The Prince Estate shared the previously unreleased original version of Prince‘s “I Could Never Take the Place of Your Man” on July 16.
The stripped-down version will be part of the upcoming reissue of Prince’s 1987 double-album Sign O’ the Times.
After recording the original version at Hollywood Sound Recorders, Studio A on May 23, 1979, Prince did the song again in 1986 while working on his Dream Factory and Crystal Ball using the same verses and chorus on both renditions. The projects later got morphed into Sing O’ the Times, which peaked at No. 6 on the Billboard 200.
The song in the album is lengthier due to the addition of a guitar solo and instrumental breaks. According to a press statement, “I Could Never Take the Place of Your Man” is “the oldest recording” found on the upcoming reissue.
The Sign O’ the Times reissue, due out on September 25, will feature more than 45 unreleased studio recordings, a disc compiling the album’s mixes, edits and B-sides, will also contain a 1987 live gig in Utrecht, and a concert film from Prince’s New Year’s Eve 1987 show at Paisley Park.