Why You Wanna Treat Me So Bad? is the second track on Prince's second album Prince, and, four months after the album's release, Why You Wanna Treat Me So Bad? was released as the album's second single (released in the USA and New Zealand).
Why You Wanna Treat Me So Bad? was also the b-side of Prince's first single to be released in Germany, I Wanna Be Your Lover.
In 1993, the track was included as the fifth track on Prince's first compilation album The Hits 1 (also included as the first disc of The Hits / The B-Sides).
In 2009, a rehearsal version (titled Y U Wanna Treat Me So Bad) was streamed on the website DrFunkenberry.com a day after it was recorded (recorded on 21 September 2009, and streamed on 22 September 2009); it was offered as an mp3 download for members of lotusflow3r.com the following month.
While specific recording dates for the studio version are not known, the album sessions took place from late April to late May 1979 at Alpha Studios in Burbank, California. Overdubs and mixing took place at Hollywood Sound Recorders in Los Angeles, California.