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The very best SOTT set you can get 


Sign O' The Times Rehearsal Sessions 1.0

4 CD
Label : Sabotage Records
Catalogue : #SAB 166-167-168-169
Disc Length : 64:23 / 73:29 / 58:36 / 71:55
Source : Soundboard Recordings
Sound Quality : EX / EX+
Year Of Release : 2002

Disc 1

Sign O' The Times Tour Rehearsal - Paisley Park : 21st February 1987

1. Sign O' The Times   2. Play In The Sunshine   3. Housequake   4. The Ballad Of Dorothy Parker - Four   5. Slow Love   6. Starfish And Coffee   7. Hot Thing   8. Now's The Time   9. Sheila E Drum Solo   10. If I Was Your Girlfriend   11. U Got The Look   12. Strange Relationship   13. I Could Never Take The Place Of Your Man

Disc 2

1. Forever In My Life   2. Kiss   3. The Cross   4. It's Gonna Be A Beautiful Night (including Six)

Rehearsal - Paisley Park : August / September 1987

5. - 21. 17 Different takes of "The Sex Of It"

Disc 3

Sign O' The Times Tour Rehearsal - Paisley Park : 18th November 1987

1. Sign O' The Times   2. Play In The Sunshine   3. Little Red Corvette   4. Erotic City   5. Housequake   6. Slow Love   7. Do Me, Baby   8. Adore   9. I Could Never Take The Place Of Your Man   10. Hot Thing   11. What's Your Name? - Love Or $ - Data Bank   12. Let's Pretend We're Married   13. Delirious   14. Jack U Off   15. If I Was Your Girlfriend   16. Let's Go Crazy   17. When Doves Cry

Disc 4

1. Purple Rain   2. 1999   3. U Got The Look   4. Kiss   5. It's Gonna Be A Beautiful Night (including Six)

Rehearsal - Paisley Park : August / September 1987

6. - 20. 14 Different takes of "Baby Go Go"


The main bulk of this release is made up of two vastly differing rehearsals for 2 different legs of the Sign O' The Times tour. The first rehearsal spanning Disc 1 and Disc 2 is far more concerned with the actual content of the Sign O' The Times album and is surprisingly "hits-free" - certainly it would have been interesting to see the reception had Prince chosen to tour with this particular set-list. The first rehearsal is from the early stages in preparation for the upcoming May tour of Europe. The sound quality is crisp, clear, superb and pretty much flawless. The clarity of the soundboard is so impressive that the band (and Prince) can clearly be heard talking whilst they are away from their microphones. The main stand-outs from this particular rehearsal are obviously the Sign O' The Times tracks which never made the live cut - including a sublime retro version of 'Starfish & Coffee', a frantic 'U Got The Look' (with many similarities to the version which would later appear on the Lovesexy tour), and 'Strange Relationship' which is performed exactly as it appears on the First Avenue 21st March 1987 show even down to the fact it includes the "Squirrel meat" lyrics lifted from 'Superfunkycalifragisexy'. The 'Little Red Corvette' segue is also not performed making 'Kiss' the only real popular Prince track played. Throughout the rehearsal the band are carrying on, laughing and joking and the whole performance and atmosphere is very loose - which all adds up to one of the finest rehearsals in circulation. If I had to allow myself a criticism of Sabotage's release, it would be the pitch appears to be incorrect and certain songs ('Housequake' being the most glaringly obvious) almost sound like they are rehearsed in slow motion - all due to the pitch being too low. The remainder of Disc 2 contains various takes of 'The Sex Of It' from a rehearsal dating from mid-1987. The quality of this show is less impressive especially following on from the stunning February 1987 rehearsal. There is an audible hiss throughout which can be a little distracting after a while - that said, this is is still of very high quality and not to be dismissed. The band rehearse take after take of the track with Prince teaching various band members different parts. As with most rehearsals concentrating on the same track it can be rather monotonous after a few listens, but for anyone with an interest in how Prince teaches band members and builds songs, then it is fascinating. The rehearsal which spans Disc 3 and Disc 4 is vastly different to the first and appears to be for the ill-fated US leg of the Sign O' The Times tour. During the promotional appearances for the Sign O' The Times concert movie in November 1987 Cat often made reference to the fact they were "in rehearsal" for a US tour - I guess this was the show they were to expect. The main bulk of the rehearsal is identical to the European May/June 1987 leg, however the mid section of the show contains an entirely new segment. 'Little Red Corvette' is performed as normal when suddenly the beat and bassline for 'Erotic City' kicks in - it's bizarre to hear. 'Do Me, Baby' is the next new addition and this flows in to a full length version of 'Adore'. Things return to the normal Sign O' The Times set-list with 'I Could Never Take The Place / Hot Thing'. Up next is a segue which contains a few lyrics from both 'Love Or $' and 'Data Bank' over a repeated phrase of "What's Your Name" (no relation to the Crystal Ball 1997 song) and the repeated guitar jangle of 'Kiss'. A short (but welcome) 'Let's Pretend We're Married' is next, which turns in to 'Delirious / Jack U Off' - this portion of the show is strikingly similar to the version which appears on the Lovesexy tour with a few very slight changes. The remainder of the rehearsal is pretty much straightforward with the exception of the added 'U Got The Look'.  Again the quality is stunningly clear and near-perfect. The only slight downside to this rehearsal is there are a few edits made during 'Adore' and 'I Could Never Taker The Place Of Your Man' where one song fades out and the other fades in - no big deal and a necessary evil due to the source recording. The rehearsal to close out Disc 4 is the second part of the mid 1987 rehearsal this time concentrating on 'Baby Go Go' - the sound again is rather hissy in comparison to the beautiful November 1987 rehearsal. The artwork accompanying the release are very imaginative and  well thought out, my only problem is that the text leans too heavily on The Vault/Uptown's reports of the rehearsals. The content of this release (the slow running speed on parts of the first rehearsal aside) really cannot be faulted and is undoubtedly the best release to contain these rehearsals as of 2002. A high point of Sabotage's catalogue and one of the best releases from the era.

Prince Sign O' The Times Rehearsal Sessions 1.0 4 CD #SAB 166-167-168-169

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