet featuring brand new liner notes written by Prince’s engineer Don Batts, who worked for Prince until July 1983 as well as candid shots of Prince including never before seen photos.

The album’s title is an intentional reference to Prince’s final tour in 2016, Piano & A Microphone. The announcement of the release stated:

“This raw, intimate recording, which took place at the start of Prince’s career right before he achieved international stardom, is similar in format to the Piano & A Microphone Tour that he ended his career with in 2016,” said Prince Estate entertainment adviser Troy Carter. “The Estate is excited to be able to give fans a glimpse of his evolution and show how his career ultimately came full circle with just him and his piano.”

Sessions and compiling

The album documents a home studio cassette recording by Prince. It was likely recorded by Prince to document works-in-progress and as a rehearsal only, rather than with the intention of using these recordings as a basis for overdubs or additional work.

Of the nine songs included on the album, four had not been previously released in any form by Prince: Mary Don’t You Weep (a cover version of an old negro spiritual from the American Civil War), Wednesday, Cold Coffee & Cocaine, and Why The Butterflies. A studio version of Wednesday was recorded on 24 October 1983, and was included as the fifth track on a 7 November 1983, configuration of Purple Rain, but was removed from the album and the movie as the project progressed. It is not known if, but seems unlikely that full studio versions of Mary Don’t You Weep, Cold Coffee & Cocaine, and Why The Butterflies were ever recorded.

The remaining five tracks on the album have been released in other versions previously, although on disparate projects. International Lover was recorded in the studio on 14 January 1982 and released on Prince’s fifth album 1999 later in 1982. Strange Relationship was initially recorded on 14 March 1983, but was worked on heavily over the next four years before it was released on Prince’s ninth album Sign O’ The Times in 1987. 17 Days, was re-recorded by Prince in January 1984 and released as the b-side of When Doves Cry. Purple Rain had been recorded live on 3 August 1983 and was released on Prince’s sixth album Purple Rain, the first album to be credited to Prince and the Revolution, in 1984. A Case Of You was recorded by Prince in the studio almost 18 years after the session documented here, in Spring 2001, and released on his 25th album One Nite Alone... (which was similarly subtitled "Solo piano and voice by Prince") in 2002.


Although no true singles were issued, Mary Don’t You Weep was released as a preview ahead of the album on 7 June 2018. The song was also included in Spike Lee’s movie BlacKkKlansman (premiered at the Cannes Film Festival in May 2018 and released in August, a month before the album). 17 Days was available as a pre-release download on 6 September 2018, and a 17 Days (Piano Version) 7" vinyl single was released in September 2018 as a cover mount with the German edition of Rolling Stone magazine. Why The Butterflies was released as the final pre-release download on 13 September 2018.


The album reached number 7 on the Billboard Top R&B/Hip Hop Albums chart and number 11 on the The Billboard 200.

Track listing
CD Vinyl
  1. 17 Days (6:22) 1
  2. Purple Rain (1:26)
  3. A Case Of You (1:40) 2
  4. Mary Don’t You Weep (4:42) 3
  5. Strange Relationship (2:38)
  6. International Lover (3:48)
  7. Wednesday (1:59)
  8. Cold Coffee & Cocaine (5:13)
  9. Why The Butterflies (6:26)
  • Side 1:
  1. Medley: 17 Days 1 / Purple Rain / A Case Of You 2 / Mary Don’t You Weep 3 / Strange Relationship / International Lover / Wednesday (22:35)
  • Side 2:
  1. Cold Coffee & Cocaine (5:13)
  2. Why The Butterflies (6:26)

All songs written by Prince except where noted.

1 Written by Prince, Lisa Coleman, Dr. Fink, Wendy Melvoin
2 Written by Joni Mitchell
3 traditional



  • Thanks to: Warner Bros Records, Tim Fraser-Harding, Jason Day, Kate Dear, Giancarlo Sciama, Mike Engstrom, Shannon Ward, Angelo Schifano, Duane Tudahl, Mathieu Bitton, Patrick Jordens, Roald Bakker, Julian Stockton, Pascal Comvalius & Ken Eisennagel.
  • Very special thanks to: Alfred Jackson, John R. Nelson, Norrine P. Nelson, Omarr Baker, Sharon L. Nelson, Tyka, Trevor Guy, Kirk Johnson, Troy Carter, Suzy Ryoo, Jill Jones, Don Batts, Lisa Coleman, and all Prince fams (and fans) worldwide.

LP, CD, Cassettes and Other versions
Country Format Cat. Number Comments Front Back Label 1 Label 2

USA Deluxe LP + CD TBD

Variants, Special Editions and Reissues
Country Format Cat. Number Comments Front Back Label 1 Label 2




Additional Information

Promotion (at time of release) Trivia

  • The exact recording date is unknown and can only be estimated. Prince regularly recorded himself at the piano in home studio and no sound engineer is credited for this specific session in the liner notes (Don Batts’ notes, who worked with Prince until July 83, speaks of this type of session in general and not of this one specifically). At the beginning of 17 Days, Prince can be heard saying "Can you turn the lights down Susan?" This Susan could just as easily be Susan Rogers (who started working with Prince in July 83) or Susan Moonsie.

Anthology: 1995-2010
All Albums All Related Artists Albums 2019
His Majesty’s Pop Life