THE 1000 BEST SONGS IN THE WORLD EVER.
487-Prince-Sign O’ the Times.
1987-Number 10 single.
Best Bit-At 1.47. This is one of the best examples of what Prince was capable of writing about, when he wasn’t just thinking about sex. According to the music engineer Susan Rogers who worked on the record with Prince, he wrote this song on a Sunday, because that was when he composed his most introspective songs.
‘Sign O’ the Times’ was the first single released off of Prince’s ninth studio Album of the same name in 1987. On this song, as well as writing and producing, he also provides all of the vocals, and plays every instrument, which included the use of a drum machine, and a ‘Fairlight’ sampling synthesizer, which was state of the art at that time.At around this time in his career, Prince (see also best songs 884-269-85 and 54) was a prolific creator of music, and had written enough material to release a triple CD Album, but his record company ‘Warner Brothers’ refuted the idea, and Prince eventually compromised to a double CD Album, but this was the start of his dispute with the label, eventually leading to him changing his name to a ‘squiggle,’ and having the word ‘slave’ written on his face.
The title of the song came from a magazine called ‘Signs of the Times’ which is a monthly religious publication, both of Prince’s parents were followers of Christianity. The song makes many social references to the state of the world in the mid 1980’s, including ‘AIDS.’ gang warfare, poverty, drug culture, the amount spent on the American space programme, and the imminent threat of nuclear war.At the very end of the song Prince is telling us to grab happiness while we can, and live for today.
The songs lyric video is an early example of the type of video that has become commonplace over the years.
‘Sign O’ the Times, mess with your mind, hurry up before it’s too late.Lets fall in love, get married, have a baby, we’ll call him Nate, if it’s a boy.’