Hear ‘I Need a Man,’ an Unheard Prince Rarity from the New ‘Sign O’ the Times’ Reissue Out 9/25 (Pre-Order)

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Rock Cellar Magazine

On Sept. 25, the Prince Estate will treat fans to an especially elaborate reissue of The Purple One‘s 1987 album Sign O’ the Times, which will be made available in a dizzying assortment of remastered varieties:

2-CD (Click here to pre-order from our Rock Cellar Store)
Deluxe 3-CD (Click here to pre-order)
Super Deluxe Edition 8CD+1DVD (Click here to pre-order)
Super Deluxe 13LP+DVD (Click here to pre-order)
2-LP Edition (Click here to pre-order)
4-LP Deluxe (Click here to pre-order)

It’s been previewed in recent weeks with a series of recordings that appear on the set, and the latest is “I Need a Man,” which has a particularly interesting back story. Here’s the song:

Apparently, Prince wrote and recorded the song for a collaboration with Bonnie Raitt that didn’t end up coming together. More, via Rolling Stone:

Originally recorded by Prince’s pre-Vanity 6 offshoot the Hookers in August 1981, Prince revived the track as one of four songs he offered to Raitt after seeing that singer perform in concert. This version of “I Need a Man,” recorded at the Washington Avenue Warehouse on January 22nd, 1987, features Prince’s live drums, synths and guide vocals.

After Raitt didn’t use the song, it was relegated to the Prince vaults, where it’s now, finally, seeing an official release.

Here’s another pre-release track from Sign O’ the Times, “Forever In My Life (Early Vocal Run-Through)”:

And “Cosmic Day”:

And “Witness 4 the Prosecution”:

This new reissue is a treasure trove of material for Prince fans who have a particular affinity for this album, which was his first album after disbanding the Revolution.

Here’s a description of the 8 CD+DVD edition, per Prince’s official site:

Primarily recorded between the end of 1985 and beginning of 1987, the era saw the dissolution of his band The Revolution, the end of his engagement to Susannah Melvoin, and the creation (and ultimate abandonment) of the albums Dream Factory, Camille, and Crystal Ball. By the end of that period of transformation, Prince emerged with one of his most urgent and wide-ranging releases to date — an epochal double album that would be hailed as a creative, critical, and commercial triumph.

The Super Deluxe Edition includes all the audio material that Prince officially released in 1987, as well as 45 previously unissued studio songs recorded between May 1979 and July 1987, and a complete live audio performance from the June 20, 1987 stop on the Sign O’ The Times Tour at Stadium Galgenwaard in Utrecht, The Netherlands.

Also included is a brand-new DVD containing the complete, previously unreleased New Year’s Eve benefit concert at Paisley Park on December 31, 1987, which was Prince’s final performance of the Sign O’ The Times Tour stage show and his only on-stage collaboration with jazz legend Miles Davis.

The Super Deluxe Edition set also features a 120-page hardcover book containing Prince’s previously unseen handwritten lyrics for many of the songs from the era, including the hits “U Got The Look,” “I Could Never Take The Place Of Your Man,” and “Hot Thing,” iconic unseen images from the era taken by Prince’s primary photographer in the mid-1980s to early 90s, Jeff Katz, plus images of archive assets including original analog tape reels and studio tracking sheets.

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