It was actually 1984's album 'Purple Rain' that brought Prince to everyone's attention but 'Sign O the Times' was his masterpiece.
The other Albums that run it close are 'Parade', 'Purple Rain', 'Dirty Mind', 'Around the world in a day', 'Lovesexy' and '1999'. Not bad to have that many contenders for greatness....out of 37 studio albums.
His greatest song in Streamabout's heads anyway, was, 'The most beautiful girl in the world'. You'll hear it here, later but it's from 'The Gold Experience'.
It was his uncanny ability to bring so many music styles - funk, rock, soul, jazz, gospel, disco - together, that made him unique. His own mastery of studio techniques and instruments brought greatness and no more so, than the one song a day he was supposed to have written.
Explicit, sexual fantasies in lyrics, famously got him attention too.
His live shows were stunning (we saw him live) with the Superbowl 2007 show well talked about still and sometimes in local clubs after long 'official' headline shows.
Born in Minneapolis 1958, his father played in a jazz trio and his mother was a vocalist although they separated when he was 10.
He was shy, not a great fan of interviews and in 1987 released this epic double album 'Sign o the times'.
It's very diverse and 'U got the look' actually features 70's disco diva, Sheena Easton. He nearly single handedly, arranged and recorded all of the music often referred to as 'minimalist'.
In 1989 'Time Out' called it the greatest Album of all time but it's at 93 on 'Rolling Stone' 500 best ever.
If you want to get to know Prince, this is a great place to start and gives you a real sense of his genius because that's what it was.
Rest in Peace.
Previous "listen to's" you'll also find on this blog.......Daft Punk 'Random Access Memories'; Amy Winehouse 'Back to Black';Police 'Outlandos D'Amour'; Michael Jackson Off the Wall; Carole King Tapestry; Beatles Red Album; Sex Pistols Never mind the Bollocks; Sam Cooke Live at Harlem Square; The Doors LA Woman; Thin Lizzy Live & Dangerous; Kendrick Lamarr Butterfly; Aretha Franklin Amazing Grace; Clapton 461; Massive Attack Blue Lines; The Clash London Calling; Chris Isaak At The Filmore; Bob Dylan Street Legal; Bad Company Straight Shooter; Jackson Browne Love is Strange; Lou Reed Transformer; Steely Dan AJA; Stones Black+Blue; Stephen Bishop Careless; Nils Lofgren Night after Night; Mike Oldfield Tubular Bells; Neil Young Harvest; Led Zep 4; David Bowie David Live; Van Morrison It's too late to stop now; Wings Band on the run; Rod Stewart Atlantic Crossing; Ryan Adams Heartbreaker; Santana Essential; Bob Dylan Desire; Roxy Music For your pleasure; Bob Marley Legend; Stephen Fretwell Magpie; James Taylor Sweet Baby James; Deep Purple Machine Head; Springsteen Darkness on the edge of town; Leon Bridges Coming Home; Eagles Hotel California; Jungle; Aretha Soul Queen; Neil Young After the Goldrush + Harvest; Zappa Overnite Sensation; Fleetwood Mac Rumours; Keith Jarrett Koln Concert; Doobies Southbound; Stevie Earle I feel Alright; Tom Waits Closing Time; Pink Floyd Dark Side; Van Morrison Moondance; Eric Church Caught in the Act; Randy Newman Little Criminals; Elton John Madman across the water; Patti Smith Horses; Doobies Captain and Me; Steely Dan Can't Buy a Thrill.