Prince estate to release 'Originals' album of late legend's versions of songs he wrote for other artists

It’s a rare singer-songwriter who can just give away undeniable hits like “Nothing Compares 2 U,” “Manic Monday” and “The Glamorous Life” to other artists, but that’s exactly what Prince did throughout his 40-year career.

And on his birthday, June 7, the late artist’s estate, in partnership with Warner Bros. Records and Tidal, will release “Originals,” a 15-track album featuring 14 previously unreleased recordings by Prince of such songs. The tracks were selected collaboratively by Troy Carter, on behalf of The Prince Estate, and Jay-Z. (The full tracklist appears below.)

Starting June 7, “Originals” will stream exclusively on Tidal for 14 days. The announcement notes, “In the spirit of sharing Prince’s music with his fans as he wanted, the album will be available to stream in Master quality via Tidal’s HiFi subscription tier. Members will be able to hear the recordings just as the Artist intended the tracks to sound.”

On June 21, Warner Bros. will release the recordings, sourced directly from Prince’s archive of “Vault” recordings, via all download and streaming partners and physically on CD, while 180 gram 2LP and limited edition Deluxe CD+2LP formats will follow on July 19th. (Pre-order the album here.)

Prince was a monumentally prolific artist. By the mid-1980s, in addition to releasing nine of his most commercially successful albums, he also wrote and recorded many dozens of songs for proteges The Time, Vanity 6, Sheila E., Apollonia 6, Jill Jones, the Family, and Mazarati, and countless unreleased tracks. Often, Prince’s original demo recordings would be used as master takes on their albums, with only minor alterations to the instrumentation and a replacement of the vocal tracks. Other times, artists would rely on his demos to guide them through their own recording process, with Prince’s initial take informing their final version of his song.

“Originals” reveals the origins of these songs — many of which were substantial hits — along with deeper album cuts such as Vanity 6’s “Make-Up,” Jill Jones’s “Baby, You’re a Trip,” and Kenny Rogers’ “You’re My Love.” While several of the versions on “Originals” have been available on bootlegs, many have not. The only previously released track is Prince’s original 1984 version of “Nothing Compares 2 U,” which was issued in 2018 as a standalone single (although the 1992 live duet version with Rosie Gaines may be his definitive take). The song was originally released in 1985 by The Family, and made into an unforgettable No. 1 single by Sinead O’Connor five years later. The album also includes Prince’s versions of four songs he produced for Sheila E. and two by The Time.