As our resident Prince aficionado, Questlove has spoiled us with personal reflections on The Purple One’s genius, even handing over an album-by-album review of the unfuckwitable Warner Bros. catalog. Nearly a year has passed since the icon’s tragic death, but it’s safe to say that we can forever count on El Capitan to chime in with some impromptu geeking. Case in point: this morning Questo launched into his memory banks upon realizing that Prince’s classic 1987 album Sign O The Times was creeping up on its 30th anniversary (technically tomorrow, March 31st.)
Naturally, Questo was compelled to hit the gram with one of his patented purple nerd-outs, speaking to the much-debated parameters of the “genius period,” honing in on the meat of the generally-accepted 1978-1988 bookends to be 1982-1987, where we could be found churning out his own work at an alarming annual rate, as well helming hits for The Time, Sheila E., Vanity 6, Apollonia and others.
Read Questlove’s little love letter to Prince’s Sign O The Times below.
there will be no high like the high music fans felt when Prince was releasing magic every year like it was chewing gum. he made it look THAT easy. i feel some sort of way about Sign O The Times. I’m one of those spoiled cats that appreciate his output. but i also cap “the genius period” from 78-88 (and if you REALLY wanna get to the zone, i say 1982-1987 were the core years in the magic 10)— #SignOTheTimes was essentially a catalog album showing a collection of his range and perfect songwriting, pop craftsmanship. ace musicianship, and just plain weirdo magic. this would mark the last time Prince’s music would shock and surprise me. not to be mistaken for “the last time Prince made music i cared about” or “his last good album”—most artists get 2 albums to blow our minds before they start coasting on autopilot. the fact that Prince has 12-14 albums worth of grade A material is a miracle (dont forget his prolific pen game on Sheila E., Vanity/Apollonia 6, The Time/The Family & Jill Jones projects) each album making you “WHOA!” more than the last time. this is Jordan winning 6 rings on The Bulls. This is Curry shooting 8 3pt shots in a row from half court. i can’t come up with a more explosive definition of why on its 30th anniversary, Sign O’ The Times is just as magic today is it ALWAYS was. if you are in the “what’s the big deal?” zone. brush up on your history. songwriting and arranging is a dangerous game. you gotta be effective. hit bullseye. be original. shocking, digestible, and 14 other things i haven’t mentioned. if you are a @prince newbie i say start from the top w 78’s For You and move forward. or the very end and work backwards. this way you get the full scope of his range. it doesn’t get any better than this. Happy 30th Anniversary #SignOTheTimes