Heaven Must Be Near is the first track on Ingrid Chavez's first album May 19, 1992, and, a few months after the album's release, Heaven Must Be Near was available as a promo-only single (following the album's two commercially-released singles), containing several remixes.
Although specific recording dates are unknown, Ingrid Chavez's vocal track was recorded with an improvised keyboard backing by Prince in mid-December 1987, at Paisley Park Studios in Chanhassen, Minnesota (shortly after cancelling the release of "The Black Album", during the same set of sessions as Reason Enough, Crystal City Cry, Wintersong, Whispering Dandelions, Slappy Dappy, Candle Dance, Elephant Box, Touch Of Love, Blue Boy, Jadestone, Sad Puppet Dance, Standing In The Rain and Cross The Line).
In August 1989, Prince and Levi Seacer, Jr. wrote and recorded new backing music for the track. The track was premiered on The New Power Generation Radio Show, broadcast on Minneapolis radio station KMOJ on 9 December 1989, with the track's writers Ingrid Chavez, Levi Seacer, Jr. (as "Michael Anthony") and Prince (as "Me, Myself and I") as hosts.
The song includes a repeated phrase of Ingrid Chavez stating "Clap your hands, stomp your feet", sampled from No. It also samples two tracks from the 1976 compilation Out Of This World - Atmospheric Sounds And Effects by the BBC Radiophonic Workshop, Sea Of Mercury credited to Dick Mills and Passing Clouds, credited to Roger Limb, the latter was also used on No, while other effects and sounds from the same album were used on Crystal City Cry and Sad Puppet Dance, and possibly also on Slappy Dappy and Jadestone.