New Power Generation is the second track on Prince’s twelfth album Graffiti Bridge, and, two months after the album’s release, New Power Generation was released as the album’s second Prince single and fourth single overall (Round And Round by Tevin Campbell and Melody Cool by Mavis Staples had also been released). The track is also featured in the movie Graffiti Bridge. New Power Generation (Pt. II) is the seventeenth and final track on the album, and was featured as the b-side of the New Power Generation single. The maxi-single featured several tracks which could be considered remixes of the track, but are different enough that they are listed here as separate tracks. Only one, T.C.’s Rap, is included here; information about Brother With A Purpose, Get Off, The Lubricated Lady and Loveleft, Loveright can be found on their individual song pages.
The song started out as Bold Generation, which was recorded on 12 January 1982 (the day after Gigolos Get Lonely Too and You’re All I Want) at Sunset Sound in Hollywood, California, during recording sessions that yielded tracks for The Time’s second album What Time Is It?. Although it’s not clear if the song was initially intended for the group, it features only Prince and Morris Day, like the majority of The Time’s tracks. Bold Generation in its early incarnation was not kept for What Time Is It?, but was released in 2019 as the sixth track on the Vault Tracks part 1 disc of a Super Deluxe Edition edition of the 1999 album. The song was sourced from a cassette to be included on this release as the original master tape was so damaged that it become unusable (a box photographed in his vault at Paisley Park Studios listing Bold Generation and Gigolos Get Lonely Too was made public after Prince’s passing).
In December 1989, the song was taken from the vault and reworked as New Power Generation at Paisley Park Studios in Chanhassen, Minnesota (during the same sessions that produced Round And Round). It was considerably overdubbed but retained the original drum track of Morris Day, buried in the mix. The lyrics and the melody stayed more or less intact. As New Power Generation, the song was included as the second track on a late 1989 configuration of Graffiti Bridge, with a shorter Reprise as the 14th and final track. It was kept as the second track on a 1990 configuration, with Pt. II as the 17th and final track, where they stayed for the final release. Among others it uses a keyboard part that had appeared earlier in Flesh And Blood recorded in the Summer of 1989 at Paisley Park Studios in Chanhassen, Minnesota, for use on the proposed second album by Jill Jones.
The track was remixed in September or October 1990 at Larrabee Sound Studios in North Hollywood, California, creating N.P.G. (Funky Weapon Remix) and T.C.’s Rap, during recording sessions for the New Power Generation maxi-single (during the same set of sessions as Tony’s Iggnant Mix, Get Off, The Lubricated Lady, Loveleft, Loveright, a segue later included in the N.P.G. (Funky Weapon Remix), Oobey Doop, Play, Heaven Is Keeping Score, and additional recording on My Tree and A Positive Place). The Segue recorded at the same time (beginning "Are there really angels?") was later incorporated into N.P.G. (Funky Weapon Remix) and Loveleft, Loveright, and is included here as a result.
New Power Generation (Pt. II) and T.C.’s Rap include the rap True Confessions, by T.C. Ellis, which was later developed into a full track for inclusion as the title track of his album True Confessions; the rap and the fully developed track have no input by Prince, however.