50 great things about Prince's 'Sign O' The Times'

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Well, if Tusk can have such a thread, then I can't see why this masterpiece shouldn't.

1. The beginning of the album - drum machine, then *snare* "AW YEAH!"

But... could you imagine a formation in your lemonade? Ho! (Turrican), Wednesday, 11 May 2016 20:50 (four years ago) link

2. The backwards snare in 'Starfish and Coffee', which pans from speaker to speaker.

But... could you imagine a formation in your lemonade? Ho! (Turrican), Wednesday, 11 May 2016 20:51 (four years ago) link

3. The Joni Mitchell namecheck in "The Ballad of Dorothy Parker"

Iago Galdston, Wednesday, 11 May 2016 20:54 (four years ago) link

4. what silence looks like

Οὖτις, Wednesday, 11 May 2016 20:58 (four years ago) link

5. the synth cluster in "it"

HYPERLINK TO RAP GENIUS (BradNelson), Wednesday, 11 May 2016 20:59 (four years ago) link

6. how "i could never take the place of your man" feels like the shortest 6 minutes and 30 seconds in recorded history

HYPERLINK TO RAP GENIUS (BradNelson), Wednesday, 11 May 2016 21:00 (four years ago) link

6. Lisa plays the Fairlight sitar

Οὖτις, Wednesday, 11 May 2016 21:01 (four years ago) link

okay fine 7.

Οὖτις, Wednesday, 11 May 2016 21:01 (four years ago) link

8. The out of sync backing vocal on "Forever in my Life"

Οὖτις, Wednesday, 11 May 2016 21:02 (four years ago) link

9. "DRUMMER, DRUMMER! DO YOUR THING!"

But... could you imagine a formation in your lemonade? Ho! (Turrican), Wednesday, 11 May 2016 21:03 (four years ago) link

10. The little "brrrrrimg" before the telephone rings in "Dorothy Parker"

thom yorke state of mind (voodoo chili), Wednesday, 11 May 2016 21:04 (four years ago) link

*brrrrrring

thom yorke state of mind (voodoo chili), Wednesday, 11 May 2016 21:05 (four years ago) link

11. The vocal harmonies at the end of 'The Cross'

But... could you imagine a formation in your lemonade? Ho! (Turrican), Wednesday, 11 May 2016 21:05 (four years ago) link

11. The abrupt modulation on "next time I'll do it soooonnneeeerrrr" on "Dorothy Parker"

thom yorke state of mind (voodoo chili), Wednesday, 11 May 2016 21:05 (four years ago) link

13. the alarm clock at the beginning of "Starfish and Coffee"

Οὖτις, Wednesday, 11 May 2016 21:06 (four years ago) link

*12

thom yorke state of mind (voodoo chili), Wednesday, 11 May 2016 21:06 (four years ago) link

14. "BULLSHIT...I MEAN REALLY!"

thom yorke state of mind (voodoo chili), Wednesday, 11 May 2016 21:06 (four years ago) link

15. "pleeeeaaahehehease!"

But... could you imagine a formation in your lemonade? Ho! (Turrican), Wednesday, 11 May 2016 21:09 (four years ago) link

16. The synth toms in the instrumental break on 'It'

But... could you imagine a formation in your lemonade? Ho! (Turrican), Wednesday, 11 May 2016 21:11 (four years ago) link

17. thrilling solo during break in "play in the sunshine"

veronica moser, Wednesday, 11 May 2016 21:12 (four years ago) link

17. Prince's self-harmonies on "Strange Relationship"

thom yorke state of mind (voodoo chili), Wednesday, 11 May 2016 21:12 (four years ago) link

19. "Yeah, let me get a fruit cocktail, I ain't 2 hungry"

But... could you imagine a formation in your lemonade? Ho! (Turrican), Wednesday, 11 May 2016 21:18 (four years ago) link

20. those two huge snare hits at 2:00 in "the cross"

fact checking cuz, Wednesday, 11 May 2016 21:23 (four years ago) link

21. "crucial!"

