Baby is the sixth track on on Prince’s first album For You. In 1980, it was included as the b-side of Why You Wanna Treat Me So Bad?, the second single from Prince’s second album Prince.
An early version of the song was recorded in Summer 1976 at Moon Sound in Minneapolis, Minnesota (during the same set of sessions as Aces, Diamond Eyes, Don’t Forget, Don’t Hold Back, Fantasy, I’m Yours, Jelly Jam (which was later used as the instrumental portion of Just As Long As We’re Together), Leaving For New York, Love Is Forever (later renamed My Love Is Forever), Make It Through The Storm, Since We’ve Been Together, Surprise and Soft And Wet). The early version was included as the first track on Prince’s 1976 demo tape he took to various record companies in New York.
Inspiration for the songs lyrics, dealing with an unplanned pregnancy, did not come from Prince’s personal experience, but were based on stories about what his friends were dealing with.
Two more versions were recorded in 1976-1977 at Sound 80 in Minneapolis, Minnesota, prior to Prince signing a contract or beginning work on his first album. An ensemble of musicians from a Minneapolis radio station, The WAYL Orchestra, was brought in to add strings to the song, but Prince didn’t like the end result, preferring synthetic strings instead.
Specific recording dates for the album version of song are not known, but the album was recorded at the Record Plant in Sausalito, California, from 1 October 1977 to 22 December 1977, before overdubs and mixing took place, in early January 1978 at Sound Labs in Los Angeles, California. Patrice Rushen was long thought to have played keyboards (uncredited) on the song, but in a 2021 interview she only talks about giving Prince a hand with the orchestral arrangements and writing them out, not actually playing any.