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Thread started 01/27/18 6:53pm

bobgeorge77

Sign o' the times song question...

If this has been talked about in another thread, please let me know...I wasn't sure how to search for the answer to my question....

.

I know the history of Dream Factory/ Crystal Ball/ Camille that became Sign O' The Times. I was wondering if anyone knows how a song that was relegated to side 5 of Crystal Ball became the opener for the album, the namesake of the album, and the first single for the Sign O' The Times album. Did he always have a soft spot for it? Was he wanting to be thought of as more politically active/ aware? Did he always have plans to release it as a single? Just seems it went from a song (an amazing one at that) that might have been missed by the masses to a song that became a (or the) centerpiece of the album/ movie/ tour/ etc...

.

Any thoughts, theories, or answers would be greatly appreciated ..

.

[Edited 1/27/18 20:47pm]

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Reply #1 posted 01/27/18 9:42pm

TrivialPursuit

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It is a very unusual way to rearrange an album, and a very different track to put as the title track. "Crystal Ball" was a dark song, too, as a title track, but man. SOTT changed everything for those songs.

I always thought that the way he whittled down some of the happier and lighter songs (in production or lyric) on the album that even saw it taking on a darker theme and feel overall. SOTT seems to naturally lead the pack at that point.

The songs that remain cover the usual gamut of Prince's thinktank. Social, political, love, lust, cheating, religion, relationships, and fun. But I don't necessarily believe he was purposely trying to present himself as politically active/aware. He'd certainly touched on politics plenty before 1987.

But I do believe he had to take a hard look at that record and pick what he thought were the strongest songs. I think he made the best decisions given the other songs on there. Some ended up as b-sides, some went elsewhere, some didn't.

I don't know if "SOTT" was always going to be a single before the SOTT album was put together, but it doesn't seem likely, really. At least to me.

This experience will cover courtship, sex, commitment, fetishes, loneliness, vindication, love, and hate.
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Reply #2 posted 01/28/18 8:29am

kingricefan

If I remember correctly he also opened the concerts on the SOTT tour with this song. I've read in an interview with one of the band members that it was eerie to hear the opening of the show with those distinctive guitar chords when the arena was all in black with no lights showing on the stage. I think Prince picked this song as the opener (album and tour) as he wanted something that had powerful lyrics and would make people think about what was going on in the world. He wanted to make us aware that he wasn't all about the dancing, that he was someone who thought alot about the world situation.

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Reply #3 posted 01/28/18 8:57am

TrivialPursuit

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kingricefan said:

If I remember correctly he also opened the concerts on the SOTT tour with this song. I've read in an interview with one of the band members that it was eerie to hear the opening of the show with those distinctive guitar chords when the arena was all in black with no lights showing on the stage. I think Prince picked this song as the opener (album and tour) as he wanted something that had powerful lyrics and would make people think about what was going on in the world. He wanted to make us aware that he wasn't all about the dancing, that he was someone who thought alot about the world situation.


Well, we know that for sure because the movie is the concert. And if you think about it, Prince often (not always) opened concerts with the opening track of the album. Controversy, Let's Go Crazy, ATWIAD/Parade, SOTT, The Future, Thunder, My Name is Prince. I always sorta loved that about Prince, and how he would build a concert setlist after the album tracklist (sometimes).

And yeah, it was a very different sort of intro for the tour. I think "The Future" was as well for The Nude Tour. Sometimes when Prince delved into the dramatics, it was some of his best concert stuff.

This experience will cover courtship, sex, commitment, fetishes, loneliness, vindication, love, and hate.
http://bit.ly/1D3FG2U
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Reply #4 posted 01/28/18 12:21pm

kotter1970

TrivialPursuit said:



kingricefan said:


If I remember correctly he also opened the concerts on the SOTT tour with this song. I've read in an interview with one of the band members that it was eerie to hear the opening of the show with those distinctive guitar chords when the arena was all in black with no lights showing on the stage. I think Prince picked this song as the opener (album and tour) as he wanted something that had powerful lyrics and would make people think about what was going on in the world. He wanted to make us aware that he wasn't all about the dancing, that he was someone who thought alot about the world situation.




Well, we know that for sure because the movie is the concert. And if you think about it, Prince often (not always) opened concerts with the opening track of the album. Controversy, Let's Go Crazy, ATWIAD/Parade, SOTT, The Future, Thunder, My Name is Prince. I always sorta loved that about Prince, and how he would build a concert setlist after the album tracklist (sometimes).

And yeah, it was a very different sort of intro for the tour. I think "The Future" was as well for The Nude Tour. Sometimes when Prince delved into the dramatics, it was some of his best concert stuff.



This was my first Prince concert and my first concert in general. I remember it as if it happened yesterday. Prince in the dark, starting off with a guitar solo, then starting sott and then the band members entering stage playing drums... absolutely genius!
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Reply #5 posted 01/28/18 2:35pm

TrivialPursuit

avatar

kotter1970 said:


This was my first Prince concert and my first concert in general. I remember it as if it happened yesterday. Prince in the dark, starting off with a guitar solo, then starting sott and then the band members entering stage playing drums... absolutely genius!


