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Sign O’ The Times

Warner Bros. Records

Prince isn’t a star, he’s an event.

The release of Sign O’ The Times marks Prince’s first album since his disbanding of the Revolution in October 1986 – the result of which triggering much of the content to be reworked, although members of the Revolution still feature in the final configuration of the album (and entirely on It’s Gonna Be a Beautiful Night – their final recording as a group).

In 1986 Prince planned to release an 18-track double album named Dream Factory, which later that year became an 8 track album named Camille. In early 1987 its configuration evolved into a 22-track triple album and was again renamed, Crystal Ball, and with all the songs credited to Prince but under the pseudonym Camille. When passing it to Warner Brothers they however felt that the scale proposed for the release would be better reduced to a double album and the short listed songs formed this yet again renamed project, Sign O’ The Times (stylized as Sign “☮” the Times).

Sign O’ The Times has since become Prince’s most critically acclaimed work, but sold just 1.8 million copies in the US and 1.3 million elsewhere. It is certified Platinum by the RIAA and is ranked by The Times newspaper at number 23 in their list of top albums of all time. Part of tour supporting it was filmed for the concert movie Sign O’ The Times, with extra scenes filmed at his newly completed and personal studio complex Paisley Park, formerly, ‘The Warehouse’.

Performers

All Instruments
Prince
Drums
Bobby Z. It's Gonna Be A Beautiful Night
Guitar
Wendy Melvoin Slow Love
Miko Weaver It's Gonna Be A Beautiful Night
Keyboards
Lisa Coleman It's Gonna Be A Beautiful Night
Matt "Dr." Fink It's Gonna Be A Beautiful Night
Bass Guitar
Brownmark It's Gonna Be A Beautiful Night
Percussion
Shelia E. It's Gonna Be A Beautiful Night, U Got The Look
Saxophone
Eric Leeds
Trumpet
Matthew Blistan "Atlanta Bliss"

Data

Producer
Prince
Label
Paisley Park Records
Distributor
Warner Bros. Records
Cover Art
Jeff Katz and Laura LiPuma
Released
31 years ago, on 30 March 1987
Running Time
79:58
US Chart Peak
6
UK Chart Peak
4
Prince Album
#9

Tracklist

Disk 1

  1. Sign O' The Times (5:02) 1
  2. Play In The Sunshine (5:05)
  3. Housequake [Prince as Camille] (4:38)
  4. The Ballad of Dorothy Parker (4:04)
  5. It (5:10)
  6. Starfish And Coffee (2:51) 2
  7. Slow Love (4:18) 3
  8. Hot Thing (5:39)
  9. Forever In My Life (3:38)
Running Time
39:33

Disk 2

  1. U Got The Look [Prince as Camille; duet with Sheena Easton] (3:58) 1
  2. If I Was Your Girlfriend [Prince as Camille] (4:54) 1
  3. Strange Relationship [Prince as Camille] (4:04)
  4. I Could Never Take The Place Of Your Man (6:31) 1
  5. The Cross (4:46)
  6. It's Gonna Be A Beautiful Night [feat. Jill Jones and Susannah Melvoin] (8:59)
  7. Adore (6:29) 4
Running Time
30:15

1 Released as singles.
2 Co-written with Susannah Melvoin.
3 Co-written with Carole Davis.
4 Co-written with Dr. Fink and Eric Leeds.

Singles from Sign O’ The Times

Sign O' The Times single from Sign O’ The Times

Sign O' The Times

Paisley Park Records

Released
18 February 1987
US Chart Peak
3
UK Chart Peak
10
  1. Sign O' The Times [Edit] (3:42)
  2. La La La, He He Hee (3:21)
If I Was Your Girlfriend single from Sign O’ The Times

If I Was Your Girlfriend

Paisley Park Records

Released
6 May 1987
US Chart Peak
67
UK Chart Peak
20
  1. If I Was Your Girlfriend [Edit] (3:46)
  2. Shockadelica (3:30)
U Got The Look single from Sign O’ The Times

U Got The Look

Paisley Park Records

Released
14 July 1987
US Chart Peak
2
UK Chart Peak
1
  1. U Got The Look [duet with Sheena Easton] (3:58)
  2. Housequake (3:24)
I Could Never Take The Place Of Your Man single from Sign O’ The Times

I Could Never Take The Place Of Your Man

Paisley Park Records

Released
3 November 1987
US Chart Peak
29
UK Chart Peak
10
  1. I Could Never Take The Place Of Your Man [Edit] (3:39)
  2. Hot Thing (3:40)

Supporting tour

Sign O’ The Times Tour

Sign O’ The Times Tour

1987

Sign O’ The Times – review

Sign O’ The Times provides Prince the pinnacle point of his music making career. This double album, Prince’s second, contains his most diverse work of which is really comprises his unsurpassed masterpiece. Will Prince ever emulate it? Could he? I risk discrediting this entire website had I not rained on this album considerable paeans of praise and thankfully bucketing heaps of much approval on this album could not be more easier a task. The lyrics to the title track are a work of art, serving as the quintessential time capsule of social commentary to modern day woes. Immerse yourself into the beat of It, the power of The Cross, the pop of U Got The Look, the smoothness of The Ballad Of Dorothy Parker, the thoroughly electric Housequake, the sweetness of Adore, the energy of Hot Thing and end with the amazing crescendo of I Could Never Take The Place Of Your Man. There are too many favorites to list here but save If I was Your Girlfriend until the early hours: listen to it loud and in complete darkness and discover its majesty. That’s not even the half of it. Sign O’ The Times is a mature, thoughtful and majestic tour de force of an album, which from the first and haunting notes cuts so deep into your soul if this is the last album you ever here your exploration is complete. To put it simply Sign O’ The Times is Prince’s finest achievement.

Sign O’ The Times

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