Wonderful Ass was released posthumously in 2017, as the seventh track on the second disc (titled From The Vault & Previously Unreleased) of Purple Rain Deluxe Edition and Deluxe Expanded Edition.
While specific recording dates have not been confirmed, basic tracking took place in the first two weeks of January 1983 (or in November 1982) at Prince’s Kiowa Trail Home Studio in Chanhassen, Minnesota. The track’s lyrics were supposedly inspired by Vanity. Jill Jones was in the studio with Prince during the recording and helped come up with the rhyming words ending in "...ate" at the end of the song. It is unknown if the track was intended for any project at the time of recording, although in 1983 there was some discussion of the track being used by Vanity 6, Apollonia 6 or The Time.
Wendy Melvoin and Lisa Coleman worked on the track further at Sunset Sound in Hollywood, California, most likely on 27 September 1984, adding vocals and possibly other instrumentation. Again, it is not known if this song was intended for any project at the time of additional recording. The liner notes for Purple Rain Deluxe Edition and Deluxe Expanded Edition state that the track was recorded in September 1984, but this refers only to the overdubs by Wendy and Lisa.
The track was later planned for inclusion on the Prince and the Revolution album Roadhouse Garden worked on in 1998-9, but the album remains unreleased.
During Prince: A Celebration in June 2000, computer screens at Paisley Park Studios offered names of a selection of tracks which users could vote on for inclusion on Crystal Ball Volume II, and while Wonderful Ass was chosen by fans, the project was ultimately abandoned.