Whenever I am faced with a big purchase decision, I go into hyper-research mode. This was the case when I got a compact disc player and it was time to buy my first CD. (The player was a Sony Discman)
I toiled over this decision for some time. I wasn’t going to buy something new and unheard… I was going to pick some albums I loved dearly—a “desert island” choice if you will.
I saved up enough money to buy 2 CDs, and figured, why not maximize the amount of music? So I bought The Smith’s Louder Than Bombs and Prince’s Sign o’ the Times because they were both double albums to get my money’s worth.
I already loved Sign o’ the Times on cassette. It was more like a mix tape than an album—Prince goes all over the place. This was not a Prince and the Revolution album, it was (mostly) just Prince album. He brought in a large group of musicians to fill out the tracks, but it was decidedly different.
This album felt like a flex and an experiment. And it is delightful, still to this day.
Don’t get me wrong, it’s weird too. But as I get on, I realize my taste is largely pedestrian. It’s the weird moments that help us put a stake in the ground of what defines us.
Sure, most everyone likes Purple Rain. But my pick would be Sign o’ the Times as my favorite Prince record.