Disc 01 01. "Sign o' the Times" 02. "Play in the Sunshine" 03. "Housequake" 04. "The Ballad of Dorothy Parker" 05. "It" 06. "Starfish and Coffee" 07. "Slow Love" 08. "Hot Thing" 09. "Forever in My Life"
Disc 02 01. "U Got the Look" [feat. Sheena Easton] 02. "If I Was Your Girlfriend" 03. "Strange Relationship" 04. "I Could Never Take the Place of Your Man" 05. "The Cross" 06. "It's Gonna Be a Beautiful Night" 07. "Adore"
Sign o' the Times was the result of the cancellation of two different follow-ups to the soundtrack of Under the Cherry Moon the year before: Dream Factory and Camille. The two albums were shelved following the break-up of The Revolution. Prince instead chose to combine songs from both albums, along with a selection of newly recorded tracks which led to a set of 3 LPs titled Crystal Ball. The set was significantly cut down after Parade's underperformance and renamed Sign o' the Times, resulting in Prince's most eclectic and diverse album to date.
Needless to say, Sign o' the Times is my favorite Prince album. I can never choose a favorite song, but "Adore" comes very close.
This album is damn near perfect, and it's my favorite Prince album. My favorites songs from the LP are: "The Ballad of Dorothy Parker", "Strange Relationship", "Starfish and Coffee", and "Forever in My Life"
I read that Warner really believed in the hit potential of this album and wanted to milk it by releasing a lot of singles but Prince wasn't feeling it because he had moved on musically.
Post by Glove Slap on Oct 31, 2015 13:23:10 GMT -5
My favorite Prince album, and my second favorite album of all time. Tour de force is the term most appropriate imo given that this came out of multiple projects getting condensed. There's no real cohesion other than the sheer high quality, and that's all it needs. It's one of those truly rare instances when someone offers you everything, and against all odds delivers with ease.
I love him, but I don't think he's ever released a front-to-back flawless album. He only came really close to that with Dirty Mind and Parade. I can enjoy his whole 1978-1996 output though, as even his lesser albums still have at least a few great tracks on them.
Sign is really, really good. Removing "Forever in My Life" and "It's Gonna Be a Beautiful Night" and editing "Hot Thing" and "I Could Never Take the Place of Your Man" down to around 3:30 would make it more consistent.
Key tracks are "Sign 'O' the Times", "The Ballad of Dorothy Parker", "U Got the Look", "If I Was Your Girlfriend" and "Adore".
Fearless, eclectic, and defiantly messy, Prince's Sign 'O' the Times falls into the tradition of tremendous, chaotic double albums like The Beatles, Exile on Main St., and London Calling -- albums that are fantastic because of their overreach, their great sprawl. Prince shows nearly all of his cards here, from bare-bones electro-funk and smooth soul to pseudo-psychedelic pop and crunching hard rock, touching on gospel, blues, and folk along the way. This was the first album Prince recorded without the Revolution since 1982's 1999 (the band does appear on the in-concert rave-up, "It's Gonna Be a Beautiful Night"), and he sounds liberated, diving into territory merely suggested on Around the World in a Day and Parade. While the music overflows with generous spirit, these are among the most cryptic, insular songs he's ever written. Many songs are left over from the aborted triple album Crystal Ball and the abandoned Camille project, a Prince alter ego personified by scarily sped-up tapes on "If I Was Your Girlfriend," the most disarming and bleak psycho-sexual song Prince ever wrote, as well as the equally chilling "Strange Relationship." These fraying relationships echo in the social chaos Prince writes about throughout the album. Apocalyptic imagery of drugs, bombs, empty sex, abandoned babies and mothers, and AIDS pop up again and again, yet he balances the despair with hope, whether it's God, love, or just having a good time. In its own roundabout way, Sign 'O' the Times is the sound of the late '80s -- it's the sound of the good times collapsing and how all that doubt and fear can be ignored if you just dance those problems away.