As with the Time’s debut album, The Time, their second album was primarily written and recorded by Prince under a pseudonym, the Starr Company. Only 13 months had passed since the release of the Time’s first record, and in that time the band had become a formidable live force, opening for Prince on his four-month-long Controversy Tour.
All six of the Time’s original members are once again credited in the album’s liner notes for creating What Time Is It?, but in reality the tracks were a collaboration between Prince and the Time’s lead singer Morris Day, who had been working together since the mid-1970s when they both performed in Grand Central. “It was Morris playing drums and me on the bass. That’s how we would make the basic track. Naked,” Prince told Ebony in 2015. “Just like that, and nobody would know. And then when you put the keys on it and the guitar, then that’s what the Time was. And it was perfect.”
In addition to Morris Day on vocals, the second Time album also features spoken-word cameos by the members of Vanity 6, who Prince was developing as another protegé act, on the songs “The Walk” and “Wild and Loose,” and Jesse Johnson plays guitar on “Gigolos Get Lonely Too.” Shortly after What Time Is It? was released in August 1982, the Time and Vanity joined Prince on the road for his 1999 Tour, which was referred to by fans as the “Triple Threat Tour.”
I hadn’t heard ‘The Walk’ in ages. It’s like you can’t believe that you did it. I don’t even know how it’s possible. That can never be duplicated again. It was a time period. ”
Prince, Ebony, 2015
What Time Is It? Album Credits
Morris Day vocals, drums Prince background vocals and all instruments Vanity 6 spoken vocals Jesse Johnson guitar