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Sign O the Times


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Audio CD, October 25, 1990
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Out-of-print in the US. 2 CD set. Warner. 1987.

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It begins with the insistent drip-drop of a sequencer and ends with some old school R&B. In between, the artist who was still calling himself Prince unfurls an encyclopedia of moods, genres, and grooves. Widely heralded as a groundbreaker in 1987, when it was released, some of the music in oh-so-'80s synths sounds a bit dated. Yet this two-CD set is clearly the sound of a performer at the height of his power. On songs like the title track, "If I Was Your Girlfriend," and the thunderous "The Cross," Prince proves why the hype was justified. --Amy Linden

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Songs from this album are available to purchase as MP3s. Click on "Buy MP3" or view the MP3 Album.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         

Samples
Song Title Time Price
  1. Sign 'O' The Times [Explicit] 5:02$1.29  Buy MP3 
  2. Play In The Sunshine [Explicit] 5:05$1.29  Buy MP3 
  3. Housequake [Explicit] 4:42$1.29  Buy MP3 
  4. The Ballad Of Dorothy Parker [Explicit] 3:55$1.29  Buy MP3 
  5. It [Explicit] 5:09$1.29  Buy MP3 
  6. Starfish And Coffee [Explicit] 2:50$1.29  Buy MP3 
  7. Slow Love [Explicit] 4:22$1.29  Buy MP3 
  8. Hot Thing [Explicit] 5:40$1.29  Buy MP3 
  9. Forever In My Life [Explicit] 3:30$1.29  Buy MP3 
10. U Got The Look [Explicit] 3:47$1.29  Buy MP3 
11. If I Was Your Girlfriend [Explicit] 5:01$1.29  Buy MP3 
12. Strange Relationship [Explicit] 4:01$1.29  Buy MP3 
13. I Could Never Take The Place Of Your Man [Explicit] 6:29$1.29  Buy MP3 
14. The Cross [Explicit] 4:45$1.29  Buy MP3 
15. It's Gonna Be A Beautiful Night [Explicit] 9:01$1.29  Buy MP3 
16. Adore [Explicit] 6:31$1.29  Buy MP3 

Product Details

  • Audio CD (October 25, 1990)
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Label: Warner Bros / Wea
  • ASIN: B000002LBM
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (228 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,873 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

