“‘Do Me, Baby’ is best known as the centerpiece 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,” a press release from Prince’s estate obtained by Variety reads.
While this edition of “Do Me, Baby” is categorized as a demo, it has all the production and layered tracks that would often be featured on another artist’s final version. It’s unclear why Prince didn’t release this version of the record more than 40 years ago, but the legendary act was notorious for working on tracks relentlessly and changing them along the way.
Adding to the track’s release, Prince’s estate has put together a limited number of cassettes with the demo on it. Each demo cassette includes Prince’s initials along with the track title and several other cool details.
“From that 2′ multitrack master tape, a cassette rough mix – recently discovered in Prince’s legendary vault and labeled in the artist’s own handwriting – was rendered but ultimately shelved. This special release of ‘Do Me, Baby (Demo)’ 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 multiple Grammy-winning engineer Bernie Grundman,” the press release continues.
“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.”
For those that can’t get their hands on the special edition cassette, the song is available below.