The Prince Estate released another unreleased track this week, titled “Witness 4 The Prosecution (Version 2)”. This latest single will see inclusion on the expanded reissue of Sign O’ The Times on September 25th, marking Prince’s ninth posthumous release.
Keeping tabs on the track history for Prince’s expansive catalogue can be an arduous task, especially when it comes to the unreleased content. According to the PrinceVault website, Prince and The Revolution initially recorded the first version of “Witness 4 The Prosecution”—which the Estate released back in June and will see inclusion on the forthcoming Sign O’ The Times release—for the still-unreleased Dream Factory album. A few months later, on October 6th, 1986, Prince re-recorded the song at Sunset Sound in Hollywood, CA, and planned to offer it to country singer Deborah Allen. Decades later, both songs finally have an official release.
The two versions actually sound vastly different. Version two contains an intro where Prince explains, “This is the story of two childhood sweethearts/Inseparable ’til one broke the other one’s heart,” in addition to a different second and third verse and a longer runtime. Furthermore, the production differences give the songs completely different sounds. While both include some funkified horns and Prince’s masterful vocals, the second version seems much more “digitized,” utilizing a drum machine and synthesizer and lacking the explosive guitar solos present on the first.
Listen to both versions, as well as the recently released “Cosmic Day” and “I could Never Take The Place Of Your Man”, below. Head to Prince’s online store for pre-order information regarding the September Sign O’ The Times release.
Prince – “Witness 4 The Prosecution (Version 2)” – [2020 Remaster]