[3] Prince, ‘Sign ‘O’ The Times’

So Prince got all socially conscious on us and it didn’t seem pious. He had no previous, you see. Stripped down, raw and funky, ‘Sign ‘O’ The Times’ came out of nowhere when we’d barely finished getting down to the ninth single from Parade. He was astonishingly prolific without dropping below the quality threshold, at least for another couple of years.

You have to do a silly, jerky dance to this. Junior understood. Attempting to stand up, with support, she let her knees give way a few times, and sometimes on the beat. I can’t remember whether we ever danced to this at teenage discos. Would’ve been excruciating, in our roll-neck tops and black jeans and Converse boots.

The breathtaking, hubristic album still takes your breath away and challenges the gods. Skip the loose jams and it’s filled with psychedelic pop/soul/rock beauties and singles that should’ve made this chart. He was on a huge, kaleidoscopic roll. If I’d had a boy, I’d have called him Nate.