The Cocoa Boys (previously assumed to be titled Coco Boys) is a track recorded by Prince alone on 14 September 1986 at his Galpin Blvd Home Studio in Chanhassen, Minnesota.
The song was written specifically for the planned musical The Dawn (along with Crucial and When The Dawn Of The Morning Comes), but the musical was ultimately abandoned, and the song was never intended for any other of Prince’s many late-1986 album projects.
Overdubs, including background vocals, horns and a bed of looped audiences, presumed to be from the 25 August 1986 show at Le Zénith, Paris, France, where It’s Gonna Be A Beautiful Night were added at a later session.
The song also has the lines ‘All the boys and all the girls, you are the new kings of the world’, later reused in Positivity, as well as a chant of ‘We are beautiful, it’s gonna be beautiful night’ from It’s Gonna Be A Beautiful Night.
The Cocoa Boys was the name of a band of fictional brothers Joey and Frankie Coco, included as characters in the musical. The Cocoa in the band name is supposedly a play on words in the fictional story of the song. While the band names changed, the idea of rival bands was reused in the initial 1987 draft of the Graffiti Bridge movie.
In September 2020 the studio version of the song was released on one of the discs with previously unreleased tracks included with the Sign O’ The Times Super Deluxe set.
It is unclear if, but alleged that, the song was played as an instrumental jam during a soundcheck session on 25 August 1986 at Le Zénith, Paris, France, hours before the Parade Tour show there (along with recordings of Susannah’s Blues, Strange Relationship, Last Heart, a cover version of The Temptations’ I Can’t Get Next To You and a first run-through of It’s Gonna Be A Beautiful Night, which was then recorded live at the show).