Hear: Prince's Previously Unreleased Original Version of "Nothing Compares 2 U"

Because of Sinéad O'Connor's arresting version of "Nothing Compares 2 U," from 1990, the song has long been admired as one of Prince's greatest. But while he wrote and recorded the song in 1984, his original version had never been released—until today.

The Prince estate has released the track as a single through Warner Bros. Records. Like much of the purple one's music, the song was written, arranged, and produced by Prince with the help of recording engineer Susan Rogers.

Prince - "Nothing Compares 2 U" [Official Video]

In comparison to O'Connor's cover, Prince's arrangement veers closer to a power ballad, including some distorted, phase-shifted guitar and a sax solo. In an interview with the Guardian today, Susan Rogers shared some insights into the recording and songwriting process, saying that, even by Prince's standards, the song was completed quickly. "The song came out like a sneeze," Rogers said.

But the greatest secret revealed may be that the song, generally regarding as one of romantic longing, could have been written instead about Prince's housekeeper, Sandy, who had to suddenly leave for a family health emergency.

"He wasn’t living with anyone, but he was a young man writing about domesticity. The line 'all the flowers that you planted in my back yard went out and died'… it would have been Sandy who planted those flowers," Rogers said. "'And I know that living with me baby is sometimes hard, but I’m willing to give it another try…' There was no romantic relationship with Sandy. It’s not a pained 'Help me, baby' track. It's: 'You're gone and I miss you.'"

Check out the full Guardian article here.

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