SOTT Rehearsals Vol. 1 4CD
Catalog # 4DF 035-036-037-038
Release Year  2006
4CD Length 61:56 / 74:00 / 58:36 / 71:45
Date/Venue Paisley Park Rehearsals 1987
Source Soundboard Recordings
Quality EX / EX+
Rating 5.0/5.0

Track Listing
Disc 1
Sign O' The Times Tour Rehearsal - Paisley Park : 21st February 1987
1. Sign O' The Times 2. Play In The Sunshine 3. Housequake 4. The Ballad Of Dorothy Parker - Four 5. Slow Love 6. Starfish And Coffee 7. Hot Thing 8. Now's The Time 9. Sheila E Drum Solo 10. If I Was Your Girlfriend 11. U Got The Look 12. Strange Relationship 13. I Could Never Take The Place Of Your Man

Disc 2
1. Forever In My Life 2. Kiss 3. The Cross 4. It's Gonna Be A Beautiful Night (including Six)

Rehearsal - Paisley Park : August / September 1987
5. - 21. 17 Different takes of "The Sex Of It"

Disc 3
Sign O' The Times Tour Rehearsal - Paisley Park : 18th November 1987
1. Sign O' The Times 2. Play In The Sunshine 3. Little Red Corvette 4. Erotic City 5. Housequake 6. Slow Love 7. Do Me, Baby 8. Adore 9. I Could Never Take The Place Of Your Man 10. Hot Thing 11. What's Your Name? - Love Or $ - Data Bank 12. Let's Pretend We're Married 13. Delirious 14. Jack U Off 15. If I Was Your Girlfriend 16. Let's Go Crazy 17. When Doves Cry

Disc 4
1. Purple Rain 2. 1999 3. U Got The Look 4. Kiss 5. It's Gonna Be A Beautiful Night (including Six)

Rehearsal - Paisley Park : August / September 1987
6. - 20. 14 Different takes of "Baby Go Go"

Fink's Comments (rates this release 5.0/5.0)
Sourced from the Sabotage release 'Sign O' The Times Rehearsal Sessions 1.0' this is 4DaFunk's reworked version of a much respected bootleg. Rehash I hear you say? Well on this occasion, most definitely not. Rehash would suggest the release had been put through SoundForge or some other programme and released with minimal improvement - this couldn't be further from the truth in this case. Sabotage's release was great indeed but the pitch on the 21st February rehearsal was ridiculously slow - look at the time differences between the Sabotage version and this 4DaFunk version - 4DaFunk have knocked off 2:30 just by correcting the speed of the rehearsal on Disc 1 alone. Now, as good as the Sab release was, this has really made it obsolete in that respect that this one runs at a proper speed and the Sab version doesn't.

The rehearsal on Discs 1 & 2 from 21st February is one of the clearest soundboard recordings from the era so any improvements 4DaFunk had to make have been minimal as it was so impressive to begin with. It's a fascinating look at the preparation for the early stage of the tour with 14 of the 16 tracks from the Sign O' The Times album performed and 'Kiss' being the only major "hit" played. Not only is it one of the best quality recordings, but it is also one of the best performed rehearsals with the band interacting between songs. Interestingly the 'Little Red Corvette' segue between 'Play In The Sunshine' and 'Housequake' is yet to be added to the set-list and Prince ends 'Play In The Sunshine' as on the album with an abrupt "Shut up already". 'The Ballad Of Dorothy Parker' is played (as it was once during the tour) segueing into 'Four'. 'Strange Relationship' includes the complete "squirrel meat" lyric from 'Superfunky' and is repeated again during 'It's Gonna Be A Beautiful Night'. The remainder of Disc 2 contains a rehearsal concentrating on various takes of 'The Sex Of It'. It is dates as August/September 1987 however it's safe to assume it's from August as the first live performance of the song took place on 5th September and in this rehearsal the band are not at all familiar with the track. In terms of content it's not exactly the kind of rehearsal which would get multiple listens as the content is very repetitive. Prince talks the band through the changes, lyrics and music with a fair amount of emphasis on the horn part. The rehearsal suffered from a great deal of hiss and I'm pleasantly surprised at the amount this has been reduced on this particular version. It's still there, but only audible and noticeable at any great volume or with headphones on.

Disc 3 and part of Disc 4 contains the last circulating Sign O' The Times tour rehearsal. Presumably in preparation for the upcoming US tour which was talked about during the US promotion of the Sign O' The Times concert movie - yet another project which never saw the light of day. The main bulk of the European leg of the tour remains however 'Erotic City' (very similar to the Lovesexy tour opener) proceeds 'Housequake'. The mid-section of Disc 3 is radically different from any other Sign O' The Times rehearsal or show and contains both 'Do Me, Baby' and a full length 'Adore' (which unfortunately is incomplete and fades out around 5:45). 'Hot Thing' is followed by a lazy guitar groove and drum beat with the band whispering "Baby, baby what's your name?" and features Prince adding a few lines from both 'Love Or $' and 'Data Bank' before Dr. Fink cues in 'Let's Pretend We're Married' which in turn segues into 'Delirious' and 'Jack U Off' (again the latter two tracks reminiscent of the Lovesexy tour). The remainder of the rehearsal is unsurprising except the addition of 'U Got The Look' which was never played during the tour and a brief impersonation of Terence Trent Darby during 'It's Gonna Be A Beautiful Night'. Throughout the show the energy level is high with Prince calling out "Pittsburgh" on various occasions. Similarly with the February 21st rehearsal, the quality of the recording is superb and it would be unfair of me to pass any criticism on it. There are a couple of fades in/out, but considering the overall quality it's really not such so major.

Disc 4 closes out with the 'Baby Go Go' rehearsal and is very similar to the 'The Sex Of It' rehearsal in terms of content and quality. Prince recited the lyrics to the track firstly ("Everyone got a pencil?") before they rehearse various takes of the song both instrumental and with lyrics. Again, the Sabotage version had an audible hiss which was slightly distracting, and 4DaFunk have greatly reduced the hiss and cleaned up the sound. It's still not of comparable quality to the 2 Sign O' The Times rehearsals featured on here, but is far superior to the Sabotage version. Overall this is an excellent refreshed version of one of the best bootlegs ever released. The corrected running speed of the 21st February rehearsal is the main draw here, but throughout there are various fixed glitches, etc which make this such a worthwhile release.

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