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Sign O’ The Times [movie]

Palace Pictures / MCA

Prince at his most dazzling

Largely comprised of concert footage from the Sign O’ The Times Tour filmed over three shows Prince performed at the Sportpaleis Ahoy in Rotterdam, The Netherlands on 26, 27, 28 June, 1987. The concept for Sign O’ The Times movie arose out of a last minute request by Prince, mainly due to the bad weather that plagued the tour, that saw many of its shows at outdoor venues cut short, and all London’s Wembley Stadium dates cancelled. The resulting late notice in rescheduling to indoor venues saw the UK and most of Italy dates cancelled completely. Prince wanted to preserve this tour for posterity, and that its recording would provide a substitute for those in the US wanting to see the show, in this Europe only tour.

Unhappy with much of the footage captured at the Rotterdam shows, Prince spent the summer of 1987 editing this footage and shooting additional scenes, close-ups and angles that the crew was logistically unable to get during the live shows themselves. This footage was was spliced into live show recordings to add a storyline and make it a fullblown movie. With the exception of Little Red Corvette, all the movie’s tracks were from the new Sign O’ The Times album. These extra scenes were filmed over 18-23 July at Prince’s newly completed Paisley Park Studios which he had only just opened the previous September. All the audio recording, however, is from the Rotterdam shows. Prince did the full direction of the movie, and is produced by his management team Robert Cavallo, Joseph Ruffalo and Steven Fargnoli, under the production name Purple Films Company.

Due to the poor box office success of the previous year’s Under The Cherry Moon, Warner Brothers were not interested in the movie and was instead distributed by Palace Pictures. Prince sold the rights to an independent label instead. Sign O’ The Times the movie premiered in Detroit on 29 October 1987 and from 20 November released across 250 theatres in the USA and grossed $3m. An amazing feat, given that the film had only been shot barely four months previous. It was released on VHS on 5 May 1988 and is certified Platinum by the RIAA. It is widely considered the greatest concert movie of all time.

Sign O’ The Times Limited Deluxe Edition

Sign O’ The Times (blu-ray)

The rights to the movie was later acquired by the German home entertainment company, Turbine Media Group – who remastered its footage and audio. On 9 September 2019 they reissued the movie as a combined DVD and Blu-Ray Limited Deluxe Edition. The set comprised 4 disks (2x Blu-Ray, 2x DVD with the same content): disk 1 containing the movie, and disk 2 exclusively produced special features including an 102-minute documentary – Prince: The Peach & Black Times – plus 180 minutes of extended interviews, and 36-page booklet. Available to the German market only, it almost immediately sold out.

Performers

Vocals/Guitar
Prince
Drums
Shelia E.
Guitar
Miko Weaver
Keyboards
Matt Fink
Boni Boyer
Bass Guitar
Levi Seacer Jr.
Dancer/Vocals
Cat Glover
Saxophone
Eric Leeds
Percussion
Greg Brooks
Trumpet
Atlanta Bliss
Wally Salford

Tracklist

  1. Intro (1:45)
  2. Sign O' The Times (4:27)
  3. Play In The Sunshine (3:53)
  4. Little Red Corvette (1:50)
  5. Housequake (3:45)
  6. Slow Love (4:45)
  7. I Could Never Take The Place Of Your Man (8:27)
  8. Hot Thing (5:48)
  9. Now's The Time (5:02)
  10. U Got The Look (5:08)
  11. If I Was Your Girlfriend (5:15)
  12. Forever In My Life / It (11:10)
  13. It's Gonna Be A Beautiful Night (7:56)
  14. The Cross (6:22)
  15. Outro / End Credits (5:15)

Data

Director
Prince
Released
20 November 1987
Reissued
9 September 2019
Running Time
85 minutes
Orig. Format

Related release

Sign O’ The Times

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