The Beautiful Ones is the third track on Prince's sixth album Purple Rain, the first album to be credited to Prince and the Revolution. The song also features in the movie Purple Rain.
In 2002, a live version was also included as the eleventh track on the second disc of One Nite Alone... Live!, Prince's first live album (along with Xenophobia, Extraordinary, Avalanche, Family Name, Raspberry Beret, The Everlasting Now, Wanna B Ur Lover, Diamonds & Pearls, Nothing Compares 2 U and How Come U Don't Call Me Anymore from the same show).
Initial tracking took place on 20 September 1983, at Sunset Sound, Hollywood, CA, USA (five days after Irresistible Bitch).
It was included as the second track on the 7 November 1983 and 23 March 1984 configurations of Purple Rain, but became the third track on the final 14 April 1984 configuration after the addition of Take Me With U.
On 18 March 2016 it was announced that Prince would write an unconventional memoir to be released in Autumn 2017, titled The Beautiful Ones after this song.