Ice Cream Castles is the first track on The Time’s third album Ice Cream Castle, and, five weeks before the album’s release, Ice Cream Castles was released as the album’s first single. Ice Cream Castles was written by Prince (under the pseudonym Jamie Starr) and Morris Day. It was co-produced by Morris Day and Prince under the name The Starr Company.
Basic tracking took place on 13 January 1984 at Sunset Sound in Hollywood, California (two days after My Drawers. The song’s title is a phrase used in Joni Mitchell’s song Now Both Sides, Now (from Clouds 1969, and also released as a single, although the song was first released by Judy Collins in 1968). While reflecting about the song’s history on Facebook in 2014, Jesse Johnson stated, "Morris & I recorded a song name "Old & Ingnorant" [sic] in Mpls the next day M & I fly out to meet P. In LA, at Sunset Sound he dug it and the track was re-recorded, rewritten, and became "Ice Cream Castles"! ... (Prince kept telling me "It’s so cool how you played the bass on the AND instead of the 1" great compliment even though at that time I didn’t know what he was talking about...yeah of course I do now!)"
On 23 April 2012, a 9:54 rehearsal version of Mutiny containing an interpolation of Ice Cream Castles by Prince and the New Power Generation was streamed on drfunkenberry.com to promote the forthcoming Welcome 2 Australia Tour.