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Thread started 04/01/18 11:52am

Mikado

If Sign o' the Times was a Single Album?

How would it have been recieved? Differently? Would it be more praised today?

A certain kind of mellow.
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Reply #1 posted 04/01/18 1:43pm

cra1g0s

I don't think it would have had the same impact. I distinctly remember going into Woolworths with some money burning a hole in my pocket and wanting to listen to something new. The album looked mysterious, I bought it on cassette and after one listen, I knew I'd be listening to it for a long time trying to work it out. It was so multi layered, such different songs, some deep and serious, some playful, sexual, romantic, religious, rock and funk songs all culminating into It's Gonna Be a Beautiful Night. I was blown away, I didn't understand it all and I remember lending it to a cool girl I had a bit of a crush on, who was really into The Beatles, she was smart and cool. I wasn't trying to impress her, but I just said you have to listen to this and she loved it too.

So, if it was shorter then I think cutting some songs, it would be less challenging and it wouldn't be the same journey down the rabbit hole. Prince took us into a neon, kaleidoscope of a world of social commentary, fun, sex, love and God. For me, Lovesexy was the next step in all of this. The greatest run of albums I think there's ever been. Ever.
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Reply #2 posted 04/01/18 1:44pm

mynameisnotsus
an

Unlike Emancipation which has had endless reconfiguration threads on here I'm pretty sure I've never considered SoTT as a single album - it's always been talked about as a double album reduced from a triple.

Also it's pretty well praised as is - the only problem is that it needs a remaster.

From the Wikipedia page

It was his most critically acclaimed record.[17] Bart Bull, writing for Spin magazine in 1987, said that Prince's loosely organized songs are "genius" rather than indulgent and that, although there is no song as groundbreaking as "Girls & Boys", "nobody else's outtakes would sound so strong, rock so hard, swing so free."[18] Robert Christgau of The Village Voice said that the album is not a "formal breakthrough", but rather "the most gifted pop musician of his generation proving what a motherfucker he is for two discs start to finish." He particularly praised Prince's "one-man band tricks" and multi-tracked vocals, which he said "make Stevie Wonder sound like a struggling ventriloquist" and express real emotions: "The objects of his desire are also objects of interest, affection, and respect. Some of them he may not even fuck."[19] Sign o' the Times was voted as the best album of 1987 in The Village Voice's Pazz & Jop critics' poll.[20] According to Christgau, the poll's creator, the album was "easily the biggest winner" in the poll's history and "established Prince as the greatest rock and roll musician of the era—as singer-guitarist-hooksmith-beatmaster, he has no peer."[21] The title track "Sign o' the Times" was named the best single of 1987 in the poll, while "I Could Never Take the Place of Your Man" and "U Got the Look" were also voted within the top 10.[20]

In a retrospective review, Keith Harris of Blender called Sign o' the Times a "masterpiece" and comments that "never has [Prince's] curiosity about women strayed into so many unpredictable corners."[9] Simon Price deemed it Prince's best album,[12] as did Michaelangelo Matos, who wrote in The Rolling Stone Album Guide (2004) that it was "the most complete example of his artistry's breadth, and arguably the finest album of the 1980s".[22] Matos also believed it was "the last classic R&B album prior to hip-hop's takeover of black music and the final four-sided blockbuster of the vinyl era". Music editor Mark Brown called it "the greatest album of all time. [23] Slant Magazine's Eric Henderson deemed it a "double-disc blowout of sweat, funk, and raw, concentrated talent".[24]

In 1989, Time Out magazine ranked it as the greatest album of all time. In December 1989, Robert Smith of The Cure cited Sign o' the Times amongst the best things about the eighties.[25] The album was ranked number 16 on the New Musical Express list of the All Time Top 100 Albums, 3rd in Hot Press magazine's list of the 100 Best Albums of All Time, and number 35 on VH1's 100 Greatest Albums. The album was also placed 8th on Nieuwe Revu's Top 100 Albums of All Time. The Times listed Sign o' the Times as the 29th greatest album of all time.[26] In 2003, the album was ranked number 93 on Rolling Stone magazine's list of The 500 Greatest Albums of All Time.[27] In 2006, Q magazine placed the album at number 12 in its list of "40 Best Albums of the '80s".[28] In 2012, Slant Magazine listed the album at number 11 on its list of "Best Albums of the 1980s", calling it "Prince's most varied album and his most self-consciously auteurish".[29]

