By Brooklyn Solis
In celebration of Prince’s 40th anniversary of his fourth album from 1981, Controversy, Prince’s estate releases an unheard demo of ‘Do Me, Baby.’
Known as the centerpiece of Controversy, the 1979 demo of ‘Do Me, Baby’ is entirely performed by Prince with multiple vocal overdubs, layers of keyboards and a finger-popping bass. With a faster beat and lack of ad-libs in the middle, this version would have fit perfectly on the R&B radio of the era.
The press release traces the song’s history:
Courtesy Prince Estate/Warner Records
Albeit the single is known for being the center of Controversy, Prince first recorded the song years earlier. As a genius and ever-evolving artist the song has been revisited a myriad of times before it was put out for the world to hear.
First demoed in 1978 by Prince along with his best friend and creative collaborator, André Cymone, the single was transformed into a fully reimagined solo recording a year later.
The transformation of the ‘Do Me, Baby’ demo that we all know and love continued: “From that 2” multitrack master tape, a cassette rough mix, was recently discovered in Prince’s legendary vault and labeled in his own handwriting was rendered but ultimately shelved.
“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.”
This special release of ‘Do Me, Baby’ 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 Grammy-winning engineer Bernie Grundman.
Stream the 1979 demo version of ‘Do Me, Baby’ below.
Photo by Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images