fact checking cuz, Wednesday, 11 May 2016 21:24 (four years ago) link

22. "if it's a boy"

fact checking cuz, Wednesday, 11 May 2016 21:25 (four years ago) link

23. "When you smiiile, when you smiiile, when you SMIIILE... how your smile's... how your smile's for me"

But... could you imagine a formation in your lemonade? Ho! (Turrican), Wednesday, 11 May 2016 21:31 (four years ago) link

24. "what's this strange relationship-ship-ship-ship"

The burrito of ennui (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Wednesday, 11 May 2016 21:35 (four years ago) link

25. "Let's get outta here" "Yeah"

piscesx, Wednesday, 11 May 2016 21:39 (four years ago) link

25. "Silly, no?"

piscesx, Wednesday, 11 May 2016 21:39 (four years ago) link

oops 26.

27. blast of wedding march organ at start of IIWYG

piscesx, Wednesday, 11 May 2016 21:40 (four years ago) link

28. The way the acoustic guitar comes in for the last few seconds of 'Forever In My Life', which up to that point is so spare arrangement-wise that you really notice it when it happens.

But... could you imagine a formation in your lemonade? Ho! (Turrican), Wednesday, 11 May 2016 21:41 (four years ago) link

29. The sound of the electric guitar in "The Cross," which Eric Weisbard once wrote rocks like '80s Lou Reed.

The burrito of ennui (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Wednesday, 11 May 2016 21:42 (four years ago) link

30. "Til a gorilla falls off the wall"

piscesx, Wednesday, 11 May 2016 21:43 (four years ago) link

31. the very idea that you can take a bath with someone else, so long as you leave your pants on, when you're kinda going with someone.

piscesx, Wednesday, 11 May 2016 21:44 (four years ago) link

32. The spooky detuned DX synths in "If I Was Ur Girlfriend"

Acid Hose (Capitaine Jay Vee), Wednesday, 11 May 2016 21:46 (four years ago) link

33. "Would U let me wash UR hair? Could I make U breakfast sometime? Well, then could we just hang out, I mean, could we GO 2 A MOVIE and CRRYYYHYHYHY 2gether?"

But... could you imagine a formation in your lemonade? Ho! (Turrican), Wednesday, 11 May 2016 21:50 (four years ago) link

34. The way the bass plays off the lead hook of 'I Could Never Take The Place Of Your Man', during the "BABY, DON'T WAAAASTE YOUR TIME" part.

But... could you imagine a formation in your lemonade? Ho! (Turrican), Wednesday, 11 May 2016 21:59 (four years ago) link

35. "Did I say an hour? My face is red. I stand corrected."

woof, Wednesday, 11 May 2016 22:00 (four years ago) link

36. Sheena Easton being quite good.

piscesx, Wednesday, 11 May 2016 22:05 (four years ago) link

37. "GROOVE! UH!"

But... could you imagine a formation in your lemonade? Ho! (Turrican), Wednesday, 11 May 2016 22:08 (four years ago) link

38. Prince playing out his James Brown fantasies on 'It's Gonna Be A Beautiful Night'

But... could you imagine a formation in your lemonade? Ho! (Turrican), Wednesday, 11 May 2016 22:12 (four years ago) link

39. "...well, maybe not the ride"

Master of Treacle, Wednesday, 11 May 2016 22:13 (four years ago) link

38. Acoustic guitar sting during the fade of Forever in My Life

MatthewK, Wednesday, 11 May 2016 22:16 (four years ago) link

40. Prince's cousin developing a smack habit mere months after smoking weed for the first time. Well, that escalated quickly!

