Better Than You Think was first released in two versions (instrumental and vocal) on a 1992 reissue of 94 East's first collection of studio recordings Minneapolis Genius, featuring Prince on guitar. The track has featured on every subsequent collection of 94 East's early recordings. In 1995 both versions were included on Symbolic Beginning (re-released in 1999 as The Legends Collection). In 2000 the vocal version was included as the tenth track on 94 East Featuring Prince. Also in 2000, both versions were included on One Man Jam. In 2002, both versions were included on If You Feel Like Dancin'. In 2011, a remixed version by Matt "Dr." Fink was included as the first track on the digital collection The Cookhouse Five.
Basic tracking took place on 4 December 1975, at Cookhouse Studios in Minneapolis, Minnesota (during the same set of sessions as Games, I'll Always Love You, If We Don't and If You See Me), marking the earliest recording sessions featuring Prince to have been released. Matt "Dr." Fink remixed the track in June 2010, at StarVu Studios in Minneapolis, Minnesota, along with the other Cookhouse Studios tracks from the same session.