The song is pop/rock-based number that tells the story of spiritual enlightenment and of Prince's decision to marry Mayte Garcia. The mid-tempo number is based around a guitar melody without a chorus. The song climaxes in a searing guitar solo.
The UK CD single was released as a two separate discs which fit in a double jewel case that was included with the first disc. Both discs had different picture sleeves and different contents, other than a "radio edit" of "The Holy River" and edit of "Somebody's Somebody" (also from Emancipation). Disc one also included two remixes of "Somebody's Somebody": a "Livestudio Mix" and an "Ultrafantasy Edit". Both were mostly re-recorded versions of the song with additional lyrics. Disc 2 included the previously released "The Most Beautiful Girl in the World (Mustang Mix)" and a one-minute commercial called "On Sale Now!". The UK cassette single was the same as disc 2, but without "On Sale Now".
A US promotional release was sent to Pop radio stations at the same time as "Somebody's Somebody" was sent to Urban radio stations, it was also made available to consumers for free, and only through book chain, Borders Music. It was a cassette single with the previously unreleased "Welcome 2 the Dawn", advertised as being from the upcoming album The Dawn. In reality, the song was later released on The Truth. A music video for the single was produced.
|U.S. BillboardHot 100 Airplay||58|
|U.S. BillboardMainstream Top 40||19|
|U.S. BillboardHot Adult Top 40 Tracks||31|
|The Holy River/Somebody's Somebody (1997)||Peak
|UK Singles Chart||19|