Piano & A Microphone 1983 Image
Metascore
83

Universal acclaim - based on 17 Critics What's this?

User Score
8.0

Generally favorable reviews- based on 13 Ratings

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  • Summary: The collection of nine songs recorded before 1984's Purple Rain includes covers, songs that would later see release and three unreleased tracks.
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Top Track

Purple Rain
I never meant to cause you any sorrow I never meant to cause you any pain I only wanted one time to see you laughing I only wanted to see you... See the rest of the song lyrics
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 17 out of 17
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 17
  3. Negative: 0 out of 17
  1. Sep 21, 2018
    100
    These wonderful recordings provide yet more evidence of his colossal talent, and, tantalisingly, it appears that there are still more to come.
  2. Sep 20, 2018
    90
    While the session is informal--he sniffles now and then, and at times something rattles in the piano--the performance is not sloppy for a moment. The one-take, real-time vocals are exquisite. .. He shifts musical styles and vocal personae at whim--melancholy, playful, devout, flirtatious--yet it’s all Prince. ... It’s a glimpse of a notoriously private artist doing his mysterious work.
  3. 83
    Despite its intimacy, Piano & A Microphone doesn’t feel like trespassing on Prince because it doesn’t truly expose him. This recording doesn’t reveal the nuts-and-bolts inner workings of one of the greatest artists of all time. How could it? We get to listen as a visionary works with simple tools--and in the end, Prince’s genius remains as mysterious as ever.
  4. Mojo
    Sep 20, 2018
    80
    His piano-playing is a joy, his vocals a dramatis personae of lively characters. ... The whole thing feels--thrillingly, poignantly--like you're in the room with him. [Oct 2018, p.84]
  5. Sep 21, 2018
    80
    A fitting subtitle could be “Everything You Know About Funk is Wrong,” thanks to a couple of flat-out stunning solo performances on this session. This is not the Holy Grail of lost or shelved Prince albums.
  6. Classic Rock Magazine
    Sep 20, 2018
    70
    For serious fans--and them only--this album is a revelation. [Oct 2018, p.83]
  7. The Wire
    Nov 15, 2018
    70
    This collection, and its atmosphere of sharing a bench with the 20th century’s Mozart as he explores still nascent songs, is an appropriately seductive tease to what will doubtless be a decades-long unearthing of the vault’s untold treasures. The songs themselves, as they’re presented here, really are secondary to this feeling, something like finding a just unearthed message from a departed loved one. [Dec 2018, p.69]

See all 17 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 0 out of
  2. Mixed: 0 out of
  3. Negative: 0 out of

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