17 Days (song)

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"17 Days"
Song by Prince
from the album The Hits/The B-Sides
Released May 16, 1984 (as a B-side to "When Doves Cry")
September 14, 1993 (on The Hits/The B-Sides)
Recorded Sunset Sound, January 8, 1984 (Basic tracking) March 18, 1984 (Overdubs) March 21, 1984 (Edits)
Length 3:55
Label Warner Bros.
Producer(s) Prince

"17 Days (The rain will come down, then U will have 2 choose. If U believe, look 2 the dawn and U shall never lose.)" (usually referred to as "17 Days") is one of the most famous of musician Prince's B-sides. It appeared on the flipside of his most successful single "When Doves Cry" (1984), as well as the double 7" version of the "Girls & Boys" single in 1986.

Written, produced and performed by Prince, the song was originally written and recorded as a demo for the second album by his protégé girl-group Vanity 6. Upon Vanity's departure from the Prince camp in 1983, Prince retained the song for his own use, rather than give it to the newly formed Apollonia 6 for their debut album. Background vocals on the track were performed by Vanity 6 member Brenda Bennett and remain on the final version of the song (she can clearly be heard as the song fades at the end).

The dance-oriented track begins with a psychedelic electric guitar loop and continues with Prince's signature synthesizer and drum machine sound. The lyrics refer to the number of days that have gone by since Prince's lover left him for someone else, leaving him "with two cigarettes and this broken heart of mine."

Although the track did not chart on its own (except as a double-A side on the U.S. Hot Dance Club Play chart), it received significant airplay on U.S. R&B radio at the same time that "When Doves Cry" was at its peak in popularity. "17 Days" appears on the three-disc greatest hits compilation album The Hits/The B-Sides. A snippet of "17 Days" was used in a hidden track after the title song on Prince's 2004 album Musicology, along with similarly short excerpts of "Little Red Corvette", "Kiss", "Sign o' the Times" and "If I Was Your Girlfriend", reinforcing the song's notoriety.

Prince played this song at the December 17, 2010 and April 28, 2011 Welcome 2 America concerts.

This song was covered by Living Colour as the B-side on their "Ausländer" single. This song was also covered by Sampha on 4 October 2016 on BBC Radio 1.[1]


  1. ^ "BBC Radio 1 - Annie Mac, Sampha + Kate Tempest". BBC. Retrieved 20 November 2016.