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Sign O' the Times - Prince (super deluxe edition)

Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by masswriter, May 29, 2020.

  1. andmaythefranchise

    andmaythefranchise Active Member

    This is super interesting to me because I listened to this album for the first time in 2020, and now own 4 vinyl copies, so I've been examining this closely. I got the peach and the SDE, but I only got the black vinyl out of the SDE once to make sure it worked because I keep it away from the turntable so my 1-year-old can't get to it. If it the black vinyl of the remaster is really better than the peach, then I'll have to get it out from time to time and enjoy it after the kid goes to bed. I think the peach is sufficient for letting him watch it spin around and the bigger bass gives whoever's in there reason to dance, so it serves its purpose.

    I got a copy of the German pressing from Discogs that was awesome but not quite as near mint as they made it seem, so I bought a sealed copy of the RCA club Edition to be my untouchable copy and have the German copy for day-to-day use. It's a good system.

    Overall I agree that the 87 version is better overall, but like you said, the remaster does sound nice, and occasionally it's nice to hear a clean, crisp version of a notoriously (but awesomely) gritty album. The more defined kick drums on Housequake justify the remaster's existence by themselves. I think the biggest problem with it is the loudness varying so much, especially Dorothy Parker and Hot Thing which sound like whispers compared to the other songs. I need ReplayGain on the digital copies of those songs, otherwise the remaster seems like a waste of time.
  2. RubenH

    RubenH Forum Resident

    S.E. United States
    have you had a chance to compare it to the new CD? Thank you.
  3. Turntable

    Turntable Senior Member

    Sydney, Australia
    I have returned my Peach vinyl as it was just going to sit in my collection, collecting dust.

    I will be forever happy with my original 1987 Euro pressing and the new SOTT box black vinyl pressing.
    Lance LaSalle and sunspot42 like this.
  4. Crawdad

    Crawdad Detroit Rock Citizen living in a Vinyl Free Zone

    Finally pulled the plug. Got it later the same day and it was in perfect shape
    croquetlawns and Matthew Tate like this.
  5. Crawdad

    Crawdad Detroit Rock Citizen living in a Vinyl Free Zone

    At least this time Amazon did me right.
    Eric_Generic likes this.
  6. Mr Sam

    Mr Sam "...don't look so good no more"

    Yes, there is a trend, and I don't like it: this set, the 1999 set (but the Super Deluxe had less content), or U2's All That You Can't Leave Behind.
    I wish they had continued the Purple Rain Deluxe Expanded way.
  7. C6H12O6

    C6H12O6 Senior Member

    My lab
    For those who got their box set from Deep Discount, did they have problems with the corners getting crushed and scuffed with the plastic wrap torn or broken in those areas? I got this as a belated Christmas gift for a relative, and he says it actually looks kind of beat up, like it might've been a previously returned item or simply treated poorly. Surprisingly it came in a regular cardboard box instead of the same custom box as mine - the one with the "peace" symbol printed on it.
    Matthew Tate likes this.
  8. andmaythefranchise

    andmaythefranchise Active Member

    I can appreciate that. Listening to the 87 one right now and it definitely wins. Still love watching the peach spin and switching it up now and then.
    Turntable likes this.
  9. ad180

    ad180 Forum Resident

    I see a lot of people comparing the new edition to the 1987 EU Alsdorf pressing. But to the best of my knowledge, that isn’t a Bernie Grundman cut. Bernie cut the US edition... or at least, some of them. In fact the version I bought the week of release had mixed sides of Bernie and another cut. It wasn’t until about 10 years ago that I finally got a 4-sided Bernie cut!

