#7: Prince – Sign “O” the Times (1987)

Hi. Here at Pierce’s Press I take a look at bloated, self-indulgent, expansive double albums and gleefully trim it back to a single, dreck-free, no filler, concise, listenable record without having to reach for the skip button or needle re-positioning.

I think it may benefit some over-stuffed double albums from a little tightening up. It’s certainly the case for un-doubled #7: Prince’s Sign “O” the Times, originally conceived as a triple album, now receiving the Un-Doubled mistreatment.

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Sign Undoubled

Side One:

  1. Sign “O” the Times (4:56)
  2. U Got the Look (3:47)
  3. If I Was Your Girlfriend (5:01)
  4. The Ballad of Dorothy Parker (4:01)
  5. I Could Never Take the Place of Your Man (6:29)

Side Two:

  1. Starfish and Coffee (2:50)
  2. Slow Love (4:22)
  3. Strange Relationship (4:01)
  4. Hot Thing (5:39)
  5. Forever in My Life (3:30)

Recorded after disbanding his band The Revolution, Sign “O” the Times, the Prince fan’s Prince album, is largely the artist working solo, and while I never warmed to it, and not through a lack of trying, it’s an album now heralded a classic. I have always found the album, and the artist, a little overrated, while at the same time appreciating his significant talent (and refreshing self-deprecating humor) and certainly his gifts as a stage performer. That being said, I prefer a less over-stuffed version of this album, less filler, a tighter record. The undoubled version has jettisoned some slamming 80s party-starters such as Play in the Sunshine, Housequake and It – sport for Sly and the Family Stone back in ’71 and less fabricated, and gone are some late album ballad rockers (Adore, It’s Gonna Be a Beautiful Night and the quite good The Cross). Sign Undoubled delivers Prince’s unadulterated talent intact.

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