Prince Estate Drops Previously Unreleased 1979 Version of ‘I Could Never Take the Place of Your Man’ (Listen)

The Prince Estate, in partnership with Warner Records, has dropped “I Could Never Take The Place Of Your Man (1979 Version),” a previously unreleased early version of the song from the forthcoming expanded reissue of Prince’s classic 1987 album “Sign O’ the Times,” which is out September 25.

“I Could Never Take the Place Of Your Man (1979 Version)” was recorded at Hollywood Sound Recorders, Studio A on May 23, 1979, and engineered by Bob Mockler. It is the oldest recording in the Super Deluxe Edition collection, dating back to sessions for Prince’s self-titled 1979 album. Its basic elements are minimal: live drums and claps, bass, guitar, synth, and nine layers of Prince’s voice.

The track was retrieved from the vault in June 1986 and re-recorded, with Prince adding a solo and updating the sound, and that new version was given a prominent place on early incarnations of the “Sign O’ the Times” album — which were called “Dream Factory” and “Crystal Ball” — before the final version was released in April of 1987. Last month the estate dropped the previously unreleased “Witness 4 The Prosecution (Version 1),” which was intended for “Dream Factory” — hear that song and get more details about the expanded “Sign O’ the Times,” which features 63 previously unreleased tracks and two complete concerts, including his legendary New Year’s Eve set with Miles Davis as 1987 became 1988.

Head here to hear “Witness” and for more information about the set.

Following the successful release of the “1999” Super Deluxe Edition in the fall of 2019, the “Sign O’ the Times” Super Deluxe Edition represents the deepest dive to date into Prince’s vault, and includes a total of 92 audio tracks across eight CDs and 13 180g vinyl records. The Super Deluxe Edition brings fans 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.

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