Van Gogh is the sixth track on Van Gogh’s fourth album Van Gogh, co-written by Prince (as ) and Sandra St. Victor and Tom Hammer, but re-recorded by the band for their release. In 2001, ’s own version was released as part of NPG Music Club Edition # 6. The released version was different from the original 1995 version. It had added horn overdubs , plus a longer bass coda, not in the 1995 version.
While specific recording dates are not known, the track was originally written by Sandra St. Victor and Tom Hammer as Love Is, and was sent to in Spring 1995, following a loose agreement for and Sandra St. Victor to work together (along with Sanctuary (later renamed Soul Sanctuary), I’ll Never Open My Legs Again (later renamed ’ll Never B Another Fool), How We Livin’ (later renamed Livin’ 2 Die) and Nothing Left To Give (later renamed Stone). Additional lyrics and music were added by before recording in 1995, at Paisley Park Studios in Chanhassen, Minnesota (during the same set of sessions as the other songs sent by St. Victor).
Love Is, I’ll Never Open My Legs Again, Sanctuary and Nothing Left To Give came from Sanctuary, Sandra St. Victor’s canceled first solo album on Elektra Records (intended to be released in 1993). was able to listen to this record however and liked it enough to contact Sandra St. Victor for a collaboration. Her original version of Van Gogh was released in 2018 (with its initial title Love Is), when Sanctuary was made available on digital plateforms. Since Love Is was not initially intended for and contains no input by him, this version is not listed below.
The song was at one point considered for Emancipation. It was also slated to appear on a Playtime By Versace project in mid-late 1995.
In March 1998, sent a cassette of the song to Van Gogh, as he wanted to give a song to a professional artist with a disability and had found Van Gogh after much searching online, through the Coalition
of Disabled Musicians in New York (the bandmembers all use wheelchairs). Van Gogh’s version was recorded in Spring or Summer 1998 at Van Gogh Studios, Atlanta, Georgia. Sandra St. Victor’s and Tom Hammer’s names were missing on the song’s credits; other tracks by St. Victor were also released with inaccurate credits, causing her to make legal threats against , but she eventually opted not to sue.