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Nothing Compares 2 U is the sixth track on The Family's first and only album The Family. Prince wrote seven of the eight songs on the album, but Nothing Compares 2 U is the only track for which Prince takes official credit.

After becoming a worldwide number one single when covered by Irish singer Sinead O'Connor , Prince began playing the song live, and in 1993, he released a live version (sharing lead vocals with Rosie Gaines) as the eleventh track (one of two new tracks) on The Hits 1.

He had played it live consistently since 1990, and in 2002, released another live version as the twelfth track on the second disc of his first live album, One Nite Alone… Live!

Prince's own studio version had remained unreleased, until being released posthumously by The Prince Estate on April 29th 2018.

Initial tracking for Prince's original version took place on 18 July, 1984 at the Flying Cloud Drive Warehouse, Eden Prairie (the same day Let's Go Crazy was released as a single). St. Paul Peterson and Susannah Melvoin overdubbed vocals onto the track in late 1984 -early 1985, and Clare Fischer added orchestral overdubs during the same period.

Prince was inspired to write the song about Sandy Scipioni, his personal assistant in 1980, who had to leave suddenly after her father's death (Prince and Scipioni were not in a romantic relationship, however).

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