But... could you imagine a formation in your lemonade? Ho! (Turrican), Wednesday, 11 May 2016 22:22 (four years ago) link

lol

Οὖτις, Wednesday, 11 May 2016 22:23 (four years ago) link

41. Prince watching the news and reading papers.

The burrito of ennui (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Wednesday, 11 May 2016 22:26 (four years ago) link

31 wins this walking away

Iago Galdston, Wednesday, 11 May 2016 22:30 (four years ago) link

42. "ONE TWO ONE WOOO!" at the very end of I Could Never Take the Place of Your Man

thom yorke state of mind (voodoo chili), Wednesday, 11 May 2016 22:32 (four years ago) link

43. GREEN EGGS AND HAM!

thom yorke state of mind (voodoo chili), Wednesday, 11 May 2016 22:33 (four years ago) link

44. The piercing shrieks in 'Hot Thing', which make Prince sound like he's auditioning to be the lead vocalist for a grindcore band.

But... could you imagine a formation in your lemonade? Ho! (Turrican), Wednesday, 11 May 2016 22:42 (four years ago) link

I haven't seen this since we threw out our VCR (we had a VHS copy) so I'm pretty excited to hear that my Twin Peaks:the Return-motivated Showtime subscription comes w this bonus

Οὖτις, Wednesday, 23 August 2017 19:46 (two years ago) link

I don't understand why that article calls the SotT movie "rare" and "out of circulation"? It's been reissued on Bluray which is pretty easy to find, or at least it was when I bought it a couple of years ago. Great concert movie anyway, all the little stories that come with each song's performance are neat, and the choreography is gorgeous. And it has that massive Sheila E drum solo, my favourite part!

Tuomas, Wednesday, 23 August 2017 21:26 (two years ago) link

it is not available in America

Οὖτις, Wednesday, 23 August 2017 21:27 (two years ago) link

multi-format copies of it on Amazon are currently $175

Οὖτις, Wednesday, 23 August 2017 21:28 (two years ago) link

Oh, that's weird. Why would they reissue it in Europe but not the US?

Tuomas, Wednesday, 23 August 2017 21:35 (two years ago) link

some rights dispute, I assume. bigger Euro market, who knows

Οὖτις, Wednesday, 23 August 2017 21:37 (two years ago) link

Forget it Shakes, it's Paisley Park.

to fly across the city and find Aerosmith's car (C. Grisso/McCain), Wednesday, 23 August 2017 21:59 (two years ago) link

[snips nostril]

attention vampire (MatthewK), Wednesday, 23 August 2017 22:02 (two years ago) link

There's a Japanese Blu-Ray you can get for about $50 which is Region A, meaning it will play on standard US players.

Here you go.

grawlix (unperson), Wednesday, 23 August 2017 22:39 (two years ago) link

80. The way "I Could Never Take the Place of Your Man" takes a curve from 80s New Wave pop into an early 70s "Can't You Hear Me Knocking"/Traffic blues rock jam, from which it only returns for a very brief instrumental reprise of the first part of the song, then out.

― Hare in the Gated Snare (James Redd and the Blecchs), Wednesday, July 6, 2016 1:23 AM (one year ago) Bookmark Flag Post Permalink

Yes, with a screaaaaaaaaam.

That's my favorite song on this. It has a good message too -- don't lead on single mothers looking for companionship when you're out at the bar on a lonely friday night.

Treeship, Thursday, 24 August 2017 01:12 (two years ago) link

Region 2 DVD available for as little as £3.36 - multi-region DVD players are CHEAP

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Prince-Sign-O-Times-DVD/dp/B0009PZ89E/ref=sr_1_1?s=dvd&ie=UTF8&qid=1503572329&sr=1-1&keywords=sign+o+the+times

Gulley Jimson (Ward Fowler), Thursday, 24 August 2017 11:01 (two years ago) link

yeah I had that dvd and... gave it away :O

quite a few dvd players can be made multi region using a universal remote (or another customizable ir-transmitter, some old phones can be used)

niels, Thursday, 24 August 2017 11:36 (two years ago) link

Until Youtube just started putting up Prince videos, I had never seen the video for Sign O The Times before, so I didn't realize that Prince was somewhat responsible for the birth of the lyric video.

MarkoP, Thursday, 24 August 2017 14:39 (two years ago) link

six months pass...

movie news

PSA: Sign O’ The Times is on Amazon Prime.

