Japanese CD of the Day / Prince: Sign ‘O’ The Times / SHM mini-LP CD

Sign ‘O’ The Times – Japanese mini-LP CD (click to enlarge)

This 2009 Japanese mini-LP CD of Prince‘s 1987 album Sign O’ The Times (cat number WPCR-13538/9) displays the usual stunning attention to detail that Japanese have become known for, in terms of CD packaging and presentation.

All the elements of the original vinyl are replicated, including the sticker that adorned the front cover – just in case you didn’t recognise his purpleness (or should that be his peach-and-black-ness?). The postcard that you could send off to join the Prince ‘Fan Club’ (cue nostalgia for the simpler times of life pre-internet…) is also included and shrunk down, Mike Teavee-style.

A 28-page booklet provides the lyrics in English and Japanese, or, if you get your magnifying glass out you can read the original lyrics which appear on one side of both of the supplied inner sleeves (peach-on-black and black-on-peach, respectively).

Despite being a double album, the original vinyl of Sign O’ The Times wasn’t a gatefold, so the card sleeve here doesn’t try to rewrite history and sticks to a nicely reproduced glossy wide-spined sleeve. No trouble getting the two SHM-CDs in and out.

Like all of Prince’s output, Sign O’ The Times has never been reissued as a deluxe edition. The album was on our 2012 reissue ‘wish list’ way back in December 2011, but unfortunately a 25th anniversary reissue never happened. Until then, this edition of the album is by far the best way to own it on CD.

Unlike some Japanese mini-LP CDs these Prince issues are still available and not too expensive.


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hey guys where the tracks live version from purpure rain, when dove cry,let`s go?
sorry but doesnt there my favorites track in concert
im not gonna sell this blu ray i saw the setlist i dont like it.


A huge problem with this album is that the volume levels differ from track to track. The title track is infinitely louder than Playing in the Sunshine; I always have to turn it up. And Hot Thing is way louder than the songs that surround it as well. It could really use a remastering.

Alex Cho

I’m wondering if this is a result of paring down the 3-disc Crystal Ball – Would be excellent if this was given a release.

Killian Scott

SOTT is his worst sounding CD. The other 80s albums sound fine on their existing incarnations.


Probably the Prince album most deserving of a proper remaster. Unfortunately, this Japan edition is just a tad louder than the original release.

There was some hope that a (hopefully better sounding) high-def SOTT was on its way with all the Prince-releases @ HDTracks et al, but it seems to have stopped with Parade. Note that the high-def release of 1999 is a significant upgrade on all previously released digital editions, even though these HDTracks releases are not remasters, other HD versions do not offer such improvements.


That’s some awesome packaging right there. Love the picture discs! This is probably Prince’s best album, and in lieu of an actual “deluxe edition,” this is pretty cool.