Before Sinead O’Connor blew up the charts in 1990 with the track “Nothing Compares 2 U”, the song was a little-known B-side on Prince’s debut album with The Family.
Last week, Prince’s estate and Warner Bros. Records finally released the original version of this song, along with never-before-seen rehearsal footage of Prince & The Revolution from 1984.
The track was recorded by sound engineer Susan Rogers at the Flying Cloud Drive Warehouse in Eden Prairie, Minnesota.
“One day, he went into a room with a notebook and, within an hour, emerged with the lyrics to Nothing Compares 2 U”, Rogers told The Guardian. “The song came out like a sneeze”.
Prince didn’t release the track under just his own name because, according to Rogers, it was “about a domestic life that he’d never had”.
“He wasn’t living with anyone, but he was a young man writing about domesticity”, Rogers explained.
“The line ‘all the flowers that you planted in my back yard went out and died’… it would have been Sandy [Prince’s housekeeper] who planted those flowers. ‘And I know that living with me baby is sometimes hard, but I’m willing to give it another try…’ There was no romantic relationship with Sandy.
“It’s not a pained ‘Help me, baby’ track. It’s: ‘You’re gone and I miss you,’ which is probably why he felt comfortable giving the song away to The Family.
He released his material based on what he wanted us to know about him and, wonderful as it is, he didn’t want it to represent him”.
Prince — keeping it real until the very end.