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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Album That Confirmed A Genius As A Legend
As 1987 approached, Prince, the singer/songwriter/producer/musician who had hit the big-time with 'Purple Rain' in 1984, was entering a period of unrivalled creativity in the history of music. After disbanding his band The Revolution, he recorded an entire triple album entitled 'Crystal Ball', among other projects, but his record company refused to release it.
So...
Published on 1 Feb 2000

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4 of 13 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Massively overrated!
I have always been a fan of Prince but had yet to catch up with this album. I decided to take the plunge and boy was it a disappointment - this album is massively overrated! It's not that it's a bad album, it's just that it's no better than any of his others - in fact I definitely prefer most of his other albums to this.

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Published on 4 April 2009 by Kamakiriad


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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Album That Confirmed A Genius As A Legend, 1 Feb 2000
By A Customer
This review is from: Sign 'o' The Times (Audio CD)
As 1987 approached, Prince, the singer/songwriter/producer/musician who had hit the big-time with 'Purple Rain' in 1984, was entering a period of unrivalled creativity in the history of music. After disbanding his band The Revolution, he recorded an entire triple album entitled 'Crystal Ball', among other projects, but his record company refused to release it.
So he went back into the studio and recorded this, including the title-track which was written and recorded in one day. As a double-album, it may not have met with the commercial success of some of his previous or subsequent albums, but it received the sort of critical praise that is reserved for only the truly great pieces of modern musical work.
He leaps from genre to genre with ease, from the prototype rap of 'Housequake' to the classic ballad 'Slow Love' and the sumptuous, gender-bending 'If I Was You Girlfriend' or the classic rock of 'The Cross' - whatever you want, it's here.
Some of the music may sound a tad dated, but the quality shines through from beginning to end. If you were looking for proof of this man's musical genius, look no further - if God made music, this is what he would make.
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20 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Sign O The Times, 13 Mar 2006
By 
Martin Hay "mnhay27" (United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Sign 'o' The Times (Audio CD)
Sign O' The Times is often praised for being Prince's most eclectic album but this is not strictly the case. In fact, if there is one consistent trait in Prince's work it is his eclecticism. What makes Sign O' The Times so great is that unlike much of his output, there is some genuine emotional expression on some of the tracks. Unlike most other song writers, Prince rarely gives anything away or allows himself to appear truly vulnerable. As a result,despite some outstanding musicianship and truly inventive composing, much of his back catalog fails to resonate on a deeper level. Sign O' The Times actually finds Prince writing about his relationships and his own place in the world and is truly richer for it.
When writing songs for this album, Prince was going through both good and bad times with Susannah Melvoin, a woman with whom he appeared to be truly in love. This relationship directly influenced two of the album's strongest, songs; "Forever In My Life" and "If I was Your Girlfriend." "Forever In My Life" finds Prince coming to terms with the idea of settling down and sharing his life with Susannah. "If I was Your Girlfriend" finds Prince admitting to feeling jealous of the close relationship Susannah shared with her sister. Lyrically "Girlfriend" is probably Prince's crowning acheivement.
The title track is a wonderfully simple and understated funk/rock number in which Prince addresses topical issues such as drugs, AIDS and the "Star Wars" program. In "The Cross" he continues to reflect upon the state of the world and shares his beleif that there is light at the end of the tunnel if one can "bear the cross." Other highlights include the dancefloor classic, "Housequake," the bluesy "Strange Relationship" and the poptastic "I Could Never Take The Place of Your Man" - which features one of the man's most outstanding guitar solo's.
It has been said many times that Sign O' The Times would have made a fantastic single album but those that take the time to truly listen will discover a truly fantastic double album. Every track has a unique charm and even the less obvious ones are growers. To take anything away would be a mistake and by today's standards it's really not that long an album (16 tracks in all). My advice is ignore the naysayers, forget the quantity and enjoy the depth.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Captures the spirit of Prince perfectly, 1 May 2009
This review is from: Sign 'o' The Times (Audio CD)
Seminal album from the Minneapolis maestro; the title track's sparse funk and the plaintive soul of 'If I was your girlfriend' form a counterpoint to the more raucous 'U Got the Look' and 'Starfish and Coffee'. This CD sees Prince at the height of his powers and apart from the spirited 'Lovesexy' he would never produce something so consistently different and consistently impressive again. If you only own one Prince/Symbol/Artist Formerly Known as album, make it this one.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Still brilliant even now, 31 Dec 2007
This review is from: Sign 'o' The Times (Audio CD)
Sign O The Times is undoubtedly Prince's finest ever work. Even now 20 years on it still sounds fresh. This is one of those rare albums that I never got bored of. Tracks like I Could Never Take The Place Of Your Man, The Cross, It's Gonna Be A Beautiful Night, Forever In My Life etc just haven't dated. The DVD of the concert tour is also worth checking out.
If you are a casual Prince fan or found some of his stuff to be a turn off then this would be a great starting point. The material is much more mature than so many of his other albums. Much of his other work contains a lot of sexual innuendo and over the top unsubtle sexual references. The stuff on Sign O The Times is more political and when he does delve into the sexual side of things it's done on a far more subtle and less "in your face" way. In 1991 Prince tried to recreate Sign O the Times with the album Diamonds and Pearls, and although it's a valiant effort it doesn't touch the brilliance of this 1987 work.
Prince has never been better than he was in '87 and it's our good fortune that he squeezed so many tracks on to this one double album. Rightly regarded as one of THE great albums of all time.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I Wouldn't Change A Thing, 19 Aug 2011
This review is from: Sign 'o' The Times (Audio CD)
If I could only have one album for the rest of my life it would be Sign O The Times.