    Has anybody made that comparison? I hope to do so soon, but I never seem to have the time to tackle it.
    Matthew Tate likes this.
  10. englishbob

    englishbob Its a s*** business

    Kent, England
    £180 for the Deluxe LP set on Amazon UK now

    That's about right, pretty good value now, at least you aren't paying for the below average book
  11. Crawdad

    Crawdad Detroit Rock Citizen living in a Vinyl Free Zone

    Different book than the CD set?
  12. englishbob

    englishbob Its a s*** business

    Kent, England
  13. Freek999

    Freek999 Forum Resident

    englishbob, you can really hold a grudge… it feels like every other post from you mentions that you think the box set was too expensive and / or the book is lousy. I think by now we all know your opinion on this matter, let it go please…
  14. Jmac1979

    Jmac1979 Forum Resident

    Louisville, KY
    I've seen some ridiculously overpriced box sets that IMO milk the consumer dry (perfect example would be the recent U2 deluxe 20th anniversary release that loaded the set with 12" singles that easily could've been combined on less albums, but they wanted to find a way to "justify" a $250 price tag, as well as missing b-sides and the sort from the era. It could've been a solid $150 box set, but no way in hell was I paying 250. Granted, I'm not as big a U2 fan as I am Prince, but I spent 150 on the Joshua Tree 30th deluxe box set and felt like I got my money's worth). Was SOTT expensive? yes... but was it worth it? Hell yes. In comparison with some other box sets at the same price point, I feel like you got more money's worth on this. This and the 1999 sets IMO were ones that take a long time to be properly devoured
  15. noname74

    noname74 Allegedly Canadian

    It’s what he does. I guess it’s what he wants to be known for. :shrug:
    Jimmy Agates, Turntable and sonnyrock like this.
  16. xfilian

    xfilian Forum Resident

    Essex, UK
    Am seriously tempted by the 13LP box at £180....
    Last edited: Jan 15, 2021
  17. brownsound2112

    brownsound2112 Forum Resident

    I’d say that is a superb price - this is a brilliantly put together product. I thought the book was excellent too.

    It’s far far better than the 1999 box.
    Jimmy Agates, Timjosephuk and xfilian like this.
  18. Crawdad

    Crawdad Detroit Rock Citizen living in a Vinyl Free Zone

    Anglo Robert I seem to remember you never liked the book. No matter, you're opinion has value as has mine. I only briefly looked at the book before I went to the hospital and I didn't find it lacking at all. I think they look equal to the Beatles three for example.
  19. floyd

    floyd Senior Member

    Spring Green, WI
    The Super Deluxe looks like a fantastic box, probably too much for me. I am considering the 4 LP set, does that bring much to the table in terms of its extras? How is the packaging on the 4LP looks like the 2 lp is just two discs in a single outer sleeve? Also, while I am asking what about the 1999 4LP? I have the pressed at RTI double album version that was out right before the remaster that gave us the 4lp version of that set just wondering if it is worth diving into more since on that one I would be paying the price of a 4 lp just to get the extra two discs unless the remastering is something special.
    I know the answer is: it depends on how much you are into Prince. Well, obviously enough to ask but not enough to know.
  20. Jayseph

    Jayseph Somewhere Between Penny Lane & Alphabet St.

    It all depends on what you are looking for in extras. The 4 LP sets (both Sign and 1999) include the full album and the singles (edits and extended) and b-sides. None of the vault material is included. If you are looking for a complete document of all previously released music of these two albums that would be the way to go.

    In regards to the remastering, my opinion is that they are both very well done. I think that is the (slight) majority opinion, but not everyone agrees on this. The remasters do not seem brickwalled at all (unlike the Purple Rain remaster) and to my ears there are elements of songs that I had never noticed before.

    I cannot speak to packaging as I got both the deluxe sets. Someone else will have to speak to that.
  21. coffeetime

    coffeetime Senior Member

    Lancs, UK
    2 months ago, I hadn’t even heard the album Sign O The Times so much as even once. Nor any other Prince album for that matter. Somewhere on my shelves I own one of the hits compilations on CD, but beyond a couple of listens back in the day I’ve never ventured further.

    Coming of age in the 80s, Prince’s music videos would appear on Top Of The Pops, The Chart Show here in the UK, and the singles would be on the radio, so I wasn’t unaware of him. My first tribe musically was metal and then punk, the closest I got to Prince’s neck of the musical woods would be countenancing listening to MJ, which was deemed OK by my peer group through his featuring EVH, Steve Stevens, Jennifer Batten & Slash on record and live.