— Chris McKay (@buddboetticher) March 10, 2018

ice cream social justice (Dr Morbius), Monday, 12 March 2018 18:08 (two years ago) link

If only Stop Making Sense had plasma ball interludes, then it might be as good as Sign O' The Times.

Mungolian Jerryset (bendy), Monday, 12 March 2018 18:16 (two years ago) link

Also, the outfits in the So'TT film have held up better than Purple Rain.

Mungolian Jerryset (bendy), Monday, 12 March 2018 18:18 (two years ago) link

two years pass...

Um...holy shit.

https://pbs.twimg.com/media/EZM5i3CXkAA3Dbm.jpg

but also fuck you (unperson), Friday, 29 May 2020 18:14 (one month ago) link

Oh man I needed this.

lukas, Friday, 29 May 2020 18:18 (one month ago) link

This is my favorite album so I guess I have to get the big box.

lukas, Friday, 29 May 2020 18:19 (one month ago) link

I need to know what's in the box but yeah, I'm definitely buying some version of this.

but also fuck you (unperson), Friday, 29 May 2020 18:20 (one month ago) link

Presumably the big box will include all the stuff that ended up on Crystal Ball + B sides and unreleased tracks from that era + the movie? It's easy to imagine all that measuring to 8 CDs... The 1999 box already had two CDs worth of unreleased tracks from the vaults, and AFAIK there's way more of those from the SOTT era.

Tuomas, Friday, 29 May 2020 18:44 (one month ago) link

Oh hell yes

valet doberman (Jon not Jon), Friday, 29 May 2020 23:06 (one month ago) link

ALERT ALERT partial tracklist

fucking hell, the end of music, ciao pic.twitter.com/Giga0lLSNQ

— Boomkat.com (@boomkatonline) June 12, 2020

J. Sam, Friday, 12 June 2020 15:29 (four weeks ago) link

Why yes please.

Ned Raggett, Friday, 12 June 2020 15:41 (four weeks ago) link

That live show (12/31/87) is the one where Miles Davis appeared.

but also fuck you (unperson), Friday, 12 June 2020 15:53 (four weeks ago) link

I don't know why I want to throw more money at this when the big box will bankrupt me, but I would love standalone releases of Camille, Dream Factory, Crystal Ball...

Cow_Art, Friday, 12 June 2020 16:02 (four weeks ago) link

I’m s bit surprised that Dream Factory isn’t included within this box

gnarled and turbid sinuses (Jon not Jon), Friday, 12 June 2020 17:06 (four weeks ago) link

C U R R E N T L Y U N K N O W N

Totally different head. Totally. (Austin), Friday, 12 June 2020 17:28 (four weeks ago) link

with Australian ears I've always thought "turn on the telly" in the title track sounded slightly incongruous - like, I associate "telly" with the UK and feel the US is more of a "teevee" kinda place - or is this just the result of over-reductive generalising

sorry for this monumentally inconsequential q but every time I listen to this it makes me curious and I will never find a better place to make the enquiry

umsworth (emsworth), Friday, 12 June 2020 20:14 (four weeks ago) link

It's always stuck out for me, too. A weird affectation. It's not like saying "telly" instead of "TV" changes the flow of the line in any way.

but also fuck you (unperson), Friday, 12 June 2020 20:18 (four weeks ago) link

Well, fwiw, he was coming off the Parade tour through Europe, maybe that had something to do with it.

I listen to the fan remastered Sign-era box all the time, this will be great. I'm beginning to sense a pattern: release a deluxe edition of a Prince masterpiece, then a bunch of shitty stuff from the 90s and beyond, then a deluxe masterpiece, then a bunch of shitty stuff, then another masterpiece ...

It's a marathon, not a sprint, I guess.

Josh in Chicago, Friday, 12 June 2020 20:22 (four weeks ago) link

One of the fondest compilations in my collection: a CD-R of those DF and CB outtakes.

