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NPR Arts & Life

Hear Lydia Loveless Cover Prince's 'I Would Die 4 U'

Lydia Loveless.

Last year, as an April Fools' Day joke, the label Bloodshot Records announced that it had brought together 21 affiliated artists for a roughed-up roots take on the music of Prince, to be pressed as a "purple swirl colored double vinyl LP" set. To the label's surprise, fans were, as Bloodshot puts it in a new announcement, "really pissed off." So to make up for the offense on Record Store Day this year, Bloodshot will release a pair of actual Prince covers — Lydia Loveless covering "I Would Die 4 U" and Cory Branan doing "Under The Cherry Moon" — pressed onto actual purple vinyl.

Loveless' cover, which you can hear on this page, trades the ecstatic swirl of Prince's 1984 original for her own gale-force pleas of desperation. Where you could listen to Prince sing "I Would Die 4 U" and imagine a love that takes both partners to paradise, Loveless — true to her name — sounds like she's throwing herself at the feet of a lover who might not even know she exists. Add her to the long and forever-growing list of musicians across genres, from Sinead O'Connor and Cyndi Lauper to TLC and Robyn, who have knelt at the altar of the purple one and walked away with their dignity intact.

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