When i first bought and listened to this album in 1987 I wasn't sure, but with every listen I loved it more. I think it's perfect with great pop songs mixed with more experimental and very personal tracks.
The title track plus If I was Your Girfriend are in my opinion his two greatest songs. It might take repeated listening but this has more depth than anything else he has released.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic but don't download from Amazon Store!, 14 July 2010
By 
Banjo "Banjo" (Newcastle-upon-Tyne) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Sign 'o' The Times (Audio CD)
Well there's not a lot to be said about this albm that hasn't been said already. Well apart from don't download it from the Amazon Store as they've swapped the album version of I Could Never Take The Place Of Your Man for the edited shorter single version! They seem to do this a lot as they've done the same with Purple Rain! Better off buying from one of the sellers or the iTunes store!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A work of a genius, 5 Jan 2009
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This review is from: Sign 'o' The Times (Audio CD)
This is one of my favourites in all categories. I don't see myself as a fan Prince's music and I actually don't own any of his other recordings, but this one is really special. This is a modern experiment stretched across two discs containing everything from hard rock, pop, blues to soul an rap. Highly recommended!
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars BELIEVE THE HYPE!, 31 July 2007
This review is from: Sign 'o' The Times (Audio CD)
OK, first some background: I first got into pop (in the sense of "popular") music back in 1985 and was turned onto Prince with Raspberry Beret which was in the charts back then.

But my full initiation into the glory that is (was?) Prince came when I got Sign "O" The Times out on loan from Woking library just after it came out back in '87 because I was curious (back then Prince was really exciting and mysterious - a true enigma!)...

Anyways, Sign "O" The Times was the first Prince album I heard and I have to say that back then my mind was totally blown by the sheer eclecticness, the sheer quirkiness, weirdness and general unconventional "otherness" (in a good way) of many of the tracks, the range of emotions covered and the genius (there is no other word!) originality of it all.

And the best thing is that even twenty years later when I dig out Sign "O" The Times, my mind is still blown!

The highlights are too numerous to mention (although "If Eye Was Ur Girlfriend" would be in my all-time top 5 tracks and sends a shiver every time!)...suffice to say that all 17 tracks are jewels (though some such as "It" and "Forever In My Life" will take time to grow on you but they will, believe me!) and if you are reading this review at all meaning that you are curious like I was back in the day, you should hesitate no more and purchase this genius work with 100% confidence and enjoy!

