I Feel for You
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|"I Feel for You"|
|Song by Prince|
|from the album Prince|
|Released||October 19, 1979|
|Format||Vinyl LP, cassette, CD|
"I Feel for You" is a song written by Prince that originally appeared on his 1979 self-titled album. The most successful and best-known version was recorded by R&B singer Chaka Khan and appeared on her 1984 album I Feel for You. It became the recipient of two Grammy Awards for Best R&B Song (with Prince as its songwriter) and Best Female R&B Vocal Performance for Khan.
Background and other versions
Prince originally recorded the disco song for his eponymous second album, released in October 1979. He uses the falsetto vocal with the melody range between C4 and C5. Earlier however, the song and the later hit single "I Wanna Be Your Lover" of the same album, were given to Patrice Rushen, who eventually rejected both songs.
The Pointer Sisters recorded the song in 1982 on their album So Excited!, and Rebbie Jackson recorded it for her 1984 debut album Centipede. In 1993, Britney Spears and Justin Timberlake sang this song on The Mickey Mouse Club. The song was featured on Jess Glynne's Take Me Home Tour in 2016.
In October 2019, in honor of the 40th anniversary of the album Prince, the Prince Estate and Warner Records released a previously unheard solo acoustic demo recording of the song, with Prince also performing acoustic guitar. The track became available on streaming services and as a limited-run 7” vinyl single which sold out.
Chaka Khan version
|"I Feel for You"|
Artwork for 7-inch vinyl edition, also used for 12-inch edition with different titling layout
|Single by Chaka Khan|
|from the album I Feel for You|
|Length||5:46 (album version)|
4:03 (single version)
|Chaka Khan singles chronology|
Khan's version featured a supporting cast including rapping from Melle Mel (of Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five); guitar, drum programming, bass guitar, keyboards and arrangement by Reggie Griffin; bass synthesizer and programming by The System's David Frank using an Oberheim DSX sequencer, which was connected to his Minimoog via CV and gate; and chromatic harmonica playing by Stevie Wonder. The song also uses vocal samples from Wonder's song "Fingertips" (1963). The repetition of Khan's name by Melle Mel at the beginning of the song was a mistake made by producer Arif Mardin, who then decided to keep it.
This version of the song sold more than one million copies in the US and UK, and it helped to relaunch Khan's career. The song hit No. 1 on the Cash Box singles chart and peaked at No. 3 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart from the weeks of November 24, 1984 to December 8, 1984. The song remained on the Billboard Hot 100 for 26 weeks and became one of Billboard's five biggest pop songs of the year for 1985. The single reached No. 1 on both the US dance and R&B charts in late 1984, remaining atop both for three weeks each. In addition, the song also reached No. 1 on the UK Singles Chart. While touring with Prince in 1998 in support of her collaborative album, Come 2 My House, Khan and Prince performed "I Feel for You" as a duet.
- Chaka Khan - lead vocals, backing vocals
- Steve Ferrone - drums
- David Frank - keyboards, synthesizer, programming
- Philippe Saisse - keyboards, synthesizer, programming
- Robbie Buchanan - keyboards, synthesizer, programming
- Reggie Griffin - guitar, bass, keyboards, synthesizer, drum machine, programming and arrangement
- Stevie Wonder - chromatic harmonica
- Grandmaster Melle Mel - vocals
The first version of the music video for Khan's song featured her working in a club with female dancers. As rap music and breakdancing were gaining popularity in mainstream pop culture at the time, the song was released and proved a success, so another version of the video, in an inner-city courtyard setting, was created. It featured Khan with a disc jockey and break dancers Shabba Doo, Boogaloo Shrimp, Bruno Falcon and Ana Sánchez, all of whom appeared in the movie Breakin'. A remixed version of the video was created to match the 12" vinyl version of the single.
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