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Rare 1979 Version of Prince’s “I Could Never Take the Place of Your Man” Has Been Unearthed: Stream

on July 16, 2020, 12:28pm

This September brings a massive reissue of Prince’s 1987 tour de force, Sign O’ the TimesThe expanded collection boasts 63 unreleased tracks, as well as a previously unseen concert film recorded at Paisley Park on New Year’s Eve that same year.

Fans were already treated to one of the reissue’s many rarities, “Witness 4 The Prosecution (Version 1)”, back in June. Today, Warner Records and The Prince Estate are sharing a never-before-released 1979 version of “I Could Never Take the Place of Your Man”.

This iteration was recorded at Hollywood Sound Recorders, Studio A on May 23rd, 1979. According to a press statement, it’s “the oldest recording” found on the upcoming reissue.”The track was retrieved from the vault by Prince in June 1986 and re-recorded, with Prince adding a guitar solo and updating the sound,” the statement continues. “That updated version was included on the abandoned Dream Factory and Crystal Ball projects, and was eventually released on Sign O’ The Times.”


Even for unseasoned Prince listeners, the different between this newly unearthed recording and the final rendition is fairly noticeable. At the very least, it’s always a pleasure to observe the transformation of a Prince favorite. Below, check out both versions and Prince’s own handwritten lyrics.

The Sign O’ the Times reissue drops September 25th and pre-orders are ongoing. The Super Deluxe Edition promises a 120-page hardcover book with previously unseen handwritten lyrics, photographs, studio material, and other memorabilia from the era, plus new liner notes by Dave Chappelle, Lenny Kravitz, and longtime engineer Susan Rogers, among others. Jack White’s Third Man Records is also putting out a limited 7-inch singles box set as a companion collector’s piece.