PS. And whilst you're about it, make sure you pick up Lovesexy, Parade: Original Soundtrack - Under the Cherry Moon, Around the World in a Day and Purple Rain because each of these albums showcase very different sides of Prince at his absolute peak and ALL of these albums are "must haves"! In fact it is hard to pick a favourite out of the lot of 'em but I have to say that Sign "O" The Times has to be Prince's crowning artistic achievement and is a genuine high-water mark in popular music!
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Prince - Sign of Times, 28 July 2004
By 
Mr. N. L. Bevan "ModBoyChester" (Chester UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Sign 'o' The Times (Audio CD)
This is Prince's finest moment of 80's & its one of those albums that sounds as if it could have been released yesterday. This is a classic and I cant figure out why its never mentioned in the alltime top tens, thats could be a brave statement you could be saying, but its one of those albums that you'll always comeback to when your bored of all todays great pretenders. I'm not usually one for highlighting standout tracks but "Hot Thing" "U Got The Look" "Housequake" and true classics and I'm pleased to say there is not one bad track to be listend 2 here.
This is Prince's Sgt Pepper !!! With James Brown Live @ The Apollo Thrown In !!!
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A truly inspirational album!, 6 Oct 2004
This review is from: Sign 'o' The Times (Audio CD)
What can I say?
Sign O' The Times. The first song and title track of the album. Instantly the baseline cathes your attention as it is played. Musically it is a song that you find yourself singing as you walk down the street. Truly great funk/pop from a funk legend. Lyrically it is even better in my opinion. The lyrics poetically describe all the current problems in the world today from drug taking, to unprotected sex, and etc. Prince is not only trying to make a record from this. He is making a point on how to live life. If the night falls and a bomb falls who will C the dawn? Truly magnificent. So true to the problems we face nowadays.
It's Gonna Be A Beautiful Night. I find this a good relaxing song. May not have the samwe content as the rest of the songs on the album but stiull a good song you can tap along with and clap your hands.
Housequake. Tied best song on the first CD with Sign O' The Times. A incomprehensably clever dance track. The quake should be played in any jam. This song allways lifts me up whenever or wherever.
The Ballad Of Dorothy Parker. Initially I didn't really like this track but it has seriously grown on me. It would grow on anyone else. Prince has allways made good ballads but isn't really recognised for that. That's a great shame. Except for power ballads like Purple Rain and The Most Beautidful Girl in the World of course. But this song is quite good. "It" was one of the most sexual songs of this CD. He seemed quite sexually frustrated through this song wanting to do "it" all the time. But he may be talking about other things than sex in this song. "It" can really mean a lot of things. But sex is really the subject he is really singing about. Starfish & Coffee is a great pop song to follow. I have noticed he allways seems to pick on the shy girls and the daring and expressive girls in most of his songs. I never knew you could eat starfish. Slow Love, Hot Thing, and Forever in My Life. A decent way to finish off the first CD of the album. Well orchestrated and fun to listen to.
The second CD is defiantely the most superb CD of the two and better than all the sogns on the first CD except for Sign O' The Times and Housequake. I love U Got The Look. Great song. Great to dance to. Sheena Easton provides good accompanying. Prince welcomes you to the worlds series of love in this song. Marvellous.
If I Was Your Girlfriend. I love this song as well. My friends all raise thier eyebrows when hearing this song but it really isn't that ambiguous as it sounds from the title. Yes, he may be showing something most men do not really show but he explains that if he was her best friend like wone of the girls than why should it matter what he does. Allthough this makes big assumptions of women that most women would initially disagree with in public, I think it is pretty true to most situations. But musically, great song. The tune floats excellantly and his high voice really is well in tune on this song.
Strange Relationship. Maybe drawing from personnal experience? A beautiful song. One of his favourites I gather from this album but with good reason. He played this again with the NPG in recent concerts. Wonderful song.
I Could Never Take The Place Of Your Man. Again drawing back to him preaching value that you should stick with your partner and not just go off with someone new whilst still with your current partner. A top class song and a wonderful up-beat song.
The Cross. Bringing religion into play. His quasi-religious nature that he exhibits in most albums seems quite orthodox here. Obviously trying to get people to see his point of view that there is another life and that we all should remember the cross. Whether you're religious or athiest shouldn't matter to much. The guitars at the very end are really powerful with the song and absolutely brilliant.
Bringing the album to a close, Gonna Be a Beautiful Night and Adore. Adore being the best out of those two I think. But these two are a even better way to finish off an album. Great songs.
Overall, Sign O' The Times is probably tied with Purple Rain to be the best Prince album ever. Seen then as a concept album back then it did quite well and really is a top class album. It may of been one of the more noticed albums of that year but it was in stiff competition.
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