I Would Die 4 U is the seventh track on Prince's sixth album Purple Rain, the first album to be credited to Prince and the Revolution. Five months after the album's release, I Would Die 4 U was released as the album's fourth single. The track is also featured in the movie Purple Rain.
In 1993, the track was included as the eighth track on the compilation album The Hits 2 (also included as the second disc of The Hits / The B-Sides).
In 2001, the track was included as the seventh track on the compilation album The Very Best Of Prince.
In 2006, the track was included as the seventh track on the first disc of the compilation album Ultimate.
Prince and the Revolution recorded the song live on 3 August 1983 at First Avenue, Minneapolis, MN, USA (at the same concert where Baby I'm A Star and Purple Rain were also recorded). The song dated back to at least 18 months earlier when it was tried out in soundcheck during a Controversy Tour show.
It was included as the seventh track on the 7 November 1983 configuration of the album, and the sixth track on the 23 March 1984 configuration, but became the seventh track on the final 14 April 1984 configuration after some tracklist changes to the album.
A tour rehearsal version of the song was recorded in late 1984 for release on the single's 12". The single version of the track was included as the eleventh track on the first disc of an early configuration of the compilation album Ultimate before the album was reworked for release.