Six years before Sinéad O’Connor released a cover of “Nothing Compares 2 U” that topped charts in the ’90s, Prince had put out the song with his side project album The Family and was performing the song on tours.
Prince’s original recording had been forgotten until now, but Complex reports that Prince’s estate and Warner Bros. Records on Thursday released the original 1984 recording of the rock icon’s song.
Prince estate archivist Michael Howe “spotted the 2-inch multitrack reel in the Vault some weeks back while doing a 1984-era inventory,” according to a statement.
“After retrieving my jaw from the floor, we took the reel upstairs, analyzed it, put it up on the Studer 24 track machine, and digitized it to 24/192,” Howe said, adding it was clear “this was something very special indeed.”
“No Prince-penned song performed by another artist has enjoyed more chart success (#1 in over a dozen countries) and overall cultural impact than Sinead O’Connor’s 1990 recording,” Howe continued. “So hearing the song in its original context performed in its entirety by the author makes it particularly noteworthy.”
The track is paired with never-before-seen 1980s rehearsal footage of Prince and The Revolution.
The release of “Nothing Compares 2 U,” came the same day as news that there will be no criminal charges filed in relation to Prince’s death. The Rock & Roll Hall of Famer died in April 2016 of an accidental fentanyl overdose.