Sign o’ the Times:30
Play in the Sunshine:30
The Ballad of Dorothy Parker:30
Starfish and Coffee:30
Forever in My Life:30
U Got the Look:30
If I Was Your Girlfriend:30
I Could Never Take the Place of Your Man:30
It's Gonna Be a Beautiful Night:30
New musical ideas were pouring out of Prince at a feverish rate in 1986, and he was clearly restless and hungry for a fresh approach to making art. Within the span of a few months he began working on a new album with the Revolution, Dream Factory; disbanded that influential group; recorded tracks for an unrelated album under his alterego, Camille, and a triple album, Crystal Ball; and started dabbling with a jazz side project known as Madhouse.
It’s no wonder that Sign o’ the Times, released in 1987, ended up as a double album with 16 radically different tracks — it captured Prince in a moment of peak productivity, his creative tap flowing at full blast.
Sign o’ the Times, made after the Revolution’s breakup, remains his best album, the most complete example of his artistry’s breadth, and arguably the finest album of the 1980s.”
Michaelangelo Matos, Rolling Stone Album Guide, 2004
As the title suggests, Sign o’ the Times is deeply rooted in a cultural and social moment, and the lyrics on the album veer into apocalyptic territory, contemplating the ongoing threat of AIDS, nuclear war, poverty, and the drug epidemic on a country that seemed to be living under an ominous cloud. And yet the dark undertones are balanced with moments of levity — the irresistible hooks of “Housequake,” the pure innocence of “Starfish and Coffee” — reminding listeners that even the most oppressive times should be confronted with dancing and laughter.
The album is a one-man show, a tour de force, and a confirmation that pop's former prodigy has come of age.”
Don McLeese, Chicago Sun-Times, 1987
Sign o’ the Times was one of the most critically acclaimed albums of the 1980s, with both the album and the title track topping the Village Voice critics’ poll “Pazz & Jop.” Three of the album’s singles — “Sign o’ the Times,” “I Could Never Take the Place of Your Man,” and “U Got the Look,” featuring Sheena Easton — landed in the top 10 of the Billboard charts, making it his most commercially triumphant album since Purple Rain. The release of the album was accompanied by a massive tour across Europe with Prince’s new band, led by musical director Sheila E., and the intensity of those live performances was captured in the 1987 concert film Sign o’ the Times.
Sign o' the Times established Prince as the greatest rock and roll musician of the era — as singer-guitarist-hooksmith-beatmaster, he has no peer.”
Robert Christgau, Village Voice, 1988
Sign o' the Times Album Credits
Prince vocals and various instruments Wendy Melvoin backing vocals, guitar Miko Weaver guitar Lisa Colman backing vocals, sitar, wooden flute, keyboards Dr. Fink keyboards Sheila E. drums, percussion Bobby Z. drums BrownMark bass Eric Leeds saxophone Atlanta Bliss trumpet Clare Fischer string arrangements Jill Jones vocals Sheena Easton vocals Susannah Melvoin backing vocals Greg Brooks backing vocals Wally Safford backing vocals Jerome Benton backing vocals