Rare Prince Concert Film ‘Sign o’ the Times’ to Air on Showtime
Prince‘s 1987 concert film Sign o’ the Times, which has been out of print in the U.S. since 1991, will be available to watch once again this summer. Showtime has acquired the right to the film and will debut it on September 16th at 9 p.m. EST.
The artist decided to make the movie as a companion piece to his double-album of the same name, which was also released in 1987 but had stalled in sales at mere platinum status. He shot much of the film at his own Paisley Park Studios and on tour in the Netherlands and Belgium. It features performances of many of the LP’s now-classic songs – including the title track, “I Could Never Take the Place of Your Man,” “Hot Thing,” “If I Was Your Girlfriend” and “U Got the Look” – as well as the hit “Little Red Corvette” and a cover of Charlie Parker’s “Now’s the Time.”
His band at the time featured musicians from both the Revolution, who’d backed him on Purple Rain, and the group that would become the New Power Generation. Sheila E. played drums, including an extended solo, and Sheena Easton sang “U Got the Look” with the artist.
The film got a theatrical release in late 1987, but it wasn’t a box-office hit, attracting only $3 million in revenue, per Box Office Mojo, despite critical praise. Nevertheless, the 1988 home video release was also certified platinum two years later. Despite its popularity, and a VHS reissue in 1991, it has remained out of print in the States since then, though many countries internationally, including Canada, have seen the film come out on DVD in recent years.