Nine Million Bicycles

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Nine Million Bicycles

Song details
Performer: Prince
Writer(s): Mike Batt
Producer(s): Prince (assumed)
Live Appearances
First and last live appearance:
Performed regularly on tour:
  • none
Performed occasionally in shows:

Nine Million Bicycles is an unreleased cover version of the 2005 track by Katie Melua (the first single released from her album Piece By Piece). Prince performed the song on few occasions in late 2006 and 2007 with slightly altered lyrics, but it is not known if his studio version was recorded in late 2006 or later with two other Melua songs he also covered (If You Were A Sailboat and The Closest Thing To Crazy, all written by Mike Batt).

It is also unknown if these recordings were intended for any project at that time, but Prince was most likely not involved in the original songs. More information will be added if it becomes available.

Recording Information
Recording Sessions
Date Studio Additional info
Late 2006- 2007 (assumed) Paisley Park Studios,
Chanhassen, MN, USA (assumed)
Recording Personnel
  • Prince - all vocals and instruments (assumed)

Unreleased Versions
Title Version Additional Info
Nine Million Bicycles Studio Recorded in 2006 or 2007 (assumed)

Additional Information

See also Trivia

  • Whether intentionally or not, the three Katie Melua songs known to have been covered by Prince were also the lead singles of the three albums she released in 2003 (The Closest Thing To Crazy from Call Off The Search), 2005 (Nine Million Bicycles from Piece By Piece) and 2007 If You Were A Sailboat from Pictures).
  • Mike Batt posted Prince’s version of If You Were A Sailboat on his YouTube channel in April 2022 with the following description:"Prince’s recording of my song If You Were A Sailboat, which I wrote for Katie Melua, of whom Prince was a big fan. He sang three of my songs for her (The Closest Thing To Crazy, Nine Million Bicycles and this one). Before recording it he asked me if he could change "If you were a cowboy" to "If you were a gypsy" to fit the male POV better. I agreed, but when I approved the final version that he sent (as here) he snuck in "If you were a Witness" for "if you were a preacher"!!! (He was a Jehovah’s Witness). I hadn’t noticed that! I’m sure he wouldn’t mind my posting it now, so the world can hear it. Very nice of him to ask permission to make that word change." This description may be confusing as it implies that Prince recorded these three tracks in the studio, and therefore contradicts a post by Batts on Twitter in 2019 that reads "Prince did 3 of my songs on stage but only recorded one of them and that’s unreleased". It has been confirmed that Prince also recorded a studio version of Nine Million Bicycles however.

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