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Digital Subscriptions > Classic Pop > FREE CLASSIC POP ISSUE > 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

Classic Pop magazine is the ultimate celebration of great pop and chart music. Each month we bring you the very best artist interviews and features, music news plus a packed reviews section. From the new wave acts of the late-70s through to the synth-pop, New Romantic, ska, indie and guitar greats of the 80s and chart stars of the 90s, it’s all here. We also bring the story bang up-to-date with new acts that have a retro flavour.