In celebration of the 40th anniversary of Prince’s acclaimed Controversy album, originally released on October 14, 1981, The Prince Estate and Warner Records are pleased to present yet another hidden gem from Prince’s storied Paisley Park vault: a previously unheard 1979 solo demo-recording of his quintessential slow-jam “Do Me, Baby.”
In addition to its surprise release onto streaming services today, “Do Me, Baby (Demo)” is also available to pre-order in two limited edition physical formats exclusively from the Official Prince Store: a special replica cassette single of “Do Me, Baby (Demo)” (limited to 1,981 units), and an etched 7” single pressed on purple vinyl. The replica cassette matches the original source format stored in Prince’s Paisley Park vault for decades, and the 7” vinyl incorporates Prince’s original hand-written lyrics for the song.
“Do Me, Baby” is best known as the centerpiece of 1981s Controversy, but Prince first recorded the song years earlier. A demo featuring Prince and his best friend and creative collaborator André Cymone was initially recorded in 1978. Then a year later, Prince fully reimagined the track as a solo recording during the April 1979 recording sessions for Prince at Alpha Studios in North Hollywood, CA, with overdubs added in the same period at Hollywood Sound Records in Hollywood, CA
From that 2" multitrack master tape, a cassette rough mix – recently discovered in Prince’s legendary vault and labeled in the artist’s own handwriting – was rendered but ultimately shelved. This special release of “Do Me, Baby (Demo)” has been newly mixed to match the original demo cassette specs by Prince’s GRAMMY-nominated engineer Chris James, and mastered by Prince’s longtime collaborator and multiple GRAMMY-winning engineer Bernie Grundman.
As was typical with Prince, he revisited the song afresh more than two years later when he created an entirely new solo recording of “Do Me, Baby” at Sunset Sound in June 1981. That master recording was released on October 14, 1981, as the epic final song on Side A of Controversy.
Stream 'Do Me, Baby (Demo)' - HERE.
For more on the 40th anniversary of Controversy, Apple Music is currently spotlighting the album as one of its Essential Albums, and Apple Music Radio is broadcasting a 40th Anniversary Special hosted by Estelle. Celebrate Controversy with Estelle on Apple Music here.
About The Prince Estate:
The Prince Estate passionately presents Prince's life and work, and cultivates opportunities to further his legacy. As the singular, authoritative source on all things Prince, The Prince Estate inspires and educates fans, celebrates Prince in his totality, and stewards Prince's legacy into the future.