Prince’s Career Launching Demo Tape Has Been Sold At Auction

The music legend’s first demo tape fetched over $50,000.

Prince’s storied career began with a demo tape that landed him his first record contract. Russ Thyret, the music executive who first signed the artist, had stored the demo up in his attic.

The 1976 demo tape is still in its original custom-made box and features three unreleased versions of Prince’s songs. These include “Just As Long as We’re Together” and “My Love is Forever” which the singer re-recorded later on for his debut album. It also contains the never-released song, “Jelly Jam.”

Prince's demo tape
Prince’s demo tape

READ ALSO: Longing For Yesterday: The Beatles To Release Final Song With A Little Help From AI

The “Purple Rain” singer was only 18 years old when he recorded these songs. He even wrote, arranged, sang, and played all of the instruments in the songs himself.

Initially estimated at $35,000, the lot has now closed for $53,807, according to auction house RR Auction.

An incredible find for modern music history

“It is the original tape, so this is the birth of who became known as Prince,” Bobby Livingston, RR Auction’s executive vice president of public relations, told CNN. “It’s incredible because it comes from the record executive whom it was sent to, so it has this unbroken chain of custody.”

The demo tape's tracklist
The demo tape’s tracklist

Former Warner Bros. Records executive Jeff Gold, a close friend of Thyret’s, was the one who found the historic demo. 

He said he received a call from Thyret’s widow who told him that her late husband saved a lot of stuff from his career in the attic of their house. She asked him to take a look and see if there was anything interesting he’d want to buy.

“When I saw (the demo tape), I knew exactly what it was,” Gold said. “I was very excited when I saw it, but guardedly so, because you never know if the tape’s going to be playable or if the tape has the wrong thing in the box—but happily, this one had the right thing.”

Prince's lace glove was also up for auction
Prince’s lace glove was also up for auction

The Marvels of Modern Music sale auctioned over a hundred Prince items. Other notable lots include a rare first pressing of The Black Album which closed at $18,181 and the lace glove he wore on the Purple Rain Tour which was sold for $2,893.

Images via RR Auction’s official website.

Shop for LIFESTYLE ASIA’S magazines through these platforms.
Download LIFESTYLE ASIA’s digital magazines from:
Subscribe via [email protected]