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Prince's Family band members debut new version of 'Nothing Compares 2 U'

The artists formerly known as the Family, now fDeluxe, in a 2011 photo (from left): Susannah Melvoin, Eric Leeds, Jellybean Johnson and Paul Peterson.

The artists formerly known as the Family, now fDeluxe, in a 2011 photo (from left): Susannah Melvoin, Eric Leeds, Jellybean Johnson and Paul Peterson.

At the exact same time radio stations across the country committed to play “Nothing Compares 2 U” in honor of Prince on Wednesday afternoon, the band of his peers that originally recorded the song debuted a new orchestral version of it to the world.

The members of fDeluxe -- the Prince-affiliated group formerly known as the Family -- reworked the heart-wrenching classic with the Minneapolis chamber ensemble STRINGenious and unveiled it on their YouTube channel at exactly 5:07 p.m. That time is a nod to the song’s opening line, “It’s been seven hours and 13 days,” which lined up to the time when emergency workers pronounced Prince dead (10:07 a.m. on April 21).

All longtime Prince associates, fDeluxe features singer/bandleader Paul Peterson, one-time girlfriend Susannah Melvoin also on vocals (sister of the Revolution’s Wendy Melvoin), saxophonist Eric Leeds and the Time’s drummer Jellybean Johnson. Prince wrote “Nothing Compares 2 U” for their eponymous 1985 album. Sinead O’Connor plucked it off the record five years later and made it into a hit single. The orchestrations on the new version follow the arrangements originall written for the song by the late Clare Fischer.

“This was a labor of love,” Peterson explained of the re-recording. “Everyone donated their time as a ‘thank you’ to Prince for his musical contributions to the world.”

“It’s with a musically heavy heart that tonight we honor our dear friend,” Susannah Melvoin says at the start of the video.

The rest of it pretty much speaks for itself.

Warner Bros. plans vinyl reissues of Prince's 1985-1992 albums

 

If you’re scouring your local record stores and eBay looking for Prince albums on vinyl at newly inflated prices, Warner Bros. seems to have a message for you: Let’s not go crazy.

Prince’s heyday-era record label is set to release nine of his biggest post-“Purple Rain” titles newly pressed to wax this year, starting with “Around the World in a Day” on June 21. One or two albums will be released per month after that in the order they were originally released (or at least in the order recorded; see: “The Black Album”).

Amazon and other retails sites are now offering pre-sale orders starting around $20 for the new editions, which will also include the acclaimed “Sign o’ the Times” and the big commercial hits “Parade,” “Diamonds and Pearls” and the “Batman” soundtrack.

This vinyl reissue campaign was already in the works before Prince’s death, and started with a remastered version of his 1978 debut album “For You,” timed to Record Store Day on April 16. It seems Warner Bros. is expediting the rest of the series in the wake of his death -- shrewd business, sure, but also undeniably good news for music lovers. The label had already pressed new vinyl editions of “Purple Rain,” “1999,” “Dirty Mind” and “Controversy” in 2011 (still widely available), so it skipped ahead to his late-‘80s and early-‘90s records.

Some of the albums in this particular batch fall in the era when CD sales took over the industry, and Warners and the other big record companies made little to no vinyl editions of the records. These new pressings will feature the albums in their original format (no bonus tracks). Here’s the full list of what’s to come:

  • June 21st: “Around the World in A Day” (1985)
  • July 19th: “Parade (Under the Cherry Moon soundtrack)” (1986)
  • August 23rd: “Sign o’ the Times”(1987)
  • September 20th: “The Black Album”(1987 recorded; 1994 released)
  • October 18th: “Lovesexy” (1988) and “Batman” soundtrack (1989)
  • November 22nd: “Graffiti Bridge” soundtrack (1990) and “Diamonds and Pearls” (1991)
  • December 13th: “The Love Symbol” (1992)