777-9311 is the second track on The Time’s second album What Time Is It?, and, four weeks before the album’s release, 777-9311 was released as the album’s first single. The song was written by Prince, although the song is officially credited to Morris Day. It was produced by Prince (as The Starr Company), but was credited to Morris Day and The Starr Company.
While specific recording dates are not known, basic tracking took place in May or June 1982 at Prince’s Kiowa Trail Home Studio in Chanhassen, Minnesota (during the same set of sessions that produced Onedayi’mgonnabesomebody, I Don’t Wanna Leave You, and several other tracks that were released over the next several years). Although Morris Day calls various bandmembers' names before solos, the recording features only Prince and Morris Day. While reflecting on the track’s history on Facebook in 2014, Jesse Johnson wrote "777-9311 Was A Stock Drum Beat In Prince’s Linn LM-1 ($5,500 drum machine you know it wasn’t The Time’s) ... The beat was programed into the Linn LM1 by Tower of Power drummer David Garibaldi ... for Roger Linn." (David Garibaldi’s drumming would also be sampled, uncredited, years later on The Time’s Release It.) He also added "Prince used my $179.00 Hondo Strat to play the chords on 777 (that’s why the guitar sounds so nice and dull...cause it was cheap!)"
The title of the track was Dez Dickerson’s home phone number at the time, and he was allegedly upset that it was used in the song; when the album was released he received several unwanted calls and changed the number as a result.