The teenage Prince lays down funky guitar with Minneapolis band 94 East.

One of Prince’s earliest known recordings is to be issued on vinyl for the first time with the release of a two-track 7″ on crate-digging label Numero Group.

‘If You See Me’ was recorded in 1975 by the newly founded Minneapolis funk band 94 East (pictured) in the city’s Cookhouse Studios and features a 16-year-old Prince Rogers Nelson, who takes lead guitar duties on the laidback funk track and its B-side, ‘Games’. The track was never released at the time.

Prince was enlisted by band leader Pepe Willie, the ex-husband of Prince’s cousin, who also took on the young musician’s friend André Cymone, later bassist in Prince’s band. 94 East disbanded in 1979 when Prince’s solo career took off.

Featured in the forthcoming Numero Group compilation Purple Snow: Forecasting the Minneapolis Sound, ‘If You See Me’ has now made its debut on 7″ vinyl, backed with ‘Games’ as an exclusive on the flip. Hear a snippet of each track over at Boomkat, where you can also order the record.

The 32-track Purple Snow compilation is out on November 12 and features four LPs of music from Minneapolis, plus extensively researched liner notes. Watch a trailer for the compilation below. Numero Group’s recent focus on Minneapolis also led to the reissue of the self-titled album by The Lewis Connection, the brotherly duo who were said to have recruited Prince’s guitar skills for their own record.

Prince recently revealed the remarkable artwork for his new single ‘Breakfast Can Wait’, featuring comedian Dave Chappelle, and only last week he opened the doors to his Paisley Park Studios to play a gig for fans.

 

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