Prince: Finally Okay With YouTube?

A week or so ago a mysterious new YouTube account was created under the name 3rdEyeGirl. The name matches a Twitter handle started at the beginning of the month that features the following bio: “International Art Thief. Everything you think is true. Underground. Soon to be above.” Across both platforms a number of brand new recordings from Prince have started to emerge, which is a bit odd considering Prince is notoriously anti-YouTube and is known for blocking unauthorized recordings (he once angered Radiohead by blocking live footage of him covering the band’s Creep at Coachella). So are these authorized accounts? 3rdEyeGirl are rumoured to be Prince’s new backing band (guitarist Donna Grantis, drummer Hannah Ford and bassist Ida Nielsen), and that the “leaks” are part of a new release strategy for a man who hasn’t worked within a typical label structure for almost 20 years. The latest song to emerge from the YouTube account was a short live version of the double entendre-heavy “Screwdriver,” which has now emerged in all its glory on Prince’s official site, the typically garbled For the lyric video – another slightly incongruous nod to the modern recording industry – Prince (sporting a spirit hood) and his band rip through the fun and fuzzy guitar-dominated rocker while slightly awkward lyrics (“I’m your driver and you’re my screw”) flash across the screen. There’s a brilliant moment when he sings “people pay money for the rock’n’roll” where the vocals are double-tracked and it sounds like vintage, Purple Rain-era Prince.

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