Title: Sign O’ The Times Super Deluxe Ed.
Formats: 8-CD or 13-LP + DVD Box Set
Release date: September 25, 2020
Any Prince fan on your holiday gift list would likely be thrilled to receive the new edition of Sign O’ The Times, one of the Prince’s most memorable albums now offered as a super deluxe box set. Featuring 92 tracks across eight CDs plus a DVD and a 120-page illustrated hardcover book with essays by Dave Chappelle, Lenny Kravitz, and various Prince scholars, this set can be considered a bargain. In addition to the original 1987 double album remastered by Bernie Grundman, the other CDs include 63 previously unreleased tracks ranging from single remixes and B-sides to live songs plus a complete concert performance recorded in Utrecht, Netherlands, on June 20, 1987 during the Sign O’ The Times Tour.
Unreleased studio recordings culled from the depths of Prince’s Vault account for half of the tracks and feature songs recorded between May 1979 and July 1987, most designated for three albums that were never completed (Camille, The Dream Factory, and Crystal Ball). For those who never had to opportunity to attend one of Prince’s legendary Paisley Park concerts, the accompanying DVD captures a previously unreleased New Year’s Eve benefit performance from December 31, 1987, which notably includes Prince’s only on-stage collaboration with the great Miles Davis. What a perfect way to ring in the New Year and welcome 2021 at a time when large celebrations may be prohibited.
Reviewed by Brenda Nelson-Strauss