In celebration of the 40th anniversary of Prince’s acclaimed Controversy album, The Prince Estate and Warner Records released yet another hidden gem from Prince’s storied Paisley Park vault on October 14, 2021: a previously unheard 1979 solo demo-recording of his quintessential slow-jam, “Do Me, Baby.”
“Do Me, Baby (Demo)” was released onto streaming services and issued in two limited edition physical formats: a special replica cassette single of “Do Me, Baby (Demo)” (limited to 1,981 units), and an etched 7” single pressed on purple vinyl. The replica cassette matched the original source format stored in Prince’s Paisley Park vault for decades, and the 7” vinyl incorporated Prince’s original hand-written lyrics for the song.
“Do Me, Baby” is best known as the centerpiece of 1981's Controversy, 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.
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. The special release of “Do Me, Baby (Demo)” was 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.