Sign O' The Times

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Sign O' The Times

Sott.jpg
from the album Sign O' The Times
Signothetimes single.jpg
single art for Sign O' The Times
Song details
Performer: Prince
First Released: 18 February 1987 - Sign O' The Times single
Album(s): Sign O' The Times

The Hits 1
The Hits / The B-Sides
The Very Best Of Prince
Ultimate
4Ever

Writer(s): Prince
Producer(s): Prince
Live Appearances
First and last live appearance:
Performed regularly on tour:
Performed occasionally in shows:

Sign O' The Times is the first track on the first disc of Prince's ninth album Sign O' The Times, and, six weeks before the album's release, Sign O' The Times was released as the album's first single.

In 1987, a live version was included as the opening track of the concert movie Sign O' The Times, and an instrumental studio version was played over the movie's credits.

In 1993, the single edit was included as the 15th track on Prince's first compilation album The Hits 1 (also included as the first disc of The Hits / The B-Sides).


Recording process

Initial tracking took place on 15 July 1986 at Sunset Sound, Hollywood, CA, USA (the same day as the unreleased track Blanche).

The track was initially included as the first track on the second disc on an 18 July 1986 configuration of Dream Factory, and was kept for inclusion as the album developed into the triple-album Crystal Ball (included as the fourth track on the third disc on the 30 November 1986 configuration), which was eventually pared down and became Sign O' The Times.

Released ahead of the Sign O' The Times album, Sign O' The Times was the first track released with a credit of "Prince" (rather than "Prince and the Revolution") since When Doves Cry.


Recording Information
Recording Sessions
Date Studio Additional info
15 July 1986 Sunset Sound, Hollywood, CA, USA Initial tracking
Recording Personnel
  • Prince - all vocals and instruments

Versions
Released Versions
Title Length Released on Version Additional info
Sign O' The Times 5:02 Sign O' The Times

Sign O' The Times single

Studio
Sign O' The Times (Edit) 3:42 Sign O' The Times single

The Crown Jewels promo
The Hits 1
The Hits / The B-Sides
The Very Best Of Prince
Ultimate
4Ever

Edit
Video Versions
Title Length Released on Version Additional info
Sign O' The Times 3:42 The Hits Video Collection VHS/DVD Promo video See Sign O' The Times video for details
Sign O' The Times T.B.C. Sign O' The Times VHS/DVD Live See Sign O' The Times for details
Sign O' The Times T.B.C. Sign O' The Times VHS/DVD Instrumental Instrumental studio version played over movie credits
Sign O' The Times 0:58 Interactive CD-ROM Live excerpt 11 September 1987, 1987 MTV Video Music Awards, Universal Amphitheatre, Universal City, CA, USA
Broadcasts/streaming
Title Length Released on Version Additional info
Sign O' The Times T.B.C. Live awards show performance TV broadcast Live 11 September 1987, 1987 MTV Video Music Awards, Universal Amphitheatre, Universal City, CA, USA
Sign O' The Times T.B.C. Delayed awards show performance TV broadcast Live 15 March 2004, 19th Rock 'n' Roll Hall Of Fame induction ceremony, Waldorf Astoria, New York, NY, USA
Sign O' The Times T.B.C. Live concert online stream Live 10 May 2015, Baltimore, MN, USA, Royal Farms Arena; sampler set version
Sampled, Referred to, Quoted in...
Title Length Released on Version Additional info
Musicology 4:26 Musicology Studio Brief clip heard 'on radio' during segue following Musicology
Unreleased Versions
Title Version Additional Info
Sign O' The Times Alternate mix Shorter than the released version, with slightly alternate ending
Sign O' The Times Instrumental Full instrumental version, as heard on Sign O' The Times
 
Additional Information

See also Trivia

  • On 12 May 1988, Prince was given an award for R&B/Bands: R&B Composition (for Sign O' The Times and U Got The Look) during the same ceremony where Prince also received nine other awards: Rock/Individuals: Male; Rock/Recording: Mainstream and Rock/Composition: Mainstream (for Sign O' The Times); R&B/Individuals: Male Vocalist; R&B/Individuals: Guitarist; R&B/Bands: Performing Band; R&B/Bands: Recording; Production/Movie/Theatrical (for Sign O' The Times) and Production/Multi Media Scores.

References
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