[Edited 4/1/18 13:52pm]
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Reply #3 posted 04/01/18 2:13pm

seanski

avatar

I always thpught about what if SOTT was released as a single album. What songs wouldn't made the cut? I made this configuration years ago.

Side 1

1. Sign 'O' the Times

2. Housequake

3. The Ballad of Dorothy Parker

4. Hot Thing

5. Forever in my Life

Side 2

1. U Got the Look

2. If I Was Your Girlfriend

3. I Can Never Take the Place of Your Man

4. Adore

As you notice, all the singles that were actually released are in this configuration.

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Reply #4 posted 04/01/18 2:15pm

seanski

avatar

I always thought about what if SOTT was released as a single album. What songs wouldn't made the cut? I made this configuration years ago.

Side 1

1. Sign 'O' the Times

2. Housequake

3. The Ballad of Dorothy Parker

4. Hot Thing

5. Forever in my Life

Side 2

1. U Got the Look

2. If I Was Your Girlfriend

3. I Can Never Take the Place of Your Man

4. Adore

As you notice, all the singles that were actually released are in this configuration.

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Reply #5 posted 04/01/18 4:47pm

thedance

avatar

Single album:

do this, just remove 3 or 4 seconds of silence inbetween songs:

And, there u have a cd under 80 minutes wink cool cool

However, back in 1987 the cd's contained 74 minutes music (not 80 mins, this became run-time, (later on)

Therefor SOTT was made into 2 cd's back then:

Ok then... IF I had to remove 1 song then Slow Love... weakest song imho..

Prince 4Ever. heart
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Reply #6 posted 04/01/18 5:07pm

SoulAlive

seanski said:

I always thought about what if SOTT was released as a single album. What songs wouldn't made the cut? I made this configuration years ago.

Side 1

1. Sign 'O' the Times

2. Housequake

3. The Ballad of Dorothy Parker

4. Hot Thing

5. Forever in my Life

Side 2

1. U Got the Look

2. If I Was Your Girlfriend

3. I Can Never Take the Place of Your Man

4. Adore

As you notice, all the singles that were actually released are in this configuration.

This is a good single album tracklist except....I would replace "Hot Thing" with "It"

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Reply #7 posted 04/01/18 7:19pm

TrivialPursuit

avatar

The album's impact is relative. Hardcore fans get the relevance and importance of the album. They understand and know the history and its journey to what we know it as today.

To the casual fan or the top 40 fan, it's significance is different. They don't care about "Strange Relationship" or maybe "Adore" (although it was popular on R&B stations), "Housequake", or "Forever In My Life". They may know "Sign O The Times", probably remember "U Got The Look", but haven't heard the joy of "It's Gonna Be A Beautiful Night", "Hot Thing", or I Could Never Take The Place Of Your Man", or the sheer genius of "If I Was Your Girlfriend".

Prince didn't tour for it in the U.S., and the movie was popular but it wasn't selling out theaters with music lovers. It wasn't The Passion of the Christ or Love, Simon. Would it have been received differently? Probably not, not on the regular market. Fans would have salivated more having eventually learned about the outtakes.

So would it have been received differently overall? Probably not. It's history though, given that it would have been on relatively the same journey as we know now, would have been similar. Pick either of those two disks, and it can stand on its own as a single album. From "Sign O The Times" to "Forever In My Life" or "U Got The Look" to "Adore" - solid.

Just for technical sake, the album is barely over the 80 minutes of a CD anyway, so a shortened "IGBABN" or removing something like "IT" would have made it a single album anyway.

