We are delighted to be launching our first ever event in Sydney! We will tstart in style with one of our favourite ever albums Prince Sign O The Times which will also be featured in Cambridge, Washington D.C. and Fukuoka.
Following on from 1986’s Parade, Sign o the Times is the first release from Prince after three albums with The Revolution and was his ninth album overall. The departure from his band allowed Prince even more freedom in the studio and time to experiment. Initial plans for a triple LP project called Crystal Ball were balked at by Warner Bros and he was forced to scale back his plans to a double LP. The Linn LM-1 drum machine and Fairlight CMI feature heavily throughout the album, as do other effects that were being experimented with heavily at the time such as sped up vocals resulting in the arrival of Camille, Prince’s alter ego.
The album itself is a contrast of emotions, upbeat with a heavy nod to the dancefloor in places. ‘I Could Never Take The Place Of Your Man’ is the perfect example of the marriage between rock and dance music that was so incredibly popular at the time, whilst the album also features dark undertones, even if at first it isn’t obvious. Rolling Stone contributor Toure remarked, “In 1987, when Prince’s double-album masterpiece Sign o the Times was released, no one had to be told he was talking about AIDS. The title track syrups on, mentioning crack and nuclear bombs — painting the Eighties as if Revelations had arrived and no one had realized. The direct political address recalls Marvin Gaye’s What’s Going On, but where Gaye was pleading for change, Prince is mournful, desolate and sadly accepting.”
Listening back to the album now, it is still fantastic in all the right ways, perhaps not as immediately gratifying as Purple Rain, but an album that feels like it was laboured over and given the attention it deserves. Whilst reviewing the album for it’s 25th anniversary Tom Brielhan noted, “It crystallised all the artistic experimentation of those previous two albums into something huge and tangible, displaying Prince as a musical adventurer without equal. Prince tries out a ton of different musical ideas on the album, and he nails almost all of them. It’s a thing to behold… Sign o the Times is probably Prince’s most complete piece of self-presentation, the best possible example of how he wanted the world to see him. It’s an absolute essential.”
Sunday, November 27th, 5 to 8 pm
Venue: The World Bar
Tickets: $15 at the door or in advance here, students/seniors half price
Presenters: Jean-Philippe Ducharne and Jim Poe (Bondi Beach Radio)
Date and Time: Sunday November 6th, 3 – 6 pm
Venue: Hidden Rooms, Jesus Lane, Cambridge, CB5 8BA
Tickets: £9 in advance, student discount tickets £5 also available here
Presenter: Prince biographer Matt Thorne who’s book ‘Prince’ is available here
Audio Menu: The audio menu for our events in Cambridge is kindly supplied by the fantastic Criterion Audio
Date: Sunday 13th November, 8 to 11 pm
Tickets: ¥1,000 (RSVP firstname.lastname@example.org)
Presenter: Masuo (Lighthouse Records founder / CAS Fukuoka)
Date and Time: Sunday 27th November, 3 – 6 pm
Venue: Songbyrd Music House and Record Cafe, 2477 18th St NW, Washington DC 20009
Tickets: $5 in advance here and $7 on the door
Presenter: Marcus Dowling
Audio Menu provided by Audioism.
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