Synopsis by Karl Williams
Following his disastrous sophomore film Under the Cherry Moon (1986), Minnesota-based rock star Prince hastily returns to the form and style of his classic motion picture debut, Purple Rain (1984) by directing and starring in this energetic concert film interspersed with dream-like visuals. Recorded in 1987 at gigs in Rotterdam, Holland, and Prince's hometown of Minneapolis (during the world tour supporting his new album of the same name), Sign O' the Times encompasses a wealth of diverse material, distinguishing it from typical, more straightforward examples of its genre. In addition to performing 13 songs, Prince throws into the mix a music video collaboration with Sheena Easton, sweaty dance interludes with his then-current paramour Cat Glover, and a rousing finale that makes a star of drummer-singer Sheila E. Less successful is an attempt to depict an unfolding narrative set amongst characters that seem to be bottom dwellers from society's seedy fringes, occasionally joining the band on stage. The story never gels into a definable structure and remains hallucinogenic, but the music is superbly performed and photographed and the songs are from an album considered by many to be a late-'80s classic.
music, fantasy-world, performer, rock-music, concert