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Prince - Sign “O” the Times (1986)

Artist:  Prince
Title:  Sign “O” the Times
Release:  1986
Format:  2 LP
Label:  Paisley Park Records
Catalog#  925577-1

Sign “O” the Times, is the ninth studio album by American recording artist Prince. It was Prince’s first “solo” album following his departure from The Revolution; the symbol between the quotes is a peace sign. The album’s music draws on funk, soul, psychedelic pop, and rock music. “Sign o’ the Times” features lyrical themes such as the depressing state of the world in the title track, gender identity/androgyny in “If I Was Your Girlfriend”, party funk in “Housequake”, sexual lust in “It”, replacing a loved one in “I Could Never Take the Place of Your Man”, and spiritual enlightenment in “The Cross”. The album also had an accompanying concert film of the same name. Two of the album’s songs were first recorded in 1982: “Strange Relationship” and “I Could Never Take the Place of Your Man”. Prince did additional work on both for their placement on the Dream Factory project and involved the “Wendy & Lisa” partnership of Wendy Melvoin and Lisa Coleman on the former. When the project was canceled, “Strange Relationship” was further updated for Camille. The remaining tracks were recorded between March and December 1986. The surviving Camille tracks feature a playful sped-up vocal. “U Got the Look” was also recorded in this manner, though it was not intended for the Camille album.
The double album was Prince’s most diverse album to date, featuring a wide array of musical styles rock, pop, soul and funk with various cues taken from dance, electronic, and jazz styles as well. The album marked a return to Prince’s self-contained recording process, with the artist performing and arranging nearly all the album’s music single-handedly. As a result, many of the tracks have a sparer, more funk-oriented, and at times, more electronic feel than Prince’s previous few records recorded with The Revolution. In addition to the album’s eclecticism, many critics have identified the record as one of Prince’s most adventurous, with radically minimalist, experimental arrangements on songs like “Housequake”, “The Ballad of Dorothy Parker”, and “Forever in My Life”.

Side one
1.  Sign o’ the Times  (4:57)
2.  Play in the Sunshine  (5:05)
3.  Housequake  (4:42)
4.  The Ballad of Dorothy Parker  (4:01)

Side two
1.  It  (5:09)
2.  Starfish and Coffee  (2:50)
3.  Slow Love  (4:22)
4.  Hot Thing  (5:39)
5.  Forever in My Life  (3:30)

Side three
1.  U Got the Look”  (featuring Sheena Easton)  (3:47)
2.  If I Was Your Girlfriend  (5:01)
3.  Strange Relationship  (4:01)
4.  I Could Never Take the Place of Your Man  (6:29)

Side four
1.  The Cross  (4:48)
2.  It’s Gonna Be a Beautiful Night  (9:01)
3.  Adore  (6:30)

available at: http://www.ad-vinylrecords.com

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