TikTok to the (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Friday, 12 June 2020 20:41 (four weeks ago) link

We appear to have a formal tracklisting:

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B08BMXT2SK/ref=sr_1_4?dchild=1&keywords=prince&qid=1592933387&refinements=p_lbr_music_artists_browse-bin%3APrince%2Cp_n_date%3A1249114011&rnid=1249111011&s=music&sr=1-4

Tracks not listed in the earlier summary include "Wally," "Cosmic Day," "When the Dawn of the Morning Comes," "I Need a Man" and various others.

Ned Raggett, Tuesday, 23 June 2020 18:42 (two weeks ago) link

Sorry, bad link:

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B08BMSF4XT

but also fuck you (unperson), Tuesday, 23 June 2020 18:46 (two weeks ago) link

I listen to the fan remastered Sign-era box all the time, this will be great. I'm beginning to sense a pattern: release a deluxe edition of a Prince masterpiece, then a bunch of shitty stuff from the 90s and beyond, then a deluxe masterpiece, then a bunch of shitty stuff, then another masterpiece ...

I think this may have to do with Sony having rights to later material for years to come, where Warner's rights are going to lapse bit by bit in fairly short order. Sony can reissue all their stuff and keep it in print if there seems to be any market for it, Warner can't. (The big 1999 box seems to have gone out of print fairly quickly.)

eatandoph (Neue Jesse Schule), Tuesday, 23 June 2020 19:33 (two weeks ago) link

Great to have a "Everybody Want..." and "Cosmic Day" remastered/mastered but where is "Traffic Jam" which is ... a godlike instrumental?!?

Also - about 5 things here I never heard of before so really psyched.

SQUIRREL MEAT!! (Capitaine Jay Vee), Tuesday, 23 June 2020 19:52 (two weeks ago) link

Hoping that price comes down a little. I don't think I paid more than $65 for the 1999 CD box. This obviously has a few more discus, but feels like a big jump.

soaring skrrrtpeggios (jon /via/ chi 2.0), Tuesday, 23 June 2020 20:01 (two weeks ago) link

discs even

soaring skrrrtpeggios (jon /via/ chi 2.0), Tuesday, 23 June 2020 20:02 (two weeks ago) link

Looking at the setlist from that Paisley Park show, looks like none of the Miles Davis-featured songs are on the dvd tracklist
https://www.setlist.fm/setlist/prince/1987/paisley-park-studios-chanhassen-mn-4bd857c2.html

Chris L, Tuesday, 23 June 2020 21:43 (two weeks ago) link

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hjgKgirygjA

piscesx, Thursday, 25 June 2020 15:47 (two weeks ago) link

Looking at the setlist from that Paisley Park show, looks like none of the Miles Davis-featured songs are on the dvd tracklist

According to the press release, all the Miles live tracks are all part of a long medley - it's the last track on the DVD.

but also fuck you (unperson), Thursday, 25 June 2020 16:24 (two weeks ago) link

Fwiw, the movie is still up as a free title on Prime.

"...And the Gods Socially Distanced" (C. Grisso/McCain), Friday, 26 June 2020 18:10 (two weeks ago) link

Holy shit, "I Could Never Take the Place of Your Man" is from 1979!?

Josh in Chicago, Friday, 26 June 2020 19:28 (two weeks ago) link

Yeah that's a hell of a shocker. That and these unreleased remixes and more -- gotta say, Howe really seems like a first-rate guy to be doing this work based on the details in the answers and the clear care he's got with the material.

Ned Raggett, Friday, 26 June 2020 19:32 (two weeks ago) link

Totally makes sense in a way, I always think of it as a companion to When You Were Mine

change display name (Jordan), Friday, 26 June 2020 21:15 (two weeks ago) link

If ‘Witness For The Prosecution’ is anything to go by we’re in for a treat...

X-Prince Protégé (sonnyboy), Friday, 26 June 2020 21:19 (two weeks ago) link

Totally makes sense in a way, I always think of it as a companion to When You Were Mine

yep, and only room for one on the tight little (vinyl) album that is Dirty Mind.

No mean feat. DaBaby (breastcrawl), Friday, 26 June 2020 22:05 (two weeks ago) link


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