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|Single by The Time|
|from the album What Time Is It?|
|B-side||"Grace" (7" single)
"The Walk" (12" single)
|Released||July 6, 1982|
|Recorded||Minneapolis, Minnesota, May/June 1982|
|Length||7" edit: 3:28
|Producer(s)||Morris Day, Prince (as The Starr ★ Company)|
|The Time singles chronology|
"777-9311" is the second track and lead single from The Time's second album, What Time Is It?. Recorded for the album at Prince's home studio in May–June 1982, the song was produced, arranged, composed and performed by Prince with Morris Day later adding his lead vocals.
The funky song opens with a drum machine beat, adds guitar, live playing on the cymbals and finally the bass and keyboards. A similar extended version of this occurs after the main lyrics, but starts with the bass and also includes a lengthy rock guitar solo. The bass is truly the "star" of this song, and Prince has remarked that this is one of his signature basslines, remarking no one can play the line like himself. He also said the same about the bassline of "Let's Work". Despite the song being performed nearly entirely by Prince, Day calls out "Terry" before the bass solo. The drum beat is also notable for its intricately programmed hi-hat pattern and its off-beat snare, utilizing an on-beat clap during the choruses and outro.
The U.S. 7" single was backed with a non-album track, "Grace", which is a mock-interview between a cocky Day and an interviewer named Bridgette, who Day keeps referring to as "Grace". Bridgette is played by Vanity. The 12" single was backed with "The Walk", where Morris also banters with Vanity and calls her "Grace", though it's not known if it is meant to be the reporter once again.
"777-9311" reached number two on the R&B charts and number 88 on the pop charts. It is one of The Time's signature numbers and is played at nearly all of their concerts. A live version of the song recorded in concert, 1998 segues from "Get It Up" and was included on Day's 2004 album, It's About Time.
Appearances in other media
- Rapper 2Pac sampled "777-9311" in his song "Whatz Ya Phone #?" from the album All Eyez On Me.
- Rapper Sir Mix-A-Lot's 1989 single "Beepers", from his album Seminar, refers to this track; during a breakdown, a simulated SkyPager operator says "you wish to send message, 777-9311, enter numeric message or press the pound key now."
- Rapper Kutt Calhoun referenced this song on "School Daze" from the album Feature Presentation.
- Rapper / producer Madlib referenced this song on "Pillz", the b-side from the 12" single "McNasty Filth" by Jaylib from the album Champion Sound.
- MC Common referenced the number "777-9311" in his song "Puppy Chow" from the album Can I Borrow a Dollar?.
- Gospel artist J Moss samples this song as the backing track for his single "Dance" featuring Kirk Franklin.
- Rapper Andre Nickatina referenced this number on "Upgrade Call" from the album Horns and Halos.
- Rapper Shortyo referenced this number in his song "Call Me" on the album King Of The Kounty.