Sign "O" the Times, stylized as Sign "☮" the Times, is the ninth studio album by American recording artist Prince. It was released on March 31, 1987 by Paisley Park Records and Warner Bros. Records. The album is the follow-up to Parade, and Prince's first "solo" album following his departure from The Revolution; the symbol between the quotes is a peace sign. The album's music draws on funk, soul, psychedelic pop, and rock music. Sign o' the Times features lyrical themes such as the depressing state of the world in the title track, gender identity/androgyny in "If I Was Your Girlfriend", party funk in "Housequake", sexual lust in "It", replacing a loved one in "I Could Never Take the Place of Your Man", and spiritual enlightenment in "The Cross". The album also had an accompanying concert film of the same name. Michaelangelo Matos of Spin cites the album as "the last classic R&B album prior to hip-hop's takeover of black music and the final four-sided blockbuster of the vinyl era." Keith Harris of Blender dubs it a "masterpiece" and comments that "never has [Prince's] curiousity about women strayed into so many unpredictable corners." In The New Rolling Stone Album Guide, Matos calls it "[Prince's] best album, the most complete example of his artistry's breadth, and arguably the finest album of the 1980s."
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