Everyone knows this song backwards, right? But imagine yourself back in 1983, August 3 to be precise. You happen to be in Minneapolis at the First Avenue club where Prince is playing a benifit show for the Minnesota Dance Theater Company. Remember this is 1983, a whole year before the Purple Rain film and album are released; no one has heard the song; and Prince is famous, but not the biggest star on the planet, yet.

The night’s show is already pretty special…new songs have been debuted…it’s new guitarist Wendy Melvoin’s first show, and essentially it’s the first outing for The Revolution. Then the last song starts, no one sings along, everyone just silently listens in awe as one of the most celebrated songs of all time is literally born in front of them.

Understand this…it’s this very same live recording that is the version you hear on the Purple Rain album. The intro is edited down, a mooted third verse is dropped and a few strings were later overdubbed, but that’s it! Amazing!

Enjoy this footage before it gets taken down yet again.

And while we’re talking about the great man make sure you go and pick up the latest issue of Wax Poetics.

Wax Poetics Prince cover

Thanks to Tim “Love” Lee for posting about this the other day, and whomever was responsible for adding this commentary.