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Digital Subscriptions > Classic Pop > Oct-18 > AFTER THE RAIN

AFTER THE RAIN

WITH THE RELEASE OF THE STRIPPED-BACK POSTHUMOUS ALBUM PIANO & A MICRO PHONE 1983, PRINCE STILL REMAINS VERY MUCH IN OUR THOUGHTS. CLASSIC POP MEETS THE STAR’S ARCHIVIST MICHAEL HOWE TO FIND OUT MORE SECRETS FROM THE PAISLEY PARK VAULT AND HEARS FROM THE REVOLUTION’S LISA COLEMAN ABOUT WHAT LIFE WAS LIKE IN THE WORLD’S HOTTEST BACKING BAND…

PRINCE

Piano & A Microphone 1983, released on 21 September, is an intimate 35-minute portrait of Prince alone in his home studio, working through song sketches, early takes and other rarities
© PRN The Prince Estate/Nancy Bundt

With Prince’s untimely death in April 2016, not only had the world lost one of its greatest artists: the chance of hearing what else he had to offer looked increasingly unlikely.

He’d been famously furious at the uploading of any unofficial videos or music onto the internet and had been vocal in his desire to control his output.

How would his legacy be preserved? He’d been involved in helping to curate the official reissue of Purple Rain, and there were plans to expand some of his other key albums, but he was hardly in a hurry.

This year has already seen the release of the original version of Nothing Compares 2 U, and this month, there’s a ‘new’ Prince album – Piano & A Microphone 1983.

Recorded on audio cassette at his home studio in Chanhassen between the albums 1999 and Purple Rain, it’s an unpolished yet intimate example of the work and sketches that would finally find forms such as Strange Relationship, Purple Rain and International Lover.

In charge of Prince’s archive – and therefore the man who has a pretty rough idea of what’s in there – is Michael Howe, a long-time experienced A&R executive who’d actually worked with Prince during his last phase with Warners. In our interview over the page, Howe explains the thought process behind this and future releases…

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About Classic Pop

Issue 45 of Classic Pop magazine is on sale now! In the latest issue our cover stars are Boy George and Culture Club – we grab an in-depth interview with the iconic singer and guitarist Roy Hay as the band return with their first studio album in almost 20 years. We also find out what life was like inside Prince's backing group The Revolution from band member Lisa Coleman and hear from the Purple One's archivist Michael Howe about further unreleased material from the legendary singer. Need a buyer's guide to Pet Shop Boys? We look at the duo's complete career in our Lowdown feature. Former Fairground Attraction frontwoman Eddi Reader tells us all about her new album Cavalier and we also meet Sister Sledge who look back on their disco heyday. New albums from Paul McCartney, Elvis Costello, Blancmange and Neneh Cherry get the once-over alongside reissues by Yazoo, Pixies, Cocteau Twins, David Sylvian and much more. We also review live shows including Gabrielle, Simple Minds and The Proclaimers. Enjoy the issue!