    With the remastering & rerelease of SOTT last year, and it being spoken of with such reverence on sites such as SuperDeluxeEdition, I thought I’d give the album a listen on streaming services (Apple Music & Qobuz here). And slowly, it’s grown on me. Initially Starfish & Coffee, Ballad of Dorothy Parker & Strange Relationship, but now the whole album. Also listened to PR at the same time.

    So this Monday just gone I loaded up my phone & iPad with the full super deluxe track list of SOTT. And started listening. And listening. I’ve been absolutely floored! I understood SOTT to be a grab bag of different styles, comparable to the Beatles White Album where its very strength is the sheer variety and lack of stylistic unity. Said understanding has not prepared me for the boundless styles, moods, tones and sheer musicianship on the album. Sure, I’d seen Prince perform a great guitar solo on stage for While My Guitar Gently Weeps, and heard THAT solo from Purple Rain may times, but the guitar work on Cosmic Day or the opening of All My Dreams would have blown me away if it was by Steve Vai or Joe Satriani on their late 80s/early 90s albums.

    So, I’ve started reading this thread from page 150 (around about release day) right to the end. And listened to the official podcast episodes (done 2 of the 8), listening to the stories around those involved with the album’s inception (I know its common knowledge, but I only knew of Susannah beforehand as a backing singer on Roger Waters In The Flesh tour & DVD). I’ve gone from being delighted at hearing from Susan George taking about the console installation in Prince’s home studio, to heartbroken hearing Wendy & Lisa being dropped, to disturbed hearing just what If I Were Your Girlfriend and Big Tall Wall were actually about.

    And still I’ve kept listening to the SDE vault material. After my third time through it today, my head is just spinning with dizziness at the quantity and quality of finished, completed music that hadn’t been released.

    So I’ve ordered the CD super deluxe boxset. I won’t pretend to understand the rights Warner & Sony might have to this point at different times, but I do understand that the 1999 box set now commands a premium on the second hand/resale market (a mistake I made by initially not getting on board the Paul McCartney Archive deluxe box set series, and have had to pay a premium to get on board with). More importantly, if the SOTT SDE album were to disappear from Apple Music/Qobuz overnight, I would be kicking myself for not buying the set and losing access to this music. So I’ve ponied up.

    Everything about this release is new to me. The music, the podcasts, the contents of the SDE book. No matter how fast I gorge myself on this set (and I have just gorged this week!), I’m not even close to bottoming out the delights of the set and the musical joy it is bringing me.

    Kudos to everyone who has posted their thoughts in this thread. They’ve all been instructive, enlightening and informative. I’m about as far from a die-hard fan as is possible to get, the very definition of casual listener until this week

    Now back to grooving to Wonderful Day and waiting for Amazon to deliver the SOTT SDE tomorrow.
  22. Macca75

    Macca75 Forum Resident

    My story echoes yours to a certain extent. I started checking out some Prince songs here and there at the start of 2020 and that led me to buy quite a few CDs and to get a used copy of Hits/B-Sides. Those B-Sides made me want to dig deeper so when the SOTT Super Deluxe was announced, I ordered it blind. It was my favorite Prince album from the moment I first heard it and being unfamiliar with all these Vault tracks led to so much wonder and amazement at that body of work. Let's just say that SOTT went from an album I had never heard before in my life at the start of 2020 to a top 5 or top 10 album in my collection and the box contributed to that.

    I was fortunate to be able to grab a copy of the 1999 Super Deluxe when importCDs got a few copies in January and I'm so glad I did. Another revelation! Bring on more SDEs please.
  23. Crawdad

    Crawdad Detroit Rock Citizen living in a Vinyl Free Zone

    As far as the Purple Rain Vault tracks go; they're fantastic especially the elongated Computer Blue
  24. jhm

    jhm Forum Resident

    Too bad they didn't use the master tapes due to the likely rush release.

    I noted that the SOTT Super Deluxe CD set is currently $111.99 on Amazon. Not bad!
    ad180 and Matthew Tate like this.
  25. Macca75

    Macca75 Forum Resident

    That's my fear with getting the Purple Rain deluxe. I'm afraid the mastering and sound quality will prevent me from appreciating it.

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