Prince always had a flair for the dramatic when he wanted. Lovesexy was my first, and that opening "Erotic City" beat, then the fucking car popping up and driving around the perimeter of the stage and out hops ol' boy. I just lost it.

This experience will cover courtship, sex, commitment, fetishes, loneliness, vindication, love, and hate.
http://bit.ly/1D3FG2U
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Reply #6 posted 01/28/18 2:43pm

bobgeorge77

TrivialPursuit said:

kotter1970 said:


This was my first Prince concert and my first concert in general. I remember it as if it happened yesterday. Prince in the dark, starting off with a guitar solo, then starting sott and then the band members entering stage playing drums... absolutely genius!


Prince always had a flair for the dramatic when he wanted. Lovesexy was my first, and that opening "Erotic City" beat, then the fucking car popping up and driving around the perimeter of the stage and out hops ol' boy. I just lost it.

Both sound incredible! I wish I could have seen them...my first Prince concert was Act I (or II?) in L.A.... he started with "My Name is Prince"... it was an amazing opening... I was floored from the very beginning!

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Reply #7 posted 01/28/18 2:50pm

bobgeorge77

TrivialPursuit said:

It is a very unusual way to rearrange an album, and a very different track to put as the title track. "Crystal Ball" was a dark song, too, as a title track, but man. SOTT changed everything for those songs.

I always thought that the way he whittled down some of the happier and lighter songs (in production or lyric) on the album that even saw it taking on a darker theme and feel overall. SOTT seems to naturally lead the pack at that point.

The songs that remain cover the usual gamut of Prince's thinktank. Social, political, love, lust, cheating, religion, relationships, and fun. But I don't necessarily believe he was purposely trying to present himself as politically active/aware. He'd certainly touched on politics plenty before 1987.

But I do believe he had to take a hard look at that record and pick what he thought were the strongest songs. I think he made the best decisions given the other songs on there. Some ended up as b-sides, some went elsewhere, some didn't.

I don't know if "SOTT" was always going to be a single before the SOTT album was put together, but it doesn't seem likely, really. At least to me.

Thank u for replying... I would love to know his thinking... I can only imagine how difficult it was to know he had to take his 3 record masterpiece and edit it... He obviously did it well though!

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Reply #8 posted 01/28/18 2:56pm

TheDigitalGard
ener

bobgeorge77 said:

I know the history of Dream Factory/ Crystal Ball/ Camille that became Sign O' The Times. I was wondering if anyone knows how a song that was relegated to side 5 of Crystal Ball became the opener for the album, the namesake of the album, and the first single for the Sign O' The Times album. Did he always have a soft spot for it? Was he wanting to be thought of as more politically active/ aware? Did he always have plans to release it as a single? Just seems it went from a song (an amazing one at that) that might have been missed by the masses to a song that became a (or the) centerpiece of the album/ movie/ tour/ etc...

.

Do you think that a song further down a track list is any less thought of? Any less of a song perhaps? Just wondered with the word "relegated" that you used.

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Reply #9 posted 01/28/18 3:07pm

bobgeorge77

TheDigitalGardener said:

bobgeorge77 said:

I know the history of Dream Factory/ Crystal Ball/ Camille that became Sign O' The Times. I was wondering if anyone knows how a song that was relegated to side 5 of Crystal Ball became the opener for the album, the namesake of the album, and the first single for the Sign O' The Times album. Did he always have a soft spot for it? Was he wanting to be thought of as more politically active/ aware? Did he always have plans to release it as a single? Just seems it went from a song (an amazing one at that) that might have been missed by the masses to a song that became a (or the) centerpiece of the album/ movie/ tour/ etc...

.

Do you think that a song further down a track list is any less thought of? Any less of a song perhaps? Just wondered with the word "relegated" that you used.

No not at all...I just meant that unless he chose to release it as a single off of Crystal Ball, it would not have been as well known by the masses... and even then, it wouldn't have defined his year (single, album, movie, tour) as it did (and it is obviously linked forever to one of his most critically acclaimed albums)... Just interesting to imagine what would have happened... but maybe the world would have known the brilliance of his Crystal Ball masterpiece...shame it isn't (as well) known... just another jem that Prince fans are priviledged enought to know.!!

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Reply #10 posted 01/28/18 3:09pm

TheDigitalGard
ener

^ I get you. wink

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Reply #11 posted 01/28/18 6:08pm

214

Good thread, Crystall Ball should have been included in the album.

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Reply #12 posted 01/28/18 6:26pm

bobgeorge77

214 said:

Good thread, Crystall Ball should have been included in the album.

Thanks... Could u imagine if Crystal Ball would have been released as a single back in '87? Or if it was, in fact, the 2 record set "Crystal Ball" and the "Crystal Ball" tour and movie? It blew me away the first time I heard it (and I was late to the party... an internet friend hooked me up to it in the early 90s) and it still does to this day... every time I put it on (or it comes on in a shuffle...I have to stop what I am doing... it is so incredible!). I wonder how it would have been received? There are tracks like that, so many special amazing songs, that were never released that I wish would have been more known... I would have always loved to have seen Prince really appreciated by the general public (especially when he was alive).

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Reply #13 posted 01/28/18 7:38pm

214

I could only imagine that song as the second single with a bombastic video.

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