AVS Forum Special Member
Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: Washington DC Area
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Prince "Sign O' The Times", Brazilian import, filmed in 1987. The packaging looks professional, and is in Dolby 5.1 and 2.0 audio, all the menus are in spanish, but easy to figure out.
First the bad: tHe sound quality is poor. This is disappointing since the rest of the production has high production values, and his performance is excellent. It not as good as FM radio. I'm thinking the top and the bottom of the audible spectrum are heavily compressed, the lows are muddy, and the highs are cut off. I played with my reciever, and made it almost passable by using soundfields.
NOW THE GOOD:This performance is simply put, the most incredible live concert performance I have ever seen.
Prince's entourage of 10-12 players all wear many hats, you will see them all individually: playing the hell out of an instrument, dancing to highly choreographed musical plays, singing, and playing other instruments, at one point all the male players are playing drums.... This troop of players will wear many hats and switch between them most often. And their performance will be perfection.
Not only that, but there is continuous motion on the stage, and not just motion for motions sake, these players are moving about the stage like they have someplace to go. The effect is like having hundreds of players entering and exiting the stage over the course of the night, but .... its all the same 10 or so people!
Combine these players with master songwriter Prince, who can wear all these hats with ease, and dance as good as his best dancer ...
... who happens to be this incredible dancer named CAT.
Cat is this ultrafast dancer that whirls around the stage like a battling top most of the time, other times shes making out with one of the actors in a skit, or climbing the walls like a sexy spider woman. Other times shes singing or wearing some other hat. But she drifts in and out of the overall performance with astonishing speed.
As does Prince, whose performance talent manages to still dominate these other incredible players, I dont know how. He can dance as fast as the fastest dancer, play his guitar as good as his best sax player can sax ... and act in the plays with expressiveness that is worthy of Hollywood.
Which brings me to the video director of this concert. The way this concert is edited will make your head spin. The scenes will constantly be switching between Prince playing some riff on his guitar, to 3 horn players in the darkness to an incredible dancer, to some other band players artfully lit like some jazz painting ...
... to Prince singing, to shiela E going nuts on the drums, with her skintight top showing why female drummers are pretty to watch ...
And all these songs are directed in a cohesive way, despite the blurringly fast editing. Light is used with mastery, much of the instrumental playing is done in near darkness, adding a jazz-like quality to the band. Colored light is also used with great effect, but the stage is mostly kept in a soothing darkness.There is a master cinematic director at work here, and to my suprise, when I read the credits, the director was ... Prince.
Now if we could find a copy of this old concert with decent sound, it would be a great DVD.