|Back In Time is the debut solo studio album by Judith Hill. The album includes eleven tracks, and is produced by Prince, who appears throughout the album as a musician. The album was initially made available as a free download through Prince’s Live Nation email list, and through Judith Hill’s own website for a 48-hour period, followed by a free stream of the full album on Hill’s Soundcloud page. Seven months later, the album received a wider official release.
Sessions and compiling
Basic tracking is believed to have taken place in January and February 2015 at Paisley Park Studios in Chanhassen, Minnesota. In a preview, Prince mentioned that they had recorded the album in two or three weeks, saying it was the fastest he'd ever made an album (N.E.W.S., however, was recorded in a single day). Two tracks, Beautiful Life and My People, had been previously recorded by Judith Hill without Prince and released on the soundtrack album to Spike Lee’s movie Red Hook Summer (2012), but were re-recorded with Prince for use on this album.
Prince co-wrote four songs on the album with Judith Hill: As Trains Go By, Turn Up, Wild Tonight and the title track Back In Time. He also appears singing background vocals (and occasional lead vocals) on the album, and plays guitar and bass guitar throughout.
On the original free download of the album, the final track, Back In Time, is a half-second of silence. Prince explained at an album preview that she wanted to record an album like Sly And The Family Stone; the title track to their 1971 album There’s A Riot Goin’ On was also a silent track and was listed on the album sleeve as 0:00 long. This track was replaced by a full studio song of the same name when the album received its full retail release.
The album was previewed for music critics at Paisley Park Studios the night before its download release, and Prince asked attendees for ideas about how to get the album out, although no mention was made that a release was imminent. The preview was followed by a brief live set by Hill.
The wider release of the album was preceded by the digital single Cry, Cry, Cry, released a month before the album. Back In Time reached number 28 on the Billboard R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart.