The new, expanded Sign O’ the Times presents glimpses of a parallel purple timeline, which invites the world to reassess what this work means.
“Music and culture are a living dynamic,” says Susan Rogers. Perhaps we are yet unable to adequately draw conclusions about the impact of the album and of Prince more broadly. To this day he is remembered by many as a pop star. Sign O’ the Times and its expanded deluxe incarnation make a compelling case for Prince as a leviathan multi-instrumentalist, composer and songwriter. There is more range on the original album and on the deluxe edition than most pop stars explore in their entire careers. There are powerful invitations to dance, meditate on the carnal and to find God. The songs are consistently brilliant: it is a vision of an artist searching for gold – and finding it.
Rogers suggests that 33 years after its original release, Sign O’ the Times still has something new to tell us about the greatness of Prince. “Van Gogh was not considered particularly creative in his lifetime. It was future generations that made reassessments. Then these people were seen as geniuses. The idea of ‘best’ or ‘greatest’ is recreation. It’s a prize at the fair. What is more important is ‘will something stand up?’ My hunch is Sign O’ the Times will. It exemplifies the work of a singular talent at his heights.”
Sign O’ the Times: Deluxe is released on 25 September
Mobeen Azhar is a journalist and Prince superfan. He is on Twitter @Mobeen_Azhar
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