Shut up, already! Damn!
January 5, 2019 4:23 PM   Subscribe

It's an album that nearly needs no introduction -- Prince's 1987 double masterwork Sign "☮︎" The Times [YT Playlist]. Born out of abandoned projects and alter egos, the final funky rocking sexy weird release could arguably be the best album of the 80s. Side A: Sign "☮︎" The Times [video] [BONUS: Nina Simone], Play In The Sunshine, Housequake, The Ballad Of Dorothy Parker posted by hippybear (18 comments total) 46 users marked this as a favorite
 
Abandoned Projects:

Camille [which made it as far as a test pressing of the album]: Rebirth Of The Flesh, Housequake, Strange Relationship, Feel U Up, Shockdelica, Goodlove, If I Was Your Girlfriend, Rockhard In A Funky Place

Dream Factory [mastered, but abandoned after that]: Visions, Nevaeh Ni Ecalp A, Dream Factory, Train, The Ballad Of Dorothy Parker, It, Strange Relationship, Slow Love, Starfish And Coffee, Interlude, I Could Never Take The Place Of Your Man, Sign O' The Times, Crystal Ball, A Place In Heaven [BONUS: demo w/ Prince on vocal], Last Heart, Witness 4 The Prosecution*, Movie Star, The Cross, All My Dreams

Crystal Ball [original tracking proposed and rejected by record label, only very tangentially related to 1998's Crystal Ball]: Rebirth Of The Flesh, Play In The Sunshine, Housequake, The Ballad Of Dorothy Parker, It, Starfish And Coffee, Slow Love, Hot Thing, Crystal Ball, If I Was Your Girlfriend, Rock Hard In A Funky Place, The Ball, Joy In Repetition, Strange Relationship, I Could Never Take The Place Of Your Man, Shockadelica, Good Love, Forever In my Life, Sign O' The Times, The Cross, It's Gonna Be A Beautiful Night, Adore (Until The End Of Time)

*Reworked several times -- first version without gospel overdubs, second version is linked above, third version was a recording by Prince alone the day before disbanding The Revolution.
posted by hippybear at 4:23 PM on January 5 [11 favorites]


could arguably be the best album of the 80s.

nah, that would be a Prince mixtape I made around the time Lovesexy got released. Long lost, but I did manage to keep the playlist, which allowed me to put this mix together in the wake of the purple one's sudden departure from this troubled realm.

But if I had to choose a proper Prince album, Sign "☮︎" The Times would be the one. As for being the best of the 80s, maybe, but I suspect I'd lean to the Clash's Sandinista. Because it's even longer.
posted by philip-random at 4:34 PM on January 5 [3 favorites]


well, there goes my Saturday night. and probably most of my free time this week. Thanks hippybear!
posted by martin q blank at 4:35 PM on January 5 [1 favorite]


The “U Got the Look” video is the most 80s thing ever. Oh, Prince, you are eternal.
posted by GenjiandProust at 4:37 PM on January 5 [6 favorites]


That U Got The Look video has Sheena and Prince flirting with Sheila E and backup singer also fighting over him. Go P!
posted by hippybear at 4:44 PM on January 5 [4 favorites]


One of the top ten albums of all time. "If I Was Your Girlfriend" and "Kiss" would be in my top 20 favorite songs, along with a couple of Coltrane tracks, a couple of Monk's tunes, some Beatles tracks, James Brown cuts...and...I must be out of time by now.
posted by kozad at 4:45 PM on January 5


While I saw some of the tracks, no mention of the Black Album?
posted by CheapB at 4:45 PM on January 5 [3 favorites]


I have never gotten Starfish and Coffee out of my mind. Literally, since I was a teenager, when the album first came out. It's been a soundtrack to my inner life for all that time.
posted by treepour at 4:55 PM on January 5 [6 favorites]


Thank you for my photo editing music tonight.
posted by chris24 at 5:04 PM on January 5


Also: Oh, hippybear, you are the best! Thank you for doing what you do!
posted by treepour at 5:07 PM on January 5 [2 favorites]


The first CD I bought. Not the first CD I owned - that would have been the surprisingly good Q Magazine cover CD Virgin sampler from the year before - but buying the CD player left me with no money to buy actual CDs for a bit. I heard the eponymous track on another compilation covermount CD that I can't track down, and that made me go out and spend. As it were.

It's a ridiculously good record, made at a point in Prince's career where most other artists would be scrabbling around for enough ideas for an EP. I haven't listened to it in many years, but I can pretty much remember every track. Some of that is because I played it to death, it being such a major investment, but mostly it's because the music is so enjoyable.

And yet, I never could get beneath its surface. It felt like an enormously beautiful, dazzlingly intricate and breathtakingly coloured sea shell that gave no hint what the creature inside was like. Aside from the enormous calcium codpiece, of course, which was a bit of a giveaway.

I took my pleasure from it and left. Which may be the point.
posted by Devonian at 5:15 PM on January 5 [1 favorite]


If there is a track anywhere in Prince's discography that is more flat-out upbeat, funky, joyous, and hysterical than "Housequake," I would like to be directed to it. I cannot hear that track without experiencing something like a false memory of the world's greatest party ever.

They rocked that mother to the max. And that's a fact.
posted by /\/\/\/ at 6:18 PM on January 5 [3 favorites]


If there is a track anywhere in Prince's discography that is more flat-out upbeat, funky, joyous, and hysterical than "Housequake," I would like to be directed to it.

This about the freaks doin' everything they wanna do NOW
posted by hippybear at 6:21 PM on January 5 [3 favorites]


It.

Prince got ahead of me for a minute on this album. I caught up.
posted by bongo_x at 6:43 PM on January 5


The live version of 'I could never take the place of your man' is so so SO much better and I have spent a lot of time looking for a quality audio release of it, which is something that just never happened I guess >:(
posted by sexyrobot at 7:37 PM on January 5 [3 favorites]


I have never gotten Starfish and Coffee out of my mind.

I came into the thread just to see if anyone had mentioned it - it’s such an absolutely perfect song!
posted by tantrumthecat at 8:18 AM on January 6 [1 favorite]


If I was your Girlfriend was my college roommate's jam. He was obsessed with the verse:

Baby, can I dress you
I mean, help you pick out your clothes before we go out?
Listen girl, I ain't sayin you're helpless
But sometime, sometime those are the things that bein' in love's about</em

posted by es_de_bah at 6:29 PM on January 6


Made even more interesting by that song originating from the Camille project, which was Prince taking on a female alter ego.
posted by hippybear at 7:04 PM on January 6


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