Prince was a creative volcano during the time he created this song. After completing a tour for his fourth album, Controversy
, in March 1982, he set to work on 1999
, but also produced albums for The Time (What Time Is It?
) and for the female trio he put together, Vanity 6. Those albums were released in the summer, and in September, "1999" was released as a single. The album followed a month later, and in November, he launched a tour. By the end of the tour in April 1983, the second single, "Little Red Corvette
," was climbing the charts and his videos were getting airplay on MTV. With 1999
on its way to selling over 4 million copies, Prince had crossed the threshold into superstardom.