The Holy River was the second commercially-released single to be released from Prince's 19th album Emancipation, the third album credited to (Somebody's Somebody and Face Down were released as promotional singles on the same date).
It was released two months after the album, and was available only in the UK and Japan (in the USA, the single was only available as a promo single, with the versions of Somebody's Somebody available instead on the Somebody's Somebody promo release).
In May 1997, the Borders Books & Music chain offered a cassette single of The Holy River free with any purchase. This cassette, which featured new artwork taken from The Holy River video, contained a previously-unreleased track, Welcome 2 The Dawn (Acoustic Version), which was labeled as coming from the "4thcoming album The Dawn", which remains unreleased. The track was later included on the album The Truth, however.
Since the UK and Japanese version contain remixes of Somebody's Somebody but not of The Holy River, it is likely the Instrumental released by the NPG Music Club in 2001 was in fact created for a US maxi-single of The Holy River that did not see release.