Solo is the eighth track on Prince’s fifteenth album Come, and, a week before the album’s release, was included as the b-side of Letitgo, the album’s first single, released worldwide.
Although specific recording dates are not known, basic tracks were recorded in mid to late May 1993 at Paisley Park Studios in Chanhassen, Minnesota (during the same set of sessions that produced Space, Pope, Strays Of The World, What’s My Name, Interactive, Zannalee, and an updated recording of Race).
The lyrics had been written by David Henry Hwang, writer of the play M. Butterfly, which Prince had been to see in 1989. Hwang was contacted in 1993 by Prince about the possibility of writing a stage musical, and they met soon after in New York City to discuss the project.
When discussing the project, Prince asked Hwang to write a poem for him "about loss", to use as a spoken word interlude in a song. At some point later, Hwang wrote the lyrics of Solo as a poem and faxed them to Paisley Park Studios. A few days later, Hwang received a cassette containing the full song Solo, with the lyrics sung, rather than as a spoken interlude.
Hwang was notified when the song was released in 1994 on Come and on the Letitgo single, and he received writing co-credit and an RIAA gold album, although he was not paid for his contribution. The musical that the song was originally intended for, believed to have been titled Come, was abandoned, however.
Although released after Prince’s name change to , the track (and album) were credited to Prince, as it was recorded prior to the change (although Hwang’s recollection of their initial phone calls was that he had already changed his name to , which did not happen until the month after the track was recorded).