The estate of the late pop icon, Prince, has shared a previously unreleased demo of ‘Do Me, Baby’ to coincide with the 40th-anniversary celebrations of the original release of his 1981 album Controversy.
The demo originated way back in 1979 when Prince performed it entirely himself using multiple overdubs. This version is markedly faster than the track that was eventually released and it doesn’t feature any of the ad-libs on the song on the original album.
In a statement, Prince’s estate explained the unearthed demo recording, writing: “’Do Me, Baby’ is best known as the centre-piece of 1981’s Controversy album, 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,” it continues. From that two-track master tape, a recently discovered rough cassette mix -hidden in Prince’s legendary vault and labelled in the artist’s own handwriting – was rendered but never saw the light of day, until now.
“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,” the statement concludes.”
The release of the ‘Do Me, Baby’ demo has been treated to a new mix to match the original recording’s demo cassette specification by Prince’s Grammy-nominated engineer Chris James. It has also been mastered by the Grammy-winning engineer Bernie Grundman, who was a longtime collaborator and friend of Prince.
Take a listen to the previously unreleased demo version of ‘Do Me, Baby’ below.