69 of 73 people found the following review helpful By Marq on October 20, 2000
Format: Audio CD
I have no idea what the guy who called this album "Un-genius like" is talking about. The music on this album is overflowing with genius, style, and creativity. Before this album no-one had ever used a synthesizer and Linn-Drum Computer to the perfection that Prince did on the tracks "If I Was Your Girlfriend", and "The Ballad Of Dorothy Parker". The thought provoking lyrics of the title track"Sign O' The Times" and the simplicity of its music is unbelievable. "Play in the Sunshine" is a gospel meets rock and go-go track that makes u want to dance and shout. The rock guitar riffs, bass line and drum work are amazing. Its hard to belive that this is one musician playing all of the instruments. If dance tracks are what u are looking for, they are here in many forms, from "Housequake" and "Hot Thing" to "U got the Look" and "It's Gonna Be a Beautiful Night". For the rock guitar lovers u have "The Cross", and the brilliant "I Could Never Take The Place of Your Man" that will blow u away. If this is not enough....U have the most inspired ballads ever written by Prince, the peaceful "Slow Love", the marriage minded "Forever In My Life" which was used by the late John F. Kennedy Jr. at his wedding for the first dance, and the eclectic jam "Adore", which has one of the most inspired vocal performances that Prince has ever put on any album. However, the most impressive song of the set is the aforemntioned "If I Was Your Girlfriend" which has the most complex lyrical content I have ever heard. The song shows a man's vulnerabilty when it comes to love, and the way in which he wants to give his woman everything, while being her everything.Read more ›
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17 of 17 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on May 27, 1998
Format: Audio CD
Sign O The Times came to us by chance. Originally titled Crystal Ball (not quite the same as the current CD with the same name), but what we got was something unexpected. The first album after the breakup of The Revolution, it contains everything from Rock (Play in the Sunshine and Title Track), pure pop (U GOt The Look), sensual ballads that would put Luther in jail (Adore, If I Was Your Girlfriend) and funk (Housequake, It, Hot Thing) and somethings we've never heard before (Forever In My Life). "The Ballad of Dorothy Parker" was actually recorded with a mix of error. Engineer Susan Rogers recorded Prince with only half the mixing board up and running, but the results were fresh and original. Most all hardcore Prince fans will always list Sign as one of their favorite albums. Purple Rain is for those who like top 40 radio, as is 1999. Sign is for those who want to go deeper.
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24 of 26 people found the following review helpful By Ronald M Washington on August 12, 2004
Format: Audio CD
Ok. The age old question: What IS Prince's best album? Sign 'O The Times or Purple Rain? I personally would throw in 1999 in that question too. Well to answer that you probably should look at it the same way that we look at Stevie wonder's Songs In The Key Of Life and Innervisions. Songs is Stevie's most important work for MUSIC. Innervisions is his PERSONAL best. Therefore I feel Sign is the Purple One's most important work for music and Purple Rain is his personal best. Why? "Sign" bashes down musical doors just as "Songs" did 11 years earlier. And, as with "Innervisions", "Purple" has better all around song writing and energy to it. Enough of the comparison, you should have BOTH CD anyway! On with my review. Because this is a double disc, reviewing all of the songs in 1000 or less is impossible so I'll stick with what I feel are the best songs.
Sign 'O The Times: A slow, purculating classic. Prince sings of all of the maddness going on in the world today and how things seem to be getting worse. "September my cousin tried refer for the very first time, now he's doing horse. It's June". It's a great opening for a the masterpiece that is to follow. Housequake: One of the tightest jams he's ever done, and he's done MANY! This song started so many parties it's amazing! It's Prince as both jokester and funkster. AllI can say is "Shut Up already, DAMN"! It: This is the hottest, sweatest sexiest song every. It is, well, IT!!. It's minimalist musicwise, not a whole lot of instramentation or anything but that's the point. Sex and sexual lust is not complicated or multilayered. It's pretty straight and simple. Just like this great song. A must hear. Starfish and Coffee: Prince snd Stevie Wonder were compared when Prince was just starting off.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By AriesSpaceboy on February 13, 2006
Format: Audio CD
The album "Sign `o' the Times" by Prince is one of my ALL-TIME favorites. Not many people I encounter know anything about this CD and that is beyond shameful because they are missing out on one of the trippiest and most joyful musical experiences known to mankind. HOW'S THAT FOR HYPERBOLE?

Let's break it down....

01) SIGN `O' THE TIMES: This is a fantastic slow and spooky funk tune that waxes philosophical about such society ills as aids, gang violence, drugs, hurricanes, murders, poverty, war and even space shuttle explosions. Much like John Lennon's song "Imagine", this tune is just as relevant in 2006 as it was when originally released.

02) PLAY IN THE SUNSHINE: This is one of my fave Prince tunes ever. Musically, it sounds like a psychedelic gospel rave up and lyrically, it is all about trippin' on a natural high. FANTASTIC TRACK!

03) HOUSEQUAKE: Prince brings the fun big time with this tune. A mixture of James Brown, hip-hop and euro-dance-pop; HOUSEQUAKE is like nothing you've ever heard...and who else but Prince in his prime would toss out a "Green Eggs and Ham" reference in the middle of a mad-funky throw down?

04) THE BALLAD OF DOROTHY PARKER: This is a mellow funk groove that plays like a collaboration between Sly Stone and Joni Mitchell. I kid you not!

05) IT: After four fantastic tunes in a row, you'll be thinking "Man, this album is pure genius" but then comes this song. The only bleak spot on an otherwise exceptional album. "IT" is a meandering bit of danceable filler. Prince released a single b-side from this same period called "Shockadelica" that would have been much better in this position on the album.
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