Hear the Second Version of Prince’s ‘Witness 4 the Prosecution’
Prince's almost-solo take on "Witness 4 the Prosecution" is the newest track to be previewed from the Sign O' the Times box set that's coming out on Sept. 25.
It's a more stripped-down approach than the one he recorded with the Revolution that arrived back in June. A press release says that this version came about when country singer Deborah Allen asked Prince for a song. Rather than write a new one, he went into Studio 3 of Los Angeles' Sunset Sound on Oct. 6, 1986 and re-recorded "Witness," with Coke Johnson engineering. Except for horns provided by Eric Leeds and Atlanta Bliss, this rendition is all Prince, overdubbing five keyboard tracks and seven layers of background vocals.
But when the time came, he decided to give Allen a different song he recorded that day, "Telepathy." Credited to Joey Coco, "Telepathy" was released as the first single from her 1987 album of the same name, but did not place on either the Country or Hot 100 charts.
As a footnote to the story, the decision to remake "Witness" virtually by himself could serve as a glimpse into his mindset regarding the future direction of his music at the time. The next day, Oct. 7, Prince officially disbanded the Revolution.
In addition to the two takes on "Witness 4 the Prosecution," "Cosmic Day" and the original 1979 recording of "I Could Never Take the Place of Your Man" from the Sign O' the Times Super Deluxe Edition have also been released. The set adds two discs of mixes from the singles, 45 previously unreleased studio recordings, two concerts -- one on CD and another on video -- and a book with essays from friends like Lenny Kravitz and Dave Chappelle.