Wally is a song originally recorded on 28 December 1986 at Prince’s Galpin Blvd Home Studio in Chanhassen, Minnesota (two days after finishing a three-month stay in Los Angeles by recording Ponyride).
The song was first recorded as a piano demo titled Babyless and borrows lyrics from the 1983 unreleased track Billy.
After finishing the song, Prince ordered engineer Susan Rogers to erase all channels on the 24-stem recording, against her pleas not to. A new version for which Eric Leeds and Atlanta Bliss added horns, was then recorded two days afterwards.
The original version was a solo recording dealing with Prince’s break-up with Susannah Melvoin, and thanking Wally Safford for being his friend. Allegedly he felt the song was too personal, however, and kept adding layers of percussion and changing the feel of the track.
The song is not known to have been considered for inclusion on any configuration of Sign O’ The Times or any other project at the time. In September 2020, the re-recorded version was released as the fifth track of Vault Tracks part 3, one of the discs with previously unreleased tracks included with the Sign O’ The Times Super Deluxe Edition.