Computer Blue is the fourth 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.
Before a studio recording was made, Prince and the Revolution recorded the song live on 3 August 1983 at First Avenue in Minneapolis, Minnesota (during the same concert where I Would Die 4 U, Baby I’m A Star and Purple Rain were also recorded).
On 8 August 1983 (five days after its live-recording at First Avenue, Minneapolis, Minnesota, a day after Let’s Go Crazy) a studio version was recorded at The Warehouse in St. Louis Park, Minnesota, with The Revolution (a day after Let’s Go Crazy). The track was then further worked on on 15 August 1983 at Sunset Sound in Hollywood, California, with only Wendy Melvoin and Lisa Coleman participating.
The song, ultimately clocking in at over 14 minutes would be edited down for the album. It remained largely similar at the beginning and end of the song - differences are noticeable in the middle of the track. A longer version of the track was included as the third track on the 7 November 1983 and 23 March 1984 configurations of the album, but this was edited down for the final 14 April 1984 configuration to make room for the inclusion of Take Me With U. The album booklet contains lyrics from a longer version included on an earlier configuration of the album that were not kept for release.
A slightly edited down version from the longest as the song got, omitting only guitar feedback at the beginning and end was released as Computer Blue ('Hallway Speech' Version) as the third track on the From The Vault & Previously Unreleased disc of the Purple Rain Deluxe Edition and Deluxe Expanded Edition album in 2017.
The song contains a segment of the track Father’s Song during one of the instrumental breaks. It is likely that John L. Nelson’s credit on the track comes from this inclusion. The composition Father’s Song however was not yet recorded as a separate song when Computer Blue was conceived.