International Lover is the eleventh and final track on Prince's fifth album 1999, and in 1983 it was included as a b-side on some versions of the single Little Red Corvette, the album's second single.
A brief solo piano rehearsal of the track was released on the 2018 posthumous album Piano & A Microphone 1983,
Basic tracking took place on 14 January 1982 at Sunset Sound in Hollywood, California three days after and Gigolos Get Lonely Too, two days after Bold Generation, the same day as The Walk, and the day before Colleen), during sessions for The Time's second album What Time Is It?.
It was intended to be sung by Morris Day, but Prince reclaimed the song to use on 1999 instead. It is unknown if Morris Day ever recorded his lead vocals for the song.
Prince recorded an initial version on this day with Morris Day on drums. This version was released as Take 1 (Live In Studio) as the eighth track on the Vault Tracks part 1 disc of a Deluxe edition of the 1999 album. The version was worked on further on the same day and possibly at a later date, so that almost none of the elements of this 'take 1' version can be heard in the track as it was released on 1999 in 1982.
The Take 1 version was released as a single to streaming platforms on 11 October 2019.