The Voice is the first track on Mavis Staples' second Paisley Park Records album, The Voice (tenth track on the 1994 re-issue), and, around the same time as the album’s release, The Voice was released as the album’s first single (the single was also re-released in 1994). The track was written by Prince, with Rosie Gaines and Francis Jules, and was produced by Prince under the name Paisley Park. Prince also played most of the instruments on the track.
Basic tracking took place on 25 April 1991 at Paisley Park Studios in Chanhassen, Minnesota (two days after Go Carmen Go, the same day as I Hear Your Voice), and the song was originally intended for Rosie Gaines’s proposed album Concrete Jungle, which later developed into Closer Than Close. Beyond Prince’s 'guide' version, however, it is not known if Rosie Gaines recorded lead vocals for the track. Mavis Staples' lead vocal overdubs were recorded in late 1992 or early 1993 at Paisley Park Studios.
In 1993, a brief sample of The Voice was used in a Segue from Carmen Electra’s album Carmen Electra, as if heard while scanning through a radio dial (clips of Hit U In The Socket, In A Word Or 2, Sexy M.F., With This Tear and Goldnigga are also heard).