On October 19, 1979, a young Minneapolis-bred artist wowed the world with the release of his sophomore, eponymous album Prince. In honor of Prince’s second album turning 40, the Prince Estate and Warner Records have released his pristine acoustic demo of “I Feel For You,” one of the album’s original tracks that later became a record-charting hit for Chaka Khan.
Tomorrow is the 40th anniversary of Prince's second album, Prince. To mark the occasion, The Prince Estate and @warnerrecords are pleased to announce the surprise release of a previously unheard, solo acoustic demo recording of “I Feel for You.”— Prince (@prince) October 18, 2019
YouTube | Prince
According to a statement from Prince’s estate, the recording was “recently rediscovered on one of the countless cassette tapes stored in Prince’s legendary vaults." Reportedly made during the winter of 1978–1979, the cassette's inception came at a time in which the then-20-year-old singer and songwriter's career was experiencing a major shift, as he was getting ready to debut as a solo artist via a performance at Minneapolis' Capri Theater.
“I was blown away,” Prince vault archivist Michael Howe said, according to Variety. “Here is 20-year-old Prince thinking aloud, feeling his way through the song. You hear his incredible talent shining through on acoustic guitar, which is not something he typically showcased, and his guide vocal is astonishingly great.”
Chaka Khan’s later rendition of “I Feel For You” earned two Grammys in 1984, "including Best R&B Song, which recognized Prince for his songwriting contribution," Rolling Stone reports.
Prince's self-titled album, which went certified platinum only four months after its release, was written, arranged, composed, produced, and performed entirely by Prince. Other notable songs from Prince include "Why You Wanna Treat Me So Bad?," "Sexy Dancer," and "I Wanna Be Your Lover," Prince's first major hit single which reached No. 11 on Billboard Hot 100 in 1980.
YouTube | Prince
Prince's acoustic demo of "I Feel for You" is now available on music streaming services, including Spotify, Apple Music, and Google Play, and others, as well as limited-time 7” vinyl single which also includes his original studio recording.