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Original Prince Demo Tape, Landmark In Music History, Up For Auction

Rare recording showcases Prince's early talent and marks the start of an iconic career

The original demo tape that landed Prince his first record contract is set to be auctioned.

Boston-based RR Auction said the sale is a “stunning revelation for music enthusiasts and Prince fans worldwide.”

They explained the historic artifact, obtained from the estate of the late Warner Bros. Records executive Russ Thyret, “serves as a testament to the visionary talent of the enigmatic musician and marks the inception of one of the most legendary careers in popular music.”

The demo tape, recorded on a 1/4 reel-to-reel tape in 1976, contains unreleased versions of three Prince originals: “Just As Long as We’re Together,” “My Love is Forever,” and the never-released “Jelly Jam.”

At just 18 years old, Prince single-handedly wrote, arranged, sang, and played all the instruments for the tracks at Sound 80 Studios in Minneapolis.

The original demo tape that landed Prince his first record contract is set to be auctioned. RR AUCTION/SWNS

The demo, enclosed in its original custom-made box, comes with a plexiglass display case, a business card belonging to Russ Thyret, and a CD transfer of the tape’s audio.

Additionally, it is accompanied by a letter of provenance from Jeff Gold of Recordmecca, a former Warner Bros. executive who worked closely with both Prince and Thyret, which RR Auction claims solidifies “its authenticity and significance.”

Prince signed with Warner Bros. on June 25, 1977, less than three weeks after celebrating his nineteenth birthday.

Russ Thyret, who later ascended to become Chairman and CEO of Warner Bros. Records, worked closely with Prince throughout his illustrious career.

Following Thyret’s passing in 2021, archivist Jeff Gold, a former Warner Bros. Executive Vice President/General Manager who had collaborated with both Prince and Thyret, discovered the demo tape in Thyret’s attic.

“Now, this extraordinary piece of music history is poised to find a new home, offering fans and collectors a chance to own a museum-quality Prince collectible, steeped in unparalleled provenance,” RR Auction said.

“The auctioning of Prince’s seminal demo tape represents an opportunity for music aficionados to acquire an extraordinary artifact that captures the genesis of an artist who reshaped the landscape of popular music.”

The online auction ends June 23.

Produced in association with SWNS Talker

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