Just for the sake of it, here's my tracklist based on a 45-minute vinyl format:


Side One:

U Got The Look

Hot Thing

If I Was Your Girlfriend
Adore

Side Two:

I Could Never Take The Place Of Your Man (a shorter version; the longer on the 12")

Play In The Sunshine

Starfish and Coffee OR The Ballad of Dorothy Parker

Strange Relationship

Forever In My Life


It's a tough call, actually.

This experience will cover courtship, sex, commitment, fetishes, loneliness, vindication, love, and hate.
http://bit.ly/1D3FG2U
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Reply #8 posted 04/01/18 7:41pm

bboy87

avatar

thedance said:

Single album:

do this, just remove 3 or 4 seconds of silence inbetween songs:

And, there u have a cd under 80 minutes wink cool cool

However, back in 1987 the cd's contained 74 minutes music (not 80 mins, this became run-time, (later on)

Therefor SOTT was made into 2 cd's back then:

Ok then... IF I had to remove 1 song then Slow Love... weakest song imho..

I've never been into Slow Love. I wonder how Joy In Repetition or even Old Friends 4 Sale would've worked in its place

"We may deify or demonize them but not ignore them. And we call them genius, because they are the people who change the world."
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Reply #9 posted 04/01/18 10:10pm

PeteSilas

hard to say for a couple reasons, number one, upon release it didn't get super reviews, the super reviews were coming in at the end of the year when people had enough time to listen to all of it. as i recall, it was much more highly regarded by the end of 87 than it was when it came out. another thing is, it probably could have made a super one disk album, just super but some people think it worked better as a sprawling opus with peaks and valleys, songs that weren't as good as the others to set the listener up for the kayo punch. I do think the album has some "fat" or "flab" as some people called it. Personally, i was never crazy about several of the songs, but the ones that i was crazy about are still in the league of any i've heard in the history of our music. so, hard to say, his biggest mistakes were just the senseless marketing(single choices) and the lack of a tour.

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Reply #10 posted 04/01/18 10:36pm

EnDoRpHn

thedance said:

However, back in 1987 the cd's contained 74 minutes music (not 80 mins, this became run-time, (later on)

Therefor SOTT was made into 2 cd's back then:

The number of albums was not determined by the capacity of a CD, it was determined by the available space on an LP. Lovesexy was the first Prince album that released to CD on the same day as the LP.

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Reply #11 posted 04/02/18 3:21am

214

TrivialPursuit said:

The album's impact is relative. Hardcore fans get the relevance and importance of the album. They understand and know the history and its journey to what we know it as today.

To the casual fan or the top 40 fan, it's significance is different. They don't care about "Strange Relationship" or maybe "Adore" (although it was popular on R&B stations), "Housequake", or "Forever In My Life". They may know "Sign O The Times", probably remember "U Got The Look", but haven't heard the joy of "It's Gonna Be A Beautiful Night", "Hot Thing", or I Could Never Take The Place Of Your Man", or the sheer genius of "If I Was Your Girlfriend".

Prince didn't tour for it in the U.S., and the movie was popular but it wasn't selling out theaters with music lovers. It wasn't The Passion of the Christ or Love, Simon. Would it have been received differently? Probably not, not on the regular market. Fans would have salivated more having eventually learned about the outtakes.

So would it have been received differently overall? Probably not. It's history though, given that it would have been on relatively the same journey as we know now, would have been similar. Pick either of those two disks, and it can stand on its own as a single album. From "Sign O The Times" to "Forever In My Life" or "U Got The Look" to "Adore" - solid.

Just for technical sake, the album is barely over the 80 minutes of a CD anyway, so a shortened "IGBABN" or removing something like "IT" would have made it a single album anyway.

Just for the sake of it, here's my tracklist based on a 45-minute vinyl format:


Side One:

U Got The Look

Hot Thing

If I Was Your Girlfriend
Adore

Side Two:

I Could Never Take The Place Of Your Man (a shorter version; the longer on the 12")

Play In The Sunshine

Starfish and Coffee OR The Ballad of Dorothy Parker

Strange Relationship

Forever In My Life


It's a tough call, actually.

Where the hell is the title track?

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Reply #12 posted 04/02/18 4:16am

Romeoblu

Tough to do but i will give it a go.

I think if I were to release it as aingle album I would try to make it a more coherent album. I would go for a more psychedelic pop / rock album

Side one.

Sign o the times
Play in the sunshine
Strange Relationship (dream factory vers)
Starfish and Coffee
The ballad of Dorothy Parker.

Side two

It
Forever in my life
I could never take the place of your man
The Cross.
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Reply #13 posted 04/02/18 4:58am

Dandroppedadim
e

No it’s perfect as it is!
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Reply #14 posted 04/02/18 6:55am

TheFman

Here's my take on a 9 song SOTT without songs that didnt appear on it:

  1. Sign O' The Times (4:56)
  2. Play In The Sunshine (5:05)
  3. Housequake (4:41)
  4. The Ballad Of Dorothy Parker (4:02)
  • Side 2:
  1. U Got The Look (3:47)
  2. If I Was Your Girlfriend (5:01)
  3. Strange Relationship (4:01)
  4. I Could Never Take The Place Of Your Man (6:28)
  5. Adore (6:29)
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Reply #15 posted 04/02/18 7:24am

ufoclub

avatar

If it were only 5 songs per side maybe:

Side One:

Sign O' the Times

Housequake

I Could Never Take the Place of Your Man

Ballad of Dorothy Parker

Adore



Side Two

U Got The Look

Hot Thing

If I Was Your Girlfriend

The Cross

It's Gonna Be a Beautiful Night

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Reply #16 posted 04/02/18 8:27am

Genesia

avatar

No.

We don’t mourn artists because we knew them. We mourn them because they helped us know ourselves.
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Reply #17 posted 04/02/18 9:22am

TrivialPursuit

avatar

214 said:

Where the hell is the title track?


Not on my configuration. Have to pick another name.

This experience will cover courtship, sex, commitment, fetishes, loneliness, vindication, love, and hate.
http://bit.ly/1D3FG2U
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Reply #18 posted 04/02/18 9:41am

jcurley

thedance said:

Single album:

do this, just remove 3 or 4 seconds of silence inbetween songs:

And, there u have a cd under 80 minutes wink cool cool

However, back in 1987 the cd's contained 74 minutes music (not 80 mins, this became run-time, (later on)

Therefor SOTT was made into 2 cd's back then:

Ok then... IF I had to remove 1 song then Slow Love... weakest song imho..



I agree. In terms of number of songs it seems decadent to make it a double. And yes slow love.

It also would have been far cheaper n sold more. I paid £16.99 in 1987. That was a lot then. It wouldn't be that now let alone 30 yrs ago. About $27 without i flation
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Reply #19 posted 04/02/18 10:00am

LonelyStarfish

SOTT
SR
UGTL
TBODP
IT
IIWYG
S&C
ADORE
HQ
Music is music, ultimately. If it makes you feel good, cool.

My YouTube channel
https://www.youtube.com/c...pp=desktop
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Reply #20 posted 04/02/18 10:06am

TKO

avatar

Hot Thing is the worst track, delete it lol

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Reply #21 posted 04/02/18 3:16pm

seanski

avatar

SoulAlive said:

seanski said:

I always thought about what if SOTT was released as a single album. What songs wouldn't made the cut? I made this configuration years ago.

Side 1

1. Sign 'O' the Times

2. Housequake

3. The Ballad of Dorothy Parker

4. Hot Thing

5. Forever in my Life

Side 2

1. U Got the Look

2. If I Was Your Girlfriend

3. I Can Never Take the Place of Your Man

4. Adore

As you notice, all the singles that were actually released are in this configuration.

This is a good single album tracklist except....I would replace "Hot Thing" with "It"

Yes that's a good choice. I basically made my configuration based on the songs that were actually released as singles or b-sides.

[Edited 4/2/18 15:29pm]

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Reply #22 posted 04/02/18 5:40pm

TrivialPursuit

avatar

TKO said:

Hot Thing is the worst track, delete it lol


This experience will cover courtship, sex, commitment, fetishes, loneliness, vindication, love, and hate.
http://bit.ly/1D3FG2U
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Reply #23 posted 04/02/18 9:04pm

214

TrivialPursuit said:

214 said:

Where the hell is the title track?


Not on my configuration. Have to pick another name.

eek eek confused sad Horrible configuration yours.

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Reply #24 posted 04/02/18 9:22pm

hhhhdmt

1. SOTT

2. If I was your girlfriend

3. Housequake

4. I could never take the place of your man

5. Starfish and Cofee

6. U got the Look

7. The Ballad of dorthy Parker

8. Forever in my life

9. Adore

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Reply #25 posted 04/02/18 9:23pm

AlexNevermind2
8

I keep seeing lists without Forever in my Life, crazy!! Do you people forget how good that song was on tour?? If that’s not on the album, then we don’t get that great performance in concert.

1. Sign ‘O’ The Times
2. Play In the Sunshine
3. Housequake
4. The Ballad Of Dorothy Parker
5. Hot Thing
6. Forever In My Life
7. U Got The Look
8. If I Was Your Girlfriend
9. I Could Never Take The Place Of Your Man
10. Adore
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Reply #26 posted 04/02/18 9:40pm

TrivialPursuit

avatar

214 said:

TrivialPursuit said:


Not on my configuration. Have to pick another name.

eek eek confused sad Horrible configuration yours.


This experience will cover courtship, sex, commitment, fetishes, loneliness, vindication, love, and hate.
http://bit.ly/1D3FG2U
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Reply #27 posted 04/03/18 1:29am

thedance

avatar

TheFman said:

Here's my take on a 9 song SOTT without songs that didnt appear on it:

  1. Sign O' The Times (4:56)
  2. Play In The Sunshine (5:05)
  3. Housequake (4:41)
  4. The Ballad Of Dorothy Parker (4:02)
  • Side 2:
  1. U Got The Look (3:47)
  2. If I Was Your Girlfriend (5:01)
  3. Strange Relationship (4:01)
  4. I Could Never Take The Place Of Your Man (6:28)
  5. Adore (6:29)

excellent, best take so far, imho.. wink

however leaving The Cross out, and some other great song

that hurts a bit.. smile

Ps it's a short edit versions of Adore + I Could Never Take The Place Of Your Man?

Not time/ space for the full album-versions???

Prince 4Ever. heart
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Reply #28 posted 04/03/18 3:31am

Adorecream

I......... Juuuuusssttttttt...... caaannnn'''tttt do it!

Can never cut anything from thsi masterpiece, Sony or whoever the fuck designed discs needs to alter their format to accommodate the whole thing one disc.

.

Let me make this shit crystal clear!

THERE ARE NO WORST SONGS, NO SONGS TO CUT, LEAVE THE ALBUM ALONE, STEP BACK AND LET IT BE!

Got some kind of love for you, and I don't even know your name
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Reply #29 posted 04/03/18 3:32am

Adorecream

thedance said:

TheFman said:

Here's my take on a 9 song SOTT without songs that didnt appear on it:

  1. Sign O' The Times (4:56)
  2. Play In The Sunshine (5:05)
  3. Housequake (4:41)
  4. The Ballad Of Dorothy Parker (4:02)
  • Side 2:
  1. U Got The Look (3:47)
  2. If I Was Your Girlfriend (5:01)
  3. Strange Relationship (4:01)
  4. I Could Never Take The Place Of Your Man (6:28)
  5. Adore (6:29)

excellent, best take so far, imho.. wink

however leaving The Cross out, and some other great song

that hurts a bit.. smile

Ps it's a short edit versions of Adore + I Could Never Take The Place Of Your Man? (OH hell naw!)

Not time/ space for the full album-versions???

If anyone edits Adore, I will edit them biggrin

Lawd I am leaving the hot mess of a thread now.

Got some kind of love for you, and I don't even know your name
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