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Sign 'o' the Times
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Reviews & Ratings for
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7 out of 7 people found the following review useful:

More than a concert film - a testament to the power of an artist

Author: Phillip Banks (horusbedhetys) from San Diego, CA
8 November 2004

From the opening with the title song, you can feel the energy created by the cast of musicians, the star and the audience. This energy builds and flows from one exciting song to the next; even the slow ballads are so full of power that it is hard to sit still; this film is a testament to the power of Prince... it is the definitive demonstration of his awesome talent; the live versions of these songs, including a "Little Red Corvette" sing along, make the studio album sound sterile and that is something damned-near impossible to do to Prince (And only Prince could do it!) If you want to see him at his peak, this is it!! There is dancing, singing and music, music, music. The band includes some members of the Revolution and some future NPG members, but the real stand-outs are Cat, Sheila E. and Bonnie Boyer. If you have only heard the studio album, check this film out...so good it'll make you slap yo' mama!!

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6 out of 6 people found the following review useful:

will convert ANYBODY to Prince-fan, I'm sure!

Author: Little Pete Falconer (little_pete@garbage.com)
11 April 1999

This live version of various tracks from arguably Prince's most ingenious work never fails to leave me gasping for air. If this isn't a good reason to give the diminunitive one's music a fair chance, I don't know what is. High points: The chilling title track, exploding into the eversunny Play In The Sunshine; the drop-dead dancing of Housequake; Charlie Parker's Now's the Time, which features fantastic jazz trumpeter Atlanta Bliss, red hot funkmeister Levi Seacer Jr.- with one of the sweetest bass solos this side of Larry Graham- and the PMT-busting Sheila E, wisely exploited here as one of the most exciting jazz and rock drummers around; the epic Forever in My Life with the class vocal-goddess that is the late boni boyer; and the jazztastic It's Gonna Be A Beautiful Night featuring the hilarious "Table and the Chair" rap! Low points: pedantic, but the mis-matching film of Dr Fink's organ solo and the freeze-frame shot in Hot Thing really annoy me. but then that guitar sound makes up for it all. Watch this, and prepare to watch it again just to make sure that it really happened!

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5 out of 5 people found the following review useful:

Only a great pop-concert

Author: Andreas Jacke (a.jacke@gmx.de) from Berlin
15 August 2002

This is one of the best concert of pop in the 80ties - from the best tournee Prince ever has made. I have seen it life two times in Berlin. The film gave the feeling back. The music is a fusion between pop and jazz. The high-point is when Prince sing: "If I was your girlfriend"! Its a feeling softly like in paradise. Its a funny film with great music and only the concert of "purple rain" from the same artist can be better....Introducing cat - a smart girl, great in dancing!!!

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4 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

Enjoyable, energetic show with great performances that hasn't dated at all

Author: bob the moo from United Kingdom
20 June 2005

Performing a stage show with dramatised elements in front of an audience in the Rotterdam Music Hall, Prince delivers a show that has the power to win over those that are not really bothered at any degree by his music. I personally quite like some of his tracks but have never bothered myself to do more than like what I'll occasionally hear on the radio and I would never consider shelling out for a concert but I must admit really enjoying this film. The start worried me – was this going to be more bad acting than singing? Would this "pimp" storyline get in the way of what I had come to see? After the initial bit of acting though the film goes into the title track and from there on in it is one good song after another.

The "story" aspect of it will come in an out but it never gets in the way of the music. In fact it actually helps the show be a lot more interesting for the viewer because there is lots going on and lots of people coming and going on stage, interacting with Prince and the music. I'm not suggesting that there was anything approaching a narrative here but it is certainly an impressive stage show – lots of energy and spectacle and certainly what you would expect if you paid the big bucks for a big star. However, even without this I think Prince could have held the audience because he does have the quality to do it. I've seen Tori Amos, Talib Kweli and a few others do it but they have all played smaller, much more intimate gigs while some of artists I have seen in big stadium gigs have struggled to do more than sing and not connected with the audience that well. Prince does well and to his credit he is not afraid to share the spotlight – making for a better show.

His musicians are all impressive; Fink, Bliss and Boyer to name a few are very good, while Shelia E is an impressive drummer who also plays well to the crowd. Special mention to Cat the dancer though, in this age of constant booty-shaking on uninspired MTV videos her moves don't look dated at all and she is still very sexy and talented – winning over the crowd as well. Sheena Easton makes an appearance as well for a song or two and generally helps the film.

Overall, those that dislike Prince will not be won over by this but if, like me, you think he is OK then this film is worth a look because it does show him at his sexual, performing best. The talented support he has and genuine energy in the performances all combine to make an enjoyable show that is worth checking out.

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4 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

A great concert film

7/10
Author: Rich Meyer (muzik@ptd.net) from Saint Clair, Pennsylvania
1 July 2001

This is definitely my favorite Prince film, because I think this film of a concert (with filmed vignettes) really encapsulates the true power of the artist's performances. This is one of his best versions of the Revolution, with Sheila E on drums, and the enigmatic Cat on vocals and dancing. The music is powerful, if not as well known as many of his earlier hits during the 1999/Purple Rain era, and the staging is electric. Sheena Easton provides a highlight with the song "U Got the Look", but it was really kind of dissappointing, as it was the entire extended music video inserting into the concert continuity instead of a new performance.

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3 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

If You Don't Get it By Now - - SEE THIS FILM!

8/10
Author: pak-hanafi from Seattle, Washington
18 January 2008

The only reason I don't give this movie a 10, is that its not a "Perfect Film". On the other hand, it is The Best Concert Film Made to Date. PERIOD. It deserves to be seen on as big a screen as you can find and turned up LOUD. I was fortunate enough to see it in a theater. I had no idea of how remarkable a performer Prince is before I saw Sign 'o' the Times . All the previous reviews will give you a much more in depth analysis, individual artist's descriptions, etc. What I have to offer is a pure gut-level reaction: We were Blown Away. My friend went back to the theater the next night to see it again. It impressed me so much, I'm getting a copy for my own collection.

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3 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

why it is worth watching

10/10
Author: soapboxquotes from United States
4 July 2006

This concert is really one of prince's best performances. The band prince and the audience all together appear to be having the time of their lives. Plus the versions of sign o' the times, house quake, it, and the cross I think are more intense live. This lineup of musicians is the best. Even people that say they are not prince fans tend to eat their words by the the third song in. This concert shows great guitar playing as well of the multi-talents of Shelia E. Also shows excellent vocal solos from prince as well from the band. I like lending the video out to people that are unfamiliar with prince to see their reaction. I have seen Prince live and this video captures what he is all about, when some live albums or videos do not.

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3 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

One of the greatest concerts ever filmed...

8/10
Author: Luv4all from East Lansing, MI
20 April 1999

If you like concerts or never have seen one on film...Don't see this one because every other concert will have a hard time measuring up. Prince is definitely one of the best performers of the 20th century. Unlike some of the new cats playing music now in days, Prince's concerts have been known to go over 3 hours...and that is not an exception. You get your money's worth of funk, dance, and message. His music not only is loaded with talent but the lyrics offer hope, such as "The Cross", while others are pure dance like "Housequake". No one else in the 1990's offer this much funk. So if you are ready to see and experience a real genius you've got to see this movie.

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2 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

Brilliant Concert Film

9/10
Author: GohiLabrie from United States
20 November 2005

I don't see how people could rate this film lowly. I think the "acting" is pretty great and the whole thing is very energetic. Sure Prince lip-syncs, but the performances are all very energetic.

The only thing you can rate this movie on is the performance and the music... and I don't see how either of these fail to satisfy. This is one brilliant song after another.

The only qualm I have is using the music video for U Got The Look instead of a live performance. Oh, and not including Strange Relationship.

But really, it has all of the album's best songs like Housequake, If I Was Ur Girlfriend, Play In The Sunshine, I Could Never Take The Place Of Your Man (Oh, man that keys solo in the beginning is amazing).

This movie is just fun all-around and perfect to see with a group of friends.

(Damn, Shiela's fiiiine in this movie. =d)

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2 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

Funky!!

10/10
Author: Antonio from Gothenburg, Sweden
23 February 2003

Gosh! This is the perfect reminder of why Prince was nearly the King in the 80´s, at least in ´87 he was! He rocks like no one ever before or after, truly makes Michael Jackson look nailed to the floor! And his music sounds funkier than ever! I mean "If I Was Your Girlfriend" is grand soul, and "Hot Thing" is ...HOT!! A great,great show with fantastic music and showmanship! A must!

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