Wealthy fans of pop legend Prince are poised to spend big later this month (JUN04), when his first studio recording goes up for sale at a London auction.

The cassette features a 17-year-old Prince playing lead and rhythm guitar on the tracks, five of which were laid down at the COOKHOUSE STUDIOS in Minneapolis, America in 1975.

The original master copy was recorded with PEPE WILLIE - who became Prince's mentor when the pair met before he landed a deal with Warner Brothers - and the band 94 EAST.

The sound the pair created through their collaborations would grow and become internationally recognised as the Minneapolis Sound.

Collectors estimate the tape will attract bids of up to $630,000 (GBP350,000) when it goes under the hammer at COOPER OWEN's auction house on 16 June (04).

Prince's recordings will form part of the Rock Legends auction, which also features items from Elvis Presley, Jimi Hendrix, SIR Elton John, THE Beatles, U2, Buddy Holly and Oasis.

Cooper Owen co-founder TED OWEN says, "This first recording reveals the talent that Prince possessed even at this young age."

10/06/2004 17:04