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14 October 2021

Prince Estate Celebrates ‘Controversy’ With ‘Do Me, Baby’ Demo Release

Controversy Prince
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The Prince Estate have announced a new release to celebrate the 40th anniversary of his Controversy album – a previously unheard 1979 solo demo-recording of his quintessential slow-jam Do Me, Baby, available to stream here.

In addition to its surprise release onto streaming services today, Do Me, Baby (Demo) is also available to pre-order in two limited edition physical formats exclusively from the Official Prince Store: a special replica cassette single of Do Me, Baby (Demo) (limited to 1,981 units), and an etched 7” single pressed on purple vinyl. The replica cassette matches the original source format stored in Prince’s Paisley Park vault for decades, and the 7” vinyl incorporates Prince’s original hand-written lyrics for the song.

Do Me, Baby is best known as the centerpiece of 1981’s Controversy, but Prince first recorded the song years earlier. A demo featuring Prince and his best friend and creative collaborator André Cymone was initially recorded in 1978. Then a year later, Prince fully reimagined the track as a solo recording during the April 1979 recording sessions for Prince at Alpha Studios in North Hollywood, CA, with overdubs added in the same period at Hollywood Sound Records in Hollywood, CA

From that 2″ multitrack master tape, a cassette rough mix – recently discovered in Prince’s legendary vault and labeled in the artist’s own handwriting – was rendered but ultimately shelved. This special release of Do Me, Baby (Demo) has been newly mixed to match the original demo cassette specs by Prince’s GRAMMY-nominated engineer Chris James, and mastered by Prince’s longtime collaborator and multiple GRAMMY-winning engineer Bernie Grundman.

As was typical with Prince, he revisited the song afresh more than two years later when he created an entirely new solo recording of Do Me, Baby at Sunset Sound in June 1981. That master recording was released on October 14, 1981, as the epic final song on Side A of Controversy.

For more on the 40th anniversary of Controversy, Apple Music is currently spotlighting the album as one of its Essential Albums, and Apple Music Radio is broadcasting a 40th Anniversary Special hosted by Estelle. Celebrate Controversy with Estelle